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

Sunshine Blogger Awards XII, XIII and XIV

I’m still playing catch up up and  once again I’ve amalgamated a few awards, you’ll understand why in a moment.

I was nominated back in September <hangs head in shame> by the following fabulous bloggers whom you should all be following!

  1. Mathew of The Wolf Boy nominated me for this Sunshine Blogger Award! Now, I don’t always participate in these awards on a timely basis but I do eventually get around to them. 😉
  2. Mathew also nominated Jessica a writer of romances who in turn nominated me!
  3. Then I was nominated by Gifted 50 over at Pene’Pasta for the Soul who says:

Behind every strong woman; are all the other women that came before!

See, I know I don’t always participate in these awards on a timely basis but I do eventually get around to them. 😉

Those Pesky Award Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Mathew’s Questions

1. If you could choose anyone in the world to lead your country, who would it be?

I’ll be honest, I’m more than happy with Monsieur Macron!

2. If you could go back to school to study any subject of your choice and not have to worry about finances, what would it be?

Probably Art History or Modern Languages

3. What is one thing that you’ve never eaten that you’d like to try?

I wanted to try jackfruit and Moreton Bay Bugs but I did that when we were in Australia

4. What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

Frogs’ legs

5. If you could have a romantic getaway with one person for a weekend, (imagine you’re single, celebrities allowed) who would it be?

I’ve been giving this one rather a lot of thought. I tend to tease my beloved husband by saying: “I haven’t yet met the man I’d swap him for, though I’m still looking.” If truth be told, I’m only window shopping. There’s no one else I’d rather enjoy a romantic getaway with than my beloved husband of 42 years!

6. What was the darkest movie or novel that you’ve ever fallen in love with?

I don’t like dark movies or novels. Remember you’re talking about a woman who was traumatised by Jaws and finds Dr Who and Harry Potter scary!

7. Do you like zombie movies?

Ugh, no!

8. Would you ever consider being one of the first humans to go to Mars knowing that you could never return to Earth?

Absolutely not

9. Would you rather the beach or a mountain top?

A beach every time

10. Who inspired you the most in the world?

My late parents

11. What is one of your favorite quotes?

Anything by Dorothy Parker

Jessica’s Questions

Jessica apologised for being (and I quote)

……………………..such a cute parasite (feeling shameless right now 😂 ) but I’ll be “borrowing” most of Mathew’s questions because they are great.

So I just answered the three questions which were different from Mathew’s

1. If your life was a novel, what would the title be?

Lucky me

2. What’s your dream date?

A night out with my beloved husband.

3. Most Memorable Birthday?

I’m still waiting for that one!

Gifted 50’s Questions

1. What time of day you consider your most creative?

I’m not sure I have one. Maybe after I come back from my ride.

2. Who/what encouraged your love for writing?

No one really.

3. Have you ever regretted posting something on your blog, and if so why?

No, because I always bear in mind that it could be read by anyone!

4. What is the best advice you have received and from whom?

I’ve been very fortunate to have plenty of mentors during my career but probably the best advice was always from my Dad. Now, when I’m in a tricky situation, I ask myself: “What would Dad do?”

5. Name your most defining quality.

Dogged persistence

6. What is your favourite meal and why?

Steamed lobster. I don’t think that needs any explanation, do you?

7. What advice would you give yourself 20 years from now?

I fully intend to be around for another 20 years but my advice would be to remain physically and mentally active.

8. Who/what is the most influential force in your life?

After my late parents that would be my beloved husband.

9. If you could travel the universe, where would you go?

If you read my blog regularly, you might say I’ve done that already! I do, of course, have a bucket list but many of them are re-visits.

10. What do you think of our world today?

How long have you got? Lets just say I’m fearful and leave it at that.

11. Have you ever had a divine encounter, if so tell us a little more about it.


My nominees

Congratulations for having made it this far! Your reward is to answer any 11 of the questions posed above, either in the comments section below or in a post on your own blog. Go on, spread a little sunshine, you know you want to!

Hope you’re having a great week-end

Sheree x

Sunshine Blogger Awards XVIII, XIX and XX

I’m still catching up with my award backlog. You’ll be pleased to learn that this surfeit of awards has not gone to my head. Oh no, I realise I get these awards because I (eventually) do take part. This one has jumped the queue because of its seasonal questions.

Back in December I was kindly nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Tatterhood, she muses over at her blog of the same name. I was also pleased to be nominated by Stuart, who shares his love for God and his two gorgeous children over on his blog. Lastly by Ola, over at dairy free indulgence, who shares some incredible recipes with us.

Please go and check out their blogs and give them a follow. Spread some much needed sunshine this winter!


You should know how this works by now! As a reward for reading this very lengthy post, consider yourself nominated. Go forth and answer any of the 11 questions below, or all 33 if you feel so inclined.

