Imagine my surprise, all you who are new to the world of blogging, upon finding in my “reader” a lovely post from a blogger I follow avidly.  Cafe Casey had won an award!!  Now, I’m extremely new to this sort of thing and I was thrilled for her – her writing is engaging and informative, and I love her view of the world, teaching and just living.  The name of the award is “One Lovely Blog” and comes attached with a few rules:

1. Thank your nominator

2. Add the badge to your site

3. Share seven things about yourself

4. Pass on the award to 15 nominees

5. Inform the nominees by commenting on their wall

How heart warming is that?  An award that keeps on giving!  I don’t know its origin and the more I think about it, the more charming I find the whole thing.  As I read on some little wonderful facts about Cafe Casey, I was looking forward to discovering new blogs through her list (see step 4).  And boy, were there plenty!!  My Reader is getting fuller, and I now have to factor in “blog reading” time… which by the way, I’m loving.

And then…

Out of the blue…

There I am… Simple Tangles… With the most humbling and lovely comment on my ramblings.

So here I am now… still weepy around the eyes… awarded!  The One Lovely Blog Award.  I shall treasure it always, and must now comply with its equally wonderful rules.

Seven things about myself…

1. I don’t edit.  Ever. And I feel a bit guilty about it.  I can’t help feeling that the “proper” way of writing involves plans, and drafts, and final copies, and editing.  So what stops me?  Partly the fact that for me, blogging is an open heart procedure.  What spills out on to the page is raw “me”, and in part acts as therapy.  When I’ve tried to edit, I find I don’t know where to start.  My bitty sentences?  I actually rather love them.  The  brutal truth?  Well… if it weren’t there nor would this blog be.  So there.  I don’t edit.

2. I’m a bodger… or a “have a go”-er Again, there’s some guilt associated with that.  But if one of the kids needs a skirt or a costume, I’ll slap some fabric in the sewing machine according to some vague guide in my head and hope for the best.  With my knitting, I can’t face undoing – I “incorporate into the design”.  Cake decorating?  This summer was my first go and I loved it – but do I have the patience to refine a new art?  Not so much… I love doing too many things too much.  Some projects are massive successes, others not so much!!  But I keep having a go!

3. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up I’m fairly sure I started old.  Since I was little I looked after and taught people.  Add in some music, and I became a music teacher.  In my journey as a mum of special kids, I’ve slowly learned to grow down.  But now I have in my sights a time when I will have to think about what to do with “my” life.  I’ve no idea!!!  This is new and not entirely comfortable for me, but I’m learning to embrace the unknown a little.

4. I hate pyjamas and I love dresses  especially mad girly ones full of colour… I’m working up to making my own clothes but I’m still a bit scared.  In the meantime I occasionally find clothes which make me smile, then wear them for years and years.

5. Although I write mostly for me, I do want others to read me   I’m not sure what that’s about…. exhibitionism?  A need to reach out, see if anyone recognises what I’m living?  Simple attention seeking?  No idea, but I get a fabulous thrill every time someone reads one of my posts, a massive buzz when I get  “like” and I hit the stratosphere when I get a comment 🙂 

6. I love being a mum, but I’m yearning to find “me” again  My experience of motherhood has been orders of magnitude harder than I thought it would be (and I never expected a walk in the park), and orders of magnitude more fulfilling… life in the fast and bright lane.  In being the mother my kids needed, I lost myself.  I’ve been working on rebuilding that “me” in the past three years, and part of that involves moving forward – I don’t want to be who I was thirteen years ago… Sometimes, I do resent the demands my “job” places on me.  And shhhh…. I don’t really want to be a grandmother.  If I become one I’m sure it will be lovely, but there is a big worry at the thought of my special ones having to deal with parenthood (which would most likely involve special kids of their own), and I fear their hardship and the possibility that they might need me to shoulder some of that.  Clearly, I have plenty of “selfish” left to build me…

[What I said about editing… The last sentence stays in, in spite of my big big fear of putting it out there… it’s the truth of me, at least for now.  But I also know it may change…]

7. Turns out I love writing!   That may seem strange in a blog.  I never kept a journal or a diary – hated them.  I didn’t enjoy creative writing and I never thought my writing was good.  But since starting blogging, I find I love it.  I find my inner voice more on this screen, in this little box than in almost anything else I do, and I love it.  Every now and again it seems my words (unedited as they are) strike a chord, and reach somebody’s heart… and that’s the best feeling in the world…

And now the best part… I get to nominate!!!  Now please bear in mind that I’m new to the world of blogging, that I take this nomination thing VERY seriously, and that my Reader is not yet as full as it might be.  Fifteen is a big number!!!

