Biscuits And Blogging…

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I don’t often do awards or tags now, not because I am ungrateful, or can’t be bothered, but because I am actually quite shy and not great at talking about myself…despite the fact that I have a blog which generally includes some of my mindless witterings!

However, the lovely Gillyflower has nominated me for a Liebster, and although I was touched and pleased to receive the nomination, I had every intention of refusing it.

Until I saw The Question.

That’s right, just the one, and it just so happens it concerns an issue I feel quite strongly about.

Oatmeal biscuits with raisins? Or without?”

Now. As you may recall from previous posts, biscuits form quite a large part of my diet and in my opinion they should be accorded the dignity of a separate food group in diet classification. To me, they are the ultimate in comfort food, largely responsible for my weight gain since I stopped smoking, and an imminently practical source of energy as they are easily transportable and easily consumed absolutely everywhere from the bus to the shower… I am so skilled in the art of biscuit consumption that I can eat an entire packet in bed whilst remaining completely crumb -free..

To address the second part of The Question: “Or without?”

Without raisins! Of course! And always!

This is akin to the Jaffa cake/biscuit classification row of last year that raged throughout our county… The actual word “biscuit” is derived via mediaeval French – “bescuit” and Latin “bis” and “coquere” , roughly meaning “twice cooked”, because of the process of making it. No mention of any fruit, raisin or otherwise…

The traditional definition of a biscuit is: “A small baked unleavened cake, typically crisp, flat and sweet.” Still no mention of any raisins… and it wasn’t until about the 18th century variations like bourbons and garibaldis were introduced, the latter containing examples of the aforementioned dried fruit…

So then. Biscuits with raisins are relatively new additions in the timeline of Man’s diet… and in my opinion, a betrayal of the old times when we would crouch over our smoking hut fires and slap a bit of left-over bread dough on the embers.

My answer, then, my friends, is:

BISCUITS ARE BISCUITS.

The addition of anything other than perhaps chocolate (in chip or coating form) would render a biscuit into something else altogether, a hard porridge, perhaps.

And biscuits are of course, best consumed with tea (never dunked) … a subject worthy of a post all to itself. Anyway…do excuse me…

More tea, Vicar?”

Oh yes please, and perhaps a nice biscuit with raisins…”

Get out.”

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Seriously, thanks to the lovely Gillyflower, please do go and check out her blog – I know she’d love to see you! Feel free to take up the Liebster nomination to help spread the word about other blogs! Also, I feel we must give her the credit for the creation of a new tag, born of the Liebster but very much her own…please pick it up, people as I nominate you all for the “With? Or Without?” tag…

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The Blogger Recognition Award

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I would like to thank Mrs. Craft for nominating me for this award… she has a wonderful blog that I thoroughly enjoy – do go and have a look.

RULES…

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog

2. Write a post to show your award

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created

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How it all began…

I’ve always enjoyed writing; even as a little girl I enjoyed writing fantastical stories then I moved on to torturous, angst-filled poetry in my teens.

Then Life got in the way as I got older and other than letters to relatives, I didn’t really bother. Then a couple of things happened… I hurt my elbow and had to dictate my letters to my son. He was laughing as he typed and suggested that I should at least consider writing again.

Roundabout the same time my son’s friend and mentor has the Copper Staple, and accepted a couple of my pieces to appear on the site. I was tentatively encouraged, and thought: “Well, if I don’t try, then I’ll never know.”

And here I am. (Having first had my son explain to me in great detail what a ‘blog’ actually was, and how to do it, I’m still learning, to be honest, and not quite as quickly as I’d like – he goes to university hopefully in September!)

Piece of advice #1…

BE NICE:

I don’t just mean polite, or pleasant, and no just on WordPress either. You may not always agree with what a person has written, you may want to pick fault, or criticise. Just stop. Have a minute’s thought, and if you still really want to say your piece, phrase it in a way that is constructive and encouraging, that others can learn from. Passing on a little piece of niceness will improve your own day as well… a ripple of positivity.

