Liebster Award Nominations

Although I have only been blogging since September, I have found it one of the most rewarding outlets for my writing and thoughts on gardening, travel, pets and the every day happenings of life. So it was with much amazement that our blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award. As a newcomer, I have been buoyed by the feedback and kind words of my regular followers and visitors. My nominator was Nitty Gritty Dirt Man, whose blog I follow from the other side of the world, and one which never ceases to inspire with its heartfelt, entertaining and socially aware commentary – danke schoen to you Kevin!

The rules, from what I understand are:
Acknowledge and thank the nominator
Reveal eleven random facts about yourself
Nominate other bloggers and notify them
Create eleven questions for them to answer

I take up the challenge to now present eleven facts about myself – this will get me thinking!
I guess, as this is completely unexpected, I will reflect on the unexpected, yet wonderful aspects of life…..

1. I began gardening at my grandfather’s side when I was four years old. He taught me how to prepare the soil and plant flowers. I never imaged that I would garden in the sub tropics and in temperate, mountainous Victoria.
2. Two of our most memorable musical experiences were buying last minute tickets to Simon and Garfunkel and Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna Everage, and surprised to find out we were sitting in box seats and catching one of her famous gladioli.

3. I used to play the piano which my grandparents bought for me when I was ten. Now, forty five years later, it is need of very expensive major repairs – I used to play Burt Bacharach pieces.
4. As a child I had a transistor radio which I kept glued to my ear. I memorised all the sixties and seventies hits. A good trivia night trick.
5. Daughter Number One had been ill but has recuperated, her blog which chronicles her illness was also the inspiration for this blog – my heavy metal romance.
6. I love American History and American Literature – one of my majors, which I never really expected to study – a world away from isolated Australia.
7. We have been invited to visit our friend in Montana, USA – maybe one day!
8. Last year, I was unexpectedly asked to accompany a school group to Italy. This was the inspiration for my blog.
9. I became a high school teacher at aged forty and originally stemmed from an interest in history and literature.
10. I was married in the cold of winter and the splendour of summer – guess which one survived?
11. I love sitting on my back deck watching the ever changing seasons and unexpected animal life which call our garden home.


And now to answer Nitty Gritty Dirt Man’s questions –
What is your favourite time of day and why?
When it comes to the garden, all times of the day are good for me. The freshness of the mornings is unrivalled but so are the evening sunsets. We have day light saving for six months of the year and that gives us the opportunity to be outside until 9pm and still have time to catch up on evening projects.

2. How and when did you discover your passion, whatever that passion is?
Unreservedly, my passion is nature. I found this out as a child helping my grandfather in the garden and then again in the poetry and stories of nature.
3. Hopefully, you are familiar with The Breakfast Club for this question. When you were in high school, in which social group did you best fit?
I was very quiet and shy in high school. Detentions did not figure in my experience. So I really was miss goody.
4. Where do you write your posts and why do you choose that place?
When I sit down to read or watch television are usually times when my thoughts are gathered and I begin a post. My iPad is with me most times and this makes it easy to chronicle my ideas and experiences.
5. What always makes you laugh and why?
It’s usually Colin and his cheeky remarks about something or someone. Otherwise, it’s my usual “foot-in-mouth” that does it!
6. If you could appear on a televised talent show, what would that talent be?
When I was a teenager I first saw “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand and I would sing and make believe I was waiting to be discovered.
7. Which flower reminds you of happiness?
It would definitely be the peony. They are magnificent specimens, fortuitous, associated with love and fidelity and recently we visited a peony farm and observed them in true splendour.

20130107-222211.jpg 8. What is your favourite book and why?
Recently at school we have been debating whether students should continue to read the classics like “Lord of the Flies”. I really loved this novel and I think it should still be taught. My all time favourite is Edith Wharton’s, “Age of Innocence” as it captures the social mores of a time long gone.
9. It’s important to eat your vegetables, but which vegetable do you always resist / avoid eating?
In Queensland, where I grew up, every backyard had the obligatory creeping vine over the fence which produced a pear-shaped, hard, green choko. Once picked, peeled and boiled it was tasteless and insignificant and no amount of butter or seasoning would improve its boring taste. <br />
20130107-222528.jpg10. What is your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?
I have been known to declare that rainy days are in fact my favourite days because I can be in the garden and experience cool conditions and effortlessly weed and plant in soft, friable soil. The glistening leaves and rain smell are enticing.
11. Who is the one celebrity, past or present, you would like to meet – and what would you ask that person?
I have always harboured the desire to visit the USA and see a Barry Manilow show. I would love of meet him and talk about past generations and music of course!

Now for my questions

1. Which is your favourite season of the year and why?
2. If there was one thing you could change in your life, what would that be?
3. Which character from film or literature do you identify with and why?
4. What would your favourite holiday destination be and why?
5. If you could invite three people to a dinner party, who would they be and what would be the conversation?
6. Do you prefer the sea or the mountains, explain why?
7. When you were a child what did you want to become? Did you achieve this?
8. What type of music do you listen to and when are you likely to listen to it?
9. With respect of nature, what do you see are the challenges to our environment in your region?
10. What is your favourite plant and why?
11. If you could save one thing on earth what would that be?
Now for my nominations
I am just beginning to follow other blogs and have found it rich and rewarding, so here are a few I admire and recommend for this award

retireediary – chronicles a year as a retiree with magnificent photographs or his travels. Really worth having a look at Michael’s weekly photo challenge.

Virginia plantation – the ongoing restoration of this grand plantation mansion and a great historical insight.

thekitchensgarden – this New Zealand girl now living on the prairies offers a delightful insight into life on a farm.

Happy reading.

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