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Saturday, 29 May 2010

The Sunday Roast

TechnoBabe Can Multi-Task: She Can Type, Laugh, And Pee At The Same Time


You have a distinct advantage over us menfolk.
Our 'aim' would be severely compromised if we had to do more than one thing at once - unless we sit down of course LOL!! Ah that's why you ladies always sit down so you can multi-task.

This week’s interview is with TechnoBabe, the author behind the little hippie blog called TechnoBabe’s Adventures.


Thank you for the interview and . . . .


A warm welcome to you and your followers




Here’s the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

When I began blogging in Sept 2006 I was working on my codependency in a twelve step program and was envisioning blogging as another tool toward a healthy life. My goal was to write in an anonymous manner but to have a venue to write about real life situations. At the same time, I found that I wanted a chance to write some posts about humorous stories as well as some painful stories from my childhood. I still blog anonymously and I continue to gain satisfaction from writing about a variety of subjects and pushing myself to write more effectively. Blogging has a place in my life; it enhances it but it doesn’t take the place of my real life. More, it is an addition to the rest of my life. For me, blogging is fun and as long as it is enjoyable and interesting, I will be blogging from my rocking chair wearing Depends!

What’s the story behind your blog name?

I wrote a post recently in March 1010 titled Where Did I Get The Name TechnoBabe that explains my then boyfriend, who became my husband, encouraged me in a transition from Windows to a new iMac computer by saying things like “Way to go, TechnoBabe”. So when I was deciding on a blog name, boyfriend suggested TechnoBabe and I added Adventures because I feel like I have had an amazing amount of adventures in my life so far and am still blessed to be traveling through life learning and being surprised all the time.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Being in the position to witness and share the amazing amount of talent in the blogsophere. Blogging is nothing like reading magazines or watching television. It is ten times more interesting and rewarding than talking on the phone or texting friends. It is possible to read and in some ways participate in discussions of great importance in a blog post that most likely would not be introduced in any other venue. Opening up ones heart in a blog post is made possible by the genuine interest and encouraging comments left by other bloggers. New interests and bits of information are in each blog. There is truly something for everyone in the blogosphere.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?Decide if you should be anonymous or not. Think things through before you put your first post out there for the entire world to see. Own what you say and do in your blog. Be prepared for some people to dislike your blog just as in real life not everyone is attracted to everyone. Sluff off the negative things and make it a goal to write each post to reflect the real you.

What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever read?

One that surprised me and I related to strongly was a post titled The Big Lie on the blog Professor B. Worm. The honesty of a childhood remembered was like finding another brother. Until I read that post I had no idea this particular blogger was capable of such depth. That post was one that helped me with some healing and the blogger never knew how much his post helped me personally.
Additionally, a post titled Living With Lewis on the blog Guilty With An Explanation opened my mind and heart to the daily pain of someone living with a loved one going through changes due to Alzheimer’s Dementia. This post was written in December 2009 a couple days after Christmas.

What is the most significant blog post you have ever written?

It is actually one I just wrote and have decided to save for Fathers Day. It is a post I will one day be proud to have written. For now, the post that has the most meaning for me was a post on 4/11/10 called Wizard of Aahs and Oohs about my husband’s CD finally being ready and up for sale. It was a culmination of hard work for both of us and we have high hopes that many people will like his music and buy the CD.

(And may I say for all of us to your hubby, "We wish you well with your CD.)

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting, who would you pick, and why?

Beth, at Be Yourself...Everyone Else Is Taken has more than one blog and her photography has a style of her own. The photography would be enough to draw people there, but the writing and the occasional surprise ideas she comes up with are a bonus.
Each post that Kathy, at Grace Was Calling And I Didn't Pick Up writes is inspiring to me and I think to many others as well. Her adventures in the program of Al-Anon are written with thoughtfulness and dignity.

(I'll contact them and thank you for your suggestions.)

That concluded the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to know you better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can’t live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down).


Music, Books, Honesty

(I really do wish there was a lot more honesty in the world - great you have included it.)

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

It would be a musical about a librarian (Jinksy) and her assistant (Enchanted Oak) who find a man (Otin of Wizard of Otin) living at the library. He is in love with Blueviolet and they don’t have any place to get married. So the librarian (Jinksy) and her assistant (Enchanted Oak) arrange for a wedding between the stacks. The minister (Eddie Bluelights) and the musicians (Suldog and TechnoBabe’s hubby) arrive on time. The Maid of Honor (Stacy, of Stacy’s Random Thoughts) and the Bridesmaid (Willow, of Life at Willow Manor) help the bride (Blueviolet) get dressed for the wedding. The Best Man (Syd, of I’m just F.I.N.E.--Recovery in Al-Anon) and the usher (Joey, of Joey’s Pad) get the bloggers settled while the musicians (Suldog and TechnoBabe’s hubby) play dreamy wedding music. The photographer (Life With Kaishon) has been busy snapping sexy pictures of the bride (Blueviolet) preparing to wed this day. When the minister (Eddie Bluelights) signals, the wedding begins. The wedding party and the blogger guests party into the night.

