Double the sunshine, darlings

Yaknow those magical planets which have two suns? (No, not this one – ones like in the movies) and how breathtakingly bizarre it is to see both the suns and the opposing shadows they cast, and the ethereal beauty of twice the normal amount of light?

Well over the course of the last 48 hours, I’ve been given DOUBLE the sunshine, which is absolutely awesome.

This one’s from Stephanie
This one’s from Kerri
(and damn STRAIGHT I’m showing them both off, thankyouverymuch!)
So the premise is, that I answer questions set by the awarder of said sunshine, and then create ten of my own for the ten other bloggers I’m going to nominate to receive the award.
Wish me luck, everybody!

1. What is on your to-do list for fall?
I’m meant to be finally getting out into the garden, pulling up all the weeds from the lawn and shaping out a new flower-bed, digging it, planting a tree (Amalanchia Lemarkii) and a peace rose, both of which have been valiantly struggling in pots for the last few years, then creating a kind of paving-slabbed patio area on which to keep the chiminea. It’s gonna be capital-E Effort, folks, but worthwhile.
2. Have you bought any holiday presents yet?
Yes. Lots. I tend to start buying them waaaay early in the year (like before Easter) just as I come across things. I have a big tub which all the presents go into, and a book which lists what the present is, who it’s for and whether it’s for a birthday or a Christmas present. I’ve also got a bunch of blank canvases which I need to get painted up for some more little presents. I like doing homemade things where possible, for the most important people (e.g. the people who will find it most meaningful to receive a homemade present and will be accordingly so blown away that it doesn’t matter too much if it’s really not very good)
3. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Peppermint Mocha?
They both sound grim. I’ll stick to tea, thanks.
4. What is your favorite book?
No WAY! You’re only giving me ONE BOOK! Impossible! I can’t even begin to answer. It would be by Gerald Durrell or David Attenborough or Lewis Thomas or James Herriott, and I couldn’t possibly narrow it down further than that.
5. Share something embarrassing.
The other month when I played netball with my friends, I fell down three times in the one game, and only one of the falls was because I fell over someone else. The other two were just full-on self-induced SPLUTS
6. What is your favorite animal.
Orca, my magical (invisible, imaginary) orca, upon whom I go on interstellar rides through the Twitterverse with my friend Piper, to slide round the rings of Neptune or paint Mars a different colour, or try to catch a falling star or sixteen. Because sometimes life gets to the point where, actually, you just need to blast off into space on your own, private killer-whale, and have a marvellous time Not In Your Own Head. Just for a bit.

(And occasionally we try to take Dana along with us, though we’re not sure she always quite understands what’s going on, she does like the sandwiches)

7. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Lego or marble run. But mostly books.
8. Apples or pears?
Ack! They’re both a bit of a chore, to be honest! Apples then. Braeburns.Β 
9. Are you going to celebrate Halloween?
Nope. It’s not a ‘thing’ over here.
10. Were you a mommy’s or daddy’s girl?
Neither. I tried being a Mummy’s girl, but she was very strictly and mindfully fair about not having a favourite. My sister and I both thought Dad preferred the other one.
1. Favorite moment of THIS week?
Sunday afternoon, when I discovered that my 8k non-stop run last Friday was NOT a fluke, and I CAN do it. But also watching the sponsorship money go up (2/3 of the way there now!) as I try to support Cancer Research UK after reading Dyanne’s harrowing post about her latest treatment experience.
Sponsor me here

2. What would be the hardest food for you to give up?

Before I started the 5:2 diet in April, I would’ve said bread, but I rarely eat any now. Then I would’ve said cheese, but I gave that up too. Of the foods I regularly eat, it would probably have to be plums. Or coleslaw. I’d be sad without either of them. Or tinned tomatoes, because they form the base of most of the recipes we cook.
3. If you could have any career, what would you choose?
Is ‘Well-paid Rich Person’ an option? I would like to be a writer, but I kindasorta already am. A rich, well-paid writer then.
4. You are stranded on a desert island, who would you want to be stranded with? (and don’t be lame and say your child/spouse)
I would definitely want to be stranded with my Ten Things of Thankful gang, so that we could all FINALLY get round to having that picnic we’ve been talking about.
5. What would be your perfect date? (With your spouse/partner this time!)
A wander down the beach, paddling in the waves and holding hands, with a picnic somewhere along the way, time to talk and just spend time together, out of our normal situation, relaxing and enjoying one another’s company. With a visit to our favourite Mexican restaurant, La Cantina, in the evening.
6. Favorite childhood memory?
Decorating the Christmas tree on Christmas eve, listening to Bach’s Tonet Ihr Pauken, with everyone (for once) happy and helping one another to make everything perfect for Christmas morning.
7. If you won Powerball, what would be your first purchase?
Is that some kind of lottery? My first purchase would be our flat, so that we know we have it and are safe and owe no-one anything for it.
8. Favorite vacation memory?
From this year? (Kerri, why are your questions giving me more questions?) I think it would have to be the times I spent snuggled with Niece and Neff. All of them. Having them close, happy, comfortable, safe, enjoying their holiday, tucked up against me. Perfect.

