One lovely blog award

I’m so sorry my blog seems to be a giant tag-fest recently, but people keep nominating me for things and, honestly, I’ve been feeling uninspired so it’s nice to have ready-made posts. Today’s is the “One lovely blog award” and I was nominated by Chomeuse with a Chou. She’s a fellow Brit abroad (in her case France) and she has such a wonderful writing style. Please go and check out her blog. I was also nominated by Irish Procrastinator. She is Irish (no, really?), very funny and an excellent poet. Again, you really must check out her blog. Thank you both so much for the nomination – I am genuinely touched that somebody considers me “lovely”!

lovely blog

There are rules, of course.

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award;
  • Share seven things about yourself;
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and inform them.

I have done similar posts before and I don’t think I will be able to dredge up seven entirely new facts, so apologies to long-term readers who’ve probably seen some of these before.

  1. This one is in my About Me section, but I’m using it here anyway. I have three siblings – a sister and two half brothers. My brothers are not related to each other. At my sister’s hen do (which I couldn’t attend), people were asked to take a quiz about her, and one of the questions was how many siblings does she have. Not a single person got it right – including my youngest brother’s mum! Oh, and I’m the eldest, by the way. My sister is actually the middle child twice.
  2. The first “adult” book I was ever allowed to read was The Clocks by Agatha Christie, when I was around 10. I can remember reading it in bed one morning before anyone else was awake and going downstairs to get the big dictionary so I could look up the word “illegitimate”.
  3. In my entire life, the place I lived the longest in one stretch was Karlsruhe, Germany – from September 2006 until I moved to Switzerland at the end of April 2015.
  4. Following on from the above… I always find the question “where are you from” really hard to answer. I lived in the place I was born twice, but even while I lived there it never really felt like “home”. It was just where army families get put when the army has nowhere else for them to go. Northumberland feels like home more than anywhere else, and that’s usually what I tell people, but if I have to specify a town it gets awkward again. I moved in with my dad aged 13 (he was out of the army by that time) and went to high school in the town he still lives in, but I hated it there and couldn’t wait to get away, so I certainly don’t consider that home! My parents are both from Morpeth, where my remaining grandparents still live, and that’s been the most constant place in my life. We went there for at least one holiday every year. It’s probably the place I am most likely to think of as “home”, but I’ve never actually lived there in my life.
  5. I’m obsessed with names… how people choose names for their children, how naming trends have changed through the years, which names are popular in which parts of the world. Jan gets so sick of me talking about people and their names!
  6. I lived in Austria for 10 months and have now been in Switzerland for close to three years but I have never tried skiing. Every year we say we will, then every year we don’t.
  7. When I was about 7 or 8, I wanted my name to be Abigail. I have no idea where I even got the name from – as far as I’m aware I had never met an Abigail at that stage in my life. To be honest, I would probably have chosen any name of my own at that point though. Beverly Hills 90210 came out the year I turned 7 and I got so sick of people at school chanting “90210” at me. Or alternatively saying “hey Beverley, are you a cop?”. Obviously they thought they were being sooo creative. *eyeroll*. So it’s kind of ironic that these days when German speakers don’t understand my name the first time I will actually say “Beverley as in Beverly Hills”.

Hmm, some of those were kind of long. Hopefully not too boring though?

I’m not actually going to tag anyone this time because I’ve been throwing tags around like confetti recently and I think I’ve already tagged everyone who might accept at least once. Sorry about that. I promise my next post will not be a tag or award!

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Friendship Blogger Award

Good morning everyone! I am ashamed to say it’s taken me a few days to write this post. It feels almost ungrateful, which is the literal opposite of how I feel. I struggle to make friends in real life (as evidenced by the fact that I’ve made a grand total of two friends in Switzerland… and I’ll have been here 3 years at the end of April!), so it’s amazing to think my fellow bloggers actually like me! Chomeuse with a Chou nominated me for this award (umm, it occurs to me that I don’t actually know her name – yes in blog land you can be friends with people and not even know who they are…). Thank you so much!

