Real Neat Blog Award III

I’m very grateful to be nominated again for the Real Neat Blog Award. Thank you so much to the Dragon Warrior over at Den of Dreams for nominating me. Your poems, writing and paintings are so amazing for someone of her tender years.

You may recall that I’ve decided to interpret neat as being cool!


Dragon Warrior’s Questions

1. Are you messy or organised?

I’m incredibly organised, my beloved is not.

2. What do you want to share through your blog?

Anything that takes my fancy

3. Do you like origami?

I admire the discipline but don’t personally indulge.

4. What was your favourite childhood game?

Gosh! It was so long ago I don’t really remember. I recall I used to have a tent in which I’d conduct tea parties for my toys. I’d close it from the inside to keep my pesky younger sister out. She was too young to appreciate that pulling out the tent pegs would’ve collapsed my tent.

5. What was your favourite food that your parents cooked?

My mother was a fantastic cook and I enjoyed everything she cooked. My father only had to learn to cook (thanks to Delia Smith) when my mother’s Alzheimers advanced to where she couldn’t remember how to cook. He used to make a cracking omelette.

6. What is your current favourite food?


7. Something you collect?

I’m not much of a collector though I confess to having a rather large (British understatement) collection of shoes, scarves and handbags, all neatly stored.

The Rules

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you.

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

4. Nominate any number of people.

5. Come up with questions for the people you nominated.


Thank you so much for reading. As usual, I’m not nominating anyone directly, instead I’m encouraging those who are interested to join in and answer The Dragon Warrior’s questions either below in the comments section or in a post of their own.

Have a great weekend!

Sunshine Blogger Award IX

I was most kindly nominated a few weeks ago by The Dragon Warrior from the Den of Dreams.  Sophie’s been busy with her exams of late – I’m sure she’ll do well – then she’ll be back with her wonderful stories and illustrations, showering us all with more sunshine.

Award rules

1. Use the sunshine blogger award logo

2. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

3. Answer the 11 questions posed.

4. Nominate other bloggers and ask them 11 questions (Oops, well I’ve always been a rebel!)

Dragon Warrior’s questions

1. If you had a time machine and could go anywhere, where would you go?

Despite being a fan of history, I’m more than happy in the here and now!

2. Three things for deserted island?

WiFi, my iPad and my husband – although deserted, I’m assuming it has electricity, hot and cold running water? If not, I may have have to re-think my threesome.

3. When is your birthday?

I’m so old I’ve given up on birthdays and have become “ une femme d’un certain âge.”

4. What is your favourite chemical element? (for example, Fluorine, Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen)

Gold (Au)

5. What is your favourite landform? (like hills, valleys, oceans, coasts, delta)

Definitely the ocean

6. Something you wish more people would know about you?

No, nothing at all. I much prefer anonymity

7. Do you have a lucky charm?

No, I’m not suspicious – touch wood.

8. Where was your childhood home?

Sutton Coldfield, in the Midlands (UK), not far from Birmingham.

9. Your favourite subject to study?

My favourite subject at school was history.

10. What did you want to become as a kid?

I always wanted to be an accountant – sad kid or what?

11. Do you wish to go to school again?

Not school so much but I like continuing to learn and would love to improve my Spanish

If you’ve gotten this far, why not join in by answering my question (below) in your own post or, if you prefer, below?

My question

I live in an apartment block and sometimes I think how nice it would be if some of those who I regularly interact with on the blogosphere were my neighbours.

For example, I’d always be popping round to see Rosemarie, Diane and Amy to swap recipes and maybe borrow a few ingredients. I could take Nitro for a walk, if Carole Ann was feeling too tired, with Steve (sorry Muffin) who’d be pointing out all the flora and fauna and Cheche who could advise us about sustainability. I could get advice from Derrick and Tom on my photographs and enter them for one of Cee’s challenges. I could go sketching with Sophie and Maxine, though probably not with Scooj – the other residents (sadly) wouldn’t want any grafitti in the Domaine. I could work out with the inspirational Susie (note to self, don’t box with her!) I could ride with Jim, though he’s probably faster than me, but maybe not on our hills. Introduce the Drunken Cyclist to our local rose wines. If anyone was feeling down, I could get the lovely Yeka or Ilona to spread some love and sunshine…………

Sadly, it wasn’t possible to namecheck everyone I follow! This was just to give you an idea. I follow loads of brilliant bloggers and to be honest I could probably fit everyone into the Domaine though not all in my block.