9. What sport would you most like to try if you were promised you could do it without looking like a fool?Β 
What fun is trying a new thing if you don’t get to look like a prat? So far in my life I’ve managed to try several sports and have a MARVELLOUS time looking like a complete prat, including ice-skating (fell over), surfing (fell off, got swept up the beach hanging onto the board sideways), horse-riding (in England you have to wear really dorky helmets to ride), swimming (no, okay, I’m alright at that), running (oh my days – I’m so SLOW! I swear old women overtake me on their zimmer frames!), netball (all the falling down), rock climbing (climbed a MASSIVE rock in Yorkshire (about 3 storeys high) and nearly got stuck on the top – it was only the thought of the humiliation of needing to be airlifted off which got me down again), cycling (Hit By Car)…
I think the one sport I really would love to try (and would NOT want to look like a fool, because I suspect that looking foolish=doing something foolish=dying) is wingsuit gliding. Looks amazing.

My questions

1. What’s your favourite thing about winter?
2. Which other country/culture would you like to have been born into?
3. What’s the most recent food you ate which you’d never tried before?
4. What is your favourite song this week?
5. What was the last dream you had?
6. Where have you always wanted to visit?
7. Who was your best friend when you were a child?
8. What did you most recently rebel about?
9. How did you celebrate your last birthday?
10. What’s your earliest memory?

My Chosen Sunshiney Ones

Piper – Talk About Cheesecake
Lori – The Next Step
Emma – Exploring the Emmaverse
Angela – Momopolize
Karen and or Wendy – After the Kids Leave
Jen – Hysterical Casserole
Kerry – New 2 Two
Kate – Another Clean Slate
Kathy – My Dishwasher’s Possessed
Lisa – The Golden Spoons


39 thoughts on “Double the sunshine, darlings

  1. I know, right? They're so much fun. And yes – learning more about the blogger is a wonderful reason to both respond to and award these things – lovely to learn more about the people around us in the Blogosphere.


  2. Well, I'm sure that there are more space-whales out there waiting for passengers. We could have a pod! And she's a boy, dude!

    Roll up, roll up, for rides across the universe on your very own space-whale…


  3. Fantastically written as always Lizzie! I too am pretty darn crap at sports – but at least you try! Hubby keeps trying to get me to learn squash. Hello! Short sighted and that ball is tiny and fast. You know how painful that will be for me? No, thank you.


  4. It's always nice to share rides with Orca, especially if you bring cheesecake (hint hint). I wonder how many people we could take along on one ride . . . how much weight can an orca carry do you think? Or, as we are in space and weightless it really comes down to how much room is there on her back?


  5. It's gradually coming in as a 'thing' but pretty much just in terms of what the shops can convince people to buy. It's a completely commercial holiday.

    The questions were fun – I didn't really mind doing so many πŸ™‚ and yes, persistence, stubbornness and pig-headedness have always been strengths of mine πŸ˜€


  6. Halloween is nothing there huh? Lucky you! We tend to do all Souls Day in our house…not from religiosity… oddly enough it's because I used to collect skeletons.I have to give you seriously it's for your tenacity. Answering all those questions. And being able to run greater than 5k. Impressive stuff!


  7. Thank you πŸ™‚ It's nice to receive tokens of affection from friends, so I do appreciate them (I probably shouldn't have compared them to chickenpox – that was possibly a little rude…oh well).

    Thanks for the clarity on the Powerball thing – that helps, otherwise goodness knows what it might've been!

    And indeed – I can't imagine anyone being able to say “This is my favourite book, which I would be happy to keep forever and read to the exclusion of all others”. I daresay there are people like that out there, but to me, that is beyond imagining.


