50 questions you’ve never been asked

Posting twice within a matter of days? Oh my! The world must have gone mad! (Actually Jan’s still asleep and I’m taking a break from cross stitch ;-))

I found this on Kezzie‘s blog, and she borrowed it from Emmamereta who got it from someone else. And so the world of blogging goes. I’m not sure these are all questions I’ve never been asked – I think I’ve been asked about the countries I’ve visited and favourite childhood TV shows before – but there were enough interesting ones in the mix for me to want to give it a go.

What’s your favourite candle scent?
I like apple and cinnamon around Christmas and I like fresh linen scents, but not always. Some brands smell nothing like fresh linen

Which female celebrity do you wish was your sister?
Do authors count as celebrities? If so I would love Joanne Harris! Oh, and Mara Wilson (who played Matilda but is now all grown up and voices a character in Welcome to Night Vale)

Which male celebrity do you wish was your brother?
Eddie Izzard, even though he’s the same age as my mum so that would be weird! I think we would have fascinating conversations though.

Do you know a hoarder?
My dad keeps a looot of stuff but he’s not an actual hoarder (like surfaces piled so high you can’t enter the house and refusing to even throw away literal rubbish hoarder). I probably keep too many things that have sentimental value, although I’m pretty good at getting rid of clothes (and replacing them with way too many more…)

Can you do the splits?
Nope. I’m the least flexible person in the world. Can’t touch my toes either!

How old were you when you learnt to ride a bike?
6 I think? I know it was in Northern Ireland anyway. I remember my little blue bike ๐Ÿ™‚

How many oceans have you swam in?
The North Sea definitely (is that an ocean?). And the Mediterranean in Spain. Ooh, and the Irish Sea in Wales.

How many countries have you visited?
Well, I have lived in England, Northern Ireland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, so there’s five to start with ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus: Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Liechtenstein, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the USA, Taiwan, New Zealand, Dubai. I think that’s everything. So 24?

Feldkirch
Let’s split this up with a picture… Feldkirch, Austria, where I lived for 10 months

Is anyone in your family in the army?Not any more. My dad was (as was my step-dad).

What would you name your daughter if you had one?
There are a lot of girl’s names I like. I think we’ve maybe narrowed it down to one we would call our daughter, but I’m not going to tell you here because if we do have a child I will not be using his or her real name on my blog for the entire world to see! I will tell you that I love the name Beatrix because that’s one we definitely won’t be using.

What would you name your son if you had one?
I find male names a lot harder, and we have the added difficulty that whatever name we use has to be pronounceable in German and English (which seems to be easier with female names!). I always loved the name Tristan, but I don’t think we’ll use that.

What’s the worst grade you got on a test?
I got all Ds for my A-levels. That’s pretty bad.

What was your favourite TV show as a kid?
Button Moon when I was really little. Later I loved The Raggy Dolls, Byker Grove, SuperTed, Dangermouse, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (although I guess I was a teenager when I watched that).

What did you dress up as on Halloween, when you were 8?
I don’t think I did? I only remember dressing up for Halloween once as a child, for a party in Northern Ireland and we moved back to England before I turned 8. I know I never went trick or treating.

Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight books?/em>
All the Harry Potter books (the actual series, not Fantastic Beasts or whatever other spin-offs are out there), none of the others. I’ve been advised not to bother with Twilight.

Would you rather have an American accent or English accent?
Definitely English! Sorry Americans, but I find a lot of your accents annoying

Did your mother go to university?
She did, in her 40s! To become a nurse (you go to university for that in the UK – I know in other countries it’s not a degree). So proud of her.

Are your grandparents still married?
Both my grandfathers are dead now, but they would have been I’m sure.

Have you ever taken Karate lessons?
No.

Do you know who Kermit the frog is?
Are there people that don’t?

What’s the first amusement park you went to?
Not sure, but I was fairly young when I went to Thorpe Park and Chessington so maybe one of those?

What language, besides your native language would you like to be fluent in?
Ukrainian! My granddad was from there and I would love to be able to speak his language. Other than that Spanish. And I would like to achieve native-speaker fluency in German but that won’t happen (my German is pretty fluent but not enough to be mistaken for a native speaker).