Would you want me to deliver a sermon? "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today . . . " Oh dear I have been distracted by the lovely Blueviolet.)

And finally, if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it’s the least I can do. OK fire away!

Eddie, do you get much time to visit lots of different blogs like I do and get to know bloggers that way, besides your job as roast host?

(No I do not visit blogs nearly as frequently as I would like. Alas time does not permit but I would love to be able to visit and comment more. I am very busy outside blogland at present and bloggers will know I have had surgery for a total hip replacement which required a couple of months convalescing. My roast hosting takes a fair chunk of time with all the organising required, but I love doing it and I get to meet some super people,)





Once again thank you for your interview and it certainly was fun.

__________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with TechnoBabe is the 118th in a weekly series
of interviews with bloggers from around the world.
__________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour for all published Roasts.
To view press
HERE
________________________________________________

Next week's roast is Alyson. Don't forget to tune in.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Something Strange With The Bird Houses This Year

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now going to give a short talk about the birds and the bees.

You may remember I did a post last year about the bird houses I made for my garden, and my general observations about our feathered friends nesting there and sizes of access holes for each species. I posted it in July and it was titled, He Flew The Nest Too Soon.

I made the nesting box shown in the first photograph for a common variety of bird here in England called a Blue Tit. This variety is quite small but also very aggressive and very territorial. It's larger cousin and equally aggressive, The Great Tit, is about half as large again, and will not tolerate Blue Tits in their territory, so they chase them away - I've seen it - the brutes!" In Spring we might have had Blue Tits nesting in the first photo, they were all ready to move in but, as you can see, some other inhabitants beat them to it, the squatters! In fact the Blue Tits were beaten off earlier by a pair of Great Tits, now nesting in another box, as you will see.
Cor Blimey! That queen bee must have had a few too many! Fancy building a hive in my Blue Tit bird box! Surely it is much too small. But here they are. Come and have a look, honey!

The poor little Blue Tits stood no chance, as Elvis sang they might have been 'stung by a sweet honey bee', although these are small bumble bees, not honey bees . . . but just look at all the honey oozing from inside. It makes my mouth water but I am not going to make a 'beeline' for it just yet and if I did I would have to take the back off the box to get the honey. The weather has been very hot during the last week and when I walk past the box/hive I can hear the buzz of lots of wings inside cooling the developing bee grubs so they do not get too hot and die. I will wait until the end of the year to see if I can retrieve some honey when all the workers (females) are dead and all the drones (males) and the queen take to their nuptial flight. The poor winning drone seeking her affection has to be the strongest and flies the highest with her before he captures her heart and is promptly rewarded by her ripping off his marital prospects and discarding the rest of him as he falls from the sky. Boy! I'm glad I'm not a drone bee!

So where are the Great Tits?
I've been busy with my camera. Got ya!! Nice little bird isn't he/she!
I was watching the pair for a while and they seemed to be having difficulty for that part of the day finding nice tasty protein bugs and caterpillars for their chicks. So I dug up some Earth Worms and put them on a plate. They were watching me as I retreated. And the greedy blighters swooped down and took them one by one to their chicks in their nest. Want to see? OK.

"Thank you. Mummy! - more! more!"


"Alright, alright! I'm off but watch your table manners while I'm away!"

The birds moved so fast it was quite difficult shooting stills. It is a pity my video recorder is not working - I might buy another soon.
I am reminded by all this bird talk of an event many years ago when my family were in Dartmoor, Cornwall. We pulled into a beautiful picnic area and several people were feeding bread to the birds. If memory serves me correctly I think they were Wag Tails. I remember seeing a very skinny bird that never seemed to be able to get to the bread before being buzzed by the stronger birds. So I placed a piece of bread on my reversed palm and held it out to the bird, some 20 feet away. Much to my amazement it flew straight to me and took the bread from my hand. It must have been ravenous to overcome natural fear, but it might have realised I meant it no harm. My daughter was upset that she could not get a bird to feed off her hand. Never mind, Eddie always has a way with the birds LOL.
You see how kind and gallant I am, even to the birds.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Sunday Roast

Does Ethel Mae Always Post Early - She Should - She Works In The Post Office!


Ethel Mae Potter - We Never Forgot Her!

Talking to Lucy again! I don't know! The telephone bill must be sky high! btw please tell Lucy, I love her. I used to love that TV series!

Now we all know Ethel May, don't we? Fancy her being on the telly!