  8. Well done you on being FINISHED! That's epic!! I'm no-where near to that stage, I have to say. Glad I made you laugh – I'm pretty klutzy at times, but hey, I like to think it's endearing rather than plain dumb πŸ˜‰


  9. haha your parent question about favorites cracked me up! I'm also just about finished with my holiday shopping! yippeee!!!! im still dying at you falling!!! That is totally me!


  10. He and I would get on well. I still like Legos, and when I worked with kids, we'd have wonderful afternoons of being all sat round the Lego box, building and making our own little worlds. I now also like the Star Wars ships, and have a Lego Iron Man πŸ˜‰

    I don't know whether all those things will get DONE – it's just what needs doing…

    Spider army doesn't sound fun. I'd probably be out there with the vacuum cleaner, sucking them all up. Or I'd find someone who keeps pigeons to bring them all over for a spider feast. Sounds horrible! I'll come to your garden in spring, when it needs sprucing, but you can keep the arachnids to yourself.

    I don't honestly know if we can even get the pumpkin spiced latte here. If I was going out for coffee though, I'd go to Costa, just because I'm sceptical of Starbucks' ethics, and I like Costa's.

    Dipped in caramel would be WAY too sweet. Maybe a Braeburn, once in a blue moon. But they really are on my list of 'things which are Effort to bother eating'. Do you like 'em then?


  11. Legos? My son would adore you.
    You are very ambitious to do all of those things in October. Whew. Wanna come to my house? I stopped going in the garden because our area has been hit with a spider army and there are tons of webs out there. I am terrified of them!
    I'm a tea drinker too! Although I do like the pumpkin latte once in a while. Once in a while means “Stop-raping-my-wallet-Starbucks”
    Apples? No? Even if they're cut? Dipped in caramel?


  12. Awww thanks πŸ™‚ I had such fun with these.

    'Prat' is English. 'Splut' is Lizzi (usually shouted in a panic after Niece and Neff as they disappear to scale some obstacle – “No spluts please! I don't want to have to pick you up!” (or, afterwards “Awwwww did you go splut?”))

    You'll definitely have to come for a ride on Orca next time we go – it's great fun – I'll invite you along next time.

    And goodness, you're so enthusiastic and awesome. You're totally one of my sunshine people, but that sneaky Christine already tagged you for one of these, and I didn't want to overburden you πŸ™‚ *hugs*


  13. Well, if anyone deserves TWO Sunshine awards at once, it's YOU! Congrats, sweet lady! How fun! And you did a wonderful job answering all those questions! I love your little words, like “prat” and “splut” – haha! Are those English or just Lizzi words? Love Love your magical, space flying orca! WHAT? YES. Ride to Mars LIKE A BOSS. Lol. Really enjoyed reading this, Lizzi! I love getting to know you better. You're such a dynamic, talented woman. I'm richer for knowing you. πŸ™‚


  14. Yeah, technically, you copped out and nominated me in amongst about a bajillion other people you like. If you want to make me feel SPECIAL, ya gotta 'on purpose' pick me…like I picked you :p Even though you did it already (It's alright – you don't have to go through the rigmarole again – I just wanted to give you a sunshine cos you send me a lot of sunny moments).

    Yes – having the stability of a house you own outright must be a very liberating feeling.


  15. LOL. I sometimes like homemade presents – it really depends what it is! Because if it's something awkward (say, a painting or something, like the ones I give (mua ha ha)) I might hate it and feel honour bound to keep it and display/use it, whereas if it's something from a shop, I'll feel less bad about taking it to a charity shop or 'upcycling' it to someone else a year later.

    Goodness! That sounds awful, doesn't it!! I'm just not a very 'present-y' person. I enjoy presents, but there often comes that moment where I think “NOW what do I do with this?”

    (Except money, as I can spend it on shoes or music, or books, because always books)


  16. Thank you! These bloggy awards are fun, aren't they? You go for a few weeks and then all of a sudden someone makes a new one, and they're everywhere (a bit like chickenpox) and everyone pesters their friends to try and find someone to pass it on to πŸ˜‰ Great stuff!

    And truly, Ashley, the ONLY reason I'm organised about Christmas shopping is because I know I'd be a NIGHTMARE otherwise, and would have nothing prepared!


