From The Challenges

Liebster Award

Liebster Award The Liebster Award, for those who don’t know, is a really lovely way of getting to know bloggers and their blogs. I believe it is based around 11: 11 facts, 11 answers, 11 questions. I don’t know why it is based around 11. In fairness to me, though, no one asked me. Really, you can check below. Had anyone asked me why it is 11, I would, of course, have conscientiously researched the point.

I was nominated for the Liebster Award twice. I have therefore answered both sets of questions. Go me! I have not, however, given two sets of 11 facts – I am very dull and could not possibly think of 22 facts about myself. I was nominated by Lucy at Occupation: (m)other (this is her lovely site, and Alice at Nipper and Tyke (this is her equally lovely site Thank you, ladies!

Now, without further ado, on with the business of learning all these fascinating facts about, well, ME! (I will set out at the end the rules of the Liebster Award and my nominations but, first: ME!)
11 Facts About Me

  1. I am 35 years old.
  2. I am a Yorkshire lass originally, though I have never sounded much like one.
  3. I lived in the US for a year when I was 16.
  4. My favourite book is ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Or ‘Catch 22’. Maybe ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’? ‘The Book of Lost Things’! I love too many books.
  5. I watch ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Home Alone’ every Christmas.
  6. I can’t type. I use one finger. I’m pretty fast with one finger.
  7. I am a very good swimmer, but never got any of my certificates because I refused to dive.
  8. I very much like the French.
  9. I know some BSL, but really wish I was fluent.
  10. I can juggle. With four balls on a good day.
  11. I love Mexican food.

Lucy’s Questions

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

So many things! I was a fickle child, I now realise. Briefly, a mechanic. Mostly because people told me I shouldn’t want to be a mechanic. An artist for quite a while, but I lack sufficient talent. A teacher. A lawyer. However, if I’m being really honest, when I was little, I wanted to be Mary Poppins when I grew up. Or the Incredible Hulk.

2. If someone asks you if they should start a blog, would you say yes or no? And why?

I think yes if you really like writing, or you really like that form of interaction. If you are thinking of starting one because you feel like you should (for a business, for example), be aware that it is so much more work than you imagine. That may not feel worth it if you don’t actually enjoy blogging. For me, I am very glad that I did.

3. What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone about blogging?

Learn how to use Twitter! Or, at least, follow my lead: join Twitter for the first time, copy what other people seem to be doing, and hope that is how it works. (Then spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if that is what everyone on Twitter is doing. I mean, does anyone actually get Twitter? Or is everyone just copying other people, assuming everyone else knows what’s going on? Is Twitter the social media equivalent of when a car turns out of a traffic jam, and 50 other cars follow because they assume he knows a short cut? I have digressed. What on earth was I talking about…?)

4. Have you had a ‘sliding doors’ moment in your life – where things could have gone one way or another? Tell us about it!

After completing the Bar, I was uncertain what to do. I actually applied for a primary PGCE place, having always been torn between law & teaching. I got the place at university, and also got offered a training position in a firm of Solicitors. I took the Solicitors’ job. The firm was horrendous; the work was actually very interesting; long term I probably would have had a more secure career, that I was better suited to, in teaching. But, if I had taken that placement, my life would have gone a different way: some not so good things that happened may have been avoided, but ultimately I would not have my girls. Maybe I would have had children, but not MY girls.

5. What is your favourite season?

Christmas! CHRISTMAS! Yes, I know Christmas is not a season. Winter is my favourite season. But, really, Winter means Christmas to me (approaching Christmas, oh my god it’s nearly Christmas, it’s CHRISTMAS, I’m sad Christmas is over: see, the whole season is about Christmas). I also love cold weather & snow.

6. What would a perfect day in the above season look like for you?

Snowy, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, holding an eggnog latte. (50% of you just thought, ‘A what, now?’ 49% of you thought, ‘Eww! Disgusting! You are not the person I thought you were – I shall read no further.’ 1% of you thought, ‘Oh, I LOVE those!’)

7. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? And why?

Lapland. Why? Really? Have you been listening to me at all??

8. What is the most surprising thing you have learnt about yourself since becoming a parent?
I am a cleaner! Everything must be clean. Who knew? Also, that I can, in fact, get in lifts. Do I like to get in lifts? Noooo. Are a two year old, a 10 month old and a tandem buggy compatible with not getting in lefts? Noooo.