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Piece of advice #2…

TALK:

In ‘real’ life, I am actually quite shy. However, on WordPress, I have found enough confidence to ‘go out’ and talk to people. So. Comment on peoples’ sites – be nice – reply to other peoples’ comments. Go and look at things you wouldn’t normally… take time to talk to people and get to know them. Trust me – you’ll make some wonderful friends, I know I have!

Oh dear… now I have a problem… You see, not only am I also quite shy, I’m also horribly indecisive… I follow some wonderful blogs, and have some wonderful subscribers too… From the spiritual and philosophical, to the foody, to the feline, to the crafty.

How can I nominate an individual blog when I think you’re all FABULOUS…

Here… to everyone who’s taken the time to stop and have a read, a look, a like or a subscribe. Step up and be recognised for being wonderful people and part of a wonderful community. Thank you… Always… xx

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Oh How Lovely! One Lovely Blog Award

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I would like to thank the truly lovely ladies Shoko, Kali and Jean for nominating me for this award. Please visit their blog, Canadian Cats, for humour, art, entertainment… well what more can I say, they’re just lovely!

Now, I must confess, I’m a big fan of the word ‘lovely’, but sometimes, ‘nice’ just isn’t enough… here are my facts:

  1. I love cats. Oh. That’s not particularly random is it? Ah yes, I currently have thirty seven pieces of Rose Quartz… how’s that?

  2. I love a good cup of tea, a cure-all for most ills, my brand of choice at the moment is Yorkshire Tea.

  3. My favourite colour is white, a wonderful choice when combined with varying shades of cat hair and muddy paw prints.

  4. The John Lewis Christmas adverts generally make me cry…

  5. A lot of adverts generally make me cry… I have been told I am over-emotional!

  6. My favourite vegetable to eat is asparagus (with a lightly poached egg and toast…)

  7. My all time favourite band is The Rolling Stones… amazing music for an era I really wish I’d been a part of.

_mg_8131A lovely view over the lake in the grounds of a local stately home

The rules are:

Thank the person who nominated you

Post 7 random facts about yourself

Nominate 7 blogs…

Let your nominations know how lovely they are!

This is where I have a problem… I’ve been here before… WHO do I nominate… All the blogs I follow are lovely. I love them all for different reasons and they are unique for the ideas they express, the talents they show or the friendship they offer…

Listen, to all of you who have been kind enough to stop, and have a read, a like, a subscribe, thank you. Take away a share of loveliness with you… to say thank you, as always.

_mg_9917My lovely cat… on my lovely clean sheets, with her lovely dirty little paws…

Real Neat Blog Award

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I was nominated for this award a couple of weeks ago by the wonderful Alex of Brian And Lily, I must thank her for this and her kind words. She’s one of my earliest friends on WordPress, so please go and have a look at her blog and meet the adorable Lily and Brian, her dogs. Alex (great name!) writes a wonderful blog full of details about life with and caring for her dogs.

Questions… I nipped over to Whippet Wisdom (another of Alex’s nominations and a great blog too!) to borrow the logo and questions for this post.

Here are the rules for the Real Neat Blog Award:

  1. Post the Award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blog.
  5. Let them know you nominated them by leaving a comment on their blog.

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  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?That’s hard to answer as it seems to vary from day to day… The UK, the States and Canada, but I’ve also had visits from Singapore, Israel, Finland, the Philippines, Cape Town… all over really and all wonderful places that I aspire to visiting one day
  2. What is your favourite sport or exercise?I do a lot of walking, myself, as I like to observe, take note, pass the time of day with whatever happens to be out and about. Not really one for sport. My games teacher at school once gave me this report: “If Samantha were to put as much effort into participating in games as she does in avoiding it, she’d probably get on quite well.” Apparently that won a prize in the staffroom for the most original report.
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?Starting this blog and entering the wonderful world of WordPress. I have met some great people that I am truly pleased to call friends.
  4. What is your favourite quote?I’ve answered this question a few times… the answer is still the same: This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’ 14th Dalai Lama. I love these words, a great philosophy to live your life by.
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school?English. I love the vagaries of the English language. From ‘through’ to ‘thorough’ to ‘rough’. It has been used to write some of the most beautiful and memorable pieces of literature, yet remains quirky and individualistic.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?
    To ride a bike. Still haven’t learned – too afraid of falling off… and I have a feeling it would have been a useful skill…!
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?I always wanted to learn to play the piano, it struck me as an elegant sort of an instrument.

