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”


  • Brilliant post and a fabulous way to celebrate your most well deserved award. I know I´m a relatively new reader of your blog, but I´ve learnt so much already and enjoy hearing about what you´re up to, what you´re growing and cooking. And you´re right, there´s no place like home!

  • Your posts are always so readable, and often make me smile. Your award is well deserved. Well done! I look forward to reading your summer posts from the veg garden, too. We just packed up the hose and tossed it into shed. Ho-hum.

  • Wonderful post, Claire; a challenge well-met.
    Teachers are everywhere in this big old world, as long as one is willing to be a student…
    Happy Gardening!

  • Congratulations Claire! Your comments about blogging, sharing, and reading are much as my own. I love to read and travel vicariously though others words and photographs. Through you, and several others I am able to travel the world and to ‘sit a spell’ to chat.

    Isn’t it wonderful?

  • Congratulations, Claire, for receiving an award so well-deserved and for penning such a clever acceptance post. Well done on both fronts!

  • Claire.. congratulations on being 100:) You are in deed a “carer” and it shows in your writing and your comments. You are so deserving of those red shoes.. or boots (I know those would be my choice;). Excellent response today!! xoxo Happy Easter!!

  • On my very first day as a wordpress blogger, I did a topic search for “gardening.” You know how many results are returned when you do that?!…waaayyyyyyyy too many!!! I randomly clicked on Promenade Plantings solely because I liked the alliteration—swear to God—and after reading 2 postings, I was hooked! (BTW, you’re the first blogger I ever “followed”!)
    Have a wonderful Easter Weekend!
    ps. I’m really excited about seeing your vegetables grow as spring and summer advances! This will be my first “growing season” on the Promenade. 🙂

    • What can I say, but thank you and bless you. It’s amazing the connections you make, even from a daft sounding blog name 🙂
      I’m looking forward to the summer and seeing the garden through my blogging friends eyes. Claire

  • Just started following your blog – what a great post. I have a pair of red boots that are so fabulous I gave them their own post. I think you’d like them too! Looking forward to more of your excellent writing.

    • Hi Sharyn, I can’t really belive I’ve been blogging for a year, mind you for a lot of that it was pretty quiet on the Promenade! But it’s wonderful to have met so many talented and amazing bloggers like you.

  • what a lovely post. you’ve captured the heart of blogging and bloggers very well. I’m so glad we allow each other to peek over the fence and see what’s happening and wonder how things are getting on.
    walk in beauty.

  • See, you ARE an educator! What a wonderfully complete post! It is hard to keep up with all the niceties when you’re so involved in reading and posting and general blog maintenance. I think you handle your tardiness just beautifully! And you do deserve the award 🙂 Congratulations! Debra

    • Hi Debra, you know I wrote it it a while ago, but didn’t post it, I backed away from it for a while, but I’m pleased I came back to it, it’s important to say thank you and connect again. Hope you have a super week, Claire

  • Congratulations Claire on the celebration of one year of blogging. A much deserved award to a very “carer” person. Looking forward to many more years of educational and entertaining posts. Take Care, BAM

    • Thank you Karen, your kind words as ever touch, You were one of the first blogs I followed, I’m so pleased I got to meet you and share in your world!

  • I agree that your posts are both witty and educational. I love what you’ve done with red. I blogged “red” this week as well but quite differently.

  • Definitely you are an educator and what a wonderful post! Congratulations to you on a most well deserved award, and I love reading your blog…thanks for being here!

    • Thank you! and thank you for coming along for the ride, I realise it can be a tad confusing what with me writing a blog principally about gardening and then life taking me to the Alps!!

  • Congrats on the red shoes–maybe we could shAre the red wellies?

    • Thank you Inger, it’s so touching reading responses like yours! I’m looking forward to what our gardens and kitchens produce this summer 🙂

  • I love red shoes! In fact just bought myself a pair, strappy sandle types, with little heels = suitable for dress-up! Congrats on blogging for a year – you are doing well, way better than me on the interaction level. I don’t interact much with other bloggers and I realize that’s a downfall – my laptop is old and runs slow and sometimes it’s all I can do to get a post up! Your pics are great and add a lot – that’s another of my weaknesses – when I do my own photos I get way more hits than when I use Zemanta’s offerings. Oh well…

    • Thanks for the thumbs up, I think having written this post I NEED a pair of red shoes 🙂
      It’s interesting what you say about the difference between your own photos and Zemanta’s offerings. I remember when I first started this blog, I was clueless and didn’t really know what I was doing, just a vague idea of keeping some kind of record or diary if you will. Sometimes there were no photos at all – I hadn’t twigged I could use an image to represent something it didn’t have to be literal. I wrote in a complete bubble. It wasn’t till I started to have a look around WordPress and plucked up the courage to leave a comment that I discovered a whole different angle to blogging – that of commenting and sharing ideas and thoughts.
      One thing I would change and this is a recent refelction, I would create a separate blog for my travels, and keep my gardening/foodie stuff separate. I think the blog is a bit of a jumble and must be confusing as hell for people coming to look at gardening stuff to see snow and skis!

      • I’ve spent a lot of time working on layout and also searching Zemanta for images – sometimes searching for images will take 3 times what it takes to write it – the writing part is relatively easy. I’m still not sure how I feel about the social aspect of blogging. I don’t really see it as a social thing, but rather a sharing of idea. My current theme of places I’ve lived for A-Z Challenge 2012 is turning out to be some of the dullest, naval-gazing writing I’ve ever done, though am interested to see what will emerge from the intensity of it. Last year, i started to write about food as a result of the challenge….as for separating blogs according to theme, yes they say that is the way to do it, but I’ve always been the type to pursue my own direction and style 🙂

        • You know I think I might just take a leaf out of your book and to continue to mix it all up. Besides I like finding my own path too! It’s a bit like the writing part for me, as it’s completely new to me, something I’ve never done before, and it’s been a surpirse to see the words tumble out on here. I keep looking at some of the challenges posted but haven’t quite found what I’m looking for yet, or maybe I’m just not disciplined enough to do them…..

  • Well done! Congratulations on the award and kudos on a beautiful, creative, witty acceptance post. When I visit you’re site, it’s safe to say I’m not in Kansas — or New York — anymore.

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