Yesterday evening we went by Tuk Tuk to Connaught Place. Going by Tuk Tuk from Main Bazaar to Connaught Place is a good metaphor for the need to just let go while being in India. The Tuk Tuk ride felt at times like a seriously grown up version of the dodgems and felt risky at times.
But whatever it looks like to Western eyes the traffic seems to work here. Lanes merge all the time, horns are used all the time but to say, I’m coming, rather than in anger. We’ve seen near misses and slight bumps but not seen anyone getting angry, and every moment there are the types of driving interactions that would lead to serious road rage in the UK.
Later we went back to ‘our’ restaurant for a drink. We chatted a lot with the staff and I practised my few phrases I have learned from YouTube ‘Hindi in 3 minutes’. The man we were talking with understood me when I said my name is and pleased to meet you, but when I said, Svaagat hai (you’re welcome) he thought I said, Are you crazy, so a bit more practice needed there.
I thought, all that was to get me to here. I’m not saying I’ll never do any spiritual practices again, but right now it is about the practical application of all that theoretical and spiritual exploration.
Also last night I saw a dog eating biscuits that someone had put out for them, although they stopped when I went to take their photo.
This afternoon I did some yoga in the hallway of our room. It was only a few stretches on a rug rather than a proper mat, but it felt good. It felt good to stretch after the tension of travelling. And of course I couldn’t help thinking whilst I was doing it, I’m doing yoga. In India. Even writing that makes me well up a little.
We slept in late and then headed to the same place we ate dinner last night to get breakfast. We were surprised to see that almost everything was closed, the shops, the people selling from little stalls outside the shops, nowhere seemed open. Happily our restaurant although apparently closed was really open, and we had to duck under the almost closed shutters to get in. Apparently there was a strike (just for the morning) over new government regulations about the distance the stalls need to be from the shops.
During the hottest part of the day we are lucky enough to be able to take siesta time (Vamkukshi in Sanskrit). With the drapes drawn, the windows closed and the fan on, we can keep it cool enough. If we got too hot, we could always take a shower; the water is tepid rather than ice cold, but I was almost chilly after my shower this morning.
Last night I couldn’t sleep, due I suppose to excitement, the emotion of the day and travelling across timezones. I dimmed my tablet and laid in bed reading One Black Tree’s latest post. This was so well written as always and illustrated beautifully and perfectly with artwork that is just right. I also want to say perfectly researched but that is not quite the word as it implies a scientific paper, but OBT has read, reflected, put into practice so many ideas and then explained them just right. Her posts are always wonderful, but this particular post for me last night was so perfect.
I was too tired to absorb it all; I think it warrants a second and third reading anyway, but late last night as I turned over in my mind the enormity of what I have done and wondering am I capable of seeing it through (after my mini meltdown on arrival) reading this was the cure I needed. I couldn’t summarise it and do it justice, but this last quote saw me into a peaceful state, good sleep, and then waking to something amazing: A change of feeling is a change of destiny.
I was woken this morning by my husband saying, We got an email, we got an email, we got an email from The Daventry Express saying they want to do a story on us. This is our local- to the boat- newspaper. In the last days of being in the UK I sent a few emails out just in case people might find our story interesting, and today we got one back! Is this because I changed my feeling? It certainly felt like that this morning.
Oh, and I got my period, and not for the first time thought, Well, that explains a lot. I didn’t actually bring any tampons and pads in the end (I had to be ruthless with space), just a few panty liners, so I need to get with the programme I have set myself for India of cloth sanitary pads, of which I bought a really nice pack complete with handy storage bag before I left, straight away. And a mooncup, although I have been less successful with this when I tried it in the UK. If anyone successfully uses one and wouldn’t mind advising me please do use the contact page to get in touch.
After all the anxiety and stress of the last few weeks, on travel day things went well. We woke to the warmest day so far and went for a walk in the park, had breakfast in a cafe, and then got driven to Heathrow where check in and security was smooth and easy.