Tatterhood’s Questions

1. Is there any point to Algebra?

This is a rhetorical question? Algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols.  It’s the unifying thread of almost all of mathematics, including everything from elementary equation solving to the study of abstractions. Or to put it another way Algebra = ∑²×s/n÷‰

2. Colour or Color?


3. Should Henry Cavill be the next James Bond?

I had to look up Henry Cavill, I confess I’d never heard of him but anyone who’s played Superman possesses the qualities to be 007.

4. Which fictional world would you like to dwell in?

I wouldn’t like to live in a fictional world as that would make me a ficticional character.

5. Favorite comedy double act?

Hands down Morecombe & Wise whom I had the pleasure of meeting many years ago at The Albany Hotel in Birmingham when they were in panto at the nearby theatre.

6. Have you ever been in a Helicopter?

No, but I wouldn’t rule it out even though I don’t like heights.

7. Are you superstitious?

No! However I do believe what goes around comes around.

8. Have you ever been to a Fortune Teller?


9. Do you believe in Soulmates?

Yes, I’m married to mine.

10. Favourite screen villain?

I don’t have one! Not really into villains.

11. Just what Is Stoicism?

It’s a noun meaning:-
  1. the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.
  2. an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

Stuart’s Questions

1.  What is your most treasured Christmas memory?

When I was almost five years old, finding my red two-wheeler in the park where Santa had left it for me on Christmas Day.

2. As a child, would you stay awake to the wee hours hoping to catch a glimpse of “Santa”?

No, I have always slept like the dead. So, I’d easily fall asleep and be up at the crack of dawn.

3. Did you have a favourite Christmas gift?

See 1 above

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Silent Night

5. How do you divide your time between families during Christmas Eve and Christmas day?

We don’t! We generally spend Christmas together, just my beloved husband and me.

6. If your children are grown, do you have a special memory from their Christmases as a child?

We don’t have any children.

7. What is the most outlandish gift you have bought for someone?

I don’t buy outlandish presents.

8. Where do/did you hide all those presents?

I don’t hide presents. Once bought I give them to the recipent.

9. Do you decorate your tree with homemade items that have memories attached to them?

No! You should know that I don’t get sentimental about any thing, only people (see photo below).

10. Are you a real or artificial tree person?

Decorated by my beloved

Artificial! I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t bother with a tree or decorations but my beloved husband loves them. He puts them up at the start of December and then takes them down after Epiphany.

11. And lastly, the most important question I can ever ask. Do you know that Christmas is not about the overspending on gifts and hectic race to have the newest thing on the market but about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, who left glory to be born of human flesh and die for your sins?

Yes! I don’t overspend on gifts. In fact, I don’t buy any Christmas gifts.

Ola’s questions

1.What helps you stay balanced and grounded through challenges?

I’m a very pragmatic person, much given to thorough planning and preparation, which means I can more easily surmount challenges.

2. Who inspires you?

My late parents

3. If you didn’t have to make money, what would you do for work?

I’m now retired and can do as I please. I still work but largely on things that I really enjoy.

4.What inspires you as a blogger/artist/writer?

Life in general

5. If you won the lottery what would you do?

Well, it would depend on how much I won, but I’d like to some spread sunshine on those less fortunate than myself. Oh, and given my beloved’s propensity to lose stuff, I never let him buy a lottery ticket.

6. If today was your last day, what would you do?

Sit on the balcony with my beloved husband, hold his hand, sip champagne and watch the view.

7. What do you like most about blogging, what do you wish was different?

That’s two questions! I like blogging because I can. Sometimes I wish my stuff were easier to find.

8.What’s your fave Christmas activity?


9.What’s your favorite/most meaningful quote or life lesson?

In other words, treat people as you’d like to be treated.

10. What empowers you?

Life itself!

11. What’s your favourite memory/memories?

I have an excellent memory and can remember much from my childhood. As the eldest daughter of three I did a lot with my late father and those are some of my favourite ones, particularly when we watched live sport together. Yes, I’m a Daddy’s girl!

Award Rules which I routinely flout

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.
Have a great weekend!

Sunshine Blogger Award X and XI

WARNING – Once again, I’ve combined a couple of nominations so this’ll be another long post.

I was nominated by the beautiful Ilona, who like me likes on the Cote d’Azur, and now blogs over at Cicco Photo, where she aims to spread positivity and good vibes to all of us.

I would also like to thank the writer James A Best for his kind nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

If you don’t already subscribe to either of these excellent bloggers, head on over to their blogs and please give them a follow.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Let’s just remind ourselves about the award which is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Ilona’s Questions

1. What inspires you to wake up every morning?

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

2. What is your purpose for your blog?

I could say that it’s an outlet for my creativity but that would be a lie. I blog because I can.

