Authors’ Recognition Award I

This is my maiden Authors’ Recognition Award which was most kindly bestowed on me by author James A Best back in May. If you don’t aleady follow James, please head on over to his blog to read about his love of music and some of his excellent short stories. Unlike me, he is a published author.


This Award was created by Beverley at Becoming the Oil and the Wine Blog to support fellow bloggers who have written and published books or who are in the process of writing a book. You are free to write as much as you’d like about your book and/or the reasons why you decided to write one.

Brief Description Of My Progress

There are lots of people in the blogosphere who have written or are in the process of writing books, but I’m not one of them. Nor do I have plans to write one. I have however edited two books for the same author which were interesting and fun experiences.

I first “met” the author Greig Leach when I interviewed him for VeloVoices about his cycling artwork. Greig liked how I’d edited his interview and asked if I’d do the same for his first book which was funded on Kickstarter. I was thrilled!

Book de Tour: Art of 101st Tour de France featured the 2014 Tour which started in the UK and was won by Italian Vincenzo Nibali. But my work didn’t end there, oh no! I had rashly promised to get copies personally autographed by the winner for Greig’s major backers. This did not go smoothly at all, despite my meticulous planning and preparation. Firstly we had postal and then logistical issues. But it all came good in the end. Plus, one copy of the book which had the autographs of many of the participants and jersey winners was auctionned for charity.

One of Richmond’s many Monuments

Our second collaboration covered the UCI World Road Race Championships held the following year in Greig’s home town of Richmond, Virginia. By now, we were both old hands and this went pretty much as planned. We had hoped to do something similar for the Giro d’Italia but there was little appetite and interest among Greig’s largely US-based audience. I still hope we might work together again.

Greig is a talented artist and you can view his artworks on his website which includes his paintings of major cycling races and his new found passion for stained glass.

Nominees For This Award

Have you recently published a book or are you thinking of writing one? If so, please consider yourself nominated and tell us all about your work. That aside, I’d like to nominate the following bloggers:-

1. Rachel MankowitzYeshiva Girl

2. Chika RavitchBento for Beginners and Sushi Cookbook for Beginners

3. ArundhatiThe Travelling Diary of a Dippy Dotty Girl

4. Lelah ChiniClimbing over Grit

Award Rules

1. Create a new post on your blog using the above logo or create one of your own.

2. Copy and paste the Purpose of the Award and The Rules of the Award on your post.

3. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

4. Include the links to the creator of the Award and the inspirational post: Celebrating and Supporting our fellow writers.

5. Write a brief description of the books you have written or the book you are currently writing.

6. Include a link to your published books or the potential date of publishing.

7. Nominate at least five bloggers who have published a book or who are thinking about writing a book.

8. Support at least one of the bloggers you have nominated by either purchasing one of their books or sharing the links to their books.

9. If a nominee has not written a book share one of their blog posts.

Mystery Blogger Award IX – XI

Okoto Oke Enigma, whose blog site is created this Mystery Blogger Award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve all the recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. ♥♥♥

I was most fortunate to be nominated back in March by three different bloggers whose blogs are all amazing and who write from the heart. Please, if you don’t already follow them, head on over and check out their wonderful blogs:-

Three more things about me

1. I love cooking plant-based meals

2. I have fallen in love with my friends’ dog

3. I’m looking forward to enjoying the summer at home in France

Most read posts

My series of posts entitled: The things about France that surprised me.

Debby’s Questions

1. Have you ever smiled at a stranger and then wished you hadn’t? Why or why not?

I’m someone who’s always smiling and therefore it’s entirely possible that I’ve smiled at lots of strangers but fortunately none have reacted adversely. Most have smiled back. Its hard to resist one of my winning smiles!

2. What is your favorite SEO plugin for WordPress? Do you fully understand SEO’s and their functions or benefits?

Debby you are preaching to the unconverted. I don’t, as far as I’m aware, use any SEO plugins. I do appreciate the importance of SEO but I’m not interested in rankings. I write for my own pleasure and if someone else reads it, then it’s a bonus. 

3. If you could shop for free at any store, which store would you choose and why?

Where would I like to be let loose? Probably in one of my favourite bookshops which also sells wonderful stationery – Kinokuniya in the Dubai Mall.

4. If you could make one thing illegal, what would it be?

Discrimination – I thought it was, but it’s rarely enforced.

5. Have you ever had SEO work done, and if so were you happy with the results? If you did the work yourself how did you do?

Please see my response to question 2 above.

