Well not entirely all about me, just mostly.

The gracious Emma, over at Painted Style nominated me for a Liebster Award (and yes, I had to google ‘Liebster Award’ to get the gist of what it was all about). It’s an award for literary brilliance bloggers with less than 200 followers. And here it is:

liebster award

Thank you Emma, I shall wear it with pride and bore everyone to tears when I bang on about it endlessly:-)

The award comes with obligations (yup, there’s no such thing as a free lunch). And even worse, I have to share the glory with others, by nominating other blogs *tut*; I did so want it ALL to be about me:-)

Here’s the Liebster Award ‘to do’ list:

1) List 11 random facts about yourself,

2) Answer 11 questions,

3) Ask 11 new questions (for my nominees),

4) Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 200 followers,

5) Go to each blog and let them know.

So, here goes…

11 Random Facts About Myself

1) I’m a vegetarian who goes off piste now and then (but I haven’t eaten red meat for 30 years).

2) Following a misspent yoof, I left school at 16 with spots and very average qualifications, but a few years later passed the tests to join Mensa. I decided not to bother on the basis that:

a) It was pretentious (but I still have the certificates:-)), and

b) Friends would think I was a geek, and

c) I only did the tests because I wanted to see if I was brainy or not (but see below and then make your own mind up!)

3) I can’t tell my left from my right (on the one occasion that I did get ‘right’ right, I went the wrong way around a roundabout, causing great fear to my driving instructor. It wasn’t really my fault, he told me to turn right at the roundabout, so I did:-) ). I can’t knit or crochet, despite several patient people trying to teach me. I can’t fold maps EVER. I can’t do long division (not that it’s needed these days, what with calculators). I can’t spell ‘maintenance’ without looking it up (every time) and my grammar leaves much to be desired.

4) I got married over the Blacksmith’s Anvil at Gretna Green. Alas, the bridesmaid outshone the bride by miles (my lovely Jack Russell, Sophie, wore a huge tartan bow and stole the show). I cried so much that the Minister stopped the marriage ceremony and asked if I really wanted to continue.

5) In a ‘previous life’ I made cosmetics and the Queen bought some of my massage oil (Princess Ann was also a customer).

6) Last year I sold one of my dressers to the Embassy of Israel (well, I had to cram in a bit of business promotion somewhere). 

7) Many years ago, I had a very close encounter with a UFO. It was the early hours of the morning and I was driving home alone, following a night out in Leicester (and yes, I was sober). I was travelling behind a Jaguar and we were the only two cars on the road. We both stopped to look at the UFO, which was above us and very close and very large. I wanted to get out of my car and go to speak with the other driver about we’d seen, but I was in the middle of nowhere, young, alone and very frightened, so I drove off. I often wonder if the other driver remembers and thinks about that encounter.

8) I was named ‘Jackie’, after my Grandfather, ‘Jack’, who was killed in a coal mining accident 3 weeks before I was born. I should have been ‘Mandy’, but my Dad did the registration and was subsequently not too popular with Mum, who wanted all her daughters’ names to start with ‘M’. Oh well, three out of four ain’t bad.

9) I come from gypsy stock (and there you were, thinking I was posh… but I guess my gypsy horse, Jasper, suggests otherwise). My paternal Great Grandparents were water gypsies; they made a living transporting coal around the Midlands, on their floating home, a canal barge.

10) I used to annoy my sister by sucking jelly through the gap in between my front teeth (well, it did say 11 random facts about myself and in case you’re wondering, it was quite a few years ago and I’m over it now (although I don’t think my sister is)).

11) Many years ago, my parents were steward and stewardess at a golf club. My ‘back garden’ was several hundred acres of golf course, full of hiding places such as sand dunes and copses. My dachshund (Dougal) and I became partners in crime and made full use of those little hiding places. We’d hide in a copse or a dune and wait for golfers to take their long shots. I’d send Dougal out to nick the golf balls, which were then sold by the bucket full to the Pro Shop. Our little enterprise was eventually rumbled when there were just too many clubhouse stories along the lines of “Well, I tell you, I hit this perfect shot and I know it landed on the green, but when I walked down there, the golf ball had vanished”.

