Liebster Award (#2!)

The lovely Jenny over at Pretty Column has nominated me for a Liebster Award - thank you very much! A different Jen nominated me before (you can read my answers to her questions here) but it was very lovely to be nominated again!  The idea is to get to know smaller blogs better, to answer some questions, and then ask other blogs to do the same.

So, without further ado, here are my answers to Jenny's questions...

1.  Why did you start writing your blog?

I started this in December last year, I'd begun reading a lot of blogs towards the end of my PhD (any distraction from writing up!) and I loved the idea of being able to keep a record of what I've been up to. So that's what I've done, really. 

2.  What have you learnt since you began your blog?

That there's a lovely community of lovely people out there - through blogging I've made some new friends, increased the amount of letter writing I do(not a lot beats a handwritten letter) and I've learned that there are so many things with which I want to get involved. I've also learned (realised?) that I am never, ever, going to be able to read all the books/make all the items on my to do lists, but this does not stop me adding more on a regular basis.

3.  Which is your favourite craft?

Definitely crochet.  Goodness, I love it.  I only started to learn a couple of years ago, my mother is a keen knitter (as was her mother) so they taught me how to knit when I was little. I do like knitting, but crochet I love.

You can make blankets!

Tissue box covers!

As well as flowers you're not quite sure what to do with...

4.  What is your favourite season of the year and why?

I think autumn would have to be my favourite.  It heralds a new academic year (I loved school, and college, and university, the perfect excuse for updating my collection of stationery), the run up to Christmas begins, and the days start getting colder.  There can still be some gorgeously sunny days, when the air feels a bit crisper.  You need to start considering scarves and gloves, and blankets on the bed.  Winter I like less (too cold, too wet and cold, too dark), summer is great, but can be hit and miss, spring is a close second favourite.

5. Will you share some of your favourite blogs with us (large or small)?

Having a quick look at my Bloglovin' feed I have categorised all the blogs I follow (and there are lots, so many good ones out there!) and here are a few of them from different categories, in no particular order:

Attic24 - Lucy is the crochet queen!  Her blankets are amazing.  
Whisky and Woodsmoke - I love Gemma's posts about where she lives, what she's reading, and her journey of embracing minimalism.  She regularly inspires me to make wiser choices about what I do (and do not) buy!
Words That Can Only Be Your Own - lovely posts by Janet, featuring (among other things) books, great photos, and even better writing.
Cozy Things - one day I will learn how to make quilts, and if they can be even a teeny weeny bit as good as Kristen's, then I will be very happy indeed.
Was this in the plan? and Just Bring The Chocolate- I volunteer for Post Pals and these blogs are beautifully written by the mums of two families who have been involved with the charity.

6. What's your favourite Disney movie, and why?

Beauty and the Beast.  I love the music, the story, and that library Belle receives as a present: YES please! Aladdin is a close second.

7.  What makes you happiest in the world?

The classic answer of being with friends and family.  Where would any of us be without them?  Also, simple pleasures, like seeing a rainbow, having a cup of tea in bed, finding a missing earring you lost months ago.

8.  What have you made or done in the past year that has made you the most proud?

Without a doubt, finishing my PhD.  My viva story can be read here and I found out in July that I had finally, officially, completely and utterly, passed. To anyone embarking on a PhD in the new academic year, or considering doing one, go for it, it's a fantastic opportunity, but it's not to be undertaken lightly!

9.  If you could pass on any advice to someone - a stranger, a loved one, anyone - what would it be?

This comes from my secondary school headteacher, at our year 11 leavers' assembly: along with all the usual things she said (be nice to people, be the best person you can be, the whole world is at your feet etc etc) she advised us to never refuse an invitation.  Now, I'm quite sure common sense does need to be applied here, but if you remove the stupid and inappropriate invitations, it is actually good advice.  There have been many occasions where I've been invited out for drinks of an evening, but I've got in from work, I'm tired, and I just want to stay in and drink tea, not head out again and have to be sociable.  But I do head out, and then I've had a good time, perhaps met some new people, and enjoyed myself much more than I would have done at home.  One of the best invitations I had was during my PhD, I was getting ready for bed (it was about 11.30pm on a weeknight) and a friend who lived a few minutes away texted me to say he was on his way to Newcastle in a taxi, and did I want him to call at mine so I could come too? I was so tired, and just wanted to go to bed, especially as both of us had a compulsory training course in the morning.  But instead of changing into my pyjamas, I quickly dressed in something more presentable and was out the flat in no time at all, much to the amusement of my housemate.  It was a great night, and I'm so glad I agreed to go!

10.  Marvel or DC?

I might want to whisper this, but I'm not really a fan of comics - I completely see how and why other people are, but I don't feel qualified to answer this question (I'd have to resort to Google!).

11. What do you do to escape?

I suppose another question is, what do you do to escape from x?  Although that question is kind of redundant, as my answer is likely to be the same.  Nothing beats curling up on the sofa, under a blanket, with a book, a cup of tea and a biscuit or two.  Perhaps add in a cat, and someone not quite so comfy on the sofa, so they're willing to go and refill the mug of tea.  In a matter of moments I can be occupying the world of the book, and if I'm not at home, as long as I have a book on me I can ignore the fact I'm in a queue at the Post Office (is there any Post Office in the country without a queue?!) or wherever else I happen to be.

Now, for my questions:

  • If you could be an animal for the day, what would you be and why, and is this the same as your favourite animal more generally?
  • Favourite colour? Is this constant, or does it change depending on mood, time, etc?
  • Just to let you know, I'm coming round for dinner tomorrow.  What are we going to eat and drink?
  • I'm actually coming to stay for the whole weekend.  What we are going to do?
  • Now that exam results are out, what would you like to tell your 16 or 18 year old self?
  • What size feet do you have?
  • Describe your dream house.
  • To dunk biscuits in tea/coffee, or to not dunk biscuits in tea/coffee?
  • Is it wrong to drink cold drinks out of ceramic mugs?
  • Do you have a particular mug for use at a particular time of day, or is a mug a mug?
  • Blue ink or black ink in a pen?
I know a lot of the blogs I read have already been nominated for this award, but I'm nominating Breige and Gemma as I've already asked them if this is okay. I discovered Breige through #BEDM and Gemma I found through looking for book blogs (and even if Gemma doesn't answer the questions on her blog, I'd quite like her to email me the answers as I'm thinking about Christmas presents and some of these answers will help me!).

Christmas? Ah, there you go, I mentioned it! That's the thing with wanting to give handmade presents, you do have to start quite a few months in advance!


  1. Thank you so much for the shout-out! And weirdly, I got tagged in a Liebster on Friday and was going to tag you until you put this up.

    I'm with you on loving autumn too. I genuinely love something about all of the seasons (perhaps winter less so) but autumn is definitely special, although now I'm a teacher I don't get very excited about going back to school!

    1. You're welcome - I do love your blog. Please tell me that you do get some new stationery though? Maybe some new whiteboard markers? Or is it interactive whiteboards all the way?! Autumn I think is here, I've been wearing socks and a jumper in the evening, and the other night (when I'd forgotten to shut the bedroom windows) I even had a hot water bottle!


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