The Versatile Blogger Award goes to…me!

Versatile Blogger Award!

Yipee! I got nominated by Brigitte`s Banter: Brigitte’s Banter  for a Versatile Blogger Award. Many thanks to Brigitte for her nomination. Her blog instils a literary freshness and you undoubtedly feel ‘uplifted’ every time you read her posts. I am honoured and touched by this nomination. I highly recommend her blog and let me know whether you feel the same way too!

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award!

My Reaction…

It`s great to feel that there are people out there who like my blog and follow me. This blog started a bit like an experiment and I wasn`t sure whether it would last a week, a month or 6 months and err..it has actually lasted 6 months and I will promise that I will try my best to keep my posts interesting! What gives me great joy in blogging is that I sense that there are plenty of people out there who like to write and are genuine good people who are sharing their talents with others out there. If you blog, it doesn`t matter whether you`re male or female, black, white, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, sick or healthy, young or old etc- it`s your writing and the content of your blog which matters and you are judged solely on that!! Maybe politicians should use some of our `bloggin’ power’ to help reduce some of the misery which could easily be prevented in this world!

The Award:

This award comes with a set of rules, so here they are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. (see above)
  • Share 7 random things about yourself. (see below)
  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers. (list provided below)
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination (done)
  • Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post (done)

Share 7 random things about yourself:

Here goes:

  1. I have recently discovered Cranberry cheese- I adore it, especially with oatcakes!
  2. I wear Size 7 (EU Size 40) shoes and it`s normally a pain to find shoes in my size (here I appeal to shoe companies around the world to bear this in mind please!).
  3. Last year I went on a jewellery course and I really enjoyed it. I did make several pieces of jewellery too but now I`ve discovered blogging and I`m hooked!
  4. When I am next to the sea I feel happy. (I think in another life I must have been a mermaid!)
  5. I have just come back from a full body massage! (just felt like a bit of pampering really!)
  6. I enjoy giving and receiving surprises (gentle hint: to hubby, my family and friends!)
  7. I have a PhD in clinical microbiology.

My nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

Pretty and Delectable

Lenise Lee ♥ My Colorful Romance

hastywords

Ms. Suazo

Flowers, Trees, & Other Such Gifts of Nature

phaedria

CT Esthetic

littlegreybox.wordpress.com

A Serene Scribe

The Oven Mitt

StreetWise Decor

The Better Man Project

domestic diva, M.D.

Soulshine Traveler

These blogs have different topics- from beauty and fashion, to overcoming life`s challenges, great recipes, humour, photography, DIY, English literature and poetry too!

Pass on the award everyone, keep it going and well done! 🙂

Tips for getting through the first 6 months of married life…

We have now been happily married for more than 6 months and since I generally like to read tips about anything related to life, wherever I can find them (at least those which make sense), I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips on:

Getting through the first 6 months of married life with my readers:

The Marriage Rite

The Marriage Rite

  1. Every week (even though you`re both snowed under with work or have other important matters to think about) find some quality time to spend together; whether it is just watching a movie, a soccer game, enjoying a meal out, cooking a meal together, or any activity which requires husband and wife enjoying the activity of 1-3 hours, together. Having common hobbies which you enjoy together does make this easier to achieve.
  2. Buy something for each other every month- a little gift (doesn`t need to be expensive) and if you run out of ideas, surprise your spouse!! For the wife, a bouquet of flowers from the local store is fine and for the husband, his favourite chocolate ice-cream (for my hubby it`s Magnum!)! It is important to show your appreciation for each other, not only in words but physically, in the form of a gift or anything else which springs to mind! 😉
  3. Share chores and work as a team. No one is better than the other, you are both in it together and must support each other as much as possible.
  4. Have a weekend (or a day if you can`t afford it) away together. Go to places you`ve never visited before and discover them together.
  5. Look at your wedding photos and dvd, as often as you can- they remind you of your special day and how ecstatic you both were and if you`re going through a rough patch (for any reason), this will give you the energy to continue working together as a couple and a team, an A team!

Those of you who are not married, can trial these on their partner and those single can use them as a guide!

