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Fourth & Final Liebster Award: Cars, Cambridge & Kindess!

25 Oct

liebsterJulie over at Julie’s Spoonful of Sugar was my fourth and final nomination for the Liebster Award. Julie suffers from Fibromylagia and blogs about life with a chronic illness as well as much more besides. She has an online shop where she sells her handmade soaps. I love seeing posts of Julie’s soaps, she makes them in so many different shapes and colours. Julie is a great example of making the most of life and not letting a chronic illness get in your way.

Thank you Julie for your nomination, I am touched and honoured to have received it. When I started this blog I had no expectations as to who would read it or if anyone would! So to now have loyal readers who even nominate me for awards means the world to me 🙂

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?

Looking round the house, that was to become our family home, for the first time, with my Mum, Dad and sister. I remember the colour of the carpet (beige/cream) and the layout of the furniture in the lounge – the sofa was pushed back up against the wall whereas my parents have bookshelves lining the wall so the sofa sits forward slightly. I was two and a half I think at the time.  Odd what you remember!

2. If you were an animal, what would you be?

An Impala, photo source:

An Impala, photo source:

An Impala! They are strong, graceful and quick! This was my answer to this question in the job application for my ‘current’ job as a lawyer! Probably more appropriate these days is a cat who spends all her time snoozing!

Coops! Photo credit:

Coops Look-a-Like! Photo credit:

3. What was your first car?

A red Mini Cooper with two white stripes across the bonnet, roof and boot (trunk to my American readers)! Known affectionately as ‘Coops’. Not strictly my car, technically Mr B’s but what’s his is mine and mine is mine!! Hehe! This is our first and current car. I don’t drive very much at the moment because of ME/CFS which Mr B is secretly very happy about given I reversed into a pillar the last time I drove our car….oops.

4. What is your current obsession?

I’ve already admitted to having an obsessive personality! Read my post about that here. Food and cooking are probably my current obsessions. They just pip blogging to the post I think. I am still obsessed with looking up vegan gluten free baking recipes. I’m also starting to be excited obsessive about Christmas, looking for suitable recipes etc! Yes yes I know it’s only October, but I have a lot of quiet time on my hands!!

5. What are your top three favorite hobbies or activities?

Cooking/baking, Yoga and Blogging. Not necessarily in that order.

6. What is the color scheme in your living room?

White walls, tan leather sofa and chairs and oak furniture with a smattering of blue, white and red cushions (I may be a little obsessed with Union Jack Patterns – I’m not overly patriotic, I just like the ‘clean’ colours….)

7. Do you consider yourself an auditory, visual, or kinistetic learner?

I little of all three, but probably a little more visual than anything else.

New Court from the Backs of the River Cam. Photos courtesy of St. John's College, Cambridge Official Website:

My Cambridge College Photo courtesy of St. John’s College, Cambridge Official Website:

8. What one event has most influenced your life?

Getting the grades to go to Cambridge University as an undergraduate – it gave me the opportunity to earn a wonderful degree which helped me springboard into a good job. It’s also where I met Mr B and ten years on, we are still together, so I think that’s a pretty big influence! ME/CFS is also having a pretty large influence on my life. It has really changed me as a person and made me stop and re-evaluate what I want from life. It has resulted in so many changes both in me as a person as well as significant practical changes such as where Mr B and I bought our first home together. I would say that my illness is the biggest influence on my life but as I’m still living through it’s full influence is not yet clear as I’m still living with it’s ramifications which change and develop everyday.

9. Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks?

Can I say both?! Ready salted crisps with a cube of chocolate is very nice!! I guess it depends on my mood, sometimes I like salty and other times all I want is sweetness.

10. What random act of kindness by someone took you most by surprise?

I’m finding it really hard to think of an answer to this one; which makes me sad in a way. Kindness is so important. I remember a time when I was on the Underground tube train with my Mum in rush hour. This was over two years ago, fairly early on in my illness when I had no idea of how to manage it, i.e. I was still working, commuting by Tube etc. Stupid! But that’s a whole other post. Anyway, the train was really busy, Mum and I were having to stand in the aisle and a guy offered my Mum his seat. My Mum replied ‘thank you I won’t but my daughter needs to sit down as she is not well’ so I got to sit down. My Mum and I joked afterwards that she had entered that phase of life where people gave up their seats for you. My Mum is a feisty 62 year old, who is anything but a little old lady needing a seat despite her grey/white hair! So that was a lovely act of kindness and I guess it goes to show the society we live in now where people to do not always give up their seats for older women which is where the element of surprise comes in. 

Liebster #3: dream houses, cups of tea and sisterly admiration

23 Oct

liebsterMy third nomination for the Liebster Award came from Jenny at My Fibrotastic Life. Jenn suffers from Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition similar in many ways to ME/CFS.  Jenn, like me, does not let her illness rule her life though. I admire her tenacity and strength at seeing the positives and the blessings chronic illness can teach us if we take time be mindful and stop and listen.

So I want to say a HUGE thank you to Jenny for nominating me for the Liebster Award, it means a lot, thank you 🙂

And now without further ado, here are my answers to Jenn’s ten questions. Here we go, lets reveal a few more secrets about me!

1.      If you had $1,000,000, what would you do?

I would buy a really nice big house with my dream open plan kitchen living area and big garden. Though with London house prices as ridiculously high as they are, the house wouldn’t be able to be that big or at least not in a desirable area for $1,000,000! But hey a girl can dream!

