Archive for the 'Memes' Category

A moment of joy

NS April 13th, 2010

Tara asked us to post a photograph that expresses Joy this week for the Gallery. While this is not a technically great photograph, I loved capturing a moment of pure, unbridled joy between father and daughter on a beautiful autumn day last year. It has quickly become one of my favourites.

These things, they make me happy

NS February 23rd, 2010

One of my favourite new bloggers, Gappy at Single Parenthood. Tales From The Front Line has tagged me for the Shiny Happy Things meme, in which I am meant to tell you at least one thing that never fails to put a smile on my face.

  • First, two songs that always always always make me smile and do a little dance: ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast and ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ by Joni Mitchell. They’re both just so infectious! Definitely a sure-fire way to perk myself up
  • Making my husband adopt a very deep voice and say, “I’m gonna butter your bread.” Don’t ask about its origins, just know that it never fails to make me giggle helplessly
  • This is such a cliché but peeking in at my sleeping children. So beautiful, so peaceful and so blessedly, blessedly quiet. What’s not to smile about?

I’m not sure who has already done this but I’m going to tag a few people. If you don’t want to do it or have already done so, feel free to ignore! I tag:

Notes From Lapland

Capital Mom


This is Worthwhile

Photo credit

Bibliotherapy Q&A

NS September 3rd, 2009

I mentioned before that I was intrigued with the idea of Bibliotherapy, offered by the School of Life here in London. In my post, from January of this year, I said that it was something I’d like for my birthday, which is in late June. My sister, being the amazing sibling that she is, remembered this and bought a session for me as a gift for my 30th. Does she rock, or what?!

However, being a busy person and mother of two little people who command my attention for 14 hours a day, I only just got around to emailing them about it this week. The lady who wrote back asked me to fill out a questionnaire before we proceeded and I, being the blogger always on the lookout for blog fodder that I am, couldn’t help but notice that it woud make a great meme. So, stolen directly from the School of Life, I give you a little Bibliotherapy Q&A:

Q.  How would you describe your current reading habits?

A. I read a lot of news, blogs and zines online and am also always in the middle of at least one or two non-fiction books and one novel

Q. In a bookshop, do you tend to find yourself in the fiction or the non-fiction department?

A. Usually both but probably a little bit more in the non-fiction

Q.  What novels and authors have you loved in the past?

A. Margaret Atwood, John Irving, Bill Bryson, Dave Eggers, Doris Lessing, Janet Fitch, Alex Garland

Q.  Did books feature largely in your childhood?

A. Absolutely

Q. Where do you read?

A. In bed, on the sofa, outside, in coffee shops

Q. Why do you read?

A. To learn, to escape, to feel or imagine something I’ve never felt or imagined before

Q. What do you most hope to get out of a novel?

A. To have been so absorbed in it, so attuned with it that I feel either great joy or grief upon finishing it

Q. Do you like the challenge of a big fat tome or do you prefer something slim?

A. I don’t particularly like either a massive tome or a very slim book, just something in between.

Q. Do you always finish the books you start?

A. Always, even if I’m not that taken with it. In fact, even if I downright hate it (case in point: Empire Falls)

Q. If there were such a thing as a perfect novel for you, what would it be like?

A. It would incorporate history, fantasy, philosophy and culture into a societal commentary that makes me think, laugh, cry and dream of worlds or ideas I hadn’t thought possible. It would be full of wonderful, unique prose and devoid of literary cliches.


Q. How old are you?

A. 30

Q. Are you single, co-habiting, married, divorced? Do you have kids?

A. Married with two young children (3 and 1)

Q. What do you do for a living?

A. I look after my children at home where I do part-time doing freelance work for an online news website. I am also a feminist blogger and advocate for mothers’ issues

Q. What is preoccupying you at the moment?

A. I’m researching my first book (non-fiction)

Q. Are there any personal dramas currently occurring in your life?

A. Not really. Just the daily drama of being responsible for two small children all day and being a bit cash-strapped

Q. What are your passions?

A. Writing, reading, photography, film, horses and wine

Q. What is missing from your life?

A. The time to pursue my passions and nurture my talents

Q. Where would you like to be in your life in 10 years’ time?

A. I would like to be an established writer and be happy with the balance between my responsibilities to my family and being my true self

I tag anyone who loves to read and/or could use a little free therapy.

Call yourself a writer?

NS August 17th, 2009

My new blogging friend and kick-ass feminist writer Karen at Spinning Plates tagged me for this writing meme and since I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my goals are as a writer, I thought I’d give it a whirl. It originate with Linda at You’ve Got Your Hands Full.

Which words do you use too much in your writing?

I use ‘just’ entirely too much.
Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

I’m not crazy about this whole ‘Win/Fail’ stuff that seems to be so popular right now. Drives me up a wall.

What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?