Hope you find these tips useful! 🙂

Honeymoon Twist

James Bond Island..the only good pic we have of this trip!

James Bond Island..the only good pic we have of this trip!


I am in a desperate need of a holiday fix!!! Since my last holiday was my honeymoon, now more than 6 months ago, I cannot help thinking about sun, sea and pina coladas!!

Speaking of our honeymoon, well, during our honeymoon, we wanted to visit as many beaches as possible and as part of our itinerary, painstakingly planned months before, we planned a romantic day trip to the Phi Phi islands. We scrutinized the weather forecast for the entire week when we were residing near Kata Beach and went for Fri 25th Nov 2011. We went for a Super-deluxe Plus speedboat trip (paid our monies before the trip of course)!! So the day arrived and I was up at 6 am, prancing around and deciding what bathing suit to wear & what to pack and read all the internet reviews about the places we were to see, I was so excited I just couldn`t wait! At 8.30am sharp, the tour people picked us up in van (which I noticed was quite packed) and off we went to the harbour. On getting there it was obvious that there were different tours going on at the same time, so we found our guide for the day and we were asked to go off and change into our bathing suits. Oops! I thought, that`s strange..why should we change now before leaving? However, I did as instructed and for those who have seen or been in a Thai public bathroom, I`m sure you can visualize that it would take a queue of 20 women quite a while to disrobe without landing in some suspicious-looking matter…but anyway I managed and joined hubby and the rest of our tour comrades. The little Thai guide called Jane told us that the wind was 60km/hr and she needed us to sign a paper to say that we were happy. I looked at the sea…it seemed OK, just a bit choppy, so I thought nothing of it. We boarded the speedboat…now you recall I said a Super-Deluxe Plus trip? Well, we were 19 people in all, wedged together in a speedboat, which did show evident signs of overuse and was not in my opinion anything like a super deluxe class! If I was secretly hoping for champagne and caviar…there was no sight of even a fridge, only a lonely battered picnic-cooler!

Then the engines roared to life and off we went…my gosh!!! The speedboat headed straight into giant walls of sea and the ride was a continual sequence of horrendous bumps. Some ladies actually turned grass-green and people who were sitting in the front sought refuge at the back until the crew told us all to make sure there aren`t too many people on one side, otherwise we could capsize! Gosh!! I was really livid but also incredibly scared that if the captain took a wrong turn we would be lost at sea and probably never to be found and we were in the hands of the captain who could only communicate through the guide.

The adrenaline was shooting out of my veins and I felt like I had taken 12 cups of coffee in one go.I held onto my seat, as if my life depended on it (probably it actually did!) and my hubby`s hand (who kept to asking me whether I was OK). Anyway, after an hour of agonizing bumps, and sea-spray spatters, and observing the ashen faces around me, we made it to the first island which was Coral Island where for 45 minutes we were released from the speedboat and we tried to enjoy a quick swim and a stroll around the beach- however we were warned that the tide was coming up real fast and we had to keep to the time, which of course no one thought of doing otherwise. We then headed off to Maya beach and also Monkey beach (where we were not allowed to berth due to the ferocious biting monkeys (they seemed innocuous to me!) but before that we passed by James Bond island.

Maya beach (where The Beach was filmed)which was so congested with tourists that it was impossible to place a towel on the beach and just relax unless you wanted someone`s foot to be thrown in your face. Also, the clouds gradually started acquiring a greyish hue and a few drops of rain fell too. So we were called back to our speedboat and off we sped (by now poor Jane had emptied her first aid box as everyone wanted travel sickness tablets). I do not normally get sea-sick but due to this unique occasion, I decided to be wary and took a couple just to be sure! So off we sped again, now to a little island, owned by the tour company for lunch.

