Monday, 5 May 2014

Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Megan Michaels. You can check out her Liebster Award blog entry here.

The Liebster Award is passed around the blogging community in order to promote great blogs and find out a bit more about the bloggers who make them.

I have listed the Liebster Rules on separate page. This blog is going to be quite long enough as it is.

So here are the questions that Megan set for me and my very best attempts to answer them.

1.       What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday?

At the moment, when I am not working, I am studying for a BA Hons in Computer Sciences. This means that most of my Saturdays are spent either (a) studying or (b) feeling guilty because I am not studying. At some point in the future (October this year), I will be finished this thing and my Saturdays will be my own again. I have no idea what I will do but whatever it is will be my new Favourite Thing.

2.        Do you have any pet peeves?

I’m a pretty easy going person. Generally, I’m all ‘live and let live’ and ‘go with the flow’. We’re all just doing our best to get along in this crazy world, you know, man?

This attitude doesn’t extend to people who sit down on crowded trains though. Those people can Fuck. Right. Off.

I commute into London each day which I enjoy doing but the trains are always standing room only by the time I get on them. Some people who don’t get seats sit down in the aisles between carriages. Usually with their legs outstretched and a laptop perched on top, taking up about three times the space of a standing-up person. They’re probably talking loudly to Jeremy at the office on their mobile phones as well. The wankers.

It’s a petty thing to get worked up about and I sort of hate myself for doing so. Some people write to newspapers suggesting that fat people should pay more for train tickets because they take up more room. Do I want to be like those people?

Well, no. I don’t want to begrudge my fellow human beings every last bit of space. But, you know, getting annoyed with sitting-on-the-floor people isn’t the same as getting annoyed with fat people. I’m pretty big. On a crowded train journey there isn’t going to be anything I can do about that in the next 40 minutes that will make my fellow passengers’ lives any easier. But floor-sitters, they could improve everyone’s situation in about five seconds flat.

I don’t say anything, obviously. This is British Rail - I don’t even make eye contact with anyone. Although, there’s a good chance that one day I will completely flip out and just start stamping on their stupid selfish legs.

3.      What were you like as a kid?

I spent a lot of time in my own head. You know Calvin and Hobbes cartoons where Calvin creates his own fantastical worlds? I was pretty much like that but with girlier fantasies.

 4.      Did you—or do you—have a nickname? What’s the story behind it?

The closest thing I can think of was at college when some guys decided that everyone is our group should change their name to Dave to make life easier (there were a few Daves in the group already, you see.) So we had Big Dave, Small Dave, Super Dave, French Dave etc. I was Girl Dave.

5.      Who was your favourite schoolteacher or college professor? Why?

I’m sure there were wonderful kind teachers who put themselves out for me. In fact, I know there were. But for the most part school was such a completely horribly miserable time for me that most of the details including any particular teachers have been sort of expunged from my memory.

College was a lot more positive but not because of the professors. Study was something that sort of happened in between the good bits.

6.      If your house was on fire, what’s the first thing you’d grab to save? And why?

Well assuming that my daughter and cat made it out all right, then nothing probably. I know it’s a boring answer but it’s all just stuff really.

If I was feeling practical then grabbing a coat and my mobile phone would probably be a good idea. Knowing me, though, I’d panic and grab the first things I laid my hands on. I’d rush out of the house clutching a hole punch, my jellyfish lamp and a half-eaten box of cereal or something.

7.      What was your favourite childhood toy? 

My stuffed toy panda called ‘Panda’. My sister bit off his nose when she was little and he always had a bit of a surprised look about him. We’re still close.

In fact, here's the guy himself checking out the blog earlier today.

8.      What was your worst job?

Something data-inputty, I suspect. I haven’t done anything particularly remarkable in its awfulness.

9.      Where is your happy space?

I’ve never really understood that idea to be honest. My happiness or unhappiness is more to do with where my head is at than my surroundings. For good or ill, I have to take my head around with me everywhere I go. If that’s in a bad way then no happy space is going to sort me out.