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My questions:

  1. Sunshine or rain?
  2. If you were a herb, what would you be?
  3. First thing you ever cooked or baked?
  4. First pet?
  5. What country would you like to visit and why?
  6. What one piece of advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
  7. Favourite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

My nominations:

  1. Ella
  2. Chic-Soles
  3. Paperpuff
  4. Sasha’s Journey
  5. gillyflower
  6. Chloe Douglas Blog

As always, these nominations are a mark of appreciation. There is no pressure to accept of course, either.

And to everyone who’s been kind enough to stop and have a read, a like, or a subscribe –

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! xx

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Some lovely autumnal photos, taken by Alex Marlowe


Versatile Blogger Award

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What a lovely surprise! Two nominations for the same award on the same day by two different blogs! Is that random… Consequently I must thank Xenia and her wonderful whippets Pearl and Eivor of Whippet Wisdom and Ella May of Testarossa for thinking of me and nominating me for this award. Please go and have a look at both of these blogs; Whippet Wisdom for beautiful photos and uplifting words and Testarossa for a wonderful combination of fashion, thoughts, travel and student advice!

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The Rules For This Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.

  2. Share the Award on your blog.

  3. Share seven random facts about yourself.

  4. Tag up to ten bloggers with less than 1000 followers and let them know they have been nominated.

As I had a double nomination, I thought it only fair to provide not seven, but fourteen random facts about myself…! Likewise with my nominations… here goes with fourteen random facts about me… sometimes I wonder myself…

  1. I have a Kindle and a Nook, but still prefer a physical book.

  2. I can fold a table napkin in the shape of a water lily.

  3. Never been stung by a bee.

  4. I’ve lived in a haunted house.

  5. My sign of the zodiac is Cancer.

  6. I hate mushrooms.

  7. My grandfather was a metallurgist…

  8. When my son and I saw ‘Hachi’ at the cinema, we couldn’t leave for half an hour after it finished because I was still crying.

  9. I used to smoke Windsor Blue cigarettes.

  10. I always carry a notebook and pen in my handbag.

  11. I can make meringues.

  12. I played lacrosse at school (although to be honest I spent more time hiding behind the gym…)

  13. I have had four black cats since I was a little girl.

  14. My phone is really annoying me at the moment. It needs to be careful in light of the fact Christmas is now not far away…

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Now. This is generally where I come unstuck… my own nominations for other blogs. I started my own blog on 26th March of this year and during that time, I have come across so many wonderful blogs and lovely people I am hard put to choose specific nominations… I have met so many people I am pleased to call friend, how do you choose?

So, here it is. Some blogs I would like to mention specially like Brian and Lily, PaperPuff, Lady Joyful, Garfield Hug’s Blog, gillyflower – oh dear it’s turning into a list, so many talented people in many different areas… yep. Can’t do it.

YOU ALL DESERVE THE VERSATILE BLOG AWARD!

Thank you as well, as always to everyone who’s taken the time to stop and read, like and subscribe!

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MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award

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I must thank A Floating Speck for nominating me for this award – please go and visit her blog for emotive poetry and evocative pictures…

 

ABOUT THE AWARD

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

THE RULES

If you have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog. Take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.

2. Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget on your page (Save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog post).. Don’t forget to use the tag #MyUltraAward when you make your post!

3. Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions.

 

What is your name?

Samantha

Where are you from?

England

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

26th March 2016 – I used to write a lot when I was younger, but, you know, life happens and I lost confidence in myself… to cut a long story short, my younger son is friends with a wonderful man, who has been his mentor and guide. He’s involved with Copper Staple, an independent online publishing co. I asked him whether he thought I could write something for it… and he said yes. The man who said I can. Also my son was writing typing a letter for me on the laptop – I’d hurt my elbow and couldn’t grip a pen (I smoke with the left hand – ha ha!) and he was laughing aloud as I dictated. He said I should start a blog, as did his lovely crystal lady Lizian – whose stones  and insights feature in some of my posts. Long answer, I’m afraid, but there it is, a combination of three people, who I must always thank for their support and encouragement.

