The Sunshine Blogger Award IV

If someone is kind enough to nominate you for an award you should respond, it’s only polite. Plus, of course, it’s awesome getting awards particularly at my stage of life, or indeed at any stage.

This time my grateful thanks go to the gorgeous Priyanka Nair who around two years ago started her wonderful blog. And, in that short time she’s achieved much – just check out her “About” page. Her writing is inspirational and brings that veritable ray of sunshine into our lives. You just know that this determined lady will go far! If you don’t already follow her blog, you should. You won’t regret it.

Award Rules

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you √

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you √

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and ask them 11 new questions √

4. List rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post /or on your blog √

5. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts √

Priyanka’s Questions

1. What is your favorite colour and why?

I don’t have a favourite colour. As a child I loved red because my party shoes were red but nowadays I embrace all colours. Though I would say that I’m not overly fond of blue when it comes to decor and don’t like sleeping in predominantly blue bedrooms.

2. Are you eating for survival or are you a gourmand?

I’m most definitely a greedy gourmand as my waist (or lack thereof) will testify. Also check out my recipes on my “The Musette” posts.

3. Black, red or white grapes?

Not a big fan of grapes, though my other half loves them. I prefer grapes once they’ve been turned into wine: one of life’s little miracles.

4. What is your favourite dessert?

This is much easier. It used to be my mother’s home-made lemon meringue pie. However, for health reasons, I’ve had to give up dairy and hence generally give desserts a miss. There are lots of delicious vegan recipes which I’m happy to embrace but they rarely evoke the same memories as my mother’s truly magnificent lemon meringue pie.

5. What is your favorite pasta dish?

My home-made vegan spaghetti bolognaise. On eating it, my two sisters declared that they didn’t realise there was no meat in it – result!

6. Do you eat fresh salads?

I’ve always loved fresh vegetables and salads and eat them daily. I’m not vegan, as I eat fish, but I do now follow a largely plant-based diet and feel so much better for it.

7. Sweet or spicy?

I like a mix of hot, sweet, sour, spicy and salty – umami!

8. If you are a woman: dress or pantsuit? And, if you are a man: suit or casual?

I’m a woman with a wardobe full of trousers, and very few skirts or dresses. Though, when I first started work, it was frowned upon for women to wear trousers – yes, I’m that old!

9. If you are a woman: high heels or flat shoes? And, if you are a man: Oxfords or sneakers?

Give me flat shoes any day! I have some fabulous pairs of heels, and wear them when appropriate, but love the current trend for athleisure with sneakers.

10. Do you like your birthday day?

Again, when you get to my age, birthdays just show that the sands of time are running out. My bithday is three weeks after Christmas, never a great date for a birthday unless, like me, you were a keen sportsperson, since age is always taken on 1 January.

11. And the last one: have you prayed today?

Not yet.

My Nominees

I follow and enjoy a great number of blogs on a very wide range of topics but this time I’ve decided to nominate those that I’ve recently started to follow.


The Lanes

Chef Nikki Meow







Andy and his other half



Here are my Questions to You

1. How do you bring sunshine into people’s lives?

2. Describe your perfect day

3. How would you keep an energetic 3-year old entertained? Asking for a friend!

4. What’s your favourite meal?

5. Use five adjectives to describe your personal style

6. How do you like to relax?

7. What qualities do you look for in your friends?

8. If money were no object, what would you buy and why?

9. Describe the town where you live and explain why you live there?

10. Use one word to describe how you felt when you read you’d received this award?

11. How would you like to be remembered?

There’s no time limit for your reply but, remembering my great age, please try and make it in my lifetime.  I’m looking forward to reading your answers.

A big thanks once again to Priyanka and have a great day.

Sheree x


The Real Neat Blog Award

Awards are like buses. You don’t get any for a while and then two come along together. Neha Kulkarni has most kindly helped me get 2019 off to a great start by bestowing the Real Neat Blog Award. Can 2019 get any better?

Firstly, many thanks to Neha for nominating me for this prestigious award and don’t forget to check out her blog Talk Exchange. It’s a great, positive and inspiring read. Her ambition is to touch a million lives and I’m sure she’ll achieve her objective.