10.  What is in your fridge right now?

My fridge is always full of stuff. I really like food. Probably the most exciting things in there right now are half a lemon meringue pie and some Wensleydale with cranberries.

11.  If you could travel back to any one point in time what would it be? And why?

Wait, how am I going to get there? Am I going to be able to come home again or do I have to stay there forever? If I can get back easily, can I nip back and forwards regularly? Perhaps setting up some kind of shampoo and cosmetics business in Victorian London and blowing everybody’s minds by introducing them to Tresemme conditioner and watermelon-flavoured lip gloss?

On second thoughts, I still don’t think I’ll risk it even with a completely reliable time machine that’s had multiple five star reviews on Amazon.

I write historical fiction so you’d think I’d leap at the chance but, seriously, it would be horrible to actually do it, don’t you think? You’d go with all these romantic ideas and be confronted by the reality of the subjugation of women, social immobility, bad body odours, and poisonous wallpaper.

So thanks for the offer but I am going to stay here in the 21st century. Apart from anything else, I hear The Past has terrible mobile phone reception.

OK, So that's the end of the question and answer session. Thanks for some great questions, Megan!

It's not over yet though. Now I have to tell you eleven interesting facts about myself. ELEVEN! Seriously, even actual interesting people don't have eleven whole facts, surely. Anyway here's my best attempt.

1. I am a fully trained Open Water Diver.

2. The first piece of writing I ever had published was in Prediction magazine and was about the magical properties of herbs.

3. I used to write a blog called C-List Celebrity Workouts- a weekly review of fitness workouts by celebrities whose talents lie entirely elsewhere. It's on hiatus at the moment because it was quite time-consuming and, well,  something had to give. I hope to return to it at some point. My favourite review was the one I did for Barbie's Dance Workout. Although Mark Wahlberg's was fun, too.

4. I failed my driving test the first seven times I took it. Plus I had two driving tests book that I didn't even show up for. So, I either passed on my eighth or tenth time depending on how you count it. Either way, I'm really not a natural born driver.

5. My blood group is A negative which is only shared by 7% of the population. So not super-rare but a little bit special.

6. I invited Prince Edward to my fourteenth birthday. I got a  nice letter back from Buckingham Palace saying that HRH thanked me for the invitation but was busy that day.

7. I can move objects using just the power of mind. Just small things - pencils and the like - nothing unwieldy or heavy.

8. I won the title Best Dressed Female at my college awards. At the time my look mostly consisted of flowery charity shop dresses, paratrooper boots and a massive men's overcoat. I had a whole hippy grunge thing going on.

9. I was once arrested under suspicion of possessing illegal substances. I wasn't charged though. I'm a good(ish) girl really.

10. I lived in Hong Kong during my formative childhood years. The only Cantonese I can speak are the numbers one to ten.

11. I made up one of the above facts. You can probably guess which one.

Right, you all know far more about me than you could ever thought you wanted to.

I have an awesome set of people to pass the Liebster Award baton onto:


  1. Fun post, Etta! I love these things!
    I'm guessing number 7 was made up?
    LOL, great post!!

  2. I love your other blog!
    Also, I think you're hilarious and I totally get what you are saying about people sitting on the floor of a crowded train.

  3. I just giggled right through that. It's # 7 right? I would want to see it otherwise and then I'd start asking you all kinds of questions. OK, I love live and let live and wholly agree that everyone is doing their best to get by. Or most everyone. My husband reminds me sometimes of this when I'm picking...As for those train sitters, I've been on the subway in London like twice and it annoyed me! Stomp!! We also thought it was a good idea at one stop to take the stairs up as the line for the elevator was too long and hey, we're in good shape! OMG. That is all. OM freaking G. How far underground does the system go???

    I think you're kind of crazy by the way. :)

    1. How far does the London underground go down? ALL the way down, man. Right down to the core. There's layers upon layers of tunnels down there. Was it Covent Garden where you took the stairs? That one's crazy. It's the equivalent of a 15-story building.