The Friendship Blogger Award was invented by: Novus Lectio

friendship award

“This Award is for those we cherish in WP and to show them affection and to offer them our friendship.” – how lovely is that?

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the Award (Novus Lectio) and its purpose.
  • Nominate other bloggers to receive the awards.
  • List the rules and display the Friendship blogger award logo in your post on your blog.

MY NOMINATIONS:

Kezzie

Alison aka Fat Dormouse

Dubliner in Deutschland

Kristen from See You in a Porridge

Heather goes Deutsch

Lyndsay from Our Girl in Zurich

I would also like to add Erin to this list, although she is currently not blogging. She is the wonderfully supportive creator of the book challenge I never shut up about 😉

You are all ace!

Sunshine Blogger Award

Wow, a blog award… I’m pretty sure it’s been literally years since I last did one of these! I was nominated by the lovely Chomeuse with a Chou – if you don’t know her blog definitely go and read it. She’s an amazing writer!

sunshine blogger

The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community. As always, there are rules.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to the blog.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Link up there ^)

2. Answer 11 questions that the Blogger asked you.
See below.

3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the awards and write them 11 questions.
Also below.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post on your blog.
Done and done 🙂

  1. Why did you start your blog?
    Short answer: to clear my mind of all my random thoughts (see tagline). Slightly longer answer: My first blog was an MSN space (later MSN Live Space) that came with my e-mail address. I started using it out of curiosity, having no real idea what it was. Later, I used it to blog during my time in Austria, as a way to keep friends in the loop about what was happening over there. I started this blog shortly after I moved back to Germany. I was bored, basically friendless and my boyfriend was busy writing his Diplom (German version a Master’s) thesis, so I started a new blog to keep myself occupied and get my thoughts out of my brain.
  2. What are your favourite things to do (when you aren’t blogging, of course)?
    Read, obviously. If you’ve read even one post on this blog you’ll probably know that 😉 Other than that cross stitch, travel and eat.
  3. If you could only visit one place, where would you go?
    Japan – assuming this means visit one place on holiday and not if you choose anywhere other than “home” you never get to go and see your family ever again 😉
  4. Do you have a favourite post from your blog?
    Ooh, umm.. difficult one. I enjoyed writing this one: https://confuzzledom.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/the-best-or-worst-of-denglish/
  5. What is your favourite book? (If it is far too difficult to choose, who is your favourite author?)
    Do you really think favourite author is any easier than favourite book? Both faaar too difficult! If forced to choose I would say Terry Pratchett (with massive apologies to Stephen King, Joanne Harris, Michael Bond and Agatha Christie!). Book is literally impossible.
  6. What are your goals for your blog?
    I don’t have any really. Just to keep going with it for as long as it makes me happy.
  7. Which three possessions would you grab in the event of fire?
    Nick (my stuffed mouse who I’ve had since I was born – you can see him at the end of this post, although these days he no longer lives in the bed due to a hole that I’m afraid might grow), my passport, and the only photo of my step-mum I own.
  8. Do you live in the town or country where you were born?
    If you’ve read even one word of my blog you should know the answer to that 😉 No, no I don’t.
  9. Do you have any unusual phobias?
    I don’t like ironing because I’m afraid of burning either myself or the clothes. SO pretty much I have a phobia of the iron (as opposed to iron the metal). Is that unusual enough?
  10. Do you speak another language?
    German. Plus the tiniest bit of Spanish.
  11. If you could chat to any person in history (real or literary) who would you choose?
    If we’re talking famous people, Beatrix Potter. Otherwise my Ukrainian great grandmother.

Here are my questions:

  1. What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2018?
  2. If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be? (In this imaginary scenario you have the perfect conditions to keep it happy and healthy and there is no danger of being eaten)
  3. What food could you happily eat every day?
  4. What is your favourite thing about the place you live?
  5. Where were you born?
  6. Are you eating or drinking anything right now?
  7. What is one talent you wish you had?
  8. Do you have a favourite board game?
  9. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  10. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  11. If you won a large sum of money, what’s the first thing you would do?

