Confession before benediction: I have been procrastinating. A month ago today Alyson at The Thought Palette nominated me for an award. Every day since, I have said to myself, “work on your acceptance post”. And then something offers itself as an excuse to divert my attention; another day melts away, and still I haven’t done it.
I confess my feelings about awards are conflicted. I love the feeling of camaraderie and fun that arises when a fellow blogger says “I’ve nominated you … “. My ego thrills to the feeling of inclusion and recognition. My brain applauds the device as a charming and effective means of introducing ourselves, and our friends to you and your friends, of making the circles grow, and increasing our reach and enjoyment of the blogging experience. But … I quail at the prospect of being put on the spot to talk about myself, out of context, and worse, I find the nomination process stressful in the extreme. How to single out one person’s blog above another’s? Or “What if they don’t accept awards?”, I ask myself, trawling the sidebars of the blogs I follow with such delight. ”What if a nomination puts them on the spot, or they say no?” And, I might as well squeeze out the last inglorious truth, I get into a complete, and literal, lather over the technicalities of gathering blog names and marrying them to the correct URL addresses (that is the right terminology?).
So, instead of visiting all the blogs I so enjoy reading, and examining their sidebars to see whether they ask not to participate in our bit of fun, whether they have already received the proposed award,
their length of service whether they are established bloggers or fairly new to our blogosphere, their number of followers, and visitors, and anything else that might give me a clue as to whether my nomination would be pleasing or not, I will save myself a lot of time, and a great deal of self-doubt by simply visiting my follow list, and apologising in advance to anyone who doesn’t wish to participate.
Since I’ve procrastinated such a long time, I must also confess I’m responding to a cornucopia of Awards today – each a beautiful, colourful, and glorious affirmation that someone out there has enjoyed reading my blog, or looking at the photographs I’ve taken over the years. If I were to adhere to all the rules, you would be required to wade through about sixty things about me. So here’s the deal. I’ll play the Atlas Game, and leave it at that!
|AN ATLAS OF ME
A game of recollection.
|A||Amsterdam||It was the place to buy and sell vehicles, to tarry as long as your money held out, and to learn about life on the road, and of Pirate radio.|
|B||Buenos Aires||I went to Canada to save money to get to South America; got waylaid, plans changed. But I must, just once, dance the Tango in Buenos Aires.|
|C||Colombo||They say it’s just an in and out city, that it has nothing to recommend it. It’s been my home on and off for twenty years – I love living here.|
|D||Delphi, Delhi, Dambulla||Isn’t the world a wondrous place? History, scenery, chaos, legend … Places like these jostle for inclusion, they’re such a joy to discover and explore.|
|E||Ephesus||I had never before been so transported into the past as wandering down those resurrected streets.|
|F||Faro||A weekend with Juan and his family. Pulling in the fishing boats. Grilled sardines on the beach|
|G||(somewhere near) Green Bay, Wisconsin||The Aurora Borealis. A perfectly splendid weekend in the wilds with old friends and new, doing what American college kids do. But it’s just the Aurora, as indelible in my mind today as it was on those unforgettable nights, when the Aurora danced across the sky.|
|H||Hanwood||When Papa sold the farm, I felt anchorless – it was the only place I’d considered “home”.|
|I||Igles||A waitressing snow bunny till the Foehn blew and the guests melted away as fast as the snow.|
|J||Jerez de la Frontera||With Papa, drinking sherry and talking grapes with the farmers – and me (!) the translator.|
|K||Keleniya||The temple, lost in the rain, walking with baby P around the Bodhi tree, constructing flower offerings, oil lamps flickering in the night.|
|L||London||How will we survive without leaves and green grass? A revelation in spring. Summer = a couple of days of sunshine. The library on Park Lane. A Facsimile Machine. “Oh, you’re leaving so soon. We were going to have you over.”|
|M||Marrakech||Mystery, fear, cultural awareness, the ladies hammam.|
|N||Napoli||Robbed! Pizza and police stations. Black horse-drawn funeral coaches.|
|O||Ottawa||Learning about in-laws.|
|P||Paris||In the springtime, in the winter, any damn time at all. Schoolgirl French, intimidated by waiters, R is bitten by a dog, coming of age in the Marais, … the memories bubble up like freshly opened champagne.|
|Q||Quebec City||How to take a foreign holiday without going abroad? Drive south across the border, demand a stamp in our Passports, and speak French from the time we arrive.|