We flew with Jet Airways; it’s been years since I’ve done a long haul flight and I’d forgotten just how huge and luxurious those big planes feel, with the pillows and blankets, and now screens on the back of the seat in front of you with a massive choice of films. There was a category of strong women films and I chose from that and watched Joy, which I really enjoyed (no pun intended). We were fed delicious Indian food for dinner, then later woken after a very short sleep (too excited to sleep) with a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit, muffins and orange juice. Arrivals was easy, changing money was easy, and the taxi we’d booked online to take us to the hotel was there.
Arriving at about 5am UK time and about 9.30 India time, to Delhi heat and a visual overload, we were all pretty quiet in the taxi, just absorbing it all. My first impressions were all good. Morocco had gotten me used to the style of driving and traffic. The pollution didn’t seem as bad as I had feared. Billboards outside the police station described measures being taken to improve safety for women. A lot of the taxis had stickers on the back saying ‘This taxi respects women.’ We saw monkeys outside of the window, just free, not in a caged park or anything, just there free, like squirrels here! The animals I have seen, dogs, working oxen, and of course cows, all look reasonably healthy and not too thin (I had to look away from a lot of the animals I saw in Morrocco).
At the hotel, I had a mini meltdown due to lack of sleep, the heat and general overwhelm catching up with me. After a nap, we went out when it was cooler, got cold water, and ate delicious food for dinner. Afterwards I went out alone to buy fruit and try to practice my few words of Hindi. I felt completely safe and comfortable (aside from my ever-present mild anxiety re getting lost).
Already we have created a little comfort zone for ourselves: a bit of familiarity with our surroundings, a nice place to eat… Even though we will soon undo it and have to do it over again: be out of our comfort zones, up against our edges, then the creation of a new comfort zone, and so on and so on. But that’s what it’s all about right?
Thank you very much for reading.
Photos: flying into Delhi, Delhi airport arrivals, the view from our window and the street (Main Bazaar)
The dear little brown rabbit is to accompany me on my travels and be photographed for Instagram followingthebrownrabbit. Well that’s the intention, maybe they will just be cuddled a lot and see me through my anxiety. Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety interspersed with feeling very excited.
The Lovely Bones (a book about a girl who gets murdered and the aftermath for her family), apparently the title has nothing to do with ‘bones’ but about the support structures that spring up around people after a loss.
On Friday night we went out for leaving drinks with my husband’s sister, her daughter and her new boyfriend, and my son. Seeing everyone was really lovely. Especially lovely was seeing my sister-in-law getting on really well with my son, taking the time to chat to him one to one and being genuinely interested in and praising his art and his talent. Nicest of all, she initiated them exchanging phone numbers and talking about meeting up to go round art galleries together.
Today, she said she’d be there for him while we were away. My husband thanked her for me and she said, I just looked at him and I thought I need to get your phone number, you are Rachel’s son. I cried then I was so touched. Another friend of mine, an artist, has called him about collaborating/advice.
So I have learned this week:
1. There’s no such thing as a free lunch (see previous post)
2. There really is light in the darkest of places, as long as one remembers to turn on the light (from Harry Potter)
3. The Lovely Bones, one of my favourite books, is named after a concept that has come true for me this week
4. Don’t leave it until the window goes from green to red to empty the boat toilet (very heavy). It might not be one of the best jobs of boat life, but little and often is the key.
On our way! Me and my husband at the bus stop this morning! We are staying tonight with a friend in London and flying to Delhi on Monday evening.
This is my empty clothes drawer and the pile in the photo above is all of my clothes that I am leaving. I realised today that I haven’t worn hardly any of them since being on the boat, but also that I have lots that I love, plenty of warm things as well as summer and going out clothes; a very small amount- that drawer wasn’t even half full- but that I really love. I have so few clothes compared to a year or two ago, yet I am infinitely more satisfied with my wardrobe (drawer).
I am excited, I am happy and I absolutely can’t wait to get to beautiful, beautiful India!
Lots of love to everyone, and special greetings to readers in India!