9.Which toy belonging to your child or children do you most like playing with?

The Bat mask – sorry – shopping basket! No, actually, I like the activity cubes.

10. If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing?

Trying to write something that wasn’t being helpfully guided by someone’s clearly defined questions. Perhaps I could do myself a list of questions to help me write. You know: ‘1. What the hell are you trying to write about?’ That sort of thing.

11. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Having really moved on from the days when I wanted to be Mary Poppins, I can now reveal that when I grow up I want to be Minerva McGonagal!
Alice’s Questions

1. How did your blog get its name?

My toddler started calling rabbits ‘hoppits’ when she first started to talk. She initially called them ‘hops’, for obvious reasons. I think she then started to realise that adults called them ‘rabbits’, so she tried to combine the two words. We thought this made a great word. One night, Daddy was going through flashcards with her. They got to R, with the picture of a rabbit. Daddy said, ‘R is for…?’ The Toddler, recognising the picture, replied, ‘Hoppit!’ This amused us. When I later decided to write a blog, and base it on looking at The Toddler’s language development, ‘R is for Hoppit’ seemed an obvious title.

2. Do you have, or have you ever had, any nicknames?

This is going to feel like a Nicknames Anonymous meeting, but, ‘Hello. My name is Bob. I have been Bob for about 25 years now…’ I realise this could be a little confusing, Bob being an actual name. So, just to be clear, my name is not Bob. Nor is it remotely close to Bob. My sister, for reasons lost in the mists of time, has been calling me Bob since some point in our childhood. My Dad, it transpires, somehow managed to miss this fact. He was therefore somewhat confused a couple of years ago, whilst looking at my birthday cards, to see a card for his daughter (who is not called Bob) addressed to Bob from his other daughter (who he had thought knew her sister’s name. Which is not Bob).

3. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

I have definitely blocked out all of my most embarrassing moments, and I am therefore unable to describe them. However, I called my teacher ‘mum’ once at primary school. Of course, the teacher was my mum, but that doesn’t necessarily make the situation any better. Arguably, it makes it worse. My mum was a supply teacher, and she had been offered maternity cover for a term in my class. When your mum is your teacher, you both go out of your way not to draw attention to that fact. If you call your teacher mum in this situation, you are the kid who called Miss ‘Mummy’, and the kid whose mummy is Miss all rolled into one!

4. If you were to enrol at university tomorrow, what would you study?

Defence Against the Dark Arts. I want to be an Auror. In the event of that course not being available, I would study a primary PGCE. Though, were I to start my education and choices over entirely, I would probably study medicine (psychiatry) or pharmacology.

5. If someone were to buy you a present, what you would you secretly wish for?

A time turner. (I do live in the real world, I really do!)

6. What are your guilty pleasures?

The Morganville Vampire books. No, I am not 14. They’re funny, honest. *Hangs head*

7. Tell me about your most precious possession (a thing, not a person).

It is virtually impossible for me to narrow this down. I am one of those people who is so sentimental it crosses over into being a hoarder territory. Therefore, pretty much anything ever given to me by someone I love falls into the category of most precious possession. However, I will go with my necklace with my daughters’ hand and finger prints.

So, that is me. Christmas loving, Mexican food eating, teen fiction reading, would be Mary Poppins, called Bob. Here are the rules, if my nominees wish to participate, and my nominations.
The Rules

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you, and link to their blog.
  2. Post the Liebster Award badge on your blog.
  3. Write 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Answer the 11 questions posed by the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Nominate 4-11 bloggers (with fewer than 1,000 followers), who you feel deserve the award.
  6. Write 11 new questions for your nominees.

My Nominees

(Apologies if any of you have already done it – I have tried to check! Feel free to ignore me!)
My Questions

  1. What are your favourite and least favourite things about blogging?
  2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
  3. What is your favourite word, and why?
  4. What animal are you most scared of, and why?
  5. What amazes you?
  6. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
  7. What book have you never read but always meant to?
  8. What was your favourite game as a child?
  9. Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind, or never speak again? Why?
  10. If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be? Why?
  11. Describe your perfect meal.