I'm thrilled that Carol in Cairns gave me the Sunshine Blog award! I'm going to answer the 11 questions of the award and set 11 questions to everyone who reads this. If you don't want to read my answers, below, maybe you'll skip to the end and fill in some of YOUR answers.
I won't be picking out blogs I specially liked to pass the award onto, though. Not only is it hard to actually choose favourites, but I hate leaving out blogs I like.
I'm putting random pictures on to break up the areas of text. Most of them are slightly relevant to what I have written ... but mainly I just like the pictures.
1. What do you love about blogging?
I like the interaction with people I probably wouldn't otherwise meet or know about..
2. Who is the most interesting person you have met in real life and why?
I was very lucky to work as a journalist for years and got the chance to meet all kinds of interesting people, both famous celebrities and "ordinary people". I learned equal amounts from both groups. I have family and friends that I love but I never wonder how "interesting" they are!
3. Who is your favourite author and can you recommend one thing I should
read of theirs?
I don't have a favourite though I have always read a lot. I'm interested in Lewis Carroll as a person (as anyone who has read the sidebars here will know) and "Alice" has had a big effect on me. I will generally read Kate Atkinson's new books, although she's gone off a bit lately. I like Terry Pratchett - much underrated by the "serious" literary establishment, like Roald Dahl used to be. Dickens IMO is the best and most vivid descriptive writer who ever lived. A true genius. His writing can set me on fire.
The book that has made most impression on me lately is "Elbows off the table" by John Kennedy Bain. It is a self published ebook telling of his life growing up in care - but it's not a misery memoir. His personality comes right through and it's original and full of humour. Personally I think a publisher ought to pick it up but they have little opportunity to take anything a bit unusual these days. I do have a large collection of cook books, though I don't cook as much as I did.
4. Newspapers, radio or Breakfast TV?
Radio 4, sometimes radio 3, some newspapers. I only watch Breakfast TV occasionally, when I feel like seeing human faces instead of listening to disembodied voices.
5. What is your favourite cake?
I'm choosing plainer cakes these days, fruit, carrot cake, etc. I hate sticky chocolate ones but. I suspect that if I ate creamy ones I would realise I prefer those.
6. One thing you would still like to learn?
Too many to list, but if I had really wanted to learn them I would have had a go by now. My one regret is that I didn't learn to ice skate or ski well enough, so if I go on a rink I'm always anxious.
7. What was your first job?
I was a temporary clerk at Westminster City council. I didn't have anything useful to do and I couldn't believe they were paying me for sitting and reading all day. Yay!!
How life has changed. Now, I'd probably be working like a robot in Amazon's horrible warehouse, or on a zero hours contract in a fast food place. I am sorry for this generation of new jobseekers. They seem to be faced with a bleak and difficult path.
8. One place you would like to visit again before you die?
I hope anywhere I visit again, would be before I die!
9. Can you speak a language other than English?
No, I don't like speaking foreign languages because I can't do it well enough and I am too lazy to stick at it until I can. But I can sort of understand several foreign languages if I read them. Thank God most people speak intelligible English now. And for Google Translate.
10. The first album you bought with your own money?
I bought it when I was living in Belfast - Jack Hylton's "Egyptian Ella" on a scratchy old 78. Not that I was foxtrotting around in 1925, but my dad was born in Alexandria and brought up both there and in Cairo, and so I had Grandma's stories to go on and I guessed this song would have wended its way out to Egyptian's foreign residents before the war. I played it on a wind up gramophone I got in a Belfast junkshop.
Weird kid, eh?
11. What is your favourite flower?
Probably a rose, but in Spring it is a narcissus. Or sometimes a freesia. Actually, I like almost any flower.
MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU
Here are my 11 questions. Feel free to answer any of them, all of them, or none of them.
1. If there is one candy left in the box, do you have to eat it, or can you leave it sitting there all alone for the next few weeks?
2. What do you want to remember most of all, if you survive to be very old?
3.. Would you enjoy being a very rich and famous celebrity? ( after all you don't HAVE to be like the unedifying Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson and pay someone £1,600 a week to clean your silver and gold collection....)
4. Which of the photos in this post is your favourite and why do you like it?
5.What piece of music do you personally find most emotionally moving?
6. How do you deal with anxiety, depression and bad times?
7. What do you love doing that bores everyone else stiff?
8. Did you ever encounter an inanimate object that seemed to have a will of its own?
9. What is your very favourite hotel or restaurant? (This blog does have "travel" in the title, after all)
10. Do you think prisoners who have committed particularly vile crimes should be segregated in jail for their own safety?
11. What do you wish you had known when you were 18? (if you are under 18, ignore this question)