Now to nominate people. Feel free to not do it and please don’t hate me 😉

Kristen from See You in a Porridge

Shazza from Sunshine and Celandines

Audrey from Life as Louise

Dubliner in Deutschland

Elaine from I Used to Be Indecisive

Beth from Ami in Schwabenland

Heather from Heather goes Deutsch

Jessica from Ever the Crafter

Steven from Sunshine. Whimsy. Tacos.

Lyndsay from Our Girl in Zurich (who is currently away on an adventure in South America, but will hopefully answer my questions on her return after Easter)

Sorry, that’s only ten. Everyone else I can think of us has been nominated already or doesn’t really read my blog. If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed this little insight into me!

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 🙂

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 😉 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!  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 😉

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

25 Get to Know Me Questions

Today I want to something slightly different. I’ve done similar things before (like an A to Z of Me), but it’s been a while and I think I’ve acquired a few new readers since then (hi new readers!)

I spotted this particular set of questions on Ellie’s blog, This Country Girl’s Journal, and since she asked her readers to join in, I thought I would.

Baby me
Does anyone recognise this person?

1. What is your middle name?: Ann. It’s my grandma’s name and was also the name of a great grandma I never met, but I’m not sure whether my parents named me after either of them or just picked it because it’s such a middle-namey kind of name (seriously, I can think of at least 8 people with the middle name Ann(e)!)

2. What was favourite subject at school?: English for all the reading and Food Tech because I’ve always liked food 😉

3. What is your favourite drink?: Tea! Soft drink probably Dandelion and Burdock. Alcoholic changes regularly.

4. What is your favourite song at the moment?:  My all time favourite song is Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler, closely followed by Landslide by Fleetwood Mac and Desperado by The Eagles. Right now I rarely listen to music, but when I do it’s Sister Hazel more often than not, so I’ll say my current favourite is Change Your Mind by them.

5. What is your favourite food?: I hate this question! How can you expect me to pick just one?! Potatoes, garlic, sweet potato, cheese, pumkin, Yorkshire parkin, cottage pie, Sunday roast, Swiss chocolate… I’m hungry now!

6. What is the last thing you bought?: Books. Always books.

7. Favourite book of all time?: Again, NOPE! You cannot expect me to pick just one book! But, since you said all time, I’ll only include ones I read more than 10 years ago that have stuck with me. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, So Much to Tell You by John Marsden, Each, Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg.

8. Favourite colour?: Red

9. Do you have any pets?: Sadly, no. I want a dog, but in Germany I thought it was unfair with us both working full time and in Switzerland you have to do a course and get a certificate before you’re allowed to own one! Then there’s the small matter of getting permission to keep one in the flat…

10. Favourite perfume?: I don’t know. It was Liberte by Cacherel, but it’s been discontinued.

11. Favourite holiday?: Well, New Zealand was pretty amazing, but so were Taiwan and Madeira. EDIT: I’ve just realised this was probably originally American since I changed all the “colors” to “colour”, so “holiday” probably means like public holiday. In which case pancake day, because who doesn’t like a day devoted to pancakes?

12. Are you married?: No.

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Out of which country? I was born in England but clearly don’t live there now so umm… stupid question ;-).

14. Do you speak any other language?: German (but not Swiss German!). A tiny bit of Spanish. Individual words in a few other languages.

15. How many siblings do you have?: A sister and two half brothers. My brothers are not related to each other.

16. What is your favourite shop?: I… don’t think I have one? Maybe TK Maxx.

17. Favourite restaurant?: I don’t knooooow. I did like Bratar in Karlsruhe, but favourite? Hmm. We went to a lovely restaurant in Basel recently – Safranzunft.