Shaheshal’s Questions

1. Would you rather dip a strawberry into lemonade or coffee?

Neither actually, though I would dip it into an orange-flavoured liquer

2. Name a place that you want to travel to?

I’m keen to revisit Japan

3. Would you rather have short sleeved shirts or long sleeved shirts?

I like my sleeves to be elbow length

4. Winter or summer?


5. What is your favourite thing to do when you are bored?

But I’m never bored – too much to do!

Steve’s Questions

1. What is your favorite topic to write about?

I like writing about my beloved husband. I could fill a book with all the things he’s lost.

2. Do you like to write long or short posts?

I try not to exceed 750 words

3. Do you like to read long or short posts?

Depends on the topic

4. Have you ever written, or thought of writing, a book?

No, never, though I have edited two.

5. What is your favorite flavour of ice cream?

Coffee flavoured vegan ice cream

Award Rules

  1. Put the award logo on your blog
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  3. Mention the creator of the award
  4. Answer the five questions you were asked
  5. Tell the readers three things about yourself
  6. Nominate 10 to 20 bloggers
  7. Notify the bloggers (tell them you nominated them) by commenting on one of their posts
  8. Ask your nominees five questions with one weird or funny one
  9. Share a link to your best posts

My Nominees

If you read all of this  – congratulations – consider yourself nominated. As Debby likes to remind us, by participating you will generate free content and offsite links which are, you already guessed it, good for your rankings. You’re welcome 🙂

Hope you had a fabulous weekend Sx


Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award I – III

This is a new award introduced by the wonderful Rising Star because:-

Blogging is fun and a source of inspiration and learning. Inspiration plays a vital role to proceed and step ahead in the journey of success. It helps us stay consistent at our desired Goals. Just like hard work is the key to success, inspiration is the key to work harder. Everyone here is doing their best to share their experiences and spread knowledge across this wonderful blogging platform. Everyone is sharing love and inspire others in their own way. So I decided to introduce the ideal inspiration Blogger award.

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award is a non-official Award to bloggers as a reward for the wonderful work on their blogs, reflecting the positive impact we can have on other people’s lives. Awards are important for inspiration, toasting the success of our fellow bloggers and especially newbies to become future “Stars“.

I was also most fortunate to also be nominated by Jeanne, who cooks up some truly inspiring dishes in her kitchen in Colorado, and posts some gorgeous pictures of her local wildlife, and Christin who captures life’s dazzling beauty in poetry.

My Nominees

If you’ve been blogging for a year, or less, consider yourself nominated. Please tell us a bit more about yourself using Rising Stars Questions below.

Rising Star’s Questions

1. What is your best source of inspiration?

Life! It’s wonderful and amazing.

2. What is the main purpose of your blog?

To amuse, to inform

3. What inspires you to write?

My trips, my travels, my adventures in the kitchen, watching sport, my cycle rides – all sorts of things!

4. How often do you write?

I write most days. I generally have a bit of a writing blitz, when inspiration strikes, so that I can build up a stock of posts for when I don’t have time to write. That way, I can post most days.

5. What is your best time for creativity?

Probably, mornings

Jeanne’s Questions

1. What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

Failures are merely opportunities for learning. I’m still on a steep learning curve, aren’t we all?

2. What do you find the most frustrating about blogging?

WP gremlins! I am beset with them at the moment.

3. What’s your current read and next read?

Not reading any books at the moment, I’ve been too busy! I generally only read books when I’m on holiday.

4. Describe yourself in three words.

Pragmatic, clear-headed, fun.

5. What new hobby did you pick up during isolation/quarantine?

I had all sorts of plans to improve my Spanish, do a spot of upcycling, some DIY …………and haven’t had time to do any of it. Luckily, I did turn my attention to my terrace garden and it’s definitely benefitted from some TLC.

Christin’s Questions

1. What would you say to your younger self, if you could at a time it was really hard?

When I get questions like these it makes me appreciate what a wonderful upbringing I had. I never experienced anything hard, not really, for which I can thank my late parents. I do however understand that not everyone is as fortunate.

2. What ritual or affirmation or thing helps you get comfortable?

I’m someone who has long been comfortable in her own skin and I don’t use anything like this.

3. What is the one thing you absolutely love about yourself?

My positivity

4. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Ooh, another three words. How about cool, calm and collected?

5. What is one message you would like to share with everyone?

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. 

Award Rules

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.

• Answer their questions.

• Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.

• Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.

• List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.

• Provide the link to the Award creator, as Rising Star from (It’s all about Inspiration).

Liebster Award XV – XVII

Forgive me for bundling these awards together but I find it’s the best way of responding. Now, that sounds a bit boastful. It’s not. It’s because I generally respond that I receive these nominations. Of course, it would be nice to think that it’s down to my well-crafted posts with their scintillating prose and gorgeous photos but let’s not kid ourselves! I do them because it encourages more interaction among bloggers, particularly newbies. Plus, you know, they’re fun to do!