PS on the way home from Norfolk on Friday (while I was in the loo unfortunately) my husband saw Stewart Lee in the garage and was able to shake his hand and tell him how much he loves his stuff. Then for our party night last night (for our last night on the boat) we spent most of the evening watching Stuart Lee on YouTube. There is zero chance of him reading this, but if he is, we love you!
To paraphrase The Rolling Stones, you can ask for what you want, but you can’t control exactly how what you have asked for will be given to you.
So here I am, at last, finally, an independent adult. Not beholden to my mother.
My mother gave me quite a bit of financial help with buying my house. She also bought a woodburner for the house. So I felt bad about wanting to give up my stressful career, sell up, downsize, go travelling, and return to live somewhere smaller, cheaper, simpler and with lower overheads so I could do a less stressful job. It didn’t feel like it was solely up to me in the way that it would have been had I always been totally financially independent.
So it was with trepidation that I raised it with her and it took me a few conversations before I was able to clearly articulate what it was I wanted to do and stick to it.
The first time I brought up the subject of selling the house, I offered to give her her money back. She said no, she didn’t want it. She actually said she didn’t want me selling the house to raise money for travelling, she would give me money instead, as a kind of advance on my inheritance.
I said I didn’t want her to do that, that I had had enough money already, but she was very forceful. With my mother, large sums of money can be talked about as if they were nothing, and without really talking about it.
So I went off agreeing to consider renting out the house instead, even though that wasn’t what I wanted to do, and she never actually mentioned the idea of giving me travelling money again.
So again I plucked up the courage to say I was selling the house, in order to raise money for travelling, and because I didn’t want to be a landlord for a property in the UK whilst I was in India.
My mother insisted that we could do the trip on the rental income alone, but even if there were no gaps in tenants and no problems like non payment or ruined carpets, I knew we couldn’t. Plus it was never just about going travelling, it was a whole life re-set that I wanted.
Time went by, the house went on the market in December, and completed early March. Although I knew she wasn’t happy about me selling the house, I had thought she had accepted it. I popped in for cups of tea, she asked a few polite questions about our travel plans and gave me a rucksack.
And then at 10:06 on Monday, after I had texted her to let her know we had booked our flights and were leaving for our year long trip to India the following Monday, she called and asked for her money back.
One of the many lessons of all this is to communicate one’s feelings and expectations clearly and openly, especially when it comes to money. But I am sure I am not the only person who has difficulties in this area, especially when dealing with a very powerful family member.
So here I am, at last, finally, an independent adult. Not beholden to my mother. Not living near my mother (India aside, the boat is three hours away). Completely free, even of her influence.
I used to feel boggy, awkward, inauthentic in her company. Unknown. Whereas with my husband I feel completely safe and totally accepted. Known.
It shouldn’t be a competition or a choice but my mother has made her disapproval of my husband clear. He, who has made me so happy, who makes me so happy. The implication being that he is after my money (when we met I had a small starter home with a mortgage, he had a narrowboat, we both worked full time, both worked really hard, both fulfilled financial responsibilities to our children. I also very much resent the implication that no one could love me just for myself).
Our friends observe that we make each other very, very happy. We share the same values. We have supported each other with everything for almost a decade.
In the middle of this bombshell, my friend H, a lovely ray of sunshine, came to stay on the boat for the night. It was just what we needed, and distracted us through the worst. After H left, we went into Northampton, found somewhere to eat using the Happy Cow app, over ordered from a delicious range of yummy vegan food and treats, and caught our breath.
In spite of everything, I felt relieved, even happy. We both began to see it as a potentially positive event in our lives.
Maybe we needed it to be just us, so that we can find out just what we’re capable of.
I thought it meant unruffled, calm and philosophical.
We looked it up, actually it means optimistic and positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation. Better, more ‘evolved’ than I realised. I asked us, can we move from calm and philosophical to cheerful and optimistic?
I regard us as being in the middle of the continuum. If at one end is me coming back from India and being able to say to my mother, Wow, what was all that about, can we talk about it?
Then at the other end is as my husband said, some people would beg and plead, What have I done, why, why. Or get angry, refuse to give the money back. Or cry. Well that’s good, I said, and laughed, because I am definitely not doing any of those things.