|R||Rhone Glacier||Walking inside a glacier? The light! The sounds.|
|S||Saginaw||No, I never made it to Saginaw, but I too “took the Greyhound to look for America …”|
|T||Turbenthal||S, Moma and Paps, R. A month’s ‘exchange’ became a lifelong friendship, 40 years this July.|
|U||Ubud||Rai’s place. My first Asian home.|
|V||Venice||Once, when I was leaving, it cried; I got as far as Switzerland before turning back and stayed for three months.|
|W||Wien (original spelling, it can’t replace Venice)||Destination: Spanish Riding School, chestnuts, Klimt and Mozart, the palace at Schönbrunn, understanding the might of Empire.|
|X||Aix-en-Provence, Well, it’s pronounced X||Wishful thinking = real estate agents and calculators. The incomparable Cezanne. Les Deux Garcons.|
|Y||Yanco||Makes me think of Papa, who arrived there, 16 odd years old, straight off the boat from England. Trying to catch a missed train. Handling a blowout at 100. My first boyfriend went to Yanco Ag too.|
|Z||Zermat||First night, of first adventure with S and Paps. Eating snails and Raclette. The Matterhorn, glaciers!|
- Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Pass the Award to 7 nominees.
Before I announce my own nominations, I must also thank The Canadian Travel Bugs - who’re teaching in Shanghai, and making the most of their time in Asia to see everything they can – for also nominating me. This nomination is especially sweet as it was offered to cheer me up when it seemed I might implode under a multitude of minor calamities. A big thank you, CTB – if I had some sort of kindness award in my purview, you’d be adding it to your sidebar!
The Very Inspirational Blogger Award came to me out of the blue from a woman who is the essence of very inspirational, Francine in Retirement. Rush immediately to meet her – this is the blog of a good woman.
- Acknowledge and thank the giver, link it back, and put the award on your page.
- List 7 things about yourself.
- Last, pass the award to 7 bloggers who inspire you.
This handsome award, the Illuminating Blogger Award, was passed to me by My Italian Letters, who is having the time of her life settling in northern Italy, acting as stable hand and helpmate to her daughter, who’s an international dressage rider. As if that weren’t exotic enough, she travels far and wide. I’d like you to meet her, just pop in and say “hi”.
- The nominee should visit the award site and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners)
- The Nominee should thank the person who nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.
- Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
- Select at least five other bloggers whose illuminating, informative posts you enjoy reading and nominate them for the award.
- Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site.
- Share who gave you the award with a link back to their blog
- Write seven random facts about yourself
- Give this award to seven other bloggers
- Let them know they’ve won and lastly, post the award on your blog.
For her unexpected nomination for a Versatile Blogger Award, my appreciative thanks to The Unbearable Lightness of Being Me , whose wonderful photographs of nature are infused with her gentle soul. If you haven’t already discovered her work, please hop over right away.
And, just yesterday, another delightful surprise! Many thanks to Sue’s Art and Food
How good it is to cross genres and add flavour to our lives. Please visit Sue’s blog and see what I mean.
And lastly – only because it’s neat, and I have to break the rules again, is the Awesome Blog Content Award, inaugurated by Alyson at The Thought Palette. Being an artist, she has devised a colourful award logo which will brighten the sidebar of any blog, irrespective of theme or design.
- To ‘accept’ the award you add the ABC Award logo to your blog – the link is here.
- Share an alphabet about yourself with your readers by choosing a word or phrase for each letter – it might be something about you, something you like, or a place or thing you dream about. That’s all – no long descriptions, no detail.
- Pass the award on to other worthy bloggers. There’s no limit to how few – or how many – other bloggers you can send this to.
Many thanks Alyson, for including my blog on your list of inaugural recipients – I am honoured and very glad to participate. I hope you’ve visited The Thought Palette already – if you haven’t, here’s the link again.
To anybody who reads this confessional post: I nominate your blog for the Awesome Blog Content Award.
Yes, that’s right. Your blog’s content is awesome, because it is the product of your imagination, enthusiasm and dedication. Congratulations, and best wishes for your continued enjoyment of this activity of ours!
Ciao, I’m off to put The Girls to bed – they’re flaked out on either side of me on the sofa now, totally bored with me while I’ve been writing!