Sunshine Blogger Award V

Awards are like buses, you wait for ages and then two come along at almost the same time. I know lots of bloggers pooh pooh awards but I believe it’s a great way to encourage new bloggers and they help us all get to know one another better. It’s all about spreading some sunshine and who doesn’t enjoy that? Exactly!

I was nominated by a relative newbie to the blogosphere Saba Niaz Siddique,  a native Urdu writer, who started her blog in early March to help improve her writing in English. That’s a laudable aim and I know a number of the bloggers I follow write in a language other than their monther-tongue and they’re all to be congratulated. It isn’t easy and I say that as someone who’s a bit of a polyglot and, while I do write in languages other than English, I’ve never attempted it on my blog. So a big shout out and grateful thanks to Saba for the nomination.

The aim of Saba’s blog is to “Get rid of ignorance. Share what we know and search what we don’t know.” I feel this is very pertinent for all of us. She’s written some very interesting and informative pieces, such as the one on Ramadam. On a less serious note, she often writes about her cat Sweetie who’s just given birth to a litter of kittens. So don’t forget to drop by, check out her blog say “hi” and give her a follow.

Here’s those all-important award rules

1. Show the logo on your blog

2. Thank the blogger who niminated you

3. Respond to the 11 questions you were asked

4. Bestow this honour on other bloggers

5. Pose said bloggers 11 questions

The questions Saba asked me

Unsurprisingly, Saba has posed some very thought-provoking questions.

1. What do you think of my personality?

It’s hard to be specific when you only know someone through their blog. But I would hazard a guess that Saba’s a very kind, caring and thoughtful person possessing a lively and inquisitive mind.

2. Do you take stand if someone is abusing someone regardless of any so called difference?

Absolutely! Differences are delightful, they’re what distinguishes us from one another. They should be embraced and celebrated, not abused.

3. Write a short humorous post?

I have written a number of humorous posts in the past. Most of these revolve around something either I or my beloved have done, or haven’t done. Here’s one from my archives.

4. How long does your habit support your nature? (nature is who you are, and habit you adopt from nurture).

The nature vs. nurture debate is an ongoing current topic centered around the effect genes have on human disposition as opposed to the influences that early environment and development might have. I would say that I’m a product of my parent’s upbringing but that’s been heavily shaped by my experiences.

5. What would be the level of your excitement for Christmas eve in your salad days? Have you had any gift back in your childhood?

My salad days were quite some time ago but fortunately, despite my advancing years, I’m blessed with a good memory. As a child, I was always fairly hyper on Christmas Eve and up early on Christmas Day (05:00am) to open my presents though I tended to derive more pleasure from the present’s wrapping material than the present itself. Quickly repurposing boxes, paper and tape. Or, I used the present for something other that its intended use. I recall, I turned a beautiful doll’s pram into a wheel barrow. One abiding memory, from the Christmas before I was five years old, was finding my first two-wheeled bike, albeit with stabilisers, propped up against a tree in the park on a pre-Xmas lunch walk. It was red and shiny and mine. I quickly lost the stabilisers and had hours of fun riding that bike. Fun that I’ve never lost as I still enjoy riding a bike.

6. Paper books or e-books? why or why not?

I love reading and use my iPad to keep up to date with the news but I prefer to buy books, particularly cookery books. There’s usually a pile next to my bed which I enjoy dipping into and re-reading, seeking inspiration.

7. Have you remember your experience in primary school ( grade 1 to 5)?

Now, Saba’s really trying to tax my memory! My first primary school was a girl’s only, private prep school where I was in the class one year ahead of my age group. I sat at the front of the class under the teacher’s watchful eye as I tended to be one of the more lively members of the small class.

8. What do you do for energy saving?

Cycle! Eat local and seasonal.

9. Your occupation is your passion or profession?

Prior to my early retirement, I spent many years working in the financial services industry as a CFO in a largely administrative role, managing teams of people in some of the following functions IT, HR, Finance, Company Secretarial, Facilities which I much enjoyed, but I wouldn’t say it was my passion. I save that for my beloved and sport.

10. Would you like to share your bitter experience in life? (If any).

I gave this a great deal of thought because I’ve had lots of different experiences but I couldn’t remember anything that I would describe as bitter, or even bitter-sweet. Maybe, I’ve just been very fortunate.

