Giving and Receiving a Very Inspirational Blogger Award

I don’t feel remotely naked this morning. In fact, I’m pretty much fully clothed; in my Sunday best, no less, all fluffed up like a peacock. I’ve only been at this blogging business for a few weeks and when I started, as I’m sure is the way with most virgin bloggers, I had absolutely no idea what way my site would go. What would I write? Would anyone actually read it? And if they took the time to read it, would they like it enough to make a return visit? I could be on the verge of making a colossal, ridiculous, fool of myself. I was full on terrified when I made my first post; completely and utterly, stark raving, nakedly, petrified. But the response overwhelmed me. People I knew, friends and family, said nice things, which was kind and lovely of them, and very much appreciated, but it was the response from strangers which blew me away. People I had never met before made positive, complimentary comments on both the blog itself and via twitter, and very quickly I found myself making a host of fabulous new chums.

Following my very first post, prolific blogger and lovely lady, Michelle Molloney King, invited me to guest blog on her award-winning site: Quite frankly I was flabbergasted, but flattered and deeply honoured too. Maybe this was a good move after all, I thought, and felt good enough to don some metaphorical underwear. Of course with every new post I dose up on self doubt and become completely naked again. But the reason for my state of dress today is that I’ve been nominated for A Very Inspirational Blog Award. Twice. And not even by the same person.

On Wednesday evening I received a nomination from lovely Jackie Buxton who I initially met on twitter and clicked with instantly. We have a fair bit in common, Jackie and me. We’re both on a mission to get published, we earn our crusts as freelance copywriters, and we’ve both lived with the life-long challenge of being a curly.  Jackie’s brilliant blog, Agenthood and Submissionville: was one of the sites which inspired me to get blogging in the first place, so really this award should be the other way round.

There are two basic rules attached to the Inspirational Blogger Award. The first is that the recipient nominates fifteen other bloggers to pass the tribute on to. As I started to compile my list, one of the first blogs which came to mind was Hazy Shades of Me: The blog itself is brilliant. I love the writing; I can identify with her perspective, and feel that me and Ms Hazy pretty much sing from the same song sheet. Then, a few days ago I discovered that whilst she now lives in Canada, she grew up just down the road from me. So, she was in. I couldn’t wait to let her know. Then we lost our internet connection for TWO BLOODY DAYS (ahhhhggggggg!) and when I was finally able to tune into my new world again I discovered that she’d only gone and nominated me for the very same award herself.

So, I am now the excessively proud owner of two Inspirational Blogger Awards thanks to two extremely inspirational blogger chums, both of whom I urge you to check out asap. My own nominations follow below, after I’ve dispensed with rule number two. This is the tricky bit. On accepting the award, the recipient must agree to list seven facts or anecdotes about themselves hitherto unknown in blogosphere.  I desperately tried to think of some inspirational achievements or triumphs I could brag about which would befit my new-found status, but drew a blank. I then considered making something up, but quickly realised that as people I actually know can also read my blog, it wouldn’t be long before someone would dramatically expose my treachery. So I went with the first seven snippets of useless and totally uninspiring information about me that came to mind.

1. When I was fifteen, I wet myself on the big dipper at Barry’s Amusement Park in Portrush. Now I’m sure that people pee their pants, or worse, on hair-raising, supersonic theme park rides all the time, but if you’ve ever been to Barry’s and are familiar with that creaky old big dipper (I’m guessing you won’t – keep it that way)  you’ll understand the extent of my humiliation. To make matters worse, I was wearing a denim skirt, with brown stripy over the knee socks and Jesus sandals. It wasn’t a good look to begin with but the wet patch on my bottom really didn’t help. No chance of pulling that day. Put me off big dippers and denim skirts for life.

2. When I was little, I used to steal dogs. I’d hide them in our garage and pretend that they were lost – which they were, obviously, after I stole them. Thankfully, though, there were never any prosecutions, so my record is clean.

3. I don’t do dried fruit. The brown ones, anyway. Currents, raisins, sultanas, dates – disgusting little things. They look like tiny poop pods and their chewy, sticky, grainy texture makes me want to puke. I will not eat them. Ever. Never, ever, ever.

4. I deliberately sabotaged my Domestic Science O’Level practical exam by adding several tablespoonfuls of salt to my (tinned) prawn quiche. My DS teacher, who despised me because I was a can’t-cook-won’t-cook-couldn’t-give-a-**** sort of girl, and had been a right old bitch to me throughout the previous five years, was the taster. Ewh, she grimaced, observing my ingredients, tinned prawns. Don’t add any extra salt or it will be disgusting. You can imagine the shiver of pleasure I felt as I watched the cascade of my special salt flavoured quiche erupt from the old bat’s mouth.

5. I played Jean Paul Marat in a college production of The Marat Sade. And I was good.

6. I have a fantasy head-butt list. It’s usually reserved for TV presenters, reality ‘stars’, politicians and weather girls, but, really, there’s room for anyone.