18. When was the last time you cried?: I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet a book was involved!

19. Favourite blog?: Oh, lots. Kezzie‘s, Holly‘s, Charlotte‘s…

20. Favourite movie film (sorry)?: A League of Their Own, Dogma, Clue, Edward Scissorhands. Sorry, I’m useless at picking just one of anything.

21. Favourite TV shows?: E.R. (still and always!), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (hmm, need to watch it again), The Big Bang Theory, Farscape, Blackadder.

22. PC or Mac?: PC

23. What phone do you have?: An ancient BlackBerry. It was a gift.

24. How tall are you?: 5ft 6 – I think.

25. Can you cook? Yes! I love cooking, but not when it’s just for myself.

Did you learn anything new about me?

If anyone else decides to give this a go, let me know – I’d love to come and have a read. You can see Ellie’s answers here.

Gotta love the Liebster Award

I wanted to finally catch up on my final few weeks in Germany and share some photos from a day out that I arranged as part of my 35 before 35, but although the card reader is sitting here on the computer desk I can’t find the cable for it so no photo uploading for me! Instead I’ll go with another post that I’ve been needing to write for a while…

I was nominated for the Liebster Award again… this time by Holly from Full of Beans and Sausages. She nominated me weeks ago, but I’ve been putting off answering because her questions are haaaard! Thank you Holly. I’m happy that you think I’m worthy of this award.
And now the questions:

1) What is your favourite room in your house?

Since I’ve literally just moved it’s probably a little early to tell. But I’m going to go with the dining/living/kitchen area (it’s all one big space) because that’s where the balcony is, and also where my books live. Of course the books’ home is my favourite!

2) What is your life plan for the next 5 years?

See what I mean? Haaaard questions! Well, I am very much hoping that Jan will continue to enjoy his job and things will go well enough that we’ll still be in Basel in five years. However, it is a fairly small company so it may be that at some point he wants to move on to something a bit bigger? It’s difficult to judge right now, although so far things are going well. In the meantime, I’ll continue working at my company for now, then hopefully within the next 1-2 years we’ll have our first child (Dear family members who are reading: do not hold me to that!! I have no idea whether it will work out. And no, I’m not currently pregnant!). Obviously my plan involves Jan and I staying together for the next 5 years. Oh, and a puppy. Beyond that I honestly have no idea, and thinking about it kind of scares me so I’m stopping now!

3) Describe a typical day from when you were a child.

Wow, again a question that’s surprisingly difficult. Typical days are hard to remember! I suppose it would have to be a week day, since weekends/holidays were never typical, so I’ll do a school day. It would start with my mum shouting to my sister and I to get up for school. We’d take turns in the bathroom, then dress in our school uniforms before heading downstairs. Breakfast was always cereal – usually something like Frosties or Coco Pops. Then it was back upstairs, teeth brushed, downstairs again for our shoes and coats and we’d head off to school. When we were really little my mum took us, but by the time I was 9 we walked together with some friends from our estate (when we lived in Northern Ireland, my mum always walked me to and fom school – my sister was still in nursery then). School consisted of morning lessons followed by first break, where everybody had to eat fruit. Us girls would skip or play clapping rhymes, then it was back into school for more lessons. I was on packed lunches for most of my time at primary school, which meant second sittings, so at lunch time I would go out to play first then come in for my lunch when the first bell went. If we ate quickly enough we would then have more time to play after lunch. This was followed by afternoon lessons then home time. The ice cream van always stopped on a road close to the school right around home time and anyone who had money would buy something. Usually I did not have money,but sometimes a friend would take pity and lend me ten pence for a WHAM bar (who remembers those?). Back home, we had to immediately change out of our school uniforms and do any homework we had. Then, if it was a nice day, we would go outside to play until my mum called us in for tea. On rainy days, we watched children’s TV… back in the days when there was only half an hour of children’s TV after school and not entire channels for it! Tea would be something like sausages, beans and chips or fish fingers and vegetables. There was hardly ever dessert, but the fruit bowl was always full and if we were still hungry after tea we could help ourselves. Then it was time to get our bags ready for school the next day and get into our night clothes. Sometimes we would watch TV again, but usually we just played in our rooms. At bed time, I always begged to be allowed to read for a bit and the answer was almost always yes. Then, after half an hour, it was lights out and no more talking (I shared a room with my sister). Then it all began again the next day. That’s how I remember it anyway. The details may be off.

