A couple of weeks ago*, the wonderful Kay Kauffman nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. (If you haven't already checked out Kay's blog then you should – it's full of interesting things, as well as having one of the best names EVER.)
Now, I wouldn't consider myself a very sunshiny person. More of a rainstorm. But I'll admit that from time to time, a ray of sunshine strikes me – and maybe that's when I make rainbows. So without further ado, here are my answers to the Sunshine Blogger questions.
1. What is your favourite Christmas/festive movie?
The Sound of Music. Does that count? I know it's not exactly on a festive theme, but it's on TV every Christmas without fail and so in my mind it's inextricably bound up with chocolate coins, carols and the citrus scent of clementines (which, incidentally, are a few of My Favourite Things).
2. What is your favourite flower?
It's got to be the daisy. I do like flowers that smell good, so I considered roses or maybe lavender, but in the end the humble daisy triumphed for a number of reasons. Firstly, it reminds me of long summer lunchtimes at school, sitting on the playing field with a group of friends making daisy chains. (I used to weave them into my hair and wear them as earrings, which never impressed the teachers in my afternoon lessons very much.) Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, they grow without any human intervention whatsoever. I'm a terrible gardener, so I tend to gravitate towards plants that are hard to kill. And a lawn isn't a lawn to me if it doesn't have daisies in it.
3. What is your favourite non-alcoholic beverage?
Cold, pressed apple and mango juice. Preferably with ice.
(Incidentally, the word 'beverage' always makes me smile. Probably because of this. It sounds like the kind of word you use if you're deliberately trying to be pretentious, like 'utilise' – or, indeed, 'abode'.)
4. What is your passion?
That's an obvious one: books. Reading them, writing them, just looking at them. (I decorate my walls with books the way most people do with pictures.) It's been that way since I learned to read. Before that, I used to spend all my time crying. I was only a baby, but I knew something was missing from my life.
I mean, think about it. Books are magic. They can transport us to other worlds, give us insight into the minds of people long dead, and widen our knowledge far beyond anything we're able to discover for ourselves. What better passion could there be?
5. What is your favourite time of year?
That depends. I love autumn evenings when the nights are getting longer and the air begins to smell of woodsmoke. It's a reaction engrained in me from childhood: here comes Hallowe'en! Bonfire Night! Christmas! Even now, an autumn evening can fill the pit of my stomach with anticipation. Yet after the near-endless expanse of winter, I also love those days in late spring when the sun makes its reappearance and it's finally warm enough to walk around in a T-shirt. Again, they hold the promise of things to come: lazy summer afternoons, holidays, sunshine.
Perhaps I just like anticipation better than reality.
6. What is your favourite time of day?
I used to enjoy darkness. Midnight. The wee hours of the morning when everyone else was asleep and my creativity was flowing at its fastest. But then I had a baby. Now I just like any time of day when I get to eat a snack. (For some reason, since Baby Smith was born I have taken a vast interest and delight in snacks.)
7. What is your favourite physical activity?
Writing. What, that doesn't count as physical? It certainly feels like a wrestling match sometimes … OK, then I guess I'd have to say walking. I am the world's most sedentary person, but again since the baby was born my habits have changed. A daily walk stops me going insane within the four walls of my house.
Actually, I suppose you could say looking after a baby is a pretty physical activity. At least, it seems to involve a lot of lifting.
8. What is your favourite vacation?
You know, I'm not too good at taking a holiday. I spend the whole thing stressing over whether I'm getting the most out of the time (which, of course, means I'm not). I'm one of those people who has to go and visit things instead of just sitting on a beach all day. Which is why my favourite kind of holiday is probably hiring a canal boat. It forces me to slow down and focus on the journey, not the destination.
Well, that's that. If you've stayed with me all this time then you've now reached the important part: the list of ten other bloggers/blogs that bring sunshine to my life. Rather than repeat any of Kay's nominations, I've gone for ten I discovered while taking part in the A to Z Challenge earlier this year, and here they are …
jnana (Spill Beans)
Luna (Moon, Light and Shadow)
If you're one of these marvellous people and are wondering what all this is about, Kay's original post will tell you everything you need to know. Which saves me having to repeat the rules here myself. I'm lazy that way :-)
* Yeah, I know I'm a little late with this. My ability to blog is directly proportional to the amount of time Baby Smith decides to spend sleeping on any given Sunday.