About The Real Neat Blog Award:

Okay so what does this award mean? Well, I looked up “neat” in the dictionary and:-

1. a. Orderly and clean; tidy: a neat office; a neat desk.

1. b. habitually tidy or well-organized: was lucky to have a neat roommate.

2. Marked by ingenuity and skill; adroit: a neat turn of phrase.

3. Not diluted or mixed with other substances: neat whiskey.

4. Left after all deductions; net: neat profit.

5. Slang Wonderful; terrific: That was a neat party.

Okay, I’m going with number 5!

The rules:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer 5-6 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like.
  • Let them know you nominated them.
  • Ask 5-10 questions of your nominees.
  • Share some of yours which you think were a hit.

My Nominees:

Rather than list 10-15 of the amazing (aka real neat) blogs that I follow and regularly read, I’m throwing this open to all the blogs I follow (and who follow me) to accept this award and join in.

My responses to Neha’s questions:

1. Which one thing would you sacrifice if you were supposed to?

Not sure how, where or even why I have to make this sacrifice but it certainly wouldn’t be my better half (my beloved), or cycling, or coffee. I’ve already given up dairy, animal products and all processed foods so I suppose I could sacrifice either coffee or alcohol.

2. What efforts will you take to help the underprivileged?

When I worked in the City of London in my previous role, I worked closely with the Chairman on the company’s social and corporate responsibility programme. Specifically, we sponsored a primary school in a neighbouring and much poorer borough, mentoring the head teaching, helping to raise much needed funds for the school and working with the children on the three Rs. It was great fun and we all benefitted from the process. Since moving to France, I’ve taught English to youngsters, made donations to local charities but haven’t done as much as when I was in London. Maybe it’s something I need to think about more in 2019.

3. What is your favourite food?

Anything fresh and in season, I pretty much like all the foods I can eat but am particularly fond of vegetables.

4. What are your thoughts about life after death?

Not something I’ve particularly thought about if I’m honest. I’ll wait to find out and maybe I’ll get a nice surprise…..

5. Which is the movie that you love the most and would recommend?

There isn’t one. I like lots of movies for plenty of different reasons. But, in general, I love cartoons.

Some of my earlier posts:

I’m going to be mining my back-catalogue of blog posts just because I can!

My questions to those who accept the challenge:

  1. What one change will you make to your life in 2019 and why?
  2. Which charities (if any) do you support?
  3. What keeps you awake at night?
  4. How have you spent the Festive Season?
  5. Any good books you’d recommend I read in 2019?

Alternatively, please feel free to join in and answer the questions in the comments section below.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2019!

Keep Blogging


The Sunshine Blogger Award III

Well, what a lovely way to kick off 2019 – at the back end of 2018 Dr Tanya kindly nominated me for another Sunshine Blogger Award. Please take the time to check out and follow her blog which has a great name, “Salted Caramel.” Who doesn’t love that? Dr Tanya likes it in brownies and ice cream. That melange of sweet and salty is soooooooooooooo addictive.

Dr Tanya’s lifestyle blog is about continually re-inventing ourselves, change being the only constant, and forwards the best way to go. On her blog she shares her struggles so that you and I can become even better versions of our already awesome selves.

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it on one of their own posts.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

My Responses to Dr Tanya’s Questions:

  1. Why do you blog? Of course, because you want to. But do you blog as a hobby or to complement a business, or for other reasons?

I blog because I can and it’s purely for pleasure, neither profit nor gain.

  1. How long have you been blogging and how has your blog been doing in this time?

I’ve been blogging on and off since mid-2009. It started as a way to keep my sponsors for a cycling event apprised of my progress and morphed into firstly a cycling blog and more recently what might be called a Lifestyle one. 

  1. Do you write for yourself or for your readers?

Rather selfishly, I write for myself.

  1. Has blogging changed you or your life in any way?

Not that I’m consciously aware of but I do enjoy the discipline of writing regularly.

