Think Red and a blogging thank you

I keep learning. I am learning the dos and don’ts, the ins and outs, the pluses and  minuses of blogging. Of keeping some kind of record or diary if you will, learning the technicalities of blogging and reminding myself of the niceties of living in a blogging world, of responding to other bloggers. Realising my mistakes and omissions. There are times when I’m a pretty lousy blogger, I don’t say my pleases and thank yous in timely fashion. Tut tut! Tch Tch!

I know the world doesn’t come to a standstill and I know the world isn’t centered around me when I don’t promptly acknowledge, but it’s tardy of me, and I hate the thought of offending. I could at least attempt to say my thank yous.

Kathryn over at kiwsparks gave me a pair of red shoes. Not the first thing that springs to mind when blogging or wanting to say thank you or hey look over here. But look again, isn’t that a generous thing to do? Mind you it’s so long ago now that she’s probably forgotten about her red shoes :)

Oh the glamour of red shoes. Not just any red shoes mind,  ones with heels. And there’s a touch of sparkle to them. I’m thinking of following the Yellow Brick Road. Click click.  Toto! Toto!

I’ve had red shoes before, but they were loafers, or flat comfy Italian sandals. My life so far hasn’t called for red shoes with heels, or maybe it’s because I haven’t looked for them before. But think of those heels. You walk differently in heels. You have to.

There was me eying up some lovely shiny red winter boots the other week, they caught me eye, winked at me through the window. Look all snuggly with fake fur trim. And RED. And practical, as they are snow boots all lovely and warm with a good grip. But they didn’t fit properly when I tried them on. Not to be.

But maybe I could get a pair of those oh so expensive Wellies made by Hunter. They are top end. Right smart. And you can get them in red. How good would that be? A pair of red wellies for walks along the beach, or working on the allotment, I could wear thick socks and be nice and toasty. And just that little bit smart (er).



Red. Such a strong colour. It means or is associated with different things – from love to danger to good luck, or heat, think of red chillies, or smoked paprika. Always strong in colour and often in taste. Red is striking. Vivid. It grabs your attention. It hits your eyes and says LOOK ! When we think of red we think of the Vermillion red, Chanel nail varnish or lipstick red. But red comes in many shades (pun intended) in the world from red bricks, to red cabbage, to red skies and onto red hot pokers. So may hues and forms, and meanings – think of a red sky at night shepherds delight. Or red wine, the ruby juice. Red comes in many forms. Some drinkable and delectable :)

Thank you

So this is my thank you letter. Monstrously late. But still a thank you. The Red Shoe Award is about being an educator. I don’t feel like an educator. I do like blogging, and I enjoy sharing what is happening in my life, my garden and in my kitchen. I try and write about what I see, what gives me pleasure, what is happening in my life. I write for me. That others may find it enjoyable, even educational is at times astounding. I know the writing and the photography needs to come naturally, not forced, but from the heart. The encouragement I have received sometimes overwhelms me. It touches me. It warms me. It  entertains me. It informs me. And around I go again, it encourages me.

Now I’m going to contradict myself, I also write for you, whoever you are that reads this, you see I’m aware that my words are read and my photos are seen. So I’m not writing in a bubble. I’m writing in the world.  I think of you when I write.

So if by chance a post or some words come together that are informative or educational then that is a BONUS. And maybe that’s how I should view the word educational, not one with me sitting at a wooden desk, the sun streaming in, a teacher at the board trying to educate me; but as a word that means informative. I like information. Information comes in many guises. It could be from holiday photos, a great recipe, a literal view of the world, or a few seeds in a packet waiting to be opened and sown. Informative can be funny, crude and rude. Informative can be pictorial or poetic. It can take on many guises. It can swirl around us and I can pluck at it and hold it in my mind’s eye, or in my hand or I can even taste it. I can absorb it or reject it. Take it with me, forming and shaping me.

Educational. Information. Informative.

For me, it comes back round to a single word – sharing. Sharing my life with others. Sharing thoughts. Sharing views. Sharing the positives, the un-planned and the negatives, sharing in the delights of living.

I think blogging captures the sharing, the informative and the educational. And here I am, a year old in blogging terms. Exploring my world and blogging land. Still relatively new to the world. And I’m still learning and wondering. But not still. Small and new I get to share my world with others. I get to peer over back garden fences, and into kitchens, workrooms, and creations. Lives. It’s a rich and fascinating world out there, and I feel like a part of it. Small yes, but I’m joining in on the sharing. I imagine us all wearing our various red shoes be they wellies, high heels, or basketball boots. And we are all sharing, being educators in our own particular ways, informing and exploring our lives and that of others.

Writing this post has made me realise that there is another word to add to the title. Carer. I care. As I’ve come to know other bloggers I’ve come to know a bit about their worlds and their lives, their loves and concerns, their quirks, their health and happiness. And I care how things work out, what happens next.

And every time I log into WordPress I have no real idea of where I will go to, where I will end up, what I will see, what will inspire me, of what I will write. In WordPress and blogging I get to travel. I travel the world daily. I get to explore again. It’s an amazing journey. Through lives, loves and celebrations. acknowledgements, disasters and recognition. It is all travel of the mind. I keep learning. And it’s cause for celebration.