Ooh, that’s a hard one. This one means a lot to me but I also like this one and this one because it always makes me chuckle when I think back to how befuddled I was at some of the British ways of doing things when I first moved over.
What blog post do you wish you’d written?

I wish I’d written Strawberry’s well-reasoned and measured response to the health care debate in America instead of my swearing, guns-blazing rant. But then again, I’m not known for being well-reasoned and measured.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?

There are posts that I regret spending so much time on but none that I regret themselves. I have least favourite posts, of course, but I still wouldn’t say I regret them.

How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

To date, the most influential and controversial thing I’ve written is still Not a Happy Birthday, the feature on birth rape that I wrote for The F-Word.

Name three favourite words

Just a minute

…And three words you’re not so keen on

Delicious, luxurious and sensuous (as they relate to products made for women)

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?

I have a few. First and foremost, my mother, for inspiring me to become a writer at all, and for being an amazing writer herself. The bloggers whom I look up to are many but I’d have to say that Jen and Charlotte are my most influential mentors. They both write with refreshing candor and thoughtfulness and have both supported and encouraged me greatly over the last couple of years.

What’s your writing ambition?

To use my writing to affect change somehow, somewhere, and in whatever way I can; to connect with people and be moved and inspired; to write a book.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten about your writing?

That it has the ability to make some people think about things from another angle or perspective.

The rules:
If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my original, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a “published” or “successful” writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging has brought them and how it has been useful to others.

I’m tagging Blues of a Waxwing, J. Lucy Muses, Motherhood: The Final Frontier, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em and This Is Worthwhile but feel free to do it even if you weren’t tagged.

Observation station

NS May 6th, 2009

I’m feeling a bit quiet lately and not so much wordy. I go through bursts of activity with blogging, I think, where sometimes I’m writing nearly every day and have dozens of ideas jotted down or bookmarked, and at other times I need to absorb everything around me to ‘fill my well’ so to speak. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, lurking, listening and observing; freeing myself from the pressure to write and create on a regular basis. It will come back to me, I know. It could be tomorrow, or next week or the week after that, but it will come. It always does. In fact, now that I’ve said it out loud, it will probably pass.

In the meantime, a fun filler meme, passed onto me by Mothership at Motherhood: The Final Frontier

1. What are your current obsessions?
Costa Rican coffee, Twitter, diagnosing family members’ neuroses on the internet, feminist bookstores

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Jeans, without a doubt. They’re the mother’s companion, allowing free movement for rolling on the floor and lunging after small people as they dart into traffic and double as a napkin, hand dryer, tissue, mud flap and knee protector when getting down to munchkin eye level.

3. Last dream you had?
I only remember dreams that I had when in a deep sleep. That’s going back to May 2008 so I’m afraid I really can’t recall.

4. Last thing you bought?
Mundane purchase: food at the shop
More exciting purchase but not last: black high heels

5. What are you listening to?
BBC Radio London

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be?
Pele, goddess of fire

7. Favourite holiday spots?
Crete, Croatian coast, the south of France

8. Reading right now?
My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide For The Rest Of Us; The Book Thief; various magazines (Bad Idea, Politick, Green Parent)

9. Four words to describe yourself.
Determined. Creative. Outspoken. Friendly.

10. Guilty pleasure?

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak?
My husband, on a regular basis.

12. Favourite spring thing to do?
Stand underneath a cherry blossom tree in a strong breeze and look up at the pink petals swirling all around me

13. When you die, what would you like people to say about you at your funeral?

“She would’ve written a better eulogy than any of us could’ve.” And also, “The after-party will be so boring now.”

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately?
A well-made cosmopolitan

15. When did you last go for a night out?
Last Friday. I went to a photo exhibit/drinks party in central London and then out for a meal with my good friend Jen. It was the first time I’d left TNH to get both kids fed and to bed on his own and it went without a hitch. I have tasted freedom and it is SWEET!

16. Favourite ever film?
That’s hard but I’d probably have to say Amelie. It always makes me smile and that’s important to me right now.

17. Care to share some wisdom?
Everybody poops.

18. Song you can’t get out of your head?
The theme tune from Peppa Pig. I keep finding myself whistling it when I’m doing the washing up. Arrrgghh!

19. Thing you are looking forward to?
My trip to Chicago next month. I’ll be in the States for three blissful weeks of good food, sunshine and being with the people I love. I’m counting down the days.

20. Which disease or condition would you most like to see eradicated?
Dementia/Alzheimer’s. I could handle bodily demise but not mental. It must be like living in a prison.

21. What is your most irrational fear?
Crashing while driving on the interstate/motorway. I hate driving at high speeds.

Rules of the game. Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. Add one question. Tag 6 people.

I tag Cave Mother, Holistic Mama, My Mental Attic, This is Worthwhile, Charlotte’s Web, and A Modern Mother.

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