I recently joined a Facebook group called Ballarat Bloggers which I somehow stumbled across and then discovered some really great new blogs and a few new readers for my own blog. One of my favourites is Potential Psychology written by Ellen and chock full of interesting reads about, well, psychology but also about what motivates us and how to improve our lives in simple ways.
She nominated me for one of those blogger awards (the Liebster Award), where you get nominated by a blogger and then nominate others, as well as answering some questions about yourself. I think I might have done this a couple of years ago. I guess these awards are a way of boosting your readership more than anything else. I’ve never really been that focused on how many people read my blog so I don’t do lots of the things ‘experts’ say you should do to attract a wider audience. I have a lovely following of people, some of who write me great comments, offer terrific advice and recommend books, share recipes and generally enhance my life. I also follow some blogs – not as many as I used to because there just not enough time in the day – which I find funny, inspiring or that I relate to in some way. Blogging for me is definitely a hobby, I have no intention or desire for it to be more than that. So having said all that, I thank Ellen for nominating me and I will answer her questions and suggests a few other blogs to check out, but probably not much more than that. I hope that’s okay.
1. What is one of your favourite quotes and why?
I read A LOT! You would think I’d be chock full of wonderful quotes. But for whatever reason mostly they don’t stay in my head. Except for one! Now are you ready for this one? It’s a little bit life-changing. “Would you rather wear a hat made of spiders or have penis fingers?” Who could forget a quote like that? And what would you answer, for me definitely a spider hat! If you’re wondering this quote is from a wonderful Australian novel called Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. The line comes in a conversation between the protagonist, Jasper Jones, and his best friend and possibly one of the greatest Aussie fictional characters, Jeffrey Lu. Silvey has an amazing talent for putting you inside the heads of teenage boys. If that’s a space you’ve ever wondered about, definitely read Jasper Jones. Actually, it’s whole lot more than that, so just read it regardless of whether you’ve had a curious thought about the inner workings of those particular beings.
2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
This is a tough one, so many characters! My answer today is Jo from Little Women. This is one of very small selection of books that I re-read (The Anne of Green Gables books and anything by Jane Austen would be the others). I love Jo because she’s a free spirit, she thinks little of appearance (I too would have to dance with my back to the wall because I’d wrecked the arse area of my dress), she loves to write (and has the confidence I wish I had) and she needs no man to make her happy. I love Jo!!
3. If you had 30 minutes of free-time, how would you use it?
Read. That’s it!! I find 30 minutes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! There is no housework more important than a few chapters of a great book. By the way, my house is never that tidy, but ask me what I’ve been reading and we’ll have a great chat.
4. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
I didn’t get into a primary teaching course when I decided to go back to uni….. the first time. To be fair I applied only for 1 year courses and there was only one primary course that fit that bill – they had something like four times the number of applications to positions and you needed a masters to get in. As it turns out I make a MUCH better secondary teacher than primary.
5. What is your first memory of being really excited?
Argh, I’m terrible at remembering stuff from my childhood. My sister, on the other hand, will be able to tell you what every member of the family had for breakfast on the 23rd of September 1985. Well, perhaps not quite, but she does seem to remember EVERYTHING, except scaring the pants off me by telling me there was a man with a gun hiding behind our curtains. She promptly went to sleep and I was left with a lifetime of nighttime paranoia. I was about 8 at the time. Thanks for that one sis! But I digress, this is supposed to be about a really exciting memory. If I think about that for a second, it always comes down to holidays with my family. Growing up we used to go on a road trip just about every September school holidays. I loved (and still do) everything about road trip holidays – my siblings didn’t so much love my renditions of the Bangles whilst wearing my walkman headphones. Possibly the first road trip holiday I remember well was our Queensland trip to visit Expo ’88. I fell in love with the idea of travel and different cultures, food, music and more on that trip. It left a lasting impression. For some reason that trip always makes me think of a Ken Done painting (did he do the official artwork perhaps?). It was vibrant, colourful and with that proper summer holiday freedom feel. Hell, even my parents were pretty chilled.
6. What is something you learned in the last week?
Well, last week my brain went on holidays! So potentially nothing. It took leave citing extreme exertion and utter exhaustion. It’s been slogging through a masters level Research Methods unit for the last few months so I think we can all cut it some slack. Before that it had learnt a LOT! I did take note of a few things this week though. Firstly that I’m definitely not young anymore. You see, I went to a wedding. The realisation came when I found I was on the dance floor for all the songs sung by the guy with the guitar (also of a certain age bracket), but never for the DJ songs. I couldn’t even begin to work out what I was supposed to do with my limbs in those songs…. are they even songs…. God I even sound old now. Secondly, I’m glad I’m not young. While my limbs may not know the moves, I at least have a moral compass attuned enough to know that humiliating a guy at his most vulnerable is a pretty darn horrible thing to do! I would hazard a guess that Facebook or Instagram were involved.
7. Top three favourite songs?
Now if the question was top three most played song in your house the answer would be ‘Let it Go’, ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’ and ‘For the first time in forever.’ But MY actual favourites (among many) would be Crane Wife by The Decemberists, Cotton Fields by Creedence Clear Water Rival (or The Beack Boys) and The Cave by Mumford and Sons. Ask me tomorrow I’ll give you a completely different three.
8. Best thing about blogging?
Blogging kind of rescued me four or so years ago. I wasn’t handling the mundanity of being at home with one, soon to be two very small children. I was going a bit crazy inside and taking it out on my husband. I started a blog on whim and in the middle of the night. It’s not quite what I first imagined it would be. It’s much more personal than I thought I would get. And it has opened a world I knew little of before embarking on this journey. Blogging still fills that void somewhat, but it is becoming less of a crucial lifeline and more of something I dip in and out of. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep writing, I don’t keep to a schedule, I just write when inspiration strikes. I do love that it gives a space to people who have all this floating around their minds that needs to get out there somehow.
9. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A second language, something practical and useful. I recently went looking at what exciting, interesting and worthwhile jobs there were for educators in the global arena – I do want to actually do something with this masters I’m working on. There were lots of fascinating jobs….. all requiring a second language.
10. What are you most looking forward to in the next month?
Finishing the Hunger Games books. Planting out the rest of my veggie garden. Dinner out more than once…. without kids! Hopefully a night where no small children invade my bed in the wee hours of the morning (unlikely). Catching up with a friend I haven’t seen for months. Lots of little things that make life good.
Now a confession to make, I struggle to keep up with most blogs. I read bits and pieces as I go, but I’m not the devoted reader most bloggers would like. I used to be, but I found it too hard to keep up with. There are a few exceptions, mostly ones that get emailed to me or that I follow of Facebook. So here are the three blogs I think you should all check out – if you guys choose to answers the questions and forward it along further that is completely up to you.
1. Country Life Experiment
2. The Fearse Family
3. Ren Likes Red (who just happens to be a friend also)