Do you spell the colour grey or gray?
We have to translate into both British and American English and I’m forever getting confused over which spelling to use in which language! But grey is the British spelling, so in everyday life I use that one.

Is your father bald?
No, far from it.

Do you know triplets?
Yes. My grandma used to child-mind them.

Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?
I don’t think I’ve seen The Notebook.

Have you ever had Indian food?
Yes!ย  LOVE it!

What’s the name of your favourite restaurant?
I don’t have one. I like to try different places.

Have you ever been to Nando’s?
Once, because I met a friend at The Gate in Newcastle and it was chucking it down so we didn’t want to leave the building! It was okay but not amazing enough for me to understand all the fuss.

Do you belong to any warehouse stores?
No.

What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?
I have a vague memory of being told I would have been a Philip if I was a boy, but I may have imagined that. (Mam, am I right?)

If you have a nickname, what is it?
Bev. Fairly boring. Sometimes Bee.

Who’s your favourite person in the world?
Jan. Is that really soppy? Other than that my friend K and my godson.

Would you rather live in the countryside or city?
I’m not a fan of big cities, but I’m not sure I would like to live right out in the countryside – unless I learned to drive. But even then being forced to drive everywhere would be a pain. I like where we live now – it’s within walking distance of the city, but also within walking distance of a farm, the woods, etc. Best of both worlds.

Can you whistle?
No.

Do you sleep with a night light?
No.

Do you eat breakfast every morning?
Umm, no. (Sorry mam!)

Do you take any pills or medication daily?
Yes. No, I’m not going to elaborate.

What medical condition do you have?
None that I know of.

How many times have you been to the hospital?
I was taken to A&A for stitches when I fell down the loft ladder as a teen. Other than that never as a patient (except for being born in hospital).

Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?
Yes.

Where do you buy your jeans?
I don’t actually own jeans any more, but the last pair I had came from C&A.

What’s the last compliment you got?
Umm… about two weeks ago someone said they liked the dress I was wearing. Huh, I had to think about that one.

Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?
I remember quite a few, especially if I wake up in the middle of the, I tend to have vivid dreams.

What flavour tea do you enjoy?
Tesco chocolate flavoured black tea. I also like Orange and ginger, spearmint and Alnatura’s Sunshine Tea, but technically those are all infusions ๐Ÿ˜‰

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Between 10 and 15, I think.

What religion will you raise your children to be?
None. They will be allowed to choose for themselves once they are old enough to make a decision. They will also be able to choose for themselves whether to formally enter any church and thus have to pay church tax if they end up living in Germany or Switzerland. I highly object to people having to pay church tax because their parents made the decision to have them christened as babies!

How old where you when you found out Santa wasn’t real?
7 or 8 I think?

Why do you have a blog?
My very first ever blog was on MSN spaces and I can’t remember why I originally started it, but I kept it up while I lived in Austria to update people on what I was doing over there. I started this blog because MSN Spaces (which by then had become Live Spaces) had closed down, I had hardly any friends and a lot of free time and I needed a place to get me thoughts out of my head – hence the tag line of my blog. Of course, I could have just written them in my diary, but I had always liked the interactive element of my old blog so I decided to send my thoughts out into the world, although my blog has always been primarily for myself. These days it also serves as a record of things I’ve done. I like to look back on places I’ve been and also remind myself of how far I’ve come over the past however many years (I don’t even what to think about the actual number… when did I get this old?)

If anyone plans to do this, please let me know. I would love to read your answers!

Merry Christmas everyone!

christmas-cat

Today is my last day at work (and I have a lot to get finished… but let’s not talk about that). All my clothes and gifts are packed (Jan’s clothes aren’t, but he has today off), the flat is almost tidy – I just need to do the dishes and clean the kitchen – and our flight to England is booked for 7 am tomorrow – and the baggage handlers strike has been called off. So all that remains is for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful start to 2017. I will be taking a blogging break while I’m away, so Confuzzledom will be back in the first week of the New Year (not saying which day of that week though…).