A big thank you to everyone for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend!

Blogger Recognition Award III

Not long after I departed for my #adventuredownunder, Steve and Muffin from Steve’s Country most kindly nominated me for this award given in recognition of all the hard work that goes into creating a blog. It is a way for bloggers to support, motivate and promote other bloggers who have clearly put in huge amounts of time and effort, and produced valuable content.

Steve lives somewhere the sun doesn’t shine as much as he’d like but he’s befriended much of the local wildlife which feature prominently, along with the area’s flora, in photos on his blog. If you don’t already follow Steve and his feline companion Muffin, check out their blog and give them a follow.

Steve and Muffin epitomise this award as they encourage, motivate, interact and engage with the blogging community, daily delivering engaging content to their audience.

How did my blog start?

I started the blog to keep my sponsors for a cycling event informed about my progress. Initially, I just saw it as something short-term to meet a specific need. However, family and friends persuaded me to keep it going as they saw it as a way of keeping track of what we were doing. Over the years it has morphed into more of a lifestyle and less of a cycling blog, particularly as I blog about cycling over at VeloVoices.

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers

1. Write from the heart about something you know and love. If possible, illustrate your blog with your photos or drawings.

2.  Let the real you shine through and take the time to engage and interact with other bloggers.


I follow so many wonderful blogs, a number of which are deliberately “Award Free.” If you’ve been kind enough to read this then please feel to join in, either in the comments section below or over on your own blog.

Spread the recognition around our wonderful community and have a great week-end



Let’s not get carried away and forget the award rules:-

Award rules

• Write a post displaying your award.

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.

• Tell the story of how your blog started.

• Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.

• Nominate other bloggers for the award.

• Let the nominees know that you have nominated them.

The Real Neat Blog Award II

Awards are like buses. You don’t get any for a while and then, all of a sudden, it’s raining awards. So I’ve decided to pace myself and ration them out a bit.

Back in July, Thinking Moon most kindly bestowed on me the Real Neat Blog Award. Firstly, many thanks to Thinking Moon  for nominating me for this prestigious award and don’t forget to check out her blog. It’s full of all sorts of interesting things which is what you’d expect from someone who claims she has loved the stars too fondly, to be fearful of the night. Plus, she has more lipsticks than I’ve had hot dinners!

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 the questions posed by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank whoever nominated you, linking to their blog.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like.
  • Let them know you nominated them.
  • Ask some questions of your nominees.

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 Thinking Moon’s questions:

1. If you won a Grammy for any genre of music, what would it be?

Well, I’d naturally win all four in the “general” field. In fact following in Adele’s footsteps, Sheree would win Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and, of course, Best New Artist!

2. Who is your favourite villain(s) from any universe?

I’m not sure I have a favourite villain. However, since I was born in the Midlands I’ll choose Tommy Selby from Peaky Blinders, a British television series primarily set in Birmingham in the aftermath of WWI.

3. What was your all-time favourite Halloween costume or cosplay you’ve done? Pictures, please!

It’s been awhile since I dressed up, and never for Halloween. Luckily there is no photographic evidence of when aged ten my mother made me a costume out of crepe paper, I was a playing card

4. What’s the weirdest trend you’ve ever actually partaken in?

My dear, I set trends. I do not and never have partaken in trends! That sounds like something Dorothy Parker might have said, doesn’t it?

5. What Movie / Play / Game soundtrack is your favourite?

I’m a bit of a fan of Hugh Jackman (British understatement), and have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to him in a gym in London. So I’ll pick the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman which I saw last year with my beloved.

6. What was the best thing, before sliced bread?!

How old do you think I am? You do know the first automatically sliced commercial loaves were produced on 6th July, 1928, in Chillicothe, Missouri, using a machine invented by Otto Rohwedder, an Iowa-born, Missouri-based jeweller. Lots of good things were invented before 1928 but I’m picking the bicycle, my weapon of choice.

7. What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ~ Maya Angelou

Here’s a great yardstick for life, not the number of years that we rack up but the number of times we have those moments of awe that make life worth living. I’m always looking for moments that take my breath away, because that’s what I’m here for, to experience joy and awe and all of the good things that life has to offer.

My questions to those who accept the challenge:

  1. What one change will you make to your life in 2020 and why?
  2. Which charities (if any) do you support?
  3. What keeps you awake at night?
  4. What did you do this summer?
  5. Any good books you’d recommend I read?