This time round I was most kindly nominated by three wonderful bloggers: the lovely Wild at Heart over at  WildScaredCrazy; the funny and eccentric Shaheshal; and, the wonderful Mrs Holliman. Please take the time to drop by their sites, check out their interesting content and give them a follow.


Are you a relatively new blogger? If so, please consider yourself nominated. Go ahead and tell us more about yourself and answer whichever of the many questions below take your fancy!

11 Facts about me

Another reason for combining these awards, I’m running out of things to tell you! Apologies in advance for any repetitions.

1. I have three brothers-in-law, but only two sisters.

2. I’ve rather enjoyed lockdown largely because I enjoy my own company and that of my (long suffering) beloved husband. In addition, I’m someone who’s always busy and can always find silver linings to pretty much anything – I make that 5 things!

3. Since lockdown has been slowly lifted in France we’ve been enjoying where we live all over again. It’s been lovely to visit places without any tourists and happily snap away without worrying about getting heads in the way. While the situation isn’t economically viable, I’m going to make the most of this window of opportunity.

4. I’ve been sharing my baking with some of my more vulnerable neighbours. They’ve enjoyed the treats so much one or two have wondered whether they could sign up to a cakes-on-subscription service! We can’t possibly eat all I bake so I’m happy to continue sharing.

5. My beloved and I usually work at a large partners’ desk in the office but, because of all his Zoom calls, he’s been banished to the desk in the lounge. I’m much enjoying having the office to myself and this situation could continue long-term.

6. I haven’t missed watching sport on television as much as I thought I would.

7. We’ve taken an exective decision that any travel from now until the end of next year will only be in France, Italy or Spain, and quite probably none until this September.

8. We’ve not binge-watched any box sets on the television or watched any films, we’ve been too busy.

9. Our succulent garden on the terrace has much benefitted from a spot of TLC. I’m never going to be a “gardener” but I have quite enjoyed the experience of having plants thrive rather than die on me.

10. Lockdown has reminded me to more greatly appreciate what I’ve got rather than what I haven’t.

11. I’m looking forward to a long, hot summer at home.

Wild at Heart’s Questions

1. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My natural inclination is to say lobster. On a trip to New England I famously ate it every day for two weeks but I’m not sure I could manage it ad infinitum. So, let’s go with baked potatoes, with my home-made coleslaw.

2. Who is your favourite author?

I don’t have a favourite, I have a number of favourites such as Evelyn Waugh, Margaret Attwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

3. Who is your hero?

My late father.

4. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Right where I now live, the Cote d’Azur.

5. What is your biggest fear?

I don’t really have one. I think you fear less as you age. Let’s say the unknown.

6. Do you have any pet peeves?

Not too many minor irritations, but one or two. For example, I dislike it when anyone inconveniences another or shows insufficient consideration.

7. Which meal is your favourite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

Definitely lunch!

8. What song always gets you out on the dance floor?

Nothing and no one these days gets me on the dancefloor!

9. When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not?

I did otherwise my hair would’ve been dead straight. Yes, I bought big time into that FIB!

10. What activity instantly calms you?

Watching waves lap the seashore

11. Ideally, how would you spend your birthday?

With my beloved. Please don’t spoil my birthday by throwing me a surprise party!

Shaheshal’s Questions

1. Is a hotdog a sandwich? Why or why not?

According to the definition: a sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese, fish or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. So, yes, it’s a sandwich!

2. What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

My memory is stuffed full of useless and ridiculous facts. How about this one? The average human body contains enough fat to make seven bars of soap.

3. What is the funniest joke you know by heart?

I don’t tell jokes. I tell stories in an amusing way.

4. How do you feel about putting broccoli on pizza?

Like pineapple, it has no place on a pizza. Ask any Italian.

5. Who do you know that really reminds you of a character in a TV show or movie?

I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about this. So that would be no one.

6. What are some fun ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?

I hate the expression “How’s it going?” and will respond “How’s what going?” To the “What do you do?” question, I’d probably respond “How long have you got?”

7. What is your favourite thing to do when you’re bored?

Here’s the thing, I’m never bored!

8. Do you like to cook?

Is the Pope a Catholic? Of course I love to cook and bake. Check out my posts entitled “The Musette.”

9. If it suddenly started snowing in the summer what would be your reaction?

Snow in summer? We don’t get snow in winter!

10. Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals?

Can I not do both? My friends claim that I’m a child and dog whisperer.

11. Would you rather have all traffic lights you approach be green or never have to stand in line again?

I have pretty good traffic light karma so I’d choose not to ever have to queue again.

