Thank you, Ruth from one of my most favourite brands, Blue Eggs and Tea, for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award! This is the second time I have been nominated, but this time there are new questions so this will be interesting to do again. And, look, the badge is new too!
This award is aimed at small blogs of less than 200 followers and recognises all the work and effort bloggers put into making a good blog.
1. What is your favourite bird and why?
The crow and the owl. I like the owl because it stands for wisdom. But I like the crow even more because it is underestimated. It is not as pretty as a lot of other birds, it croaks and screeches instead of having a lovely singing voice, it scavenges, it has an ungainly gait... How can you possibly love a bird like that? And yet there is something about it. Its individuality, its loneliness, its mythical significance in a variety of cultures - it all speaks to me. While studying Creative Writing, I wrote quite a few really good poems featuring the crow. Not a single thing about owls, though!
2. What is your favourite thing about writing?
To me, there are very different types of writing and I enjoy each one for different reasons. My favourite is still writing poems. I love how you have to condense everything into just a few words in poetry, and how you rely on images that you need to put into words in a way that they evoke exactly the feeling you are feeling at that moment. Poetry makes you see things differently and attaches meaning to simple things we don't usually think about. It evokes much stronger emotions than any other text. A good poem gives you access to something you did not see, feel or know before, and there is power in that.
3. If you could learn one new skill what would it be?
Aw, do I have to choose? Well, alright. Then I pick pottery. Yeah, I just can't get way from creative, tactile activities. It trumps learning a new language or an instrument (both of which I love too). The only time I ever did pottery was briefly at school and I don't have any of my creations anymore. Let's just assume they were magnificent.
4. Urban or Rural?
Somewhere in-between, actually, but more urban than rural. I like living in small cities like Bath where you have the advantages of city life, but everything is fairly close together. I hate places like London that are just too big and crowded. I grew up on the countryside so I appreciate the scenery and fresh air, but it is too far from the things I need. If you need a car to get anywhere, it's probably not for me.
5. If you weren't doing what you're doing, what would your dream job be?
I always wanted to be a writer. If my muse ever returns, perhaps I still will be. Failing that, a millionaire.
6. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
That's a tough question. I only ever encountered one truly inspiring person in my life - normally, I tend not to look to others, but focus on myself and my own strengths and abilities. However, when I was at university, I had a Canadian lecturer, then a PhD student, who was full of joy, life and love of literature. He did whatever he set his mind to and he did it well. It was infectious, and I realised that if he could do this, so could I. He was probably the main motivation for me to pursue a PhD as well because if someone who really loved literature so much could teach it the way he did, then so could I! Ironically, neither of us is working in that field anymore and we have each set up our own businesses in other areas we are passionate about.
7. If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be?
To the sea. Always the sea.
8. Cat or Dog?
Cat. My family used to have a dog when I was younger, but I prefer cats because of their independence. Really, though, I am more of a gerbil person.
9. How do you feel about 'trends'?
I don't think much of them. I have never really been interested in trends because I don't define myself through them, which a lot of people do, and this hasn't changed over the years. We often get told, especially in business, that we must always be on trend and, as we Germans say, "at the pulse of time", but I disagree. If you are just going from trend to trend, you do not develop much of a sense of self; what you do doesn't have personality unless you split off from the trend to do your own thing. Who wants to be just one in a million others who look, think and do exactly the same things?
10. Do you have a motto to live by?
No. Except perhaps that mottos are for losers.
Now, this is the hard part because nobody I know ever wants to do these things! I nominate Gemma from typically.pretty.english for her wonderful blog. I always like to drop by and have a look at what she has been doing.
My questions are:
1. If you were to live in another country altogether, where would you live?
2. What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
3. What 3 words would you use to describe your life?
4. What inspires you?
5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what could you not live without?
6. What is your favourite smell?
7. What do you look forward to at the end of your day?
8. If you could go to university now, what would you study and why?
9. Do you have a favourite material to work with?
10. What new skill would you love to learn?