So yes, maybe we are currently somewhere in the middle, and if we can move from my definition to the dictionary definition of sanguine, then I shall be very pleased.
Oh yes and by the way, we are flying to India on Monday!
Mera naam Rachel hai
Aapase milakar khushee huee
Follow me on Instagram followingthebrownrabbit.
Thank you for reading.
PS I have had very limited internet access since moving onto the boat and lots of travel related admin to do when I have, so I haven’t been reading many blogs. I have still been thinking of you all though, and I wish my fellow bloggers and readers well. Thank you for all your support xxx
Yesterday I sat on the deck and composed a blog offline in a Word app then we walked to our local pub and I uploaded it. The pub is within easy walking distance, is friendly and has a shop next door that sells a good range of food including fresh fruit and veg. I am delighted about all this.
Not only that, I composed my blog whilst my husband was doing things on the boat, and then he did a vlog. So we were both able to be creative within a small space. Just like I was able to do yoga in the narrow strip of space in the kitchen last night whilst he quietly listened to a rave documentary in the living area. I don’t need a yoga studio or even a spare room. It’s not about space, it’s us.
More challenges this morning, after a patchy shower but then luxurious washing up using hot water from the tap, and lots of hand washing (laundry) the water ran out just as I was rinsing my clothes. We still couldn’t get the water tank to fill up, and then I dropped the tap in the canal. I’ve already lost a phone in there; I am not quite orientated to life on the water yet. I am grateful to my husband for not getting angry, in fact he seemed very upbeat about it. Our neighbour supplied parts to make a new connection, and at last we have a full tank of water. Another neighbour said to me, when talking about the water trouble, ‘There’s always something to do on a boat, it’s a living thing.’
As well as learning how it all works, we’re still finding homes for everything. I have realised that you only need a very few personal items. The boat looks great just as it is, and there’s much less space so a few items really get noticed.
Also, there are very few mirrors. Well there are a few, but they are tucked away, behind the bed, in the shower, inside cupboard doors (handily placed near the front door so as to be able to hastily check one’s appearance if someone comes round). But basically you have to seek them out, and I like that. I’m not brave enough to give up mirrors completely like a friend of a friend has done (she just goes by how she feels) but mirror reduction feels good.
There’s so much to be excited about. We are living in Northamptonshire, a part of England that neither of us knows. We are in the countryside but close to various towns and to the city of Birmingham, which I have never visited properly. We are closer to London. I am also looking forward to making use of trains to go to London and Birmingham. Of course we can also go off on the boat, from going a mile down the canal to a pub and back, to going off for a couple of weeks’ cruising.
Right now though, just being on the boat is enough. Yesterday evening we had a healthy home cooked meal then spent the evening playing cards (Rummy). Last night I was woken up by my new tattoo itching and by me being too hot! The stove is really, really toasty!
Several of our friends are totally confused about what we are doing. Are we waiting for the weather to get warmer before we go off travelling the canals of England? Are we going by narrowboat to India? So for anyone wondering or for anyone who has just started reading this blog, here is a short orientation:
My name is Rachel, I am forty-seven years old. Up until the end of February, I worked as an occupational therapist in secure services. I qualified in 2000, having begun my training in 1997. It is a great profession and I am glad I picked it. However, over recent years I began to wake up and became a strange mixture of bored, stressed and burned out. I felt that I had done all I could and the thought of carrying on for another twenty years was unbearable.
My husband and I began to wonder about what was possible. We played around with the idea of getting a camper van and going around South America or going to live at a healing centre in Mexico. Eventually we settled on travelling in South East Asia for a year. Cue loads of decluttering, mental leaps, awkward conversations, rehoming the cats (sob- they are happy with a relative) and then almost a year after first floating the idea we sold the house.
Along the way we decided to buy a narrowboat to live on when we returned, having got really into the idea of having less stuff and living more simply (and with lower overheads, I don’t want to return to doing such a stressful job again. Occupational Therapy is great by the way, but I was Head of Department, short staffed, under loads of pressure, etc etc.).
