My thanks to Henriette Gyland for awarding me a Liebster Blog Award (‘Liebster’ is German for ‘favourite’).
The rules of the Liebster Award are:
- Thank your Liebster Blog Award nominator on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;
- Answer the eleven questions from the nominator;
- List eleven random facts about yourself:
(Mine are bizarre rather than random )
- Present the Liebster Blog Award to up to eleven other blogs that you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen;
- Pass on the eleven questions to your nominees, or create new ones;
- Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
I’m exhausted already, so I’ll take a rest while you read my answers to Henriette’s questions:
1. What’s your favourite novel and what do you love about it?
Currently, William Boyd’s Restless – spies, Second World War, betrayal on personal and political levels, Cold War, class, alienation, two strong women leads and beautiful prose. What more could you want? As a child, I loved anything by Rosemary Sutcliff, The Emerald Crown by Violet Needham and all of Narnia. My most dog-eared book in my late teens was Katherine by Anya Seton.
2. Do you have any pet peeves in fiction?
3. What are you most proud of?
Seeing my son graduate at Nottingham Uni was a high moment (in all senses), but recently, holding a printed copy of my first book, INCEPTIO, made my hands tingle and my brain sing.
4. Your most and least favourite people in history?
Hypatia of Alexandria, philosopher and maths professor who was murdered by a Christian mob in AD 415 – an intelligent woman challenging irrationality and dogma;
Julian the Apostate, philosopher and reformer and last non-Christian Roman Emperor who survived Constantinian dynastic murders;
Aphra Behn, spy, dramatist and the first professional woman writer;
Charles II, survivor, style icon, patron of the arts and science and of the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Mary Wollstonecraft, whose “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” laid down a clear moral and practical basis for extending human and political rights to women.
Irrational dictators – pick any one you like from the usual suspects.
5. The country, city or other place you’d most like to visit?
Slovenia – the geographical model for Roma Nova (It will be soon!)
6. Which five people would you like to meet (dead, alive, or fictional)?
All the likes in the question 4. above, plus
Mary Beard, Classics professor, Newnham College, and fab television presenter of the Romans;
George Clooney, a clever (and gorgeous) actor and political activist;
Michael Portillo, presenter, wit and charming man.
I know it’s more than five… oops!
7. What makes you laugh the most?
Have I Got News For You!
8. If you could know the future, what would you wish for?
I don’t think I’d like to know the future, unless it features my books selling in the millions …
9. If you won the lottery and could donate money to charity, which charity would you choose – and why?
SSAFA – Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Airforce Families’ Association – which supports serving and veteran members of all branches of the armed services. Going since 1885 so they have a bit of experience! Why? Because I’m ex-military, as were many members of my family, and SSAFA helps on the ground, especially families.
10. Do you suffer from any little phobias or superstitions?
Not really. I don’t like stinging, buzzy things.
11 What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
Admitting to liking Ryanair
Eleven random facts about me…
- I jumped “voluntarily” into a deep pond of freezing water in the Arctic Circle – it was called NATO training.
- My favourite food is any kind of seafood, except whelks and snaily things.
- My favourite piece of clothing is a pair of jeans.
- I’ve walked along the watercourse of the Pont du Gard, France, until they closed it on H&S grounds.
- Thirty years after my first degree in modern languages and economics, I went back and bagged an MA in history (with distinction!) at the Open University.
- I have shocking handwriting and not much better typing.
- I’m a full Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
- I’ve danced “sur le pont d’Avignon”.
- Am a proud bearer of the Cycling Proficiency certificate (and pennant!).
- I love networking.
- Traumatised from being forced to choose between Latin and history at school (Still sobs at dilemma).
And that’s enough about me.
So my nominees are: (Yes, I have asked them.):
These blogs are beautiful, fascinating and written by people with spirit and warmth.
Thank you again to Henriette for nominating me for the Liebster Award.