Mrs Holliman’s questions

1. What is your favourite thing to blog about?

All sorts of things, but probably local trips and travel abroad.

2. What would be one thing that you would change that you did in your life?

I would’ve become self-employed and moved to France earlier.

3. Strawberries or Blueberries?


4. What is your favourite food to cook?

I love cooking with vegetables.

5. What does love from GOD mean to you?

Now, Mrs H you know I’m not a believer. Of course, I may be proved wrong but any love’s surely a good thing.

6. What is one of your favourite quotes? Any quote.

I love Dorothy Parker’s sharp, witty tongue, so any of her quotes. Such as:-

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

7. Hot dogs or Hamburger?

A plant-based hamburger, preferably one I’ve made myself.

8. What is your favourite TV show to watch?

I love travel programmes such as Michael Portillo’s train series.

9. What would you be doing if snow came to your city?

I’d get out my cross-country skis.

10. What is your flavour of cake?


11. What are you thankful for?


Award Rules

    • Thank the blogger who nominated you, and give a link to the blog
    • Answer the 11 questions given to you
    • Share 11 facts about yourself
    • Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers.
    • Ask your nominees 11 questions
    • Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post

Congratulations, you’ve reached the end! Please reward yourself in some way. Hope you had a great week-end. Sx

Real Neat Blog Award VI, VII and VIII

I’ve once again been nominated for The Real Neat Blog Award by some pretty terrific bloggers. Please check out their sites and give them your support:-

Firstly, the gracious and lovely Mrs Holliman who so eloquently expresses her love of Christianity over at God’s Love.

Next, youthful, bubbly Lydia, who’s recently graduated, and who writes about all manner of things on In His Service and Loving It. Lydia and I have bonded over our love of cooking.

Last but not least, recent bloggers and architectural practice Mohsin Sheikh. If buildings are your thing…………and they’re most definitely mine. You now know where to find them.


My Nominees

Are you a relatively new blogger? Do you think your blog is coolish? If you answered “yes” to either one of these questions, guess what? You’ve been nominated. Answer any 7 (your choice) of the questions below.

Mrs H’s Questions

1. What is your favourite late-night snack?

I try very hard not to eat after 19h but, if I do, it’s probably a bit of dark chocolate.

2. What is your favourite travel spot?

I guess it would be the Basque Country or Australia. Posts about trips to both of these are numerous on my blog.

3. What are 2 of your favourite hobbies?

Cooking and cycling

4. If you were being chased by a lion would you jump in a tree or try to get to your car?

First of all, if I were being chased by a lion, I would be in serious trouble as I’m not the fastest runner. I’d probably opt for whichever was closer. I’m still a dab hand at climbing trees. Just to be on the safe side, I’m not planning on visiting any countries where lions roam wild and free.

5. What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Stille Nacht (Silent Night) sung in the original German.

6. Have you ever wished you could fly? Why?

Mrs H if God had meant us to fly, no one would’ve bothered to invent the flying machine.

7. What is your funniest holiday moment?

As a child, I was rather lively (British understatement). I used to run everyone ragged. While on holiday in the Isle of Wight when I was 18 months old, as a joke my parents put me in an empty waste-paper bin on the wall and turned their backs on me. When they looked around again, I was gone. I had been rescued by another couple staying at the same hotel. My parents (wisely) never did that again!

Lydia’s Questions

1. What was/is your favorite school subject?

It was history.

2. How often do you do something really weird that you regret?

Hardly ever! You tend you regret what you’ve not done, rather that what you’ve done.

3. In your opinion, what’s something you do that passes time really well?


4. Meat or veggie pizza?

Vegan pizza

5. Do you like lizards?

I don’t mind them just so longer as I’m bigger than them.

6. Blue tooth, headphones, or earbuds?

Headphones – I’m old school.

7. What did you do for Easter this year?

Not a lot, we were in lockdown!

Mohsin Sheikh’s Questions

1. Name any 3-5 lines or dialogues from books/movies that you found fascinating.

Here’s one from one of my favourite authors, Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose legendary opening sentence to 100 Years of Solitude (1967) is:

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

2. What type of movies do you watch? any specific director or actor preferences?

I’m rather fond of children’s animation.

3. What is your take about politics?

I rarely discuss politics or religion though I do firmly believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

4. Name three habits you want to share with us.

I am very tidy, I have almost perfect recall, I enjoy solitude.

5. Which will be your go-to place for dinner, once this lockdown ends?

There are loads of local restaurants which I shall visit once they’re (hopefully) open again.

6. Describe your favourite book.

It’s about a Jewish Mancunian who supports Manchester City Football Club during Manchester United’s glory days. Of course, he’d be having the last laugh nowadays.