  1. What kind of blogs do you like to read and follow?

I love reading all sorts of blogs including those about food, wine, travel, fashion, poetry, photography and sport. There’s so much great writing out there in the blogosphere.

  1. If you were to write a book this year, what would it be called? (This question doesn’t apply to already published authors)?

I’m not going to be writing a book anytime soon, though I have edited a couple – far more enjoyable and much less stressful.

  1. What is your favourite quote?

Anything by Dorothy Parker, I love her witty ripostes.

  1. Name a book that has inspired you.

I’m struggling to think of a book that has inspired me. There’s plenty that I’ve enjoyed, I’m a voracious reader, but none that have inspired.

  1. Share a link to your favourite post/posts.

We’re not going to have enough room to do this here!

  1. How do your family/friends/pets react to your blogging habit?

My long-suffering husband is supportive, friends overseas find it a useful way of keeping in touch and I don’t have any pets.

  1. Do you still see yourself blogging in five years?

Yes, providing I’m still in the land of the living!

My 11 Questions:

  1. How long have you been blogging and what prompted you to start?
  2. What do you write about on your blog and why?
  3. Typically, how much time do you spend each week on your blog?
  4. What prompts you to follow certain blogs?
  5. Do your family and friends read your blog? And, if so, what feedback (if any) do they give you?
  6. It’s The Sunshine Blogger Award so how do you spread rays of sunshine on your blog?
  7. If you could change one thing about blogging, what would it be?
  8. If you were to impart one pearl of wisdom about blogging, what would it be?
  9. Who or what, if anything, has influenced your blog?
  10. What’s the best bit about blogging?
  11. What’s your idea of “A Perfect Day”?

My 11 Nominees are <cue drum roll>:

Best Indian Food Blog

Matty and Annika

Poetry in photographs at

Calm Kate at

Our Girl in Zurich

Rosemarie’s Kitchen

Oh yes they did

Kat at Antiquarius

Kellie’s Food to Glow

Rachel Hill

RAKA nomination

It’s always good to get the day off to a great start. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I read that Cathyrn from Cathryn’s Kitchen had nominated me for a RAKA (Random Acts of Kindness Award).

In her blog Cathryn’s kitchen you’ll find delicious and healthy, plant-based, gluten-free recipes. Cathryn’s worked in catering and as a personal chef, as well as feeding her husband and three sons – don’t youngsters always have hollow legs? –  so she knows what she’s writing about.

Just what is a random act of kindness?

‘Stocks rose on the news that random acts of kindness today outnumbered random acts of violence.’

A random act of kindness is a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. The phrase “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” was written by Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982.

The Award Rules

These are pretty short and sweet:-

  1. Say who you nominate and why.
  2. Copy and share the picture that shows the award.
  3. Share a paragraph about something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.
  4. Nominate someone and share it on your own page. Don’t forget to tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post.

After finding out about the award, my day just got better. When we get up in the morning, I have trained my beloved to go into the kitchen (it’s closer to his bathroom than mine), fill and turn on the coffee maker. That way, by the time we’re both washed and dressed, the coffee’s ready. However, that’s usually his sole contribution to breakfast, but not this morning. This morning he also laid the table. I was shocked but delighted and have already put in a call to The Guinness Book of Records! Regular readers will know that my beloved generally causes me more work, not less.

Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I’d like to think that I unconsciously try to espouse this each and every day whether it’s something small like lending a hand to a neighbour or just taking time to have a chat with someone to dropping everything to help someone out.

Aside from the slightly tongue-in-cheek example above, I’m fortunate to be on the receiving end of many acts of kindness – too many to list. Once again, a big shout out to Cathryn at Cathryn’s Kitchen for the nomination. Please go and check out her blog and wonderful recipes.

Nominations *drum roll*

I would like to nominate the lovely Cheche Winnie who writes passionately about nature conservation and species survival for future generations.

I’d also like to nominate A Dude Abikes who’s been riding a bike ever since his car got smashed up in January, 2005. He’s a volunteer with Bike Austin which recently made him an Advocacy Ambassador. Plus, he’s raised loads of dosh with his charity bike rides. He’s hoping to turn his blogging into a living. So why not help him out and visit



One lovely blog award

Blimey, two awards in one month, what have I done to deserve this? Frankly, I’m none too sure. This time my grateful thanks must go to Ben Aquibaa lawyer on the road to enlightenment who needs  – understandably – proof for everything.