What are you most proud of?

My sons. 
What are your blogging goals?

To entertain, make people look again at something in a different light and perhaps even inform a little…
How do you spend your free time?

Generally just faffing about… dusting crystals, ironing, reading, writing, feeding my cats… oh dear that’s not very exciting ! Sorry!

img_6448-2Yellow Roses… for friendship.

4. Nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links.

 

5. Provide 5 random facts about yourself (optional).

  • My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nurses. I’m not.
  • I had two pet tortoises when I was a little girl called Pecky Number One and Pecky Number Two.
  • I’ve never been stung by a bee.
  • I once dyed my hair pink… by accident.
  • My favourite book EVER is ‘Ferney’ by James Long

 

6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here).

 

7. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and provide a link for them to your post.

 

You do not need to be nominated to make nominations!

The Brotherhood Of The World Award

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I must thank Xenia and the wonderful whippets, Pearl and Eivor for nominating me for this award. Thank you for thinking of me and I can highly recommend the blog WhippetWisdom for haikus, hounds and harmonious pictures and words.

EPSON MFP imageMy Whippet Misty and Burmese cat from when I was a little girl

The Brotherhood Of The World Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers.

The rules for the Brotherhood Of The World Bloggers Award are:

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

  2. Answer the questions sent to you.

  3. Nominate around ten bloggers.

  4. Create your set of questions for your nominees.

  5. List the rules and display the Brotherhood Of The World logo in your post and/or blog.

Question 1: Which blog post do you consider your best one so far?

I hesitate to say ‘best’ – I always have a crisis of confidence when I’ve finished writing anything. Perhaps I could say enjoy most? I enjoy writing the occasional short story, and I always enjoy writing the Crystals and Cats posts… sorry, I know that’s not really a proper answer!

Question 2: What is the best comment ever on your blog?

Best ever comment? That’s a hard one. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment, and I have had some fabulously funny conversations as well as interesting insights and information from other people.

Question 3: Did you make blog posts receiving much more attention than you expected? Which one, for example?

I am really pleased when anybody stops to have a read, but I think I was particularly pleased and surprised by how many people like Moss Agate and Motherhood… thank you everybody!

Question 4: Did you make blog posts receiving much less attention than you expected? Which one, for example?

I don’t really know… that’s the thing, you can’t expect everybody to like what you write all of the time. If I make one person smile, or think: “Ooh, that’s interesting!” then I’m happy.

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A gorgeous piece of Amber, great for unity and loyalty…

My nominees are:

  1. Key Image – Samantha – great name! – has a wonderful blog following the adventures of Bertie the bear and Croc. Filled with interesting places and facts, her blog is definitely worth a visit.

  2. Passionate Mom Honey Bee – a sweet and gentle lady with wonderful recipes.

  3. theutopiauniverse – visit Brooke’s blog for her words of wisdom and motivational tips.

  4. Castle Vets Reading – and invaluable blog filled with wonderful veterinary advice and helpful information.

  5. AngelsWhisper2011 – visit Binky, she’s beautiful, kind and picture purrfect!

  6. Space, Time and Raspberries – incisive, humorous and artistic, go and have a look at Sue’s blog.

  7. NiaSunset – I just love her, she’s kind, sweet, if you don’t already know her, go and have a look.

  8. ChloeDouglasblog – have a look for interesting insights and great book reviews.

  9. Floating Speck – beautiful pictures and lovely words, friendly and welcoming.

  10. And finally… anyone who has been interested enough to stop and have a read, who’s thought again, who’s cared. It’s the Brotherhood Around The World Award after all…

Brotherhood Questions:

1) What makes you angry?

2) What was your last random act of kindness?

3) What is your key to happiness?

4) What is your philosophy of life in three words?

As usual, there is no obligation or pressure to accept this award, it’s just a nice way to show appreciation and recognition to other bloggers, and pass it on.

Thank you, as always, for reading. 

cam00596“I only have sisters… can I pretend you’re my brother Mr.Bottle?”