Happy Christmas, dear readers! With love from Confuzzled Bev

A corner of my world

Ages and ages ago Kezzie wrote a post in which she showcased a corner of her house (if you don’t read her blog you really should!). I loved the idea of showing a tiny piece of your life and resolved to do it as well, as soon as I found a corner worth photographing. I finally settled on the corner of the living room by the bookcases, since what could sum up my life more accurately than the place the books live (plus the only other non-boring corner contains a photo of me and Jan, and he doesn’t want his photo on the blog!). I have called my post “a corner of my world” since we don’t live in a whole house and “a corner of my flat” didn’t sound good.

corner

So, what do we see here? The bookcase, of course. It’s one of four, actually – you can just see the second one beside it. Disorganised books, some in double rows, because despite having four bookcases I have more books than space!

The top of the bookcase is cut off a little, so here’s a closer look:

top-shelf

The sheep is really a doorstop, but he’s currently holding up books. His name is Sidney (nothing to do with me – that was the name on is label). I received the card on the left for my birthday a few years ago and it’s too cute to put away in a box! It’s from my godson and his parents.

You may have spotted something in front of the books on the second shelf down, so here’s another close-up:

bookshelf

The hedgehog in the middle is called Quilly (again, nothing to do with me!). The other two don’t have names – unless the Me to You Bear has one that I’m unaware of? Pigs are lucky in Germany – you give them out at New Year. Often they’re made of marzipan.

The bags on the floor belong to Jan… they contain sheet music for the various choirs he’s in.

The keyboard is also Jan’s (of course – I am clearly not the musical one in this relationship). The stand where you’re supposed to put your music holds various posts and flyers for concerts he has sung in since we moved to Basel.

The rug under the keyboard belongs to Jan as well. It’s old and worn, and one day it shall be replaced with something nicer.

Above the keyboard hangs Paddington – my favourite bear! I always loved him more than Winnie the Pooh (although I obviously enjoyed Winnie’s adventures, too). It’s one of those posters that is made up of the text from the book. Behold:

The close-up photo of the text is a bit blurry – it’s difficult to photograph with the light shining off the glass!

And that’s it. Tell me about one of your corners!

Three Things

I am still pretty tired from the weekend (visitors and concerts are fun but there wasn’t much sleep involved!) so today’s post is a relatively easy one. I still need to catch up on travel posts, but the idea of sorting out photos is just too much right now!

I stole this post from Kristen who got it from Steph, as these things go in blogging. Kristen said she copied it because 3 is her favourite number. My favourite number is 13 – I just liked the look of this post. (On a (totally irrelevant) side note, a similar sort of thing called “four things” was going round on Facebook again recently and one of the categories was four places you have lived. A girl I went to school with had the town our high school is in as her only place. I can’t even imagine having never lived anywhere but a town of 16,000-ish residents ever!).

fountain
Three things I’d never give up

Books, tea, travel.

Three favourite vegetables

Everyone is saying potatoes, but in my world they’re not vegetable vegetables, so excluding potatoes: butternut squash, leeks, aubergines.

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end

That is actually really hard! I watched E.R. right to the end, but not from the beginning (I was like 11 when it started but I only discovered it in around season 7), I watched Dawson’s Creek religiously for ages but never saw the episodes where they had all grown up and left home, I stopped watching Buffy in protest when Oz was written out (what? I’m in love with Seth Green!). I only watched Bad Girls until about series 5 or 6. Basically I can think of nothing! I mean, I’m all caught up on Sherlock (just release the next series already would you!!) but I’m guessing that doesn’t count since it’s still running. Plus I watched series 1 all at once on DVD rather than when it came out on TV.

Three places I want to visit inside the US

Umm… there aren’t any. If I was going to the US I would probably be able to find places to visit, but there are no places I would go to the US specifically to see. And now every American hates me. Sorry!

Three places I want to visit outside the US

Iceland, Canada, Japan (wow, it was hard to narrow that down!).