7. I take two teabags in one mug of tea. In general, I like my drinks to be strong, otherwise what’s the point?

And now here is my own roll of honour. The following blogs have all, in their very own special way, moved, inspired, enlightened or entertained me, and I sincerely recommend you check them out so that you can be moved, inspired, enlightened and entertained too. In no particular order, my fabulous fifteen are:

Michelle Moloney King:

Adam Martin:

Laureen Marchand:

Sara Crowley:

Valerie Sirr:

Rupan Malakin:

Martha Williams:

Claudia Crutwell:

Claire Magowan(Pains trains and inkstains):

Rachel Carter (A Voice Released):

Lisa Cutts:

Carrie Duffy:

Michael Clarke:

Jessica Patient :

Nan Bovington:

Some of the above will no doubt have received this nomination many times before and won’t feel at all inclined to respond, which just fine and dandy. I won’t be offended. Nor will I take it personally if you don’t have the time, or just can’t be bothered.  But if, like me, you’re a bit of an award tart, and you can’t wait to post the good news on your own blog, then here are the acceptance rules:

1. Display the award logo somewhere on your blog.
2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you. (Me!)
3. State seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award’s requirements.

Tah – dah!

I look forward to reading all your posts – especially the seven facts feature! ;-)


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: It’s a blog award | martha williams

  2. jaxbees says:

    Tee hee! I knew you’d do a great job of your assignment! Chortle chortle! That poor cookery teacher but I’ve got to ask, did you pass??? I have clearly lead a very sheltered life as I’ve never wet my pants on a fairground round (although I was soooo nearly thrown from a ride at Blackpool when I was 12. I was flying around at some great speed, hanging on only with my hands barely wrapped around the bar, my friend screaming and the man on the tannoid saying, ‘Number Five, get back in your seat’. I’m not sure he had a total grasp of the laws of G-force), nor have I ever stolen a dog (although that’s not really a fair contest as I spent my childhood scared stiff of the things and if I’d approached one, it would probably have stolen me, just for a laugh). And I’m not even brave enough to have two tea bags in my tea although I do have to leave the one in for three minutes. Does that count?
    Great post, of course!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Jackie. Three minutes in the cup will do the trick – I’m just impatient! And, amazingly, I didn’t pass that particular exam!! Bemuses me to this day ;) x

  3. Aww, shucks. Thank for almost nominating me. LOL! I appreciate the mention, Lesley! Enjoy the moment(s) in the sun. :0)

  4. yvonne says:

    Also a curly .. which I accepted in my 40s along with some other truths. To give you a sense, my nickname was Crystal Tipps.
    My claim to fame in Domestic Science was the knitting of purple slippers. I swear.

    • admin says:

      Oh God – I was Crystal Tipps too! Or sometimes, Curlywurly. And yes, I’ve finally accepted my curly-ness – thanks in no small part to serums & straighteners!

      We’re obviously the same era. 1963 by any chance? :)

      • yvonne says:

        Away on!! Parallel lives :-;
        I have to tell you that last year a guy I used to know (probably around the time you were under the bridge with the bat stuck in your hair), guy who is now an ADULT actually posted on my Facebook wall, “Aren’t you Crystal Tipps?”
        Well, I wasn’t sure how to respond …. “No, you must be confusing me with that girl from Bangor.”
        “Yes, but I’m in witness protection now.”
        “Why yes I am. Are you Alistair?? How did we manage to get separated?”
        Suffice to say, a flurry of de-friending ensued.
        1963 – yup! We probably even know some of the same people.
        Yours truly,

        • admin says:

          Yes, definitely parallel lives – and bound to have some people connections. As we both know, in Norn Iron it’s more a case of two and a half degrees of separation than six!

          I’ve met another curly via blogging – Jackie Buxton We should form the curly club. Bet you never got Bonnie, though! As in Langford!

          Yours truly
          Hair Bear ;)

  5. yvonne says:

    Wow. That’s a blast from the past!!! Didn’t she used to be on Dr. Who? Now, as you know yourself, there are just some things that do not work with naturally curly hair of the Norn Iron variety. Namely “short.” “Layered” and “a fringe” (God help us all) coming close behind. I think the then Lady Diana Spencer may have been partly to blame for me losing my head and going to some fancy hairdresser in Ballymena who decided I needed a bit of a change. You know the rest.
    I’m still not over it. I may have some deep unresloved issues against Ballymena for this very reason. Anyway, the valentine from my gobsmacked boyfriend went: “you’re very special/you’re very rare/even though/you have no hair.” Ahh. Memories.
    Oh I must seek out the fellow curly – a club might be just what we need! Seriously, though, you should check out Ouidad. The person who invented it (rumor has it) is a Chemist … with curly hair.
    Crystal T.

  6. valerie sirr says:

    A nomination! How did I manage to miss that? Thank you :)

Hello! Talk to me - please! :)