7. When you joined the WordPress community, what were your thoughts? Did you have any expectations? Was there any specific reason why you chose blogging? (Apart from being passionate about writing).

I wouldn’t call myself passionate about writing. Plus, I had no real thoughts or expectations upon joining WP. I just liked that I could write what I wanted, when I wanted. I still do.

Award Rules

1. Display the blog award logo in your blog.
2. Thank the bloggers who nominated you. Do not forget to link to their blogging website.
3. Answer all the questions they have given you.
4. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers of your choice.
5. Ask them 7 questions.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. Sx

Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award I – IV

Well, this award is new one for me! I was kindly invited by by a number of great bloggers to take part. Firstly, Mrs Holliman over at Gods Love. If you don’t already follow Mrs H, please head over to her blog and check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Also, don’t forget to visit Mr H’s blog, he hands out some great advice on nutrition.

I was also nominated by Wild at Heart over at  Wild Scared Crazy who’s in her early 20s but scared to let it out and wants you to share your fears and doubts with her.

Then I was nominated by James A Best, an author who spins a mean short story over on his blog. If you don’t already follow him, head on over and give his stories some love.

Finally, I was nominated by young Dragon Warrior (Sophie) over at Den of Dreams who’s a very talented weaver of beautifully illustrated short stories.

These are all great blogs, please check them out and give them some support.

Now, you may be wondering who the hell is Vincent Ehindro? He’s just a guy with the zeal to make people smile. A man after my own heart, particularly in these trying times so please head on over and give him a follow here:

My Nominees

I usually throw out a blanket invitation, but not this time. Oh no! To qualify for this award you have to spread some sunshine. Make us all smile. Fair dos?

Mrs H’s Questions

1. What is your favourite vacation spot?

I love cities beside the sea. If I could never travel anywhere ever again, I’d be more than happy to stay where I am, one of the most glorious places on God’s earth (French Riviera). But I also love places such as San Sebastian, Sydney, Biarritz, Barcelona, Melbourne………..which are also beside the sea.

2. What does life mean to you?

How long have you got Mrs H, this is a rather BIG and MEANINGFUL question.

3. Do you like to eat your fries on your burger?

As someone who’s not supposed to eat either fried food or meat, this is rather a moot question. Of course, I love fries, who doesn’t? But I love those thick, triple fried ones that have crispy interiors and fluffy interiors. If I’m going to be naughty, it’s gotta be worth it. Don’t you all just hate flabby, greasy fries?

4. Have you ever been out the country? If so where

I’ve been very fortunate to travel extensively from an early age and have visited many countries: Australia, US, Japan, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Malta, Andora, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, San Marino, Vatican City, Monaco, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Kitts & Nevis, Antigua, Barbados……….

5. When do you like to take your walks?

I like walking a lot and try to walk most afternoons.

6. Do you like to look at the stars at night?

Sadly, pollution and so much ambient light means it’s difficult to see the stars here in the south of France. However, the air is clearer and there’s much less light in more remote areas, particularly in the mountains, which affords one a spectacular view.

7. Do you have any pets?

No, I have my husband who takes up all my time and attention. He would love a dog, a big dog, but I know who’d end up looking after him or her.

8. Beside blogging what is one of your other hobbies?


9. What has Jesus Christ done for you?

This is a bit of a tricky question. I’m not aware that he’s done anything specifically for me.

10. What inspires you the most?


Wild’s Questions

1. What is your favourite aspect of blogging?

I can write what I want, when I want.

2. What is your favourite social media platform, and why?

I don’t have a favourite. I dabble a little in quite a few.

3. Are you more of an indoors or outdoors person?

Outdoors, but only so long as the sun is shining.

4. Tell me a weird fact about yourself!

I’ve shared so much about myself already on this blog that it’s difficult to think of anything else, weird or otherwise.

5. What is your favourite season?

Any season where the sun shines.

6. What is your favourite memory?

When you get to my age you have so many that it’s well nigh impossible to pick just one.

7. Cats or dogs?

Dogs but I have no intention of ever getting a pet.

8. If you were an only child, would you wish to have siblings?

Of course, I love my two sisters but my younger sister (right) was so annoying as a child that I often wished I’d been an only one.

9. What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?

Anything vegan, particularly coffee.

10. What three wishes would you ask from a genie?

The end of inequality and poverty, good health for all.

James’ Questions

1. How do you juggle your blogging time with time at work and family time?

It’s easy when there’s just my beloved husband and me. I blog while he works.

2. What are some of the hobbies you have besides writing?

Cooking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, walking

3. Have you or will you publish a book (s)?

No, though I have edited two books and would be happy to edit more.