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

Thanks for reading this and have a great day



The Sunshine Blogger Award VIII

I’m back from Australia but I’m still ploughing through those awards. Many thanks to Muffin (and Steve) over at Steve’s Country for the nomination. The pair aim to give their readers a “smile as wide as a country sunrise, and maybe even a laugh or two!” I’d say they succeed! I love Steve’s pictures of the local flora and fauna. Of course, by the time this post appears, everyone will be hibernating again. Poor Steve lives somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine for long. So around this time, he’ll need some cheering up. Please visit Steve and his adopted cat Muffin, read what they have to say, and give them a follow. You won’t regret it.

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

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

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

Steve and Muffin’s Questions

1. Do you have any pets?

I love animals but all my time and energy goes into looking after my husband. I have no time for a pet.

2. How long have you been blogging?

Since 2009! Blimey, that’s nearly 10 years though I did have a hiatus between 2012 and 2014 while I was helping to establish VeloVoices.

3. Do you think you will be blogging a year from now?

Absolutely! Unless, you know something I don’t?

4. Do you prefer to use a laptop/computer or your phone for blogging?

I use a combination of my laptop and mini iPad.

5. What time of day do you blog most often?

I tend to write mainly in the afternoons.

6. Have you ever travelled right across the country where you live?

I have and you can read all about my travels on my blog.

7. Do you enjoy cooking?

Do apples grow on trees? I love cooking and, aside from the Michelin star bestowed on me by my French friends, I am famous the length of the French Riviera for my cakes. Once tasted men have been moved to ask for my hand in marriage. Since I’m already married, I’ve started a list, just in case…….You’ll find all my recipes for cakes and whatever on my blog.

8. Do you enjoy reading?

Yes, a great way to relax.

9. Do you enjoy exercising?

Yes! I try and start each day with a spot of yoga followed by a jog – I’m not very fast – or a ride.

10. Do you enjoy eating healthy foods?

I try to only eat healthy foods but the odd French fry occasionally creeps in.

11. Do you have any ideas for me/my blog?

Look, any ideas I have I’m keeping for my blog! Cheek!!!

My Nominees

I know a lot of you don’t like awards but I do. It helps us to better know our blogging community. So I happily nominate anyone who has taken the time to read this post and my questions are below if you’d like to join in and spread some of that proverbial sunshine. 🤗❤️

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. It’s The Sunshine Blogger Award so how do you spread rays of sunshine on your blog?

6. If you were to impart some words of wisdom about blogging, what would they be?

7. Who or what, if anything, has influenced your blog?

8. What’s the best bit about blogging?

9. Describe your blog using only five adjectives.

10. What do you think is your best blog post and why?

11. What’s your idea of “A Perfect Day”?

If you don’t want to do the whole “Award Thing,” maybe just answer question no 5 in the comments below.

Have a great day


Another award, really?

I’ll be honest, it’s a mystery why anyone would nominate my blog for an award. However, thanks must go once again to Dragon Warrior who only blogged for a couple of months over at The Den of Dreams.  She very kindly nominated me for my second Mystery Blogger Award. I do hope her exams went well and, more importantly, a certain someone has replied to her message!

Then, a few days later Lydia gave me a third one! She blogs over at Lydia’s blog and, like me, loves cooking. The third of seven siblings, Lydia plays guitar and piano, helps in children’s ministries, and loves serving God.

This is allegedly, and I quote, “an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts whose blogs should captivate, inspire and motivate you.”  Thankfully, it’s also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging – that’s much more me. This award was dreamt up by Okoto Enigma – what a fabulous name.

The Rules Of Engagement

Now there’s a whole list of rules I have to follow, here they are:-

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog

2. List the rules

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their post about the award

5. Tell your reader(s) 3 things about yourself that they may not already know

6. Nominate at least 10 other blogs for the award

7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

8. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice which should include one weird or funny question

9. Share a link to your best post

10. Check you’ve fulfilled all of the requirements above – I have!

Three Things About Me

I’m an alumnus of Loughboro’ University, which is where I met my husband of over 40 years – where’s the time gone? – and I’m a chartered accountant by training.

Dragon Warrior’s Questions

1. 3 pet peeves?

