Thursday 7 March 2013

Liebster award - a meme of elevenses

Back in November, I was given the Liebster Award by Scrambled Megs.  It included what has be one of the longest memes I have been invited to.  I was intrigued and yet short of time.  I got most of the post written recently and accidentally deleted it.  I then got waylaid by blog housekeeping that I will write about soon.  Getting this post up was a huge challenge.  But how could I resist.  I have also included some random photos from around my home.

The Rules

1. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 interview questions you’ve been given by the person who nominated you.
3. Fabricate 11 new questions.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post.
5. Go and tell the person who nominated you, along with the people you’ve nominated about your post.

11 random facts about me
  1. At high school I refused to write an essay on "What I will do when I win Tattslotto".  Instead I wrote an essay on "Why I will never take a ticket in Tatts."  (Tattslotto is our local lottery.)
  2. I am loving high shelves.  With a four year old around the house, high shelves are so convenient for quickly removing something from little fingers.
  3. We have some olive trees along the nature strip in our street.  It is a sign that I live in an ethnically diverse neighbourhood.
  4. I have never had my ears pierced.
  5. When I worked for 6 months on the BBC website (when it was, I had only ever looked at the internet once before starting.  I suspect they would want new staff to have a bit more experience with the website these days. (NB At the time it had only been online for 6 months and I was a temp.)
  6. I have been doing a pedometer challenge.  Within days I lost my pedometer but had it replaced!
  7. I recently realised that Sylva shares her name with one of my favourite fictional characters (Sylvie in Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson).
  8. There is no mirror in my bedroom.
  9. While on the phone this week finalising arrangements for an employment contract, Sylvia spilt oats and milk on the floor and had to be hosed down.
  10. I frequently empty my washing machine filter because a former housemate had to have her washing machine fixed because the filter got too full.
  11. I once attended a conference outside Alice Springs in extreme heat.  The conference was held in a tent and the air conditioning was a few pedastal fans at the front.  It was very very very hot.
11 questions from Scrambled Megs:
  1. What are you most excited about lately?
    The new companion on Dr Who and state politics (our premier resigned yesterday).
  2. What are you currently reading?
    The Blackhouse by Peter May.  A great grim Scottish crime novel that is more about island life than the crime.
  3. Your favourite cookbook, and why?
    I have four shelves of cookbooks and love many of them.  I find it easier to nominate favourite cookbook authors than books.  Great cookbook writers share a little of themselves in the book.  A cookbook that I often think of affectionately is The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.  It is one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I ever bought.  I love the cute hand drawn decorations, I have made heaps of the recipes, it has a great hippy vibe and the best name ever of any cookbook.
  4. If someone was being overtly racist in a social situation, how would you handle it?
    It depends on the situation.  I might ask probing questions, I might try to educate or I might just ignore and refuse to engage.
  5. What was the last thing you ate?
    Smoothie - made of banana, peach, mixed berries, oats, chia seeds and soy milk
  6. Name one thing you like about yourself, and why?
    My nose.  It is cute as a button.  Or so I have been told.
  7. Do you floss your teeth every day?
    Oh please don't ask me about oral health.  We are spending enough time with dentists in our family lately.
  8. How do you deal with the daily stresses of life?
    Chocolate, distraction, multi-tasking reason.
  9. If you knew you wouldn’t be judged, what would you be doing differently?
    Share more personal information and photos on the internet.  I am just too aware of strangers and future selves.  They can be harsh judges.
  10. What is your happiest childhood memory?
    At about 10 years of age, I camped in a tent in a friend's paddock.  My friend's parents, Mr and Mrs O, came to see us during the night to show us the southern lights.  I remember standing there watching them in wonder.  It was a magical night, with just a touch of fright when the horse rubbed itself against the tent!
  11. If you could open your own business, what would you be doing? If you do have your own business, what do you do?
    I'd love to find a quirky niche business.  One of my friends once suggested that I become a birthday cake creator with extensive consultations.  Perhaps I could hold baking classes where the baking was a form of therapy (a la Marian Keyes).
11 blogger nominees for the Liebster Award 

It is timely to confess that I am not finding as much time to visit blogs as I used to.  Yet I still have blogs that are like old friends whom I keep in touch with and newer blogs that I find myself drawn to.  I have tried to nominate blogs that I have enjoyed visiting lately, that I would like to encourage you to visit, that I hope might enjoy the meme and that I haven't nominated for awards before.