Now onto the next task…

Answer 11 Questions

1) Q. Why did you start blogging?

A. Two reasons really. I wanted a diary for myself, so that I could look back on the business journey and remember where it all started and what happened along the way. I also wanted a showcase for my ‘stuff’ and a blog seemed a nice place to have one; it’s that bit more personal than a bog standard website.

2) Q. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

A. Very boring, but I haven’t got one. A few years back I had a thing about Andre Agassi, which my husband rumbled; it explained my sudden interest in tennis. Oops!

3) Q. What are you scared of?

A. I can’t stand worms and maggots.

4) Q. Where would you like a holiday home?

A. If it’s abroad I’d go for Italy; I love the food and the ambiance of the Country. If it had to be in England, Gloucestershire is my favourite county.

5) Q. Tell me a burning ambition?

A. I’d like to see this business develop some more. I’m still finding my feet, but I get it right more than I get it wrong these days, which is nice and it also helps pay the bills:-)

6) Q. What is your home decor style?

A. Dated! Having spent all those years with my head stuffed in law books, the house has been neglected and is in dire need of some tlc. But it’s like the garage owner who drives around in an old banger; I just never have the time or inclination to pick up a paint brush, when my work ones have only just been rinsed and put to dry. Given the choice, I love the rustic, log cabin kind of style, with lots of snuggly throws on squishy sofas and a big, wood burning stove to sit by with a mug of steaming coffee.

7) Q. Who is your favourite clothing designer?

A. I’m not a ‘labels’ person, but do have a nice Karen Millen coat. I bought it for my law work; it’s black, but has a bright red silky lining, which flashes when I do ‘the walk’. I’ve several ‘Animal’ fleeces, which are my day to day uniform; they’re lovely, fluffy and warm, and wash easily. Apart from that, most of my clothes are cheap and cheerful and I like Primark jeans and undies.

8) Q. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

A. A dog person. My last dog, Sophie, lived to be 19. She went everywhere with me and I miss her still.

9) Q. What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

A. Grow up you stupid girl! (Not that I’d have taken any notice).

10) Q. Whose was the first blog you followed?

A. I used to be a big fan of a blog called ‘Law Minx’ (from my studying days). The blog told the story of a mature Bar student; it was very funny and informative too.

11) Q. What do you look for and enjoy most of all in other people’s blogs?

A. I’m not too keen on the ultra slick ‘eye candy’ blogs, which come across as a bit ‘manufactured’. I like blogs which have a generous dose of humour, along with a dollop of honesty; something that lets the personality of the writer show through, that shows real life, not just the gloss and hype.

Now for my 11 questions to the nominees

1) What was your favourite decade and why?

2) What’s your favourite song and why?

3) Why do you write a blog?

4) If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would that person be?

5) What was the proudest moment of your life?

6) Are you a city slicker or country bumpkin?

7) What are your business/career ambitions?

8) You’ve just heard that a distant relative has left you £50k. What would you spend the money on?

9) A friend, who is a very good cook, has offered to cook you a three course meal and you get to choose the entire menu. What would be your dream starter, main course and pud?

10) What would be your dream job and why?

11) What is/or would be, your perfect piece of furniture?

The Nominees for a Liebster Award

I’m struggling here because some of my favourite blogs have more than 200 followers and some have already been nominated for a Liebster Award. So, I’ll keep it short and sweet:

Cheltenham Road – David’s blog is funny, informative, down to earth and just great.

Shabby Chic Sarah – Sarah could do with some support; her Mum is in hospital.

Bad Rabbit – Oozes style and design – if only she didn’t paint everything white;-)