This week's interview is with Ethel Mae Potter
who writes the blog,
The Adventures Of Fred And Ethel

Thank you for the interview, Ethel Mae

A very warm welcome to you and your followers




Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Two years ago, I didn't even know what a blog was. I was a regular on the Orlando forum of TripAdvisor, doling out advice to queries about Disneyworld. It's common practice on that forum to write a "trip report" after a visit to Orlando, and in my first trip report, I mentioned that my son, who had popped the question to his fiance at Disneyworld, would be married in a couple of weeks. Well, it seems folks liked my writing so much they begged for more...someone suggested that I write about the wedding. But I realized I couldn't write about a Nashville wedding on the Orlando forum, so I began a blog. After the wedding, I continued blogging simply because I enjoyed it; I enjoyed the creative outlet and the escape from reality a couple of times a week.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I wanted to remain completely anonymous, so I gave everyone in my blog fictional names. I have always felt a kinship to Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy, whose (fictional) maiden name was Ethel Mae Potter, and my husband is the cheapest man on the planet, much like Ethel's husband, Fred. It also helped that our relationship mimicked theirs - on the surface, they seemed completely unsuited to each other, constantly bickering, but they actually loved each other deep down. As for the title, The Adventures of Fred and Ethel...it's rather tongue in cheek, as I feel we are the most UNadventurous and boring couple in history!

(Found myself chuckling here, Ethel! I doubt that you were boring though)

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Number 1: Friendship with people from all walks of life, all over the planet
Number 2: Writing experience
Number 3: The opportunity to read the works of some truly exceptional authors

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Oh, I feel completely unqualified to answer this question! I suppose my advice would be to write about what you know, write from the heart, and don't quit your day job...because if you're expecting to make a million from your blog, well, it just ain't gonna happen!

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

ONE?! Are you kidding?! Okay, I'm gonna go with...with...with...nope, it can't be done. Three, that's as close as I can get to one. Hosing Strays and A Safe Place, both by Janine at Sniffles and Smiles, and Dead Dandelions, by Sara at Mother2Mother.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Again, this is so difficult! Monsters , and its follow-up, The Monsters That Lurk in the Shadows, are ones that I wrote in anger, which is a rare emotion for me, and my feelings show plainly in my written words. My post about Colby Curtin, a ten-year old cancer victim, was written in admiration and sympathy. But I think the most significant post I've written about myself is The Fat Lady Sings. And significant, as far as making me happy and making others laugh, would be anything about Willadean, especially Triangle of Love, Starring...Willadean?

(Looking forward to reading some of these)

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Whoo, Eddie, it's gettin' warm up here on this roastin' spit! No, don't!!! Don't throw another log on the fire!!!!
(And you look so innocent in your smiling photo! No one would ever suspect you are actually a fiendish devil.)

(How perceptive of you, Ethel! . . . pray continue)

Well, I do hate to put them through this agony, but I think definitely Janine, at Sniffles and Smiles. And, ummmm....so many blogs, so hard to choose...I'm going with...Alane, at Land of Shimp. Why? Because they are both superb authors, who weave beautiful tales. I do hope you will use a higher spit and fewer logs for their roasts, should you interview them.

(I am working on them and thank you for your suggestions)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

Oh, the essentials, definitely: air, water, and chocolate.
No, seriously, it would be my family, Christmas, and tv.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

Hmmm...how about The Blog Graduate? It would be the tale of a young man who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life and is seduced by the computer...and blogging. Soon, he is spending his days floating in the pool, thinking of subjects for his next post, and his nights typing away furtively on his computer, all the while keeping his second life a secret from his family and friends. Eventually, his secret is exposed and his life almost destroyed. He then follows a beautiful girl to her college, where he stalks her, sitting in on classes, and discovers his true love IS actually writing, and he pens and publishes his first novel. The stars? Who else but Eddie Bluelights as Ben; Hilary, from The Smitten Image as Elaine; and as Mrs. Robinson? An Apple Macbook Pro!

('Hilaryous' - oh! I've got her name embedded on my mind - I mean hilarious, Ethel! But why am I lucky in love only in fiction? Oh I can't say any more, Mrs Bluelights is about! But have you got Hilary's telephone number? . . . and don't tell Mrs Robinson! LOL)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

I actually wouldn't want to be anyone other than myself. Sure, there are people who seem to live the good life, but everyone has problems, and at least, I'm used to my own. I might make a few better choices the second time around, though!

(Most people want to be themselves which is refreshing to hear.)

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

Well, right now, I'd want to be a wizard who could extinguish fires with a magic word. I mean, come on, it's HOT up here!
Honestly, all I want to do is help people and make them happy. But how would that make me world famous? I suppose the closest I can come to that would be to become a cancer researcher and find a cure for all cancers.

(Seconded for sure, but please hurry up, Ethel, there are many people afflicted. It would be wonderful to have a cancer cure would it not?)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Eddie, this is really a very...unique question. (Were you on drugs when you came up with this one?)