4. What do you enjoy doing for recreation?

See 2. above

5. What is your favorite genre of music and who are your favorite musicians?

I don’t really have a favourite genre or indeed favourite musicians. I like lots of both. I like to keep an open mind though I do know what I don’t like.

6. Name your favourite authors and why?

I like authors who spin an engrossing story. My favourites are Margaret Attwood, Evelyn Waugh, GabrielGarcía Márquez and Kazuo Ishiguro.

7. What are your favourite sports to watch or play?

MotoGP, tennis, football (soccer), cycling, athletics, skiing, cricket

8. What is your number one time of the year and why?

Summer because the sun shines and I get to spend even more time outdoors.

9. Do you like to grow your own garden?

Since lockdown I have discovered that I don’t have digits of doom, I just need to select the right plants and give them some TLC.

Dragon Warrior’s Questions

1. Would you consider a creative person? If so, how?

No, not really, I’m more practical than creative.

2. What type of characters do you like to read about?

It’s not really the characters which attract me to a book, its more the storyline or author, unless it’s non-fiction. I like reading about the lives of sporting heroes and those who’ve lead interesting (IMHO) lives.

3. How would you describe the quarantine in a few words?

An unavoidable necessity

4. How would you describe your aesthetics?

Well, we all like to think we have good taste but it’s very subjective. I’m conservative with a bit of a wacky side.

5. When the quarantine ends, what would you do first?

Beloved BMC
Lockdown has merely eased in France. I don’t think it’ll truly “end” for some time. But the first thing I wanted to do was go for a ride but it poured all day Monday, so I had to wait until Tuesday.

No award would exist without those (pesky) RULES

1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog

2. Post the award photo

3. Post the rules

4. Ask 5-10 questions

5. Nominate 20-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.

6. Follow Vincent Ehindero @ (to qualify for a free blog promotion and shoutout)


I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and many congratulations for reaching the end of this post!

Mystery Blogger Awards VII and VIII

I was invited by Rachael’s Novels to take part in the Mystery Blogger Award and I thought, why not? A big shout out to Rachael for the nomination and don’t forget to head over to her site to check out her novels and give her a follow.

Then, a week or two later, I was most kindly nominated by Mrs Holiman over at God’s Love, again please head over to her lovely blog, check it out and give her a follow too.

Three Things about Myself

Blimey, I’ve done so many awards, and particularly after the Vogue Challenge, I must now be an open book. Here goes and apologies in advance for anything I’ve already told you.

I have an excellent memory, much to my beloved’s chagrin, as a kid I always used to win the party game where you had to recall the items on a tray. If I’ve read it, heard or seen it I’ll most likely be able to remember it. I just have to close my eyes and I can see it in my mind’s eye. This ability does not prevent me from having selective memory loss!

My Best Blogs

I don’t know, you tell me. Is it the ones with the most views? In which case it’s my series of blogs about “Things about France that surprised me…..” such as not sending cards, hypochondria, bread, driving, hamburgers

My Nominees

As is my wont, please pick up the baton of the challenge of this award if you feel so inclined!

Rachael’s Questions

Rachael picked a set of questions set by Lydia Potter used for her nominees in her Real Neat Blog Award post, because she thought they were neat, but I’ve already answered these here. So I’ve used the same set she answered.

1. Do you like writing?

Yes, I enjoy writing and rarely suffer from writer’s block.

2. Have you ever written poetry?

No, my younger sister is the family poet laureate. She has an enviable knack for it.

3. Who is your fave author?

There are a number I really like such as Evelyn Waugh, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Attwood and Gabriel García Márquez but I don’t really have a favourite.

4. Poetry or novels?

I prefer reading novels though occasionally enjoy reading poetry.

5. Have you ever written something that you really wish you didn’t?

No, because I’m conscious that anything written down could be viewed by anyone, including an unintended audience.

Mrs Holiman’s Questions

1. What is your favourite bible verse about kindness?

I believe I’ve mentioned my lack of familiarity with the Bible. However, one thing I’ve always tried to abide by is this:-

2. How has your 2020 year been so far?

It started off really well and has now kinda stalled.

3. Who’s a better swimmer batman or superman?

Tricky one!

4. What do you love about blogging?

It’s enjoyable and informative

5. What things you like to watch on youtube? Name 3

I don’t really watch anything on YouTube though I do use clips from it to illustrate some of my blogs.