4) Tell us about the most unforgettable moment from your life.

Hogmany in Edinburgh. Not really a moment, but the whole trip was fabulous. From the torch-lit procession from the Royal Mile to the top of Calton Hill (proceeds from those who bought a torch went to charity) to the candle-light carol service in St. Giles Cathedral on New Year’s Eve to seeing KT Tunstall live in Princes Gardens on 1 January for a mere 11 pounds. So far, no new year’s trip has beaten it – although Brussels comes close (Madeira was fantastic, but Edinburgh wins on actual New Year celebrations)

5) Tell us about the worst idea you ever had.

Numbing the top of my ear with ice cubes before letting my friend attempt to pierce it with a safety pin (that we had “disinfected” using bleach). Luckily it hurt too much and I made her stop, otherwise I’m sure the end of the story would have involved an infected ear and antibiotics. As it is, it’s fairly boring. Sorry! (The time I got drunk at 17 and threw up all over myself in the toilets of a pub was also a close contender, but smuggling in a bottle of vodka wasn’t actually my idea so…)

6) What can you see out of the window you are sat at right now?

I’m not at a window! Hold on, let me just go to one…. okay, I see part of the outside wall of our spare bedroom (which is currently full of boxes waiting to be unpacked and a bed that hasn’t been put together yet), the building opposite and some trees. If I look a bit to the right, beyond that building, I can see some of the houses on the hill.

7) What qualities do you like to have in a best friend?

Honesty (if I’m being stupid I want them to tell me!), loyalty and a good sense of humour! Also, they need to be slightly weird because normal people don’t like me.

8) If you could live in any era of history which would it be and why?

50s so I could wear clothing that actually suits my body shape! Although the whole not working and being expected to be a perfect housewife thing would get old fast! Actually, I wouldn’t mind living in a few eras for a while just to experience first-hand what it was like. Maybe a year in the 20s, then some time in the 60s with the hippies before popping back to the time of the industrial revolution and experiencing for myself what it was like when the very first steam train appeared…

9) How would you spend $100 right now?

I would buy something new for our flat. We still need quite a bit but it has to be a gradual process because Switzerland is expensive! If someone randomly gave me $100, I’d probably buy balcony furniture (not the highest priority item but the most fun!)

10) Today is the first day of the rest of your life – what will you do differently today?

Well, first of all I would like to say that I now have the Green Day song “Church on Sunday” in my head (it starts with “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives!, okay? YouTube it!).
What would I do differently? The same thing I plan to do differently every day – be positive, enjoy the little moments, greet Jan properly when he comes home (instead of just chucking a “hi” over my shoulder while attempting to cook and do multiple other things all at once), keep on top of stuff throughout the day so I wouldn’t need to be multitasking as Jan walked in the door. Hopefully this will also all actually happen now that I’m not commuting for an hour every day. (I’m not counting this week because I’ve been on holiday which is never the same as normal life).

And now for my questions.

1. What is one thing you’re really good at?
2. What is one of your favourite memories?
3. What was your first pet? (If you’ve never had a pet, what pet would have liked to have?)
4. What’s the weirdest search term that’s ever found your blog?
5. How did you come up with your blog’s name?
6. Which is your favourite blog post you’ve written? And which is your least favourite?
6. Who is your favourite singer/band?
7. Where do you want to travel to next?
8. What was your favourite book as a child?
9. What is your favourite flower?
10. If you could have any name other than your actual one, what would you choose?

That’s it! Sorry I’m so boring 😉 And now I nominate:

Kaelene from Unlocking Kiki
Diana from Life in German
Briony from Fear of the Reaper
Allane from Packing my Suitcase

Have fun, guys!