I’m now getting the hang of these awards, as most follow a similar set of rules. However, I must say I rather like the idea of spreading a spot of joy, encouragement or whatever to those writers whose blogs I enjoy reading. So here we go………………………….


  1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
  2. They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  3. Must add 7 facts about themselves.
  4. Nominate more people to do the award.

Seven things about me:

This is tricky because if you regularly read my blog, I’m pretty much an open book.

1. I’m a bit of a rebel – always have been, always will be.

2. I enjoy spending time on my open. I enjoy the peace and quiet. I can quite happily spend days on my own  – alone but not lonely – without saying a word to anyone.

3. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, they’re so versatile.

4. I love baking healthy cakes for my friends who are professional athletes.

5. I never want to live anywhere other than in France.

6. I don’t get on my mother-in-law whom I call “The Outlaw.”

7. I’m really struggling now.  I love Birkenstock sandals, so comfy.

My nominee(s) is anyone who reads this blog:

I’ve found when I’ve previously nominated people, only a few have responded. Now that’s probably because these awards tend to do the rounds. So please don’t feel obliged to take part, pick up the baton aka award only if you want to spread a little more joy around the place.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I have to thank Yvonne (link to her blog: Nothing but a backpack) for brightening up my day and week with this award. If like me you’re a cycling fan, this picture of a field of sunflowers brings back fond memories of bike racing in France and Spain during the summer where there’s always a scenic shot of the riders whizzing past a field of sunflowers in bloom. If you’re not a cycling fan, then who knows……………….

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions.
  • Nominate up to 11 other blogs and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Finally, list the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo somewhere in the post.

Here we go….

1. What’s the biggest achievement you have had so far this year?

I had a bit of a health scare that I could have resolved with surgery but I opted for a change in lifestyle which has been transformative.

2. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?

I want to see more of Japan. I was blown away on my first visit in 2007 during cherry blossom time but now want to see it from tip to toe.

3. If social media was non existent tomorrow, could you survive?

I did so before it came along but it is very handy for keeping in touch with everyone.

4. Chocolate or lollies?

Neither, I prefer gummi bears!

5. What’s one moment in your life where you felt everything was perfect?

I’m very fortunate to have had plenty of those moments. In fact, I’m living them right now.

6. What are some of your 2018 goals?

– Spend more time on my bike
– Take up yoga to maintain my flexibility
– Continue to cook and bake more

7. What’s one thing you want to achieve by the end of the year?

Next year I’m making and decorating my first wedding cake. I have no concerns about the cake but I want to have cracked the decoration by year end. I’ll be practicing on all the Xmas cakes I make.

8. What is one thing you can’t live without?

My husband and my bike – yes, I know that’s two!

9. If you had to pick one cuisine to live off for the rest of your life, what would it be?


10. Any plans for the end of year celebrations (Christmas/New Year)?

We’re going cross-country skiing in Austria and I’m looking forward to a typical wintery Festive Season after spending the last two in Australia.

11. Any books you would recommend?

Not really because I don’t know what you like. However, I would urge you to pick something you might not necessarily choose to read and surprise yourself.


Here’s just a very small selection of the blogs I enjoy reading:-

So What Now

Voyages of Mine

Dimple’s Cookbook

Our French Oasis

The Wandering Broski

Wish to Dish

My One Beautiful Thing

Questions for Nominees:

  1. Describe yourself using just three adjectives?
  2. Favourite place to travel to and why?
  3. Facebook or Twitter?
  4. What would you eat for your last supper?
  5. What’s on your agenda for 2018?
  6. Best moments of 2017?
  7. Favourite sport and why?
  8. Cats or dogs?
  9. If you had Aladdin’s lamp what would be your three wishes?
  10. How will you spend the Festive Season?
  11. What are you looking forward to in 2018?

And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Until next time .. have fun.