Crikey, I’ve been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award. I can’t remember the last time I was nominated for anything, other than to go to the bar ‘cause it was my round.
The awards seem to be fairly informal – it’s not like the Oscars or the X Factor or anything. There is no official judging process and no prize, other than recognition from one’s peers. In fact, cynics have described the whole scheme as being a giant internet chain letter – sooner or later, every blogger will have one. But it’s a bit of fun, and a chance to give a bit of a slap on the back to other bloggers who have amused, educated, entertained or informed you.
There are rules http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/vba-rules/, first of which is to thank the person who nominated you.
So herewith, thanks to Susan at http://lostnchina.wordpress.com. Susan is a Chinese-Canadian whose very amusing posts include the one that first attracted me to her blog, namely the one about her Chinese relations insisting on her wearing special lucky pants. Thanks, Susan, back atcha, as you say over your side of the pond, I believe.
The next rule is to select 15 other blogs/bloggers whose output you like, and to nominate them for the Versatile Blogger Award.
I don’t have time to do all 15 right now, so I’m going to go with the 12 I’ve done so far and come back another time to nominate some more. For now, my nominations are as follows (drum roll……):
http://chroniclesofeldon.wordpress.com Amusing chatter about life, parties, friends etc from a young American chap who goes by the name of Awkward Eldon. He sets the scene with a sit-com-friendly cast of odd friends and a dog who is described as looking like the Anti-Christ.
http://roboticrhetoric.wordpress.com Fluent and amusing chatter from “an inexperienced and impressionable youth of 18”, British this time. What is it with me and young men?
http://sw9red.wordpress.com/ Ooh, another young man – at least, I’m assuming he’s young and a man. Red runs what he calls “Brixton’s best-read political blog”. One of several blogs I like for imparting to current events a left-wing perspective that we never see in the mainstream, corporate-owned media. Appears to have been learning the guitar recently, so his politics is now mixed with stuff about music.
http://laughingnoam.blogspot.com/ A strange but interesting and prolific mixture of intelligent comment and humorous chatter about politics and society, with a left-wing slant. For some reason I thought Noam was another young man, possibly because of a recent adolescently-comical Twitter exchange about “bum fudge”, but a recent post says he’s been a fan of David Bowie for 30 years, so he (or possibly she) can’t actually be a teenage boy. In light of this, I’m not sure he’s strictly eligible for my nomination, but I’ll let it go this time.
http://wrapcloth.wordpress.com/ Nigel isn’t a teenage boy either. I know this cos he has referred to his grandchildren. He and I are both in writing forums on LinkedIn and keep ending up in the same discussions with scammers, loonies and argumentative forum members. In a small-world coincidence, he lives in the same Welsh town, hundreds of miles away, where my grandmother lived briefly in 1911, and knows the owner of the hotel she worked in.
http://unemployedhack.wordpress.com/ Hack isn’t a teenage boy either. He or she (I know which, actually, but I won’t tell) is probably in his/her 30s and writes about his/her experiences of being an out-of-work journalist, offering commentary on the difficulties of finding work, the benefits system, the greedy utility companies and the British media and political system. His/her cat is a major character in the blog and anything to do with cats is fine by me.
http://pigsinwales.blogspot.com/ Right – this one’s definitely a girl. I know this because I’ve met her. Liz Shankland was on my journalism course many years ago and has since gone on to become an expert in pig-breeding, smallholdings and similar rural pursuits. Anything you want to know about piggies or farming, she’s your woman.
http://malvikajaswal.wordpress.com Another girl! Malvika lives in India and writes about an eclectic variety of topics, including Indian culture, art and cooking. She gave me a nice recipe for dall which I keep meaning to try.
http://prettyfeetpoptoe.wordpress.com/ And another girl. Pretty Feet’s writing style is perhaps more closely aligned to my own than any of the other bloggers I’ve named, though she’s got shitloads more followers. Bah – who needs followers anyway, bloody nuisance, the lot of them. Pretty writes fluently and humorously about shoes, the Underground and living in London and stuff.
http://www.thewritersremedy.com Shelley is an American who blogs about her experiences of trying to develop a freelance writing career. Her blog includes handy hints and tips, commentary on scam sites and the like.
http://talkingquestions.wordpress.com Back to blokes. These are two Americans called Lee and Gage, who do a weekly podcast of themselves chattering on humorously about all manner of things. It’s a bit like listening to a pair of harmless drunks in a pub.
http://theactivists.wordpress.com/ Socialist artists, writers, photographers, bloggers, poets, illustrators, all dedicated to creating “a revolutionary information flow”. This blogs offers an alternative perspective on current affairs and challenges readers to think more deeply about their dependence on capitalism and traditional attitudes.
That’s the end of the nominations. I hope they all realise they owe me a pint.
As the final rule in the awards scheme, nominees have to reveal seven facts about themselves. Here goes.
Seven pieces of useless information about me
1) I know how to train cats to use a cat flap. All you need is two clothes pegs and some tuna. And some cats. And a cat flap, obviously.
2) The most expensive item in my home is a set of saucepans. I found out only after I’d scrimped and saved to buy a really decent set that the Beckhams have the same brand in their kitchen. I tried to take the pans back when I realised this, but the shop said that sharing a liking for high-end cookware with a not-too-bright footballer was not grounds for a refund.
3) I get really annoyed when people walk slowly. They dawdle and idle along, blocking the pavement and walking three abreast and getting in my way when I’m trying to get somewhere. Or they trail behind me, puffing like wart-hogs, when we’re out on country walks. Pick your feet up and MOVE, for goodness’ sake.
4) I picked up a recorder recently for the first time since I was a child, and found I could remember most of the notes. It was very exciting. For me, at least. Not sure the neighbours had such a good time.
5) I have a qualification in map-reading and navigation and have co-navigated a two-day trek on Dartmoor (one of the UK’s remaining “wild” areas, for those outside the UK). Yet I still manage to get lost with annoying regularity when taking out friends who were temporarily impressed by me boasting about my navigation skills. Now, I mostly go on my own. Most of my friends are doing doggy paddle in the Grimpen Mire, so they can’t come with me.
6) Inspired by a friend of a friend who wrote a comic song about lady gardens, to the tune of Sonny & Cher’s I Got You, Babe (it was called I Won’t Shave, Babe), I wrote a song about breasts, to the tune of Mary Hopkin’s Those Were the Days. It’s called Your Chest is Best, and includes the line “Oh my friend, we’re older and we’re wiser, but down our tops the bazoomas are the same”. I hope to record a video of this at some stage so you’ll be able to listen to it.
7) I get unreasonably annoyed by catering establishments that don’t understand the definition of cappuccino. It’s one third espresso, one third steamed milk, one third froth, you arses, not a cup of milky mud with some scum on the top.