Only 3? Okay, here goes: disrespect, most -isms (such as racism, sexism…….) and my beloved constantly failing to put things back from whence they came.

2. Something nobody should ask you?

How old are you?

3. Something really crazy about you?

There’s nothing really crazy about me, either now or in the past.

4. If the world would end and you were to take ONE thing with you, what would it be?

My husband

5. The most mysterious incident that happened to you?

I’ve wracked my (still) excellent memory but I cannot recall any mysterious incident ever!

Lydia’s Questions

1. What is your favorite grocery store?

I prefer food shopping in my local markets to shops, but my favourite grocery store is the closest one.

2. Do you enjoy shopping more for clothes or food?

Deffo food!

3. What are you looking forward to the most next year?

My beloved’s retirement and I never thought I would say that.

4. Why do you blog?

Because I can!

5. Which do you dislike more: cockroaches or spiders?


My Nominees

It seems to have been raining awards recently in my part of the blogosphere and, while I think it’s a great way to get to know one another, I appreciate that many of you are suffering from award fatigue. So, here’s the deal, if you’ve recently started blogging or you feel you’ve not received your fair share of awards, and perchance you’ve read this post, please consider yourself honoured with this Mystery Blogger Award.

Five Questions for My Nominees

1. What do you most enjoy about blogging and why?

2. What’s your favourite sport (participation or watching) and why?

3. Where in France would you most like to visit and why?

4. Which meal would you choose for your last supper?

5. Name five people whom you’d like to join you for your last supper and explain why you chose them?

My Best Post(s)

I have no idea, you tell me!

Thank you for your time and attention. Have a great day!

Liebster Awards III, IV, V, VI and VII

I was kindly nominated for 5 Liebster Awards in just over a week consequently here’s my quintuple amalgamation. Please forgive me.

I was lucky to be chosen by the following fantastic bloggers:-

1. Stuart who blogs about life, love marriage and…sex over at Something to Stu Over

2. Joshua who blogs about his brliefs over at Joshua’s Blog

3. Young woman of mystery Dragon Warrior who used to blog and draw on the wonderfully named Den of Dreams.

4. Another young woman of mystery, Tatterhood who muses over at Tatterhood.

5. Steve who blogs, along with his cat Muffin, at Steve’s Country.

Each of these bloggers writes wonderfully well, with beautifully illustrated (photos and/or drawings) posts and has an interesting point of view. Do go and check out their blogs and, if you don’t already, please give them a follow.

Hold onto your hats, this is a long, really long post. In fact you may need a cup of tea or coffee, and cake, to help it go down!

The Rules:

1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

2. Share some facts about yourself.

3. Answer the questions the blogger(s) asked you.

4. Nominate some more lucky bloggers and make their day.

5. Ask your nominees further questions.

11 Facts about myself:

Honestly, after all these awards I must now be an open book and I’m scrabbling around to tell you something I’ve not already mentioned. How about:

It’s my proud boast that I’ve never gotten a tattoo, changed a nappy, been on a hen-do, played any video games or watched any of the Star Wars or Harry Potter movies!

Stuart’s Questions:

1. What is your favourite love song and why?

I don’t really do favourites of anything. But if I had to pick something it would be Memory by Barbra Streisand.

2. Do you feel that love goes much deeper than what the world is teaching our children?

I wouldn’t know and it’s difficult to comment because I don’t have any children.

3. Are you currently blogging about what you feel your calling is?

I blog about what takes my fancy because I can. My calling quite clearly is to make life as easy as possible for my husband. I tell him when he dies and goes to heaven, he’ll be sorely disappointed.

4. How would you describe God?

A comfort blanket, and I mean that in a good way.

5. Growing up what was your favourite game to play?

Football, cricket, table tennis or tennis with my Dad.

6. Did you feel like a loner in school or were you one who fit in with everyone?

Neither! I was a leader, never a follower.

7. Do you read the Bible or do you study the Bible?

No, neither.

8. How much time do you spend in prayer? I know that may seem personal, it’s just I don’t even feel as if I spend enough time praying.

No time at all.

9. What is your favorite dessert?

It used to be my mother’s home-made lemon meringue pie but now I can’t eat dairy I don’t have a favourite.

10. Are you a get in and get out shopper or are you one that has to look at everything?

Depends why I’m shopping. If it’s for food, I love looking round the market (in France) before deciding what to buy. Anything else, I do my research beforehand, buy what I want (preferably on line), otherwise I get home asap.