11. What is the level of satisfaction for you?

I’m not sure I understand exactly what Saba meant by this. I’m a very positive person. On the odd occasions where there are clouds, I can always find silver linings. However, I always strive to do my best and am never satisfied unless I feel I’ve done that.

12. Don’t you think I don’t deserve this award…..

Hmmm, a double negative – I think we both deserve this award Saba. And you’ve asked 12 rather than 11 questions. Did you think I wouldn’t notice? By the way, I’m pulling your leg.

My nominees

This is my second Sunshine Blogger Award in as many days, although I have spaced out my responses. If you’ve taken the time to read my entire post and have found yourself here – Congratulations, you’ve been nominated.

Here’s my 11 Questions

1. Describe your perfect day and explain what makes it so.

2. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to dinner, which 5 people would you invite and why?

3. What would you serve at the dinner in 2 above?

4. What’s your favourite sport and why?

5. If you could solve one of the many problems facing today’s world, what would it be and why?

6. Are you a cat or a dog person?

7. Use 5 adjectives to describe yourself

8. How do you enjoy spending your vacation time?

9. What brings joy into your life?

10. At this stage in your life what’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt?

11. Who are you going to nominate for this award?



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

The Sunshine Blogger Award II

A big thank you and shout out to Ahmed Alozade, Digital Artist, who kindly nominated me for “The Sunshine Blogger Award.”  He said:

You deserve, because of the importance and the beauty of your blog, which diffuses the light like the sun 🙂

Isn’t that charming? It quite made my day.  

Answers to Ahmed’s questions:

1. My favourite breakfast?

A cup of strong hot coffee with avocado on toast.

2. Favourite author and why?

I don’t really have one because I read a wide range of books. I have favourite authors for different types of books. But if I had to pick one it would probably be Evelyn Waugh, whose entire catalogue I read while at university.

3. Favourite painter?

Again, I don’t have a particular favourite. But if I had to pick just one it would probably be French Impressionist landscape artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot who is allegedly one of the most copied artists.

4. Favourite movie?

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

5. Favourite quote?

I’ve always admired the sharp, rapier-like wit of Dorothy Parker. Of course, many of her famous quotes aren’t politically correct. However, I rather like this one, and it’s so true! “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” 

6. More interesting concept in your life?

I’m not too sure what Ahmed means by “concept” so I’m going to interpret it as “belief.” I’m conservative with a small “c” so I’m pretty sure that none of my beliefs are particularly interesting. However, I do believe that if you can give someone a helping hand, you should do it.

7. Why did you start blogging?

I started the blog to keep my sponsors up-to-date on my progress towards achievement of a particular objective. Once achieved, I was going to stop blogging but family and friends asked me not to as my blog was a good way of keeping in touch.

8. If you could live at another time in history, when would it be and why?

I have no desire to go back in time. I’m happy living in the here and now.

9. What is your favorite place to visit?

Australia and there’s plenty of posts on my blog about our trips there in 2016 and 2017.

10. Best quality in your partner’s personality?

This one is much easier to answer. My beloved is very kind and considerate. 

11. Which famous person do you admire most and why?

The problem with famous people is that you have to rely on what’s been written about them, much of which is anecdotal. I’ve met and gotten to know very few famous people. If I were to pick one it would be Dr Bridie O’Donnell whom I had the pleasure of interviewing a few years ago after she’d set the UCI hour record. A former elite athlete in a number of disciplines, she’s now Head of Office for Women in Sport and Recreation in Victoria, Australia.

My nominees are all blogs which bring sunshine into my life with their stories, poems, photos, artwork and recipes. It was hard to pick just 11!












If you accept the Sunshine Blogger Award, you must answer my eleven questions and name eleven blogs that bring Sunshine into your life and the lives of others.

My Questions?

1. How do you take your coffee?
2. If you have a free couple of hours, what would you do and why?
3. What’s your favourite sport and why?
4. Which team are you supporting in the FIFA World Cup?
5. Which languages do you speak?
6. Where are you planning to visit next?
7. Why did you start blogging?
8. What would be your last meal on this earth?
9. What is your most prized possession and why?
10. What’s your favourite time of year and why?
11. Who would you like to invite to dinner and why?