I think these red shoes came from the heart. They are a celebration. Thank you Kathryn. If you haven’t “met” Kathryn yet, please pop over to Kiwsparks, she’s a creator, an artist, a ponderer and wonderer.

So I’m off to follow the Yellow Brick Road, I don’t know if there is an Emerald City at the end of it or if I will meet Professor Marvel along the way. I love that name, I love the word – Marvel. I know I marvel at the world. So here I am marvelling and celebrating wearing my figurative red shoes and I feel at home here. So lets all close our eyes, tap our heels together three times and repeat “there’s no place like home”

Jumbly Nepotism

It’s all jumbly in here today.

You see I know and like gardening, I can take the odd decent photo, I can cook up a scratch meal, and occasionally I manage to ski reasonably well. But when it comes to writing it all down, some days fail me. It’s all a bit of a jumble. Trying to clear out and order and organise thoughts and words.

Noodle awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. We think Noddle is a star, and not just because she likes what she reads here. I’m looking forward to her promised post about The Noodle Cupboard!

There are rules for the Versatile Blogger Award. (1) I must list 7 random things about myself that you don’t know and (2) nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Here goes:

  1. I have dyed my hair many colours over the years, memorable colours include  pink and blue. Not at the same time though.
  2. I’m double jointed – handy for when you want to reach something but can’t be bothered to move.
  3. I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan, it’s where I grew up and that includes having worked for Arsenal FC (oh the shame!)
  4. I love day dreaming, if I could write that on my CV, I would.
  5. I’m a bit of a techie geek, only mildly in comparison to some of the people I’ve worked with over the years, but none-the-less I’m a geeky IT girl
  6. I’m allergic to all things dairy. Always have been, probably always will be. And this is from someone who was brought up on whole milk! Sometimes the reaction is strong, other times I can get away with it. Generally, if I avoid processed dairy products, milk and cream I can nibble and munch on cheese. Phew!
  7. We used to work on the music festivals – Glastonbury, Womad, and the Big Chill on a food stall serving Trinidadian food. A long story for another day. For now though I’ll say that I miss the music festivals – the buzz, the beauty, the chaos, the people, the party, oh and the music!

Now awards are odd things, you feel warm and special for being noticed, recognised even. And then it dawns on you that you have to pass the award on. And this is where I struggle. How do I choose? Sounds like a bit of a cliché?  Read on. There are so many great blogs out there, most of them seem to already have this award so it narrows my choices down. But that’s not what I’m struggling with. What is niggling me is what if I miss someone out? How mean would I feel? Maybe it’s the Catholic guilt coming out in me – bearing in mind I’m not a Catholic but I seem to have the famous guilt that comes attached to that particular brand.

I just worry about the “responsibility” of it all. Oooph! Then I have to remind myself that this is a hobby, a pleasure. Not a make or break life changing decsion. But sometimes the words fail me. I stumble around, muttering, half forming words, forgetting others as soon as I try to write them down. You see it’s all a bit of a jumble in this head of mine. That’s probably why the blog is Jumbly – a mix of bits and bobs, scatterings from here and there. No cohesive collection to be found.

In fact I like my new word Jumbly. I’m going to adopt it.

But back to the task in hand. I need to nominate and award other bloggers. So I need to un-jumble. Trying to describe why I like them and why I think you might is tricky. Could you just accept some simple words that describes their blogs rather too literally as opposed to me explaining myself? I hope so.

  1. Bishop – A gardener and grower in Florida. But more than that, as any good blogger does he comments on life and all that goes around. Put simply it’s one of my favourite reads.
  2. PlateandPlanet – healthy food and healthy planet is her motto. She dishes up some great stuff and always makes me stop and think.
  3. Jared over at LickTheFridge  – I hope you like this blog as much as I do. Funny doesn’t do it justice. Nor does droll. Or thought provoking. Go over and have a read, As he says it’s about “irreverence for myself and my readers”.
  4. Deb from East of Eden – writes about life and food, all woven around Steinbeck’s Salinas valley. A lovely read, it comes with great photos and she weaves a story from Steinbeck quotes. Clever and unique.
  5. Dadirridreaming  – a wonderful blogger who posts about her life, giving us glimpses into her garden, the wildlife, her yoga and her view of the world from Australia .
  6. Stacey of DownToEarthDigs will I’m sure entertain you with her garden and her photography.

So as opposed to the 10 I’m meant to dish you up here’s 6 special treats for you to read.

Ski run

And then we get onto the nepotism part. What’s nepotism got to do with Jumbly? Well, as I’ve said it’s a jumble in here and then there is Mr Promenade or rather in his current guise, Mountain Man. You see he is blogging too. We have his and her’s blogs :) He’s a relatively new kid on the blogging block, so could I be cheeky and give him a mention?  He’s the RealSnowReport which basically means he writes and photographs what’s happening here in the French Alps on and off piste. He also muses a lot, occasionally rambles, all with a soupcon of humour. I’ll fess up, he took today’s snowy pictures :) Pop in if you like. I think he’s a star, but then I know I’m biaised.

Right, back to the daydreaming :)