Dear Nominees, I would love to see you respond to the meme but I know only too well that we are all stretched for time so feel free to either play along or just feel warm and fuzzy about the award.
  1. Catherine from Cate's Cates.  Endless enthusiasm and ideas.  Her post about her Lenten vegetarian experiences is typical of her rambling entertaining posts.
  2. Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  I have discovered Celia's blog through her wonderful In My Kitchen series.  Her blogs has so much heart as well as beautiful recipes.  I was recently delighted by her teddy bear bread.
  3. Dayna from mothspit.  Gorgeous to look at and thoughtful reading.  Just check out her Paris montage if you want to sigh with happiness.
  4. Janet from the taste space.  So many great healthy recipes accompanied by insightful information and reflections.  I love her response to a Mediterranean diet study in her post on Greek lemon-dill chickpeas with spinach.
  5. Kari from Bite Sized Thoughts.  Heaps of great healthy ideas with lots of intelligent and thoughtful contemplation.  While I find her recipes inspiring, it was her discussion on the new Australian dietary guidelines post that made an impression on me recently.
  6. Kath from My Funny Little Life.  Always interesting reflections whether it be on her marriage or her diet or her music or her studies.  Like her sweet Life Over Here post about her life with new husband.
  7. Leigh from Chit Chat Chomp.  Beautiful photography and a fascination with France.  I am impressed she has her own Cookbook Challenge happening with lovely recipes such as poached peaches.  
  8. Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella. Funny stories and fun recipes.  She sets herself amazing challenges that always impress such as the Elvis Strawberry Layer Cake.  I am looking forward to her book coming out this year.
  9. Mel from The Adventures of Miss Piggy.  I will return to some of her reviews next time I have the chance to visit Sydney.  Meanwhile, I love reading about her balcony garden.
  10. Natalie from Cooking Quidnunc.  Natalie is a recent discovery.  I like her friendly style and her recipes have me headed for my bookmarks.  I am enticed by her low fat vegan chocolate cupcakes.
  11. veganopoulous.  Lots of great vegan Greek recipes and random thoughts and photos.  I love her photos of Melbourne from her recent walk.
    My 11 questions for nominees
    1. Who was your childhood hero?
    2. What is your favourite mechanical kitchen implement?
    3. What is one song that you have sung in public, where did you sing it and why this particular song?
    4. What is the best costume that you have worn to a fancy dress party (or if you haven't worn one, then what would you love to go as)?
    5. What is your favourite green food?
    6. What is your ideal birthday cake?
    7. Do you have any giraffes in your house (knickknacks, clothes, pictures etc)?  If so please tell me about one.
    8. What fictional character used to terrify you as a child?
    9. Do you back up your blog?  If so, how?
    10. What is your favourite vegetable or fruit that you have grown in your garden (or what would you like to grow if you haven't grown anything)?
    11. Where did you last have a picnic and what did you eat?
    Phew!  There you have it.  Thanks Meg.  Kind of you to to give me an award.  Fascinating meme.  It was fun!


      1. Johanna, you are too kind for the nomination. Not sure when I will get around to the answers, but as I continue to blog, I rather enjoy looking back at the wacky things I made/thought/said. I used to keep my personal life private but now it is just fodder for the masses. My mom thinks she gets picked on in my posts, but I don't see it that way. ;) The recipes may draw me in but it is the stories and people that keep me there. :)

        1. Thanks Janet - would love to see your answers but in your own time. I enjoy looking back on some of my kooky posts but I guess I want to avoid embarrassment at a later date or, even worse, my daughter's embarrassment at a later date, or to share information about others who haven't chosen to feature on the blog. It is a tricky balance. I agree that the stories keep me coming back to many blogs and I love your stories

      2. Aww thank you so much for the award! I'm so excited! I loved reading more about you-I loved how you took a stand on the essay! And the questions that you asked were so interesting! :D

        1. Thanks Lorraine - would love it if you answer the questions as I would be more excited because I spent quite a while thinking about them - while driving or cooking or going to sleep :-)

      3. loved reading this! thanks for playing x

        1. thanks scrambled megs - it was a pleasure - thanks for passing the award on

      4. I'm so flattered that you thought of me for this award! Absolutely I'll have a go at it.

        1. Thanks Catherine - one for your spare time - ha ha!

      5. I loved reading this Johanna, and am grateful for random fact #10! I will have to look at my filter. I am also so touched by your nomination and kind words - thank you very much.

        Having just read your latest comment, I must also offer an apology over the Disqus commenting shift. I need to find a new solution to commenting! I considered introducing the CAPTCHA system on Blogger instead but thought Disqus might be easier...perhaps I'm wrong though. I hope it doesn't prove too arduous and am extra grateful for your comments in light of your recent lack of time for online exploration.

        On a final note in this lengthy comment, if you ever open that cake decorating business, I am quite sure you would have a steady stream of customers :-)

        1. Thanks Kari - I am glad you are not using disqus but sorry it has been work for you in trying to combat the spammers - and thanks for your confidence in my baking business - it would be just the sort of therapy I love

      6. Congratulations! You deserve it :) Love all of your nominees too!

      7. I really enjoyed reading this, and loved to see the pictures from your home! Thank you for nominating me, I'm happy to do this! :)

        1. Thanks Kath - will be delighted to see you answers

      8. Johanna, you're very kind, thank you for thinking of me! (PS. I think the new companion is actually River Song - just haven't figured out how that's possible yet. :))

        1. Thanks Celia - I saw the actor who will play the new companion on The Last Leg (the Adam Hills Show) last week - she has been great in the couple of epsiodes where I have seen her - your comment makes me wonder if there is a river song connection)

      9. I'm just a little bit excited about the new Doctor Who too....a little bit!!!!!

        1. Thanks Brydie - we get excited if we can manage to watch dr who - it is always on during our witching hour!


      Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)