The house was sold at the beginning of March, we moved initially into a Travelodge and then onto the boat. We intend to leave for India by the end of March. We just got a text that our visas are ready to collect!
So it turns out that escaping the matrix isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. From our moving day being on one of the worst weather and travel conditions for decades to the water pipes springing a leak the first time we tried to have a shower on the boat, we are being tested at every step of the way.
Also, it takes time. It isn’t like just stepping through a portal and here we are in our new world, this is a transition. We are still processing and adjusting, finding our feet. With each new challenge we are growing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary.
Which brings me onto platitudes, fridge magnets and movements. The image is actually a notebook. It is a cute present that I was given by my husband’s work colleagues and obviously I agree with the sentiment. Just like I agree with the minimalism, downsizing and voluntary simplicity movements. I enjoy reading an article in the dentist’s waiting room about someone who gave up a highly paid job in the city to open up an organic teashop as much as the next person.
But what these articles don’t tend to do is tell you how hard it is. Maybe magazines like to maintain a chirpy tone. Maybe the article has been written some time later so that, as with childbirth, the really bad bits have been forgotten.
I am doing this right now and I can tell you, fantastic as it is, it’s also difficult and scary. Having a lump of money and then immediately spending quite a lot of it when we’re not used to having or spending a lot, that’s scary. Moving into the Travelodge with one car in the car park full up with our stuff, and another car left outside the old house, also filled with our stuff, was a bit overwhelming. Having a leak and having to mend a pipe on the boat was stressful. Thinking about what we’re going to do when we get back from India and how will we manage financially (sign up to agencies, make enough to cover expenses, run one car). All of it is both scary and super exciting.
How we handle all the challenges is what is important. To look at it all as an opportunity for growth, and to accept everything as it is rather than hold onto the irrational hope that everything needs to be perfect all the time. We have to hold our nerve, and we have to keep going. That’s the real focus of the moment.
We have regretted a few of the things we got rid of, but no matter. If it was what we needed to do to get us here, then it was worth it. Previously, it was all about breaking down the old life. Now it is about building a new one. As I said before, the blog comes first, but I’m also writing to magazines, submitting work, writing a book with my husband, and generally taking my writing seriously and hoping that it can become part of what I do to earn money in this new world. Do something your future self would be thankful for, another one of those platitudes. The platitudes and the sayings, they don’t really help, or rather they help as much as a fridge magnet can. They may inspire, but the doing of it, the action, and the dealing with the consequences of those actions, is all you.
What’s really good about living in a small space is that you can see everything all of the time. You don’t sit in one room and have to hold some other rooms in your mind at the same time. It’s all right there, in front of you. I am convinced that this takes up less mental energy and is beneficial.
Oh, and problems with the water meant that I washed my hair a day or two later than I’d have liked, over the sink using kettles. I used Faith in Nature natural shampoo and conditioner as the sink goes straight into the canal. It was a blissful experience and all the next day I couldn’t stop smelling my hair!
First day on the narrowboat. Just looking around, soaking it all in. Each side, each corner, the views from each end. The details of the boat, the look of our possessions within it. Even with laundry hanging up. Especially with laundry hanging up, because that is what it looks like with us living in it. That means that we are here, that we live here.
We need a new hose attachment to be able to fill the water tank, but no matter, the water tap is only the length of next door’s boat away so it’s easy to fill our empty bottles and use that water for washing up and the loo, and bought water for drinking. Mind you, the tap water is drinking water so I may not continue being this fussy. Already I have given up on washing fruit and vegetables and have embraced various other water saving adjustments. When we have the water tank filled and have water running from the taps, well, that will seem like absolute luxury.
After a very cosy and toasty first night’s sleep, my husband brought me a mug of tea in bed, lit the fire and then went out to buy fuel and to give me a bit if space on my own to nest. After feeling overwhelmed by stuff for about five minutes, I soon settled in to putting clothes away and generally getting organised. It was a (relatively) warm, sunny day and we went for a walk along the towpath then went in search of the nearest launderette. (This was expensive, I am going to try and stick to hand washing. In the summer we can use the washing machine on the bank but I am not really up for doing that now.)