The Award Rules

  1. Put the award logo on your blog
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  3. Mention the creator of the award – Okoto Engima
  4. Answers the five questions you were asked
  5. Tell the readers three things about yourself
  6. Nominate ten to twenty bloggers
  7. Notify the bloggers( tell them you nominated them) by commenting on one of their posts
  8. Ask your nominees five questions with one weird or funny one
  9. Share a link to your best posts

Hope you’re having a great weekend. Sx

Real Neat Blog Award V

Lovely Lydia from In His Service and Loving It very kindly nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award! Lydia’s an 18 year old girl, wise beyond her years and a real credit to her parents. She loves baking, cooking, reading, eating, riding roller coasters, playing guitar and piano, helping in children’s ministries and serving God. She has a wonderful blog and I suggest you go check it out and give her a follow.

About The Real Neat Blog Award

Okay so what does this award mean? Well, I looked up “neat” in the dictionary and I decided to go with its slang interpretation, as in “Wonderful; terrific: That was a neat party.”


My Nominees

You want to take part? Go for it, the questions are down below.

Lydia’s Questions

1. Would you rather be half your height or double your weight?

Frankly, neither would be enjoyable. I’m average height, so half would possibly have me moving in with The Borrowers and double my weight would play havoc with my power-to-weight ratio on the bike. Plus, none of my clothes would fit!

2. Celery in ice cream or pickle juice in place of milk in your cereal?

Celery sorbet would be preferable especially since I don’t eat cereal, or indeed milk.

3. What’s a topic that you talk about most?

I don’t know. You tell me? Is it travel, sport, my beloved husband?

4. What time do you go to bed and wake up?

I like to go to bed between 10 and 11 o’clock at night and wake around 7 o’clock in the morning. This girl needs at least 8 hours a night.

5. What’s your favourite way to exercise?

On my bike.

6. How much time do you spend on your blog each day?

I don’t spend that much time on my blog each day but I do spend time reading and commenting on other blogs.

7. Broccoli cooked or raw?

Both, I love vegetables!

The Award Rules

1. Display the blog award logo in your blog.
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you. Do not forget to link to their website.
3. Answer all the questions they have given you.
4. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers of your choice.
5. Ask them 7 questions.

Hope you’re having a great weekend. Sx

Sunshine Blogger Awards XXI, XXII and XXIII

I have been most fortunate to again be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, on this occasion by:-

Rising Star  who’s a motivational speaker among other things. I think you’ll find his website a great source of inspiration. Head on over there for a moral boost.

Tilly over at 40’fore Forty who talks about her life-changing journey trying to be kinder to herself. We could all learn something from Tilly, so please check out her blog.

Riya Gupta at World of My Thoughts who’s creative and loves to enjoy life and make new friends. She loves how many new friends she’s made in the blogosphere, if you want to be one of them……you know what to do!

My Nominees

Of course, the Sunshine Slogger Award isn’t an official award, but it’s a fun way of spreading motivation and inspiration. If you’d like to get involved – and why wouldn’t you? – consider yourself nominated. Please answer at least one of the sets of questions below.

Rising Star’s Questions

1. If you could go anywhere you wanted, where would you go?

Of course, at the moment and probably for the next couple of month or so, none of us can go anywhere. But we can indulge in some virtual travel. Indeed, I’m going to be revisiting and updating my Bucket List and planning a few itineraries for potential future trips. I enjoy the planning almost as much as the trip itself.

2. What is your favorite season?

Summer, although it does depend on where you are. Last year we visited Queensland in our summer, their winter which turned out to be just perfect. Similarly, we’ve visited Melbourne and Adelaide in our winter, their summer which was equally splendid.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

See my response to 1. above.

4. What inspires you to write?

I write about my daily life: nothing deep, controversial or thought-provoking. I’m inspired by the every day.

5. How often do you write?

Whenever I can, I try to write daily.

6. What is your favorite time of day to be creative?

Anytime of the day or night suits.

Tilly’s Questions

1. What is your favourite day of the week and why?

When you work from home for a global client base, the days tend to be quite similar. There isn’t a clear divide between the working week and the week-end. When asked, I usually say Monday as it’s the start of a new week.

2. Would you prefer to be a superhero or super villain?

Definitely a super hero like Wonder Woman in her kick arse outfit.

3. What is on your favourite sandwich?

I prefer tartines, open-faced sandwiches. Let’s start with home-made sourdough or spelt bread then a layer of my spicy tomato and chilli jam, hummus, squashed warm falafel and some alfalfa shoots.

4. Do you speak a second language? If no, would you like to learn one?

I speak English (mother-tongue), French, German, Italian and some Spanish. I’d certainly like to improve my Spanish and now’s a good time to do some more studying.

5. When was the last time you went to the zoo?

I’m generally not a big fan of zoos. The last time I visited one was a corporate trip to Zurich zoo in 2003.

6. Do you want to be famous?

Hell no!

7. Would you rather have vegetables or fruit?

Vegetables every time. I certainly eat more than my 5-a-day.

8. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

See my answer to 1. in the set of questions above.