11. Do you prefer a crowd of people or alone time?

I hate crowds but it’s nice being with a group of friends from time to time. Generally I don’t enjoy group activities, it’s with my husband or on my own.

Joshua’s Questions:

1. What is your favourite sport?

I love riding my bike and watching bike races.

2. What is your favourite drink?

Again, it depends on the time of day and year. But in view of 4 below, let’s say champagne.

3. Who do look like the most: your mother, or your father?

Like most kids I’m a mixture of both.

4. What’s your favourite hot drink?


5. Which do you prefer: summer or winter?

I love sunshine so prefer the summer that said it’s hard to better the combination of crisp white snow and sunshine.

6. If you had a favorite teddy bear or doll, what was its name?

Edward Bear – not very original.

7. Do you have a LEGO set?

No but the young son of friends sometimes allows me to play with his fabulous collection of LEGO.

8. Do you have faith in GOD?

I don’t believe in GOD.

9. Do you enjoy reading?

Yes, it’s a great way of relaxing.

10. Do you want to write a book (or books) someday?

No but if I did it would be a cookery book.

11. What is your favourite 8-letter word?


Dragon Warrior’s Questions:

1. Who is your favourite fictional character?

I don’t have one.

2. Who is your idol?

My late father.

3. Favourite holiday spot?

San Sebastian in Spain.

4. What do you like best about yourself?

My positivity.

5. If you can live anywhere in the universe what would it be?

Right where I’m currently living, the French Riviera.

6. Favourite time of the day?

Dawn and dusk.

7. Do you prefer writing in paper or typed in computer?

Depends what I’m doing.

8. Your favourite blogger?

I don’t do favourites.I follow a large number of great bloggers who write and take photos of a diverse range of subjects which I find hugely instructive and of great interest.

9. Three things for a deserted island?

My husband, WiFi and my iPad.

10. Dream dish?

Freshly broiled lobster.

11. One wish to come true?

Equal opportunities for all.

Tatterhood’s This or That Questions

1. Strawberries or Raspberries

I like them both equally, but if I have to choose then it’s strawberries

2. Chocolate or Sweets

I don’t eat much of either, but as I like Haribo’s Gummy Bears, I’ll say sweets.

3. Horror or Romance

It’ll have to be romance, I don’t like horror anything. Still traumatised from watching Jaws.

4. Cinema or Netflix

Cinema (OLd School).

5. Early Mornings or Late Nights

I like both but I’ll plump for early mornings.

5. Book or Kindle

Book every time.

6. Dragons or Unicorns


7. AC/DC or Whitesnake


8. Cream then Jam or Jam then Cream

Jam only, I can’t eat dairy.

9. Tea or Coffee

Coffee only before 15:00, then I like a cup of Marco Polo tea from Mariage Freres

10. Pokemon or Digimon

Sorry but I’ve never played either of these

Steve’s Questions

1. Do you enjoy reading?

Sure, it’s a great way to relax.

2. Do you watch more than 2 hours of TV a day?

Only during major sporting events such as Olympics, World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Ialia etc

3. If you had to move to a different country, which would it be?

I’ve already moved to France but could quite happily live in Spain, southern Germany, Austria or Italy.

4. Do you enjoy travelling?

Yes, do you not read my blog?

5. What is your favourite food?

I don’t really have one, but let’s say lobster.

6. Do you like coffee?


7. Do you spend time outdoors each day?


8. How much time outdoors?

On average, 2-4 hours/day

9. Do you exercise regularly?


9. Would you enjoy living in a place that had long winters, with at least 5 months of snow on the ground and temps reaching -30C?

No, I would not.

10. Why do you follow my blog? (I needed one tough question)

In a word, Muffin!

My nominees:

First of all congratulations, you deserve an award, or indeed several awards, for wading through all those questions and answers. If you’re still awake and you fancy taking part, go ahead, be my guest.

Questions for my nominees:

1. If you had the ability to solve one of the world’s many issues (eg climate change, inequality, an ism, corruption, poverty,…..) which one would you choose and why?

2. You can invite five people to dinner (fictional, dead or living) who would you choose and why?

3. What are you going to serve to eat and drink at this dinner?

4. You’ve been gifted a plot of land on which you can grow vegetables and herbs. What would you grow and why?

5. Have you ever visited a place just because someone wrote about it on their blog. If so, where was that place?

6. You have the chance to live someone else’s life for a year. Who would you like to be and why?

Yeah, I know that’s only 6 questions, not 11, but what can I say, I’m a bit of a rebel!