2.      Are you more of a tea or coffee person?

Tea all the way! I was never a big coffee drinker but with ME/CFS caffeine is not my friend so coffee is now avoided at all costs, as is ‘builders’ / normal black tea. I love green and white tea, jasmine and rooibosch. I drink too many cups a day to count!

3.      What is your favorite Disney movie?

I’m really not a Disney movie person. I never was even as a child. Freak, I know! Though I did work one summer at DisneyLand Paris, does that redeem me?

Sisters doing it for themselves! Photo copyright Jess B.

Sisters doing it for themselves! Photo copyright Jess B.

4.      What was your favorite childhood game?

Playing house with my sister Lou. I can see us now in our playroom pretending to make dinner and look after our babies! Though I always had to be Mum – which I think annoyed her!

5.      Who do you look up to and why?

Technically I can’t ‘look’ up to her because she is in fact younger and shorter than me! But I look up and admire my sister Lou so much. She is one of the most caring, bright, brave, positive, honest and courageous people I know. Lou moved to a whole new country (the US) to a city (Philadelphia) where she knew no one 5 years ago for Grad school and has established a full life there. If that doesn’t take courage I don’t know what does.  She shows me that anything is possible if you want it enough. In the last few years more than ever I have looked up and relied on her during my illness. Despite being 3000 miles away, Lou is always there for me and I look up to her so much. 

6.      What kind of color would you describe yourself as today?

Blue with patches of red. Blue to illustrate an overall peace and calm with the red showing up areas of flaring pain (neck, ankles and low back especially).

7.      If you could go to any country in the world, which country would it be?

Oh gosh this is a tough one. Probably Australia, though I’d also love to go to South America (realize that’s a continent and not a country!)

8.      Think of one descriptive word about yourself that begins with the first letter in your name. 


Bananas! High soluble fibre, IBS friendly. Image credit: morgue file user kconnors.

I Love Bananas! Image credit: morgue file user kconnors.

9.      What is your favorite food?

This is a very difficult question for a food lover like me! Peanut butter, dark chocolate, bananas, brown rice, mashed potatoes, granola, cake (gluten free, dairy free, vegan of course!). It’s too hard to pick just one!

10.  What type of exercise is your favorite?

Yoga all the way. Pretty much the only exercise my ME/CFS addled body lets me do. Yoga with a little walking thrown in for good measure.

So there we have it, my answers to Jenny’s ten questions in honour of the Liebster Award.  To check out my other nominators and my own nominees for this prestigious award check out this post.

Liebster Award #2: Big Ted and Private Planes

21 Oct

liebsterFollowing on from my last post and all the Liebster Award Love, today I am saying a great big THANK YOU to Dawn over at dawnyhosking for nominating me for this award. Dawn is a fellow ME/CFS fighter and loves yoga like me too. She is a great writer, both about her illness and fiction too. I love her daily passion posts, they always make me smile 🙂

So yes thank you Dawn for nominating me for the Liebster award.

Now I will reveal a few more hidden secrets about myself in answering Dawn’s ten questions:

1. What time do you get up in the morning?

Between half 6 and 7am. For some reason my body has decided it likes waking up early; does it not get that I’m exhausted and sleep would help that?!

Hairy Biker Dave dancing away! Photo credit:

Hairy Biker Dave dancing away! Photo credit:

2. What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. Not entirely true in my case but laughter is good. Watching Dave from the Hairy Bikers doing the Paso Doble on Strictly Come Dancing was hilarious!

3. Money no object what do you buy?

A house for my Mum and Dad close by to where I live and a private jet to fly me across the Atlantic to see my sister in Philadelphia whenever I wanted.

4. Energy no issue what do you do?

Everything! Cook, bake, yoga, run, dance, read, blog for hours, go shopping, travel, have friends visit, visit family, and that’s just the first day!!

5. Favourite famous person and why?

This is hard. I can think of lots of famous people that I don’t like, which I won’t mention here, but a favourite famous person? I really don’t know.

My childhood cuddly toy, Big Ted. Photo by Jess B

My childhood cuddly toy, Big Ted. Photo by Jess B.

6. Do you watch Game of Thrones, if not why not?  It’s good.

Don’t hate me, but no. I’m too busy watching other shows like Masterchef, Great British Bake Off, Parenthood, Nashville……the list goes on, I’m not a telly addict honest!

7. What’s your favourite cuddly toy, you must have one?

Big Ted, my childhood teddy bear that I took to bed every night as a child (and until an age that is too embarrassing to admit right now)! He’s a bit battered now, having been patched and stitched up numerous times by my Mum. He no longer resides in my bed but I do still have him.

8. Do you count calories?  

No. Takes the joy out of food and as you all know by now I LOVE food!

9. Are you happy in this moment, now?

Yes. Sat here snuggled under a blanket in front of my light box blogging, an activity that I love, looking forward to doing some yoga, another activity that I love. So what if I have ME/CFS and feel physically dreadful, I can still be happy.

10. Who is your favourite band?

I am rubbish at band names and forever asking ‘who sings this song?’ to Mr B; often about the same song that I asked the same question the day before. I blame brain fog for not being able to retain music trivia in this way. I love the Shazam app as I can discover who is singing the song in seconds without incurring the rath of Mr B!!  Oh wait, I haven’t answered the question! I’m a fickle music lover, I’m not sure I have a favourite. Okay still not answered the question. I like The Lumineers, The Kings of Leon, Emilie Sandee and Alicia Keys at the moment. I give up, not sure I have a favourite!

Next time, learn, amongst other things, whether I prefer tea or coffee and my favourite Disney movie, as I answer the questions posed by Jenn at My Fibrotastic Life! when she nominated me for the Liebster Award!

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