  17. I mean technically I nominated you for one last week since you're on my Friends page, but I'll let it slide since I took the easy way out in nominations πŸ™‚

    My first purchase with any lotto money would def be a place to live too. Makes a lot of worries go away!


  18. Reckon we'd just all need to talk about a different subject at once and watch your head spin.

    I'll try to remind you. Any photos or do we get drawings? I do like the drawings. And was it a massive-chicken escape, or a massive chicken-escape – come back here and be clear!


  19. 2a. We allocate a budget as well. And then don't stick to it πŸ˜€
    6a. No kidding. Yours was all practical, mine anything but. Figures, really.
    8a. Because it's boring to eat. Dull. As. A. Ditch. The best apples I ever had were in my childhood, fresh from the tree, while I was IN the tree, with a book, and they were sun-warmed, juicy and still tasted of living, growing things. All other apples are 'lesser', and some are frankly hard work to eat.

    2b. I changed my mind. It would be crisps. What was I thinking. I do like coleslaw (one word over here, you peculiar Yankee type) a lot though.

    4b. Ahhh but that would be half the fun *cackles* In fact, once the food was gone and the chatting had lulled to a quiet buzz, the fact that by this point, Clark, Kristi and I all seem to have spent some time in one another's brains (somehow – don't ask) could be used to beautiful effect to drive you completely nuts. In fact, that might be our technique for getting OFF the island, because you'd be so scatty by then you'd probably fell a few trees and build a raft to get us all out of there…(cos we all know how wonderfully your building projects work out*)

    8b. She might just have. She's certainly crazy enough to be a mini-me. Not to mention foolhardy and competitive enough.

    9b. Seriously? Have I mentioned it before or was that a freaky coincidence?? Have a medal, either way

    *Ohhh yes; I can be snarkastic too πŸ˜‰


  20. Ugh! So many questions and answers means so many things I want to comment on! I'll narrow it down.
    2a. I can't buy presents early. I will always find something else later that the person will also like, so I end up with gobs of gifts for each person. And way more money than I should.

    6a. The way we answered this question alone shows how different you and I are. πŸ™‚

    8a. How in the world is an apple a chore?

    1b. Yay!
    2b. This answer baffles me. Plums and COLE SLAW would be the hardest things to give up? I didn't know people actually enjoyed cole slaw that much.
    4b. Would be awesome! (As long as we were rescued at some point. I don't know if I could take that many clarks on a deserted island for an extended period of time.) πŸ™‚
    8b. So sweet. I believe Niece has a bit of you in her. polka dot tights, striped socks, and white with pink striped shoes!
    9b. I called it! As I read what you've done, I thought, “She's going to say that flying suit thing.” Oh, the idea of that thing scares the crap out of me.


  21. I prefer to answer more than the surface. Though I did pretty bad with apples and Halloween, but what's that between friends?

    And yes, I have every confidence that you'll one day learn from the student, Miyagi-san (though I didn't tag you cos I don't want to scare you off yet…I'll leave it a number of unspecified units of time and then try) πŸ˜€


  22. Nice job! Of the people I know who have been in this position (the 'answering of questions as part of awardations') you have demonstrated not just the tenacity that is necessary to respond to such questions, but the capacity to 'dig even deeper' in response to demands for insight (into you-own-self).
    lol (no, I don't think I missed a dependent clause there…)

    Seriously, your answers to these types of questions encourage me to believe that I may someday have the kind of courage and self-confidence.


  23. Awwwww thank you so much Janine.

    I would've included you and a coupla others in my list – the people who regularly bring the sunshine here, and who I adore, but I kinda feel like these people have Bigger Things going on, so I hope you're not upset I didn't tag you. You are one of my sunshine people – you know that, I think πŸ˜€


  24. That's fine – I was taking a long shot with some of my nominations – you amongst them πŸ™‚ But I do like how the questions work to allow us all to get to know one another better. Glad you enjoyed these πŸ˜€


  25. Tell me about it! I was gonna save it for 7 quick takes, but the thought of filling 27 spaces made me cold!

    And it's always fun to take you along with us – you bring a certain something to the journey (even if it's sometimes eye rolls and under-the-breath mutterings about just how unhinged we are…) *hugs*


  26. Wow – lots of questions – you did good! I often have no idea what's going on (as the keychain says) – and you and Piper and your orca are no exception! Thanks for letting me tag along though πŸ™‚


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