We hung up the washing to air, then my husband did the washing up and cleaned up the kitchen and I emptied and put away stuff from the numerous bags. Still more to do, but by the time we had finished it looked a lot better, even with the washing. I cooked a simple and nutritious meal, so nice to eat home cooked food. Everything is near each other and we’ve left the pulses out as they tend to get forgotten, and we aren’t using the freezer, I am using it as an overflow for spare toiletries etc. Both meals so far consisted of chickpeas or beans, stir fried vegetables, coconut milk, noodles and spices. So simple, so nutritious and so tasty.
After dinner I went and sat outside on my own with a coffee, a cigarette and some biscuits. Just sitting out on the deck, looking at the starry starry night, watching the brightly lit up windows of the trains going by, seeing the soft glow from our neighbours’ windows, the glow of solar lights dotted about on the bank, and the brighter glow of our own porthole near my seat.
I wish I could find the words to adequately describe how lovely it is here. It feels surreal, unbelievable, like being in the middle of a dream coming true. Sensory overload, but in a good way. And work receding, my old house forgotten, knowing that this will free up enormous areas of my brain, my energy reserves, my creative capacity…. But not there yet, in transition, of course we’re all always both in transition and there, it’s just that we’re not always aware of it.
It’s been a lot to take in, but it’s sharpened my awareness. There’s no model for this, other than a few days spent on my husband’s boat early in our relationship. Certainly no model for leaving my career, leaving my house, buying and moving onto a boat whilst simultaneously preparing to go to India and travelling for a year.
We’re doing okay, doing stuff, being in close quarters, being a team. Last night in bed I thought, wow, we’ve had nearly ten years together. If I’d thought we’d have had that at the beginning, would I have made sure that we’d done more, had more adventures? We didn’t do much until last year, well not much that others could see anyway. But we’re doing it now, we’re making the most of every minute, every day, every week, month and year….
My 17 year old gypsy caravan dwelling self, and my ten years ago newly in love, newly awakening self would wholeheartedly approve, I’m sure, even if they might have said, what took you so long?
Yoga, cramped but managed, double futon in living space too big, plan to get two smaller ones. Every stretch just felt amazing. New slippers, £2.50 from charity shop, black, fluffy inside, faux suede booties, I love them so much. Having given up after looking in Next, Fatface etc and not finding any non animal ones, I found these.
Amongst the big stuff, I’m still noticing the small, noticing, loving and appreciating. Oh, and medium sized things- today I fed a teenage swan out of my hand. I know we will get woken up early if I start feeding them, they may take to knocking on the sides of the boat at 5am but that’s a price worth paying. They can be cat substitutes. Maybe I will learn to tell them apart and give them names.
Btw if anyone reading this knows about birds, what should I feed the swans and ducks? I understand bread is not that great even though they like it.
This is us in Norwich Travelodge. Anyone familiar with Travelodge will recognise the picture above the bed as they seem to have the same one in all the rooms.
We checked out today after five nights. We got most things done and everything else can wait. As well as cancelling stuff to do with the old house, we did stuff for the trip including applying for our visas for India and booking some accommodation in Thailand. Also, registering, insuring and licensing our… BOAT!
I have been a bit quiet about this because up until today I hadn’t told my mum. I know, pathetic. I almost didn’t mention this here because I thought it might dismay the younger people that someone can be forty-seven years old and still be scared of their mum.
But then I remembered, I am not a role model and we all help each other here, regardless of age. I soak up so much wisdom from Smut. and Self-Esteem and she is twenty-two, I think.
But mainly, I have promised to be honest here and this was a big thing that was going on for me. Last night I was awake a lot and anxious and as Smut… wrote about in her last post, I just laid with it. That helped a lot.
Anyway, my mum was fine about it and so all my anxiety was lifted clean away.
