Monday 3 May 2010

Vale a pena ficar de olho etc etc

Hey I got one of these!

(Translation - ‘it’s worth keeping an eye on this blog’ The chosen blog has to copy the picture above, with a link to the blog from which it has received the award . Then write ten more links to the blogs which you think are well worth a visit. They in turn if they would like to, of course, copy the image above and link to 10 blogs, which shouldn't be the ones I have chosen below.)

I was awarded this accolade by the very generous Janet Bianchini, an Anglo Italian hell's angel who makes excellent Olive Oil and maintains a dynamic blog that you can access by clicking here.

Ok, i admit, Janet already supports this blog and recommends it constantly, but this new initiative is very kind. It’s the bitsnbobs first ever award, hey it’s MY first ever award too!

Well, is that true?
Close enough!

When I was twelve I was the official “Hospital Money” collector in my class at school – a sort of charity act that was imposed on us – and somehow I coerced my classmates into donating more than any other class. For this I was given the Hospital Money Prize at the end of the year, though it clearly should have gone either to the hospitals or my classmates.

My reign as Hospital Money Extortionist continued for a couple of years until, I shamefully realised that I could exploit my position and buy a few copies of the Beano for my private use. It was an early foray into embezzlement that thankfully was discovered early and never repeated.

They have never asked for the prize back – The Readers Digest Atlas of the World – which I no longer have, but i found a copy of lying on my father-in-laws bookshelf and the other day, looking for a literary memento before leaving his house for possibly the last time, my hand hesitated.

But the world has changed.
And so have I.

The only other award I have "sort-of" won was at the Seattle 48 hour film project where my humble effort – linkable here – picked up the award for Best Violin Solo.

The fact that it was the ONLY violin solo in the competition should in no way detract from the achievement of Luca – an incredibly talented teenager who gave her time selfishly. More about Luca here.

So what about this new award?

A long, long, very long time ago I received a postcard that invited me to send a postcard to the five addresses listed on it, to add my own name and at the end of a month I would receive literally HUNDREDS of postcards.

(I can’t remember if I told you this but I collect postcards – I keep them all in a tin under the stairs. Postcards represent a more intimate age and I appreciate their graphic simplicity, their rose-tinted view of exotic lieu and their optimistic gaiety. Sometimes I sit on the sofa, open the box and read through them, I like the stamps too. I shouldn’t really confess this in these pages- but remember I am a self-confessed former train spotter!)

I duly sent off the five postcards and sat by the letterbox for days to come waiting for the deluge that never came. Never. Not one.

So my newly acquired blog award stirs up uneasy emotions.

I am excessively proud and thankful and I will crack open a bottle of fizzy water in celebration.

I will honour the code of the award – acknowledge its acceptance, post the picture above and nominate a further 10 blogs I myself consider worthy of such accolade. etc etc (see above)

And I will trouble and torment myself for days to come with not only selecting those ten -(something that became even worse as i went to print and learnt that Anne, and her beautiful blog The Island Weekly beat me to recommending the excellent work of Vicki - but also the postcard-chain-letter-ness of the process.

Surely, if everyone nominated in turn nominates, and if we respect the criteria of not re-nominating an already-nominated (as at least one person I know omitted to adhere to!!!!!), then won’t the whole blog-isphere-thingy be nominated eventually?

Wouldn’t it be simpler to say – “hey go look at all the blogs out there!?”

And, maybe the most difficult emotion for me to handle, will be the sitting-by-the-letterbox-kid in me, re-activated once again. Though I have no idea this time, what for.

Here are my nominations. I hope the people involved don't mind!
John's blog has been mentioned here in bitsnbobs before and he very kindly contributed a "Mirror Post" to these pages back in March. His blog is definitely worth watching - partly because I have no idea if it is active or not. Every time I think he has stopped and moved onto pastures new up he pops with a post, either about comedy (he is a professional comedian) his first novel (a fantasy just published) or his life (gold mines, tragedy, arriving in Liverpool from America and getting hit by a snowball). is a blog worthy of reading systematically from the beginning where you will discover a wild, sexy spirit struggling sometimes but on the point of the extraordinary. Or so I think. you read a blog and nothing clicks so you stop. Sometimes something clicks for a bit and then you stop. Sometimes so many things click so many times that you just keep watching. Margo’s blog is like that for me. I asked her to do a guest post here and she did. Meanwhile she is blogging away in an unfolding world somewhere over there near San Francisco. don't remember how I stumbled upon this blog, maybe through my friend Dave's (who also lives in Ireland). I don't know much about the writer except from what I read in his posts but I really like the "daily ramblings" aspect - possibly because I tend to ramble myself. have a soft spot for Harold and his blog, as he was the only person I contacted, as a beginner, who patiently answered my technical questions and set me on my way. I watch his blog as it opens a world that is very different than mine, he lives in America, he has a military past, recently moved, a strong opinion about politics and a network of friends with too much tragedy in their lives. And his blog title is good advice for us all. Again, I know very little about the who and what of this blog, and I’m not sure I can separate the blog from the other bits, and that's what I like - the artistic jumble. Like the title says - it's a notebook. Isn't Hodgepodge a great word? I probably would have called my blog this if Darlene hadn't already taken it for her own. She's 84 and I hope someone reads my blog when I’m 84. i hope i'm blogging when i'm 84. I hope i AM when i'm 84! Jaliya has three blogs, so I’m not sure which one you should be watching. I first found her I-Ching titled blog but I offer you this one as a starting place. What can I say; she lives with cats and wears glasses- that has to be a good recommendation in my book. Mikey's blog - art and ramblings - is great to watch, as it is a visual feast. I think it was an accident but my blog appears to be on her list of blogs she follows so that's how I discovered it. Again her world is very different than mine - design - and that's what fascinating for me - more visual, lusher, and softer. Altogether more artistic.

My last - watch this blog - is not really a blog but was forced on me at the last moment by Anne's upstaging me as mentioned above and it does have a blog like feel. if you have never read anything written by Robert Fulghum then a treat awaits you. Among much else he wrote this.


Janet Bianchini said...

A great post with a very eclectic mix of blogs - will enjoy perusing them at leisure. Thank you for your very kind words!

NB - an "Anglo Italian hell's angel" makes me sound much more colourful than I am!!

Darlene said...

What a lovely surprise to start my day and find I have gotten an award. Thank you so very much. I am humbled.

popps said...

Janet , i think you know i am pulling your leg? Then again.....
Darlene - my turn to welcome you in my comment box, please come back whenever you want to.

Mike Harrison said...

Looks like I'll have to redo mine at some point, non-English Language Teaching this time.

In my defence, it is quite difficult to have a unique list of 10; I guess that means the world of ELT blogging might be a bit introspective - we all need to get out more, so to speak! I also tried to avoid the Harmer/Thornbury blogs (since I guess most people would recommend them!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a flattering description, your post is very inspiring. I wish my brain worked as well with words as yours does...

Janet Bianchini said...

Darlene's Hodgepodge was a real revelation. I hope I'm still blogging at 84!! Hats fully and completely off to her. Thank you for introducing Darlene's amazing blog to us all.

Anne Hodgson said...

I'll be going back to Nice! And thank you once again, Chris.

popps said...

Mikey - is it ok to call you that ? - i wish i had your eye, sense of design...........and i could add youth!
Janet - thank her!
Anne- y're welcome.

vicki hollett said...

Oh thank you so much for the mention and also for the wonderful journeys embedded in these links.
And I'm only half way through so far. What a lot of care in selection.

Kate said...

Thank you!