9. What is your favourite art medium?

This gave me some pause for thought but probably paintings.

10. Why did you start blogging?

Because I could.

11. What advice do you have for new bloggers?

Be authentic!

Riya’s Questions

1. What would be your dream life like?

It’s certainly not one in lock-down. I was more than content with my life before. Goodness know what life after Corona is going to be like.

2. Have you ever got stuck in a rain storm anywhere? What did you do during it?

I try to stay at home during rain storms though I have gotten caught out while riding my bike and I just head for home.

3. If, you could pick one author you wish you could be. Who would that be and why?

I’ve never wanted to write a book or be an author, though I have edited a couple of books. If I had to pick someone I’d pick one who’s been hugely successful, say J K Rowling, even though I’ve never read any of her books.

4. Would you rather watch the waves of the ocean come in and out or watch a valley from high above?

My apartment overlooks the sea. I could spend all day looking at my view. Sadly, I’m too far away to hear the rolling waves.

5. What’s your favourite movie to watch? And why?

I’m not big on favourites as I find it hard to whittle down a massive number of possibilities. I usually say The Shawshank Redemption but I could’ve easily said any of the Toy Story movies – I love animation – Thelma & Louise, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – showing my age there!

6. If you could live in any century which one would you choose?

Quite happy with this one, thank you, albeit not at the moment.

7. What would you rather have for a pet: a talking parrot or a ferret?

To be honest, neither appeals. Though a talking ferret would be hard to ignore.

8. What’s your favourite food that you can not live with out?

My favourite food used to be cheese but I now can’t eat dairy. Although I eat vegan cheese it in no way compares to the real thing. So I guess there’s no food that I cannot live without.

9. Do you believe in God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost? And do they play a large part in your life?

No, No, No and No

10. What makes you keep dreaming up new ideas for writing?

Life and my travels

11. What is number one sport you play?

I’ve played many sports but now I cycle, work-out and do yoga.

The Award Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer their questions.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees for their nomination through their blog or social media.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo.

If you’ve made it all the way down to here –  many congratulations!

Have a great weekend. Sx

Mystery Blogger Award VI

I was nominated in early January for the Mystery Blogger Award by Sadje from Life After 50 – I know what that’s like! She has a wonderful blog with some interesting posts and great photos. If you’re not one of her followers, do drop in to check it out.

Mystery Blogger Award

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma to award those amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blogs not only captivate; they inspire and motivate. They are some of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

Okoto Enigma’s Blog

My Nominees

You all know by now how this works. I nominate anyone who has taken the trouble to read this post – thank you.

Three Things About Me

I have written so much about myself on all these various awards that I’m really scraping the barrel or, even worse, repeating myself. If that’s the case, apologies in advance.

1. I typically write my blogs on my laptop in the office, a large room I share with my beloved. It was fine while he travelled all the time but now he’s home more and more, it’s sometimes difficult to concentrate, particularly when he’s on the phone. I feel the need to relocate to somewhere quieter………maybe the lounge. The danger is that I’ll spend all my time gazing at our wonderful view as opposed to doing any work.

2. I’m someone who enjoys her own company. I like being alone and never feel lonely. I love it when my beloved is away for a few days and my time is my own. Of course, as we’re both in lock-down this isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

3. I love being outdoors every day, usually on my bike. Fortunately, I can still do this providing I don’t go too far from home. I just ride a number of circuits using those roads less travelled.

Sadjes Questions

1. What is your strategy for dealing with stress?

The most stressful thing in my life is easily my beloved husband. Not him per se, but dealing with the consequences of his actions or inactions. I generally find a few days of peace and quiet without him restores my equilibrium.

2. If tomorrow were the last day, What would you do first?

Easy, I’d go for a nice long ride on my bike

3. How would you describe yourself as a colour and why?

I’d be orange, a colour which is great as an accessory, it goes with pretty much every main colour: brown, black, grey, beige, navy.

4. Physical beauty or intelligence?

Given that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’d go for intelligence.

5. Do you believe that Murphy is trying to mess up our day?

Who is this mysterious Murphy? Is he the chap from Murphy’s law, which states: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. If it is, then my approach to being never knowingly underprepared should considerably help.

Best Blogs

What defines one’s best blogs. Are they the one’s that attract the most likes? Given that I’m currently plumbing my archives every Friday for an underappreciated gem, I think we’ll leave it at that.



1. Put the award logo on your post.♥️
2. List the rules.♥️
3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.♥️
4. Mention the creator and provide a link to their blog.♥️
5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.♥️
6. Nominate 10-20 of your favorite bloggers.♥️
7. Notify your nominees.
8. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice.♥️
9. Share links to your best posts.