Thank you for reading my post and celebrating this award with me.

Have a great day


Liebster Award II

Two Liebster Awards in a week! Woman of mystery and newbie blogger Dragon Warrior 07987 who posts on the wonderfully named Den of Dreams kindly made the award. According to her site, she’s a day-dreamer who loves to read, write, draw and dwell in her magical world called Cygnet. I can certainly attest to her skill at drawing as her posts are illustrated with her charming pictures. She also weaves a mean tale. Do check out her blog and give her a follow.

The Rules:

1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.

2. Share 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer the questions the blogger asked you.

4. Nominate 11 lucky bloggers and make them happy.

5. Ask your nominees 11 further questions.

6. Notify your 11 nominees.

11 Facts about myself:

1. I’m a keen cyclist, easily the toughest sport I’ve tried, and a keen fan of cycling. Many of my travels are worked around the season’s major races, particularly the three Grand Tours.

2. In theory I have retired but I could well be the busiest retiree you’ve ever met.

4. I do not act my age, ever!

5. I love cooking and my friends, particularly the French ones, joke that I have a Michelin star – if only!

6. I am useless at handicrafts but one of these days…………….

7. I love animals but don’t have any pets.

8. I like children but (from choice) don’t have any of my own. Instead I borrow those of friends.

9. I love planning our trips almost as much as the trip itself.

10. I’m married to a man who my family call “The Man who just Turns Up!”

11. I cannot dance.

Dragon Warrior’s Questions:

1. How can you describe creativity?

Creativity is the capability or act of conceiving something original or unusual.

2. What brings you most smiles?


3. What is your favourite type of blog post?

I don’t have a favourite. I like lots of different ones.

4. If you could get into any fictional place, where would it be?

There’s too many places I still want to visit without worrying about fictional ones. However I’d love to visit The Barefoot Contessa’s house and garden in The Hamptons.

5. Favourite fictional character?

I don’t have one.

6. The story you always wanted to write?

I don’t write fiction. If I were to write a book it would be a cookery one.

7. Something you wish people knew about you?

After two Liebster awards I must now be an open book.

8. Do you keep notebooks? Or journal or diary?

No, though I do jot stuff down on my iPad: shopping lists, packing lists, “to do” lists, ideas for blog posts…..

9. Favourite holiday destination?

The Basque Country which spans the Atlantic coasts of both northern Spain and SW France. You’ll find loads of posts on my blog about our trips there.

10. Types of creativity you prefer? Origami? Arts? Writing?

I would never describe myself as a “creative” type. I channel any creativity I possess into writing, photography, interior decorating and cooking.

11. Do you watch cricket? If yes, favourite player?

Yes, I do enjoy watching cricket. I’m a great admirer of Indian player Virat Kohli, plus West Indian Chris Gayle.

My Nominees:

If you’ve managed to read this far, consider yourself nominated and please answer the questions below.

Questions for my nominees:

1. If you had the ability to solve one of the world’s many issues (eg climate change, inequality, corruption, poverty,…..) which one would you choose and why?

2. You can invite five people to dinner (fictional, dead or living) who would you choose and why?

3. What are you going to serve to eat and drink at this dinner?

4. You’ve been gifted a plot of land on which you can grow vegetables and herbs. What would you grow and why?

5. Have you ever visited a place just because someone wrote about it on their blog. If so, where was that place?

6. You have the chance to live someone else’s life for a year. Who would you like to be and why?

Yeah, I know that’s only 6 questions, not 11, but what can I say, I’m a bit of a rebel!

Thank you for reading my post and celebrating this award with me.

Have a great day


Liebster Award

This is my maiden Liebster Award which was kindly bestowed on me by Steve over at Steve’s Country. Steve and Muffin his cat live in a particularly scenic albeit very cold part of the world. A keen photographer, you’ll find plenty of lovely photos of his local fauna and flora on his blog.  Don’t forget to check out Steve’s blog and give him a follow.

The Rules:

1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.

2. Share 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer the questions the blogger asked you.

4. Nominate 11 lucky bloggers and make them happy.

5. Ask your nominees 11 further questions.

6. Notify your 11 nominees.

11 Facts about myself:

1. I’ve been married over 40 years! Please note this is where you express surprise and comment that I must’ve been a child bride!