Three things I always have with me

Residence permit (you have to have it on you at all times), keys, purse (the kind for money, not the container for all your things. That’s called a handbag!).


Three things that are always in my car

Can’t drive, don’t have a car. Next!


Three most recent phone calls were to/from

Jan, the doctor… ummm… probably work.


Three books I read and loved in college

American college, I presume, so university as opposed to sixth form. Um, apart from books I used for research, which I obviously didn’t read all the way through, the only books I read were for my German culture module and I hated all of them, so I’ll have to do books I read while at university but not for university. It’s Okay, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers by Louise Rennison, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontรซ aaand, ummm, what else did I read around that time? Oh Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives) during my year abroad for a course I took on detective stories for children. So there is one I read for my studies. Sort of.

Three most often used makeup products

Lip gloss is the only makeup product I really use regularly. Sometimes I feel the urge to use colourful eyeshadow. And that’s it. I own other stuff, but only use it on special occasions so it’s all used equally (in)frequently.

Three things that make me laugh

The Big Bang Theory, my godson (or rather the things he says that his mum posts on Facebook since I never actually see him!), other people laughing at puns/jokes that really aren’t funny but somehow are (the more they can’t stop laughing the funnier I find it).

Three things that make me cry

Any books where anything even a tiny bit sad happens (except The Fault in Our Stars. I am possibly the only person that didn’t cry at that book.), stories about animals doing amazing things for humans, when I’m really, really exhausted and there’s no way I’m going to get near a bed for a long time.

Oh, that was the last category. Why did it have to end on a sad note?!

Anyway, it’s your turn now! Answer in the comments if you don’t feel like doing a whole post on it.

Rainbow mystery bag from Hearts by Emma

A while ago I read a review of an Etsy shop on The Lilac Llinet. She had purchased a panda mystery bag from Hearts by Emma and it was just adorable! I mean, panda themed stationery! What’s not to love?

I immediately made my way over there and decided to treat myself to a rainbow mystery bag, and it arrived in my mail box the other day.

The goodies were wrapped in gorgeous flower petal paper – I should probably have taken a photo of it pre-unwrapping for this post, but honestly I’d forgotten I even placed the order so I tore right in to try and figure out what on Earth I had just received!

Inside the paper, I found this (at which point I remembered what I had bought and why!):

rainbow-bag

I could see a cute rainbow/shooting star paper clip inside the pencil case, but not much else.

rainbow-goodies

Once the paper bag was out, it became apparent that there were pencils in there. And a pen.

stationery

That’s all the items from the little paper bag.

rainbow-stationery

And there’s everything all together.

The day I received my order was grey and rainy, so this rainbow goodie bag added a much-needed splash of colour to my morning. And those pens are AMAZING! Seriously… I don’t want to write with anything else now! I will definitely be purchasing from Hearts by Emma again.

I bought this mystery bag because I wanted to, and I wrote this post because I know I have readers who appreciate pretty stationery just as much as I do. This review is not sponsored in any way! (As if anyone would ever pay little me for writing a review…)

Recent doings

There are various versions of this type of post out there. Jane calls hers Mondaying (can you guess which day she posts them?), others take part in a linkup called Currently. Basically, the idea is you take action words ending in -ing and tell people the things you’ve been up to lately that the word describes. A way of updating people on your life and talking about things that aren’t worth a blog post of their own. Here’s my version.

DSCN4392

Watching: The Blackadder box set that I bought Jan for his birthday. I had only ever seen bits and pieces of it, mainly from the later episodes (plus the millennium special “Blackadder: Back & Forth). We’re now on series 3 and we’re loving it! And I didn’t even recognise Hugh Laurie!

Reading: My way through the winter book challenge. I’ve completed three categories so far and have just started my second book for the two books with the same title one. At the same time, I’m reading Possession by A.S Byatt for the one-word title category. I will have to read Persuasion eventually, but it won’t be for this challenge!

Cooking: All the pumpkins! We used the muscat pumpkin and the Baby Boos that we bought at the festival, so now I’m back to my usual butternut squash. I love pumpkin season!