Unfortunately, the lunch was fish-based so poor hubby (who doesn`t like fish) could only take rice! Also the food was not very appetizing (or maybe we had all lost the will to survive really!). Then another diabolic queue for the bathroom!! So when my turn came I noticed that there was a draught, so I looked up and guess what? There was no ceiling and the rain suddenly started falling heavily, in huge drops! I joined hubby and the rest of the tour comrades, all shivering and wet and sprinted across the coral-spiked sand back onto the boat. We were taken briefly to another island and asked for our feedback about the trip- I couldn`t stop writing and after a few minutes, Jane came back to me with a pained expression saying, ‘Oh I am sorry that you didn`t enjoy yourself…are you sick?’. I was bewildered really! Apparently none of the other tour comrades had given a bad review except me!! I couldn`t believe this and was totally disappointed at the lack of support!

Soon after the embarrassing confrontation, we were taken back to a different harbour (as it was too dangerous to go to the first one from which we had originally departed) which took another hour and during this last trip, the sky was a menacing leaden-grey, the rain continued to fall incessantly (so we had to place our beach towels over us to shield us). The waves heaved and tumbled and the thunder rumbled all the way back to a harbour, where after alighting onto the jetty, we were picked up in a van with a cracked windscreen and taken back to our hotel!!

The way to a man`s heart is…

There`s a saying which goes something like..the way to a man`s heart is through his stomach.. i.e. through good food!

Well, I guess it works the other way round too…if a man cooks well, he can conquer any woman…and yesterday hubby surprised me totally by producing some excellent home-baked bread buns (which I knew he did before I married him)!!

And here they are…

Hubby`s Home-made Bread Buns!

Hubby`s Home-made Bread Buns!

And there`s a close-up too!!

Close-up of  hubby`s home-made bread buns

Close-up of hubby`s home-made bread buns

Celebrating Workers` Day

Since this week we celebrated Workers’ Day and on the continent there are usually some celebrations of sorts…concerts and union meetings, I`ve decided as a fellow worker who is regularly in contact with other workers, not only in the UK but also elsewhere in the world, who feels their pain & anguish, to celebrate this event with a neat little piece…so read on and let me know whether you agree or not!!!

The Worker`s Life!

We start off as an enthusiastic graduate (most of us these days), some with one or several degrees…..we advance onto a career path….first rung of a very long ladder…we apply for jobs and we`re told ‘you have no experience‘ ; even though you have a top degree!

The Employee…
So life as an employee then begins….you start working life as a junior…in a ‘training post‘.. or rather, you do the dirty work of senior people…with a crappy pay (despite soaring Uni fees and loans) but you keep at it, solidly persisting..the months pass and years crawl by and after three or four years you`re ready to move on….so you`re back in the job market, polishing your CV and applying for jobs…a number of applications are sent..you get to the 1st interview and then if you`re lucky and everyone liked your presentation and if you answered all the random questions excellently, there`s the 2nd interview where you`re quizzed out of your mind and it feels like you`re doing another final year viva…..and you`re told that you`re very good but alas, another candidate has an even better CV than you…so you keep on trying and in doing so you discover that there are 100 applications on average for one job, some of whom already work for the institution you went for (so of course, I`m sure they`ll have more brownie points than you do towards obtaining that post)…but then the Eureka moment..someone sees potential and gives you a chance and you`ve made it…only to discover that they will give you the job if you agree to take a pay-cut and by this time, even though you now have worked hard to get a senior post, you`re so sick of it that you just accept- and when you do start, you`re doing senior and junior roles all at once because of course there`s no money for an admin person and its all in the name of Lean working!!!!

The Bosses…
Here of course I can`t help not adding that in your working life you must put up with a series of bosses…..some literally Hellraiser-style..you get ineffective and unsupportive bosses piling work onto you until you can`t see the light of day for weeks, others who drive you nuts by changing protocols all the time and treat you like some ‘dumb-ass’ and those who seem very nice and almost decent but in the end bleed you dry and get all the credit for your work! And in a few years` time, my friend, it will all start again!!

Last but not least…
I shall leave you with some Asian philosophy..this week we watched Confucius (2010)..starring Chow Yun-Fat. It`s a great movie and not just a story but based on the life of Master Kong, an Asian philosopher. We gave the film an 8.5/10. The main actor has also acted in Anna and the King, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Curse of the Golden Flower- all excellent films and worth watching if you haven`t done so already!)…..If you`re interested watch this official trailer and decide for yourself!