2. I’m a typical Capricorn.

3. I live in one of the most gorgeous countries IMHO on God’s earth.

4. I love watching and taking part in different sports.

5. I spent the entirety of my working life in the Financial Services industry.

6. I now have a very small family, just my two sisters.

7. I enjoy cooking and baking for family and friends.

8. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

9. I have bags of energy and it’s my proud boast that I’ve yet to meet the child who can wear me out. Plenty of my friends’ kids have tried but failed.

10. I was a bit accident-prone as a child.

11. I cannot hold a tune.

Steve’s Questions:

1. Do you like rainy days?

I don’t mind them since we need water plus sun for things to grow, though I prefer it to rain overnight.

2. Favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Cook up a storm [in the kitchen].

3. Do you like thunderstorms?

We get plenty of thunderstorms on the French Riviera. They’re usually spectacular but I prefer to enjoy them from indoors.

4. Do you enjoy flying? In a plane naturally.

It all depends on the airline, the class of travel and how long I’m going to be in the plane.

5. Do you know how to fly a plane?

No and it’s not one of my ambitions to learn.

6. Do you enjoy photography?

Yes, but generally I only photograph buildings and scenery, rarely people.

7. Why do you have a blog?

Because I can.

8. How long have you been blogging?

Since 2009 though I did have a bit of a hiatus on my blog while blogging on VeloVoices.

9. What country do you live in?

France, the most visited country on this earth.

10. Morning person or night person?

I can be either.

11. Do you think you could last one month without any kind of internet connection?


My Nominees:

If you’ve managed to read this far, consider yourself nominated and please answer the questions below.

Questions for my nominees:

1. If you had the ability to turn back time, what time period would you return to and why?

2. You have the opportunity to make up a word and have it added to the dictionary. What would it be and what does it mean? Give examples of its use.

3. You’ve been gifted a plot of land on which you can grow vegetables and herbs. What woul you grow and why?

4. Have you ever visited a place just because someone wrote about it on their blog. If so, where was that place?

5. You have the chance to live someone else’s life for a year. Who would you like to be and why?

Yeah, I know that’s only 5 questions, not 11, but what can I say, I’m a bit of a rebel!

Thank you for reading my post and celebrating this award with me.

Have a great day


The Blogger Recognition Award

It was so kind of Betul Erbasi to nominate me for this The Blogger Recognition Award, particularly given how many great blogs and bloggers there are in the blogosphere. Betul is a PhD student at the University of Southern California and she set up her blog as an antidote to doing too much academic writing. Betul writes mostly short stories and pieces on her observations on human nature, in both English and her native Turkish – another accomplished linguist! Go check out her blog and give her a follow.

The Award Rules

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Explain how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select other bloggers for the award and let them know.

What is The Blogger Recognition Award?

The Blogger Recognition Award is an award by bloggers for bloggers. It is a collaborative and creative effort by the blogging community to encourage one another. The award is a way of acknowledging the sheer effort that goes into running a blog and generating quality material on a regular basis. Blogging’s no mean feat. It’s time-consuming so it’s nice, from time to time, to receive some recognition. Here’s to all my fellow bloggers out there, who work their butts off to post great content for their readers. You’re amazing and I salute you all.

The Story behind View from the Back

The blog started way back in 2009 as a means of keeping my many sponsors up-to-date with my progress training for and taking part in a charity bike ride in USA. My beloved came up with the title because, at that stage, I hadn’t been cycling for long and was always being dropped on rides by the rest of our cycle club. Meaning my view was always from the back of the peloton (bunch). In truth it should have been called “view from off the back and down the hill” but that’s a wee bit too long!

After taking part in the charity event, friends and family told me not to stop as they found the blog a handy way of keeping up with us and our new life in France. So now I write about my passions – sport, cooking, travel, my husband – and anything else that takes my fancy, because I can.

My Advice to New Bloggers

My words of wisdom, if they can be called that, urge you to write about what you love. Writing’s a bit like cooking. The more passion you put into it, the better it tastes ie reads. Write for yourself, not for anyone else.

My Nominees for The Blogger Recognition Award

I follow loads of great blogs and it’s very tempting to nominate you all. Instead, I’ve decided I’d like to hear everyone’s stories. Can you share it either in a comment on here (below) or on your own blog as a post?

Thank you so much!