3. Do you like to take walks or jog?

I prefer a brisk walk to jogging though, in truth, I’m such a slow jogger that there’s little difference in speed between the two.

4. What is the most important thing to you when it comes to family?

You’re asking a woman who only has two living relatives? I hope both my sisters stick around for as long as possible.

5. Have you ever taken a trip and got stuck there because of the bad weather?

Been stuck at both JFK in New York and Heathrow in London, neither of which have much to recommend them.

6. Does it snow where you live?

We’ve had snow here but it doesn’t last more than 24 hours. Fortunately I live near the southern Alps where it does snow and I can go both alpine and cross-country skiing.

7. What makes you want to keep writing?

I enjoy the discipline and I love taking photos to illustrate my blogs.

8. Do you like to ride horses? If so, have you?

Yes, I rode horses for many years but not so much recently. I prefer riding my bike.

9. What is your favourite type of birds?

I love the noisy birds in Australia.

10. What month were you born?


11. What is your favourite place to eat pasta?

At home or in Italy.

James’ Questions

1. What is your favorite ice cream?

Vegan coffee

2. What is your favorite type of salad?

I love salad, particularly ones like these.

3. Have you ever eaten Buffalo meat?

No, but then I am vegan.

4. Do you enjoy gardening?

No, I have digits of doom rather than green fingers.

5. What type of music is playing in your home all the time?

I don’t play music all the time, I like peace and quiet.

6. What makes you smile?

I’m always smiling because I’m always happy.

7. What is your go to book to read and relax?

Any cookery book.

8. Would you rather live in the country or a city?

A city every time.

9. Do you or have you ever done any skiing?

I’ve done alpine skiing, snow boarding, ski-touring and cross-country skiing.

10. What is your favorite genre of movies and why?

Cartoons because they’re amusing and light-hearted.

11. Do you think there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

I don’t know, I never looked.

My Nominees

Anyone who wants to run with this! Please be my guest.

Award Rules

Which I routinely ignore!

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their blog posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 questions.

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!

The Sunshine Blogger Award VI

A huge thanks to Saba Niaz siddique who has kindly brought me some more sunshine by nominating me again for this award. I much enjoy reading the blogs of those from different cultures to my own, I find them so instructive and informative and they help me to view things from another’s perspective which is so important. Indeed the strap line on Saba’s blog, which she only started in March of this year, is as follows:

Get rid of ignorance. Share what we know and search what we don’t know.

Admirable sentiments! Please go and check out her excellent blog, say hi, give her a follow and show some support to a newbie blogger.

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 √

Questions posed by Saba

1. Have you had anything date back to your salad days?

Now, I’m not too sure what Saba means by this and my salad days were a long, long time ago.

2. What is your favourite possession?

I’m not big on possessions. Sure, I have lots of stuff but, if the flat was burning down, I’d grab my beloved husband and run. oh, and maybe Teddy (see photo below), we’ve been together for a very long time.

3. Do you like to watch cartoons with kids?

I love cartoons! While I don’t mind watching them with kids, I do find that they constantly chatter over the film, generally to tell you what’s happening next. It’s best to watch them in the privacy of your own home or on a long-haul flight.

4. Dedicate a short paragraph in honour of your country.

I was born in Great Britain but have always considered myself a European, rather than British. Please don’t ask me to explain Brexit as I see it as a cry for help from disadvantaged communities rather than any real comprehension of the complex issues. I’ve spent the last 15 years living and working in France. If Brexit goes ahead, I’ll apply for a French passport. This is my home and I have no wish or desire to return to the UK. I moved to France because I adore the French and their way of life, their culture, beliefs, food and weather. I’ve found paradise on earth and I’d like to stay here.

5. What do you easily give away:-

  • Your books

  • Your toys too 

Would you lend him out? No, he’s way too old.

  • Money

The answer to this question is none of the above! About the only things I do give away easily are my time and baked goodies.

6. What do you feel when you visit your fellow bloggers but they forget that your blog also exists?

I never give it a moment’s thought. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

7. Does blogging really matter?

I think it depends on why you blog. I blog for my own amusement and it’s an easy way for friends and family around the world to keep up with what we’re doing. If other people read and like my blogs then that’s bunce.

8. Five lessons you’ve learned so far from your life?

  1. Be true to yourself
  2. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
  3. If you can give someone else a helping hand, do it
  4. Don’t put off tomorrow stuff you can do today
  5. Go for it! You never want your epitaph to be “If only!”

9. Have you remembered your time with your teacher(s), would you like to share?

I enjoyed school (and university) but it was a long time ago.

10. Who is more corrupt, leaders or common people, or both?

11. What is sacrifice?

Giving up something you value for the sake of other considerations.

My nominees

This is my third Sunshine Blogger Award in as many weeks. 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?

Thanks for reading, have a great day and remember:-


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 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