Wow, I can’t believe how this feels, to not have anything to worry about or feel guilty about, I said afterwards. I had set my intention that after I would go to the pub, sit in the garden and have a cigarette. Which I did, but even better, outside the pub I met my lovely friend who I shall call Jessica Rabbit, and she came too.
Mind you, the stress of the last few days has taken its toll, I struggled with basic tasks such as working out how an ashtray works. I am not really fit for company.
And then my husband drove us to the boat, and here we are.
Of course we still have too much stuff. We only need four of anything as no more people could fit on. Already I have abandoned the idea of wine glasses. Tomorrow we will put things away and I want to allocate clothes space then we can’t go over our allotted space. That really appeals to me. I still have warm clothes, of course, and India clothes that wouldn’t fit in the rucksack. We don’t look like minimalists right now, but I do feel a bit back to nature already.
Thank you to Educated Unemployed Indian for nominating me. His blog is friendly, welcoming, honest, positive and beautifully laid out with great artwork. He is also really supportive of other bloggers.
What is the Liebster Award?
Liebster award is an award recognizing and admiring bloggers by bloggers. It is is a fun way of discovering new blogs.
WHAT TO DO IF NOMINATED FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD
TO ACCEPT IT, or you choose to start a blog post about the Liebster award; you should do the following:
Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
Answer the questions the person who nominated you asked.
Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blog posting.
Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award.
Ask your own set of questions for your nominees.
List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.)
Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award (just put it in a comment on any of their posts) and provide a link for them to your post.
What makes me passionate about blog posting
It is a way for me to process what is going on for me and to share this honestly with others. It helps me to understand myself and hopefully helps others by showing my inside workings. I love writing my posts. Also the WordPress community is so lovely and this has been such a joy to discover!
Q & As
1. How did you find the idea of starting your blog?
It started off as a more enjoyable writing activity than writing books, then it became my main writing activity. It became a habit, then an addiction!
2. If God would grant you a wish, what would you wish for?
Strength. More strength, please.
3. What kind of content do you enjoy writing the most? Articles, poetry, short story, daily life, journal, etc.
Daily life/journal. However, I also enjoy writing articles and like writing to a brief.
4. We all get angry sometimes, what angers you the most in your day to day life?
I have just come back from walking through Norwich in England city centre at 8pm. There are more homeless people than I have ever seen here before. This is an affluent city. Why don’t the City Council ensure everyone has shelter? How can they be in charge and let people sleep outside in freezing conditions? It is so very sad, and yes, makes me angry.
5. Three facts about your favorite book.
We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
You will need tissues
And more tissues
And still more tissues
6. Describe one of your brilliant ideas or your eureka moment or something that you are most proud of.
Back in April my husband and I realised that if we were prepared to be really brave, we could sell up, leave everything and everyone and go travelling. We both had a sheet of electricity go through our bodies at the same time. I can still remember exactly where we were standing.
7. One word that explains your true self.
Mysterious, even to me.
8. Three things you can’t live without in life.
Body Shop hemp hand cream, vaseline and tissues.
9. Your idea of a perfect day- indoors or outdoors?
Both. Outside, a walk, some yoga and then some writing. Plus time for kind of doing nothing/thinking, with no pressure.
10. Imagine you have a pet if you don’t have one and one day your pet learned to talk. What would be the first thing according to you your pet will say?
I hope they would say they loved me and that I was a good ‘owner’
Ten random facts about me
My real name is Rachel Ann Hill (nee Doran)
I call it being safety conscious but most people would probably say I have mild-moderate OCD
When I was eleven years old I read an anti war poem I wrote at a CND rally and was on the BBC 9 o’clock news
My best friend at school was a bicycle which I pretended was a horse called Gibraltar
I used to be addicted to Hollyoaks, it was the last show I gave up before-
-I gave up tv altogether nine years ago
I am mentioned in a book about the Manic Street Preachers (‘two groupies who looked like the girls out of Shampoo’)
I used to write women’s erotica until I met my husband and just stopped
I like Redbush tea- bringing me a mug of this first thing in the morning will get you a lot of points