Designing: A cross stitch pattern for a Christmas card! I’ll show you it once it’s stitched – which won’t be until I’ve finished the one from the guessing game. *Sigh*

Drinking: Tea. So much tea. I’ve been failing to get to bed when I should lately, which has resulted in tiredness throughout the day. Multiple cups of tea are the only thing getting me through!

Planning: New Year! We’ve decided not to go away this time, since we now live somewhere where it might actually be worth being on New Year’s Eve. Instead, we want to invite some friends to come and visit us here in Basel. I’ve mentioned it to a couple, now all we need to do is invite people properly and discuss a few details (such as what food to provide – raclette is a possibility (when in Switzerland…), plus a non-dairy option).

Buying: Too many books from the Internet. Nothing new there then! Also card making supplies and a few Christmas presents. Canย  you believe November is more than half over already?

Wondering: Why WordPress have changed the post publishing screen again? It’s all different and I can’t find half the features – like what happened to the option to insert a link to your own blog without having to type in the URL? And how do I change the size of images now? Grrr! Whatever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

What have you been doing lately?

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award…. times 2!

I was first nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award way back in 2013… you can read my answers here. Then Lolo, aka California Globetrotter nominated me again back at the beginning of August. I’ve been meaning to answer her questions ever since, but spectacularly failed to find time for it. Now that Becster has also nominated me, I thought it was about time I actually did the tag! Apologies in advance… this will be a long one as I’m answering ten questions from each of those bloggers. Feel free to skip this post and wait for a shorter one.

SisterhoodFirst of all, thank you to both bloggers. As always, I am honoured that you thought of me (even even though answering questions is haaaard /end whine). I will start with Lolo’s questions since she tagged me first. Hers are all travel related, which is nice.

  1. When did you realise you were a travel addict?
    I think it was probably when I was a child. I have a memory of going to visit my grandparents. We were living in Northern Ireland at the time, which puts me at between 5 and 7 years old. We travelled by ferry and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever and hoping I would get to go on many more ferries in my life. Even though we were “only” going to stay with my grandparents, I’m pretty sure that was the moment I caught the travel bug.
  2. Where will you never, ever travel to again?
    Hmm, I don’t think there is anywhere really. I’m not really that keen on Paris, but things keep coming up there (brother wanting to celebrate his 21st birthday there, it being the closest Night Vale live show to us…) so I’ll never say never!
  3. What was the most thrill-inducing activity you have ever done while travelling?
    I can’t actually think of anything. Sorry guys, I guess I’m boring! Hmm, maybe tobogganing down the road in Madeira counts?
  4. Have you ever had a terrible travel companion to the point you couldn’t wait for the trip to be over?
    I actually haven’t! Some of our companions in Ireland kind of annoyed me at times, but I successfully ignored them and made sure I fit in everything I wanted to do, so I still had an amazing trip.
  5. Where is one place you keep going back and visiting over an over again?
    I’m goingย  to say Northumberland doesn’t count since I mostly go there to visit family! Bizarrely, I think the place I’ve been most often is Paris with 4 trips! Most of those just happened that way though (see above), so it’s not like I just loooove Paris so much I have to keep going there. I mean, I like Paris but there are places I like a lot better! One place I would visit over and over again is Austria, but various parts of the country rather than one specific place (although I have been to Vienna twice).