First:    A lady I met at our local children’s hospice about eight years ago… Our lives have strangely parallel threads and she is an inspiration to me:  Was this in the plan?

2 The Orchestra Director’s Wife  She drew me in with her chickens, but I love the diversity of her posts, her thoughts on life and simple living… A joy to read!

Mindi the Magnificent  A little like Stephanie of Was this in the Plan, Mindi and I have shared journeys of cancer and autism.  She has a unique voice and though she lives on the other side of the world, her writing makes her feel like a kindred spirit – I consider her one of my best friends, and cherish her words.

This next blog is new to me, and I’m loving the rhythm of it.  As a latecomer to England and English (I’m French – oh, another new thing about me!!, and only moved here when I was seven) I enjoy the perspective of someone who view culture and society slightly from the outside.  M E Foley’s Anglo American Experience Blog not only has a wonderful name, but is just that!  I’ve linked to a post about the Shipping Forecast on Radio 4 that fills me with inner peace and joy every time I hear it – regardless of the fact that I know nothing about sailing, am not at all interested in weather and understand none of it!

Yvonne, over at Adventures with Breast Cancer is a friend.  I know her in the outside world, and she is a force of nature, both strong and vulnerable.  Her blog is beautiful, heart breaking and welcoming to all.  Another heart on sleeve blog that I follow with utter passion.

Thanks to Freshly Pressed, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering blogs I’d never have found otherwise (I’m not so good at exploring the “blogosphere”… I get lost and overwhelmed, so Freshly Pressed is helpful fo me!)  What do I love about The Good Greatsby?  The writing, the fact that this is a male author (I’m often in the female world), the names he gives the kids, the lovely references to his wife, the diversity of his posts… just lovely.

Another real world friend whose blog I recently discovered.  I know her as a knitter, she blogs as a cook and I’ve not long found out she’s life coach (not surprising given her calm demeanour, acceptance of all manner of life stuff and wonderful smile).  The Joyful Cook is a celebration of simple, delicious recipes.

Fear No Weebles… I don’t know how to describe this one… funny, interesting, absolutely compelling, and I’m learning a little day by day of what seems to be a community of blogs… I also love the header picture!

Did you Know?  is a lovely simple blog by a high school student.  You’ll simply find interesting facts you probably didn’t know.  The visuals are really nice, and I love reading a young author.

10 The kind of mum I dreamed of being… then special needs to the power of three happened.  I’m revelling in reading of projects that I’d love to tackle, and looking forward to trying some of her tutorials!  Joy and Woe is a joy!

11 I can’t escape it… my life revolves around my children and the fact that they have disabilities… so I find others who live in a similar world.  Here is a lady who is awe-inspiring.  Her family is mostly adopted, and she clearly is a tower of strength – along with the weaknesses that make her a wonderful mother and writer.  She will melt your heart and give you a kick up the behind on those days when getting out of bed feels too hard!  Raising 5 kids with disabilities

12 I love to read things which challenge my view of the world.  I first came across Radical Neurodivergence Speaking through a “share” on Facebook, with some truly useful tips on how to live with Asperger’s syndrome – day to day life tips, not theoretical nonsense.  Don’t visit if you can’t take a quite brutal kind of honesty and opinion.  I go there as often as I see new posts.  It’s refreshing, true and often very informative.

13 Life is not fair.  Stop thinking it should be. Alice is a teenager, has been fighting for cancer for years, and according to doctors it’s winning.  Since “accepting” that, Alice has started a blog, made a bucket list of things she’d like to achieve, become an internet sensation, started one if not a few charities, and already ticked off a good number of things on her list.  Life is not fair, but Alice is kicking its butt and LIVING.  Amazing and wonderful girl! Alice’s Bucket List

14 As I mentioned, I’m new to this world, and I’ve just hit 14!!  So I’m nominating blogs that are new to me!!  This writer reached out to something deep down inside of me and pulled and pulled… and made me laugh out loud.  Interview with a semi-colon not only had me in stitches, but also taught me how to use one of these lovelies; with amazingly beautiful examples! Tom Gething… go learn!

15 Nominating Le Clown feels like introducing someone everyone knows… there’s something incredibly compelling and mad and wonderful about this blog.  I’m still trying to get my head around it, and probably never will – but every time I read it I learn something more about blogging and I smile!

There it is!  My list!  Now I’m off to the best job ever – to write on each of these amazing authors’ walls and let them know that from my little corner of the world, I think their blogs are just lovely!

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