Many thanks to Fourth Generation Farm Girl for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I am honoured, and you have made me stop and think!
The following rules are associated with the Liebster Award:
- Link the person who nominated you to your blog post and let them know you answered their questions.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.
I shall have to respond to this in two posts, otherwise this will just get too long. My nominees and questions will be in the second part, as I’m having difficulty finding blogs with fewer than 200 followers (many blogs don’t tell you how many followers there are, others have hundreds or thousands). Obviously, the idea is to increase traffic on unknown blogs. I also need time for devising questions likely to elicit interesting answers, and these need to fit the blogs I choose, so it’s a Catch22 situation!
Anyway, here are my replies to Farm Girl’s questions:
- Which word best describes you? Absentminded. I’ve been accused of being “in a world of my own”, “in a dream” and, less sympathetically, of being flaky or unreliable. There is usually something going on in my head that is utterly unrelated to whatever mundane task I’m occupied with, and although I’m not the mother who forgot to pick up the baby from the nursery, I might have been. I’ve been known to set off on the 1300 km trip to my holiday home in France without my passport (I had to return after 100 km) and on one memorable occasion without the house keys. On an even more memorable occasion, all my keys “disappeared” en route for home … long story, maybe worth a post to itself sometime!
- Who has been your greatest inspiration? My mother. She is, without a doubt, a saint, a rock, an example to follow and the person who has loved me unconditionally all my life. Not an easy task.
- What is your favourite quote? “Do unto others as you would be done be done by.” The world would be a better place if we all treated others as we’d like to be treated ourselves.
- When are you the happiest? In the company of people I care about (and who care about me), with interesting conversation, and preferably in comfortable and beautiful surroundings. Good music, a decent glass of wine and some tasty food could make that perfect. But even in a cramped tent in a cold, wet field with only water and a crust, if the company is congenial I can be happy.
- Are you an “early bird” or a “night owl?” Night owl, no question! No important decisions before noon!
- Where would you like to travel if money and safety weren’t issues? I’m more interested in people than places, so my trips would be to see friends or family that I haven’t seen for a long time, and who are scattered around the world. Perhaps surprisingly, though, after catching up with pals in foreign parts, I think that before it’s too late at this stage of my life, most of which has been lived abroad, I would like to spend time visiting and re-visiting places in the British Isles that I have never been to or haven’t seen for about fifty years. I’d like to walk the Pennine way, for instance.
- What is your most treasured childhood memory? I have so many it’s hard to choose. One very contented memory is sitting in the swaying branches at the top of the tree I had climbed in our garden: in my imagination, it was a ship sailing the seven seas.
- If you could invite anyone to dinner, whom would you invite? Assuming someone else is doing the cooking so that I can devote all my attention to my guest, I would invite – oh, so many people, I can’t decide! Permission to write a separate post on this, please! Lady Hamilton would be fun, for one.
- Do you have a preference in wine region when considering a bottle of wine? Local wines with local dishes is my preference – nothing goes better with a dish of escargots à l’alsacienne than a Riesling, for instance, and a boeuf bourguignonne is enhanced by a good Burgundy. Here in the UK I have been pleasantly surprised to discover some excellent English wines, but for everyday plonk I’ll accept a cheap Australian, Californian or South African. I’m not a wine snob. Having lived in several winegrowing areas, I found that my palate adjusted each time. My Swiss home now is in Heidiland, very close to the Bündner Herrschaften, and those wines will go well with anything. As Swiss wines are virtually unknown outside Switzerland, they are sadly underestimated. Our vineyards are mostly on steep hillsides, making the wine-harvest a highly labour-intensive process, and the quantities produced are not vast enough to justify an export market. But Charlie Chaplin knew what he was doing when he settled in the vineyards above Vevey.
- What would you like people to remember about you? I would like to be considered a blessing rather than a nuisance.
- Have you ever had an experience or interaction with an animal that confirmed your notion that they are sentient beings Yes, most of my experiences and interactions with animals have convinced me that they are sentient beings in this sense. For a time, my windows overlooked a cow pasture and on more than one occasion I observed cows giving birth. Like many Swiss dairy farmers, for reasons I will never comprehend, the owner of these animals believed in separating calf from cow as soon as possible. Their distress at this separation was obvious. Usually, the farmer turned his attention to the calf an hour or two after it had been born. By this time, the mother would have licked the little one clean, it would have struggled to its feet and they would have bonded. The farmer would then arrive with a wheelbarrow, load the calf into it and take it back to the barn. Baby would make weak noises and Mama cow would trot along lowing, clearly distraught, beside the farmer. From my bedroom, I could hear them calling to each other day and night, the calf shut in the barn and the cow outside. I think that pretty well confirms that they were more sentient beings than the farmer.