    Marktgasse in Feldkirch, Austria
    Marktgasse in Feldkirch, Austria
  6. What advice could you give to newbie travel bloggers?
    Well, I’m not actually a travel blogger so I’m not sure any advice I give would be any good. I’ll just give some advice that isn’t specific to travel blogging… just be yourself! Find your own voice and don’t try to imitate big bloggers in the hope of achieving their level of popularity quickly. I will never have a “big” blog, but I will also never get tired of blogging because I’m actually doing it in a way I enjoy and not trying to do the “right” thing to achieve success.
  7. Is there something you always have to do in every city you visit?
    Try the local food! I always like to get away from the touristy areas and walk down random side streets to hopefully find out where the locals choose to eat. This often means a lot of pointing and gesticulating, but the experience is much more authentic than in a restaurant where the menu consists of pictures of the dishes ๐Ÿ˜‰
  8. Where was the first place you visited overseas?
    Rhodes, Greece aged 11. I loved it!
  9. If you could live in any country right now, where would you live?
    Can I be boring and say the one I’m in? I haven’t even been living in Switzerland for 6 months yet so I still have so much to explore!
  10. If you could go back in time, which time period would you love to travel the world in?
    As a woman, I actually quite enjoy the fact that I get to travel the world now! While there obviously are places where it’s not really safe/desirable to be a woman travelling (especially alone!), for the most part things are pretty good these days. However, I do think it could have been interesting to travel the world when Captain Cook was on his voyages of discovery. Interesting but not very comfortable… so maybe I’ll stick with my own time after all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you Lolo for those interesting questions! And now on to Becster’s…

  1. What’s your favourite film/movie
    Oooh, so many good ones! I don’t think I can pick just one, so I’m going with two… A League of Their Own and Clue (if you haven’t see the latter, please go and find it right now. It’s seriously one of the funniest films ever!!)
  2. If you could visit anywhere for a day, where would you go?
    One day is such a short time, and there are so many places I want to visit. But I think this time I’m going to choose Iceland. I’m desperate to see the Northern Lights!
  3. Are you a cat or dog person?
    Dog, definitely. I don’t have anything against cats, but in a pet I want a someone who is always pleased to see me. Also, the idea of cleaning out cat litter trays makes me feel ill. I’d much rather pick up dog poo somewhere outside my house!

    Not my dog, sadly...
    Not my dog, sadly…
  4. Do you watch any soaps?
    No. I watched Hollyoaks for a while as a teenager, but I don’t really watch much TV at all these days.
  5. Favourite snack to binge on?
    Chocolate! And Switzerland is a dangerous place for chocolate lovers…
  6. Most hated chore to have to do?
    Ironing! 100%. I’m actually scared of burning myself on the iron (because I’m a weirdo) so all ironing at my place is done by Jan. Of the chores I actually do, I hate washing dishes the most. I love the fact that we now have a dishwasher!
  7. Do you eat your fruit and veggies?
    I try to ๐Ÿ™‚ Vegetables I’m actually quite good with, but fruit seems to go bad too quickly for me.
  8. 50 Shades of Gray – yay or nay?
    I’ve never actually read it, but from what I’ve heard, apart from the storyline being awful I’d end up throwing it across the room a few pages in because the writing itself is so terrible!
  9. What do you normally eat for breakfast?
    I don’t always eat breakfast (if you’re reading… sorry mam!), but when I do it’s usually toast. Lately I’ve been enjoying it with Ovomaltine spread.
  10. Tea or coffee?
    Definitely tea! I do drink coffee, but not often, and at home I almost always drink tea.

    It's always a good time for a cuppa!
    It’s always a good time for a cuppa!

And that’s the end of that! I’m supposed to nominate ten other people now, but the only people I can think of are ones I’ve nominated for similar awards a dozen times, so here are my six nominations. That’s almost ten, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kezzie
Courtney from Welcome to Germerica
Beth from Ami in Schwabenland
Zoe from Where’s Zoe now?
Briony from Fear of the Reaper
Charlotte

And now I have to try and think of interesting questions to ask you (this part is also hard!).

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What is the best food you’ve ever tried while travelling?
  3. If you could have a second home where would it be and why?
  4. If you were a ghost, which place would you haunt?
  5. Have you ever planned a trip just because a book/film was set there?
  6. What is your favourite item in your home?
  7. What is your favourite pancake topping/filling (depending on how you make your pancakes :-))
  8. Which song title best represents your life right now?
  9. Which of your blog posts has the most views?
  10. What is a book you’ve been meaning to read for a while but keep putting off?

To my nominees: I apologise if you’ve done this before or just hate tags! You don’t actually have to do it….
To everyone else: the people I’ve nominated have a fab blogs and you should really check them out. Also, sorry if I’ve bored you ๐Ÿ˜‰