(No! Just ice cream!. . . sorry to interrupt)

Okay, I would want to be the fudgiest chocolate imaginable, and as for who to lick me? No thanks, I'll be just go the route of the Wicked Witch of the West and melt.

(Oh fudge!)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

It's Christmas Eve, snowing, I've just retired, and my entire family is gathered at my house, children running up and down the stairs, everyone enjoying the snow, the warmth from the fireplace, and the smells of turkey roasting and fragrant pine branches.

(Sounds like Utopia)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

This one took a lot of thought. I'd like to say Margaret Mitchell, as Gone With the Wind is my very favorite novel, but if I were Margaret Mitchell, I'd be dead and gone, so...yeah, that's out. Harper Lee would be nice, since I could definitely go with the reclusive lifestyle, but she's 84 years old...even though I sometimes FEEL 84, I have no desire to skip over the next thirty years instantly. Nicholas Sparks, but I don't want to be a man.

(Oh I don't know - it's not so bad being a man but you surprise me! Most women I have met say they will come back as a man next time - it's much easier. . . . but please continue)

JK Rowling would be nice, but just imagine how much research she has to do! On the other hand, she's already done all that research and is finished with the Harry Potter series. But the pressure to surpass that series would drive me insane. I'm not sure it can be done. Maybe Stephenie Meyer - she's young and rich, and sorry if I'm offending anyone; it's just my opinion, but I believe there's yet room for improvement in her work.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

FIRE away? Is that a pun, Eddie? Because I'm definitely ready for this fire to be put away.
I think someone asked you a variation on this question before, but this is slightly different: If you could go back in time and witness any event, but not interfere in any way, what would you witness and why?

(Ethel, please extinguish those awful puns you are drenching us with LOL. But to answer your question)

I remember Knucklehead asked me a similar question and I dragged him back to 1905. It is a shame you will not permit me to alter events after all the hard work of travelling backwards in time. I might have arranged for the Trojans to defeat the Greeks and Hector valiant against Achilles, but I'd be a bit of a 'heel' if I did that!. But since you have forbidden me to alter history I would go right back as far as possible to the beginning of everything. Why! To answer the question once and for all. "Was the Universe started with a big bang, in which case where did a nucleus come from? Or was the Universe created?" I'll lay odds on it was created and in just 6 days too! But that's just my humble opinion.



This was fun Eddie! Thanks!



You're welcome Ethel Mae and gosh I see from your screenshot you've just won POTW. Many congratulations.

__________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with Ethel Mae is the 117th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. __________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE ________________________________________________

Next week's roast is TechnoBabe. Don't forget to tune in.

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Midweek Nosh-Up

Who's A Pretty Boy? Who's A Clever Boy? Who's A Lonely Boy?


By popular request, this week's interview is with Eddie's pet, Mickey the Budgie
who writes the blogs,
Birds Of A Feather Flock Together
and

Don't Count Your Chicks Before They Hatch


Thank you for the interview, Mickey

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

"Not too warm, Eddie please, and I don't want to end up on any one's dining plate either with my feet stuck in the air . . . and can I tell your readers all about my lady friends? Oh go on, please Eddie!!"
The Midweek Nosh-Up


Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

My owner, Eddie Bluelights, won't let me have guests visiting me because it interferes with my elocution lessons and studies. He thinks I am a genius! Well I am! so there! - my IQ is 2 and for a budgie that puts me in Mensa. I am certainly not in the gibbering idiot class and I am a cut above every budgie I know for my flair in all literary matters. Because I am so brainy and I am not allowed to socialise I have never had to opportunity to meet a nice little hen bird of my own age. Alas I have been very unlucky in matters of romance and have never been on a date with anyone, let alone had my first kiss. Isn't that sad? That cruel Eddie did give me a mirror for a consolation prize. I stand there in front of it for hours, bobbing up and down ninety to the dozen like there was no tomorrow, whilst chattering profusely and wondering whether this is all a huge waste of time. My suspicions are well founded because my reflection never seems remotely interested in what I say or what I do because it never seems willing to embark on any kind of budgie conversation, leading to even imaginary and meaningful relationships. So regularly I 'belt the living daylights out of my plastic toy budgie so I can release my anger and frustration.

So to answer the question. "Why do I blog?" I am very lonely little budgie and I asked Eddie if I could have a laptop computer connected to broadband so I could set up a blog and communicate with the outside world. I am very slow at typing and have to jump on the keys and when I have to type capital letters I find it extremely difficult pressing the shift key with one foot or a beak whilst depressing the letter key with my other foot. I have done the splits on numerous occasions whilst embarking on these highly dangerous and painful acrobatics. I cannot imagine the contortions I might have to endure if I set up twitter as well.

To date I have made a few friends with quite a number of little budgies - all seem to be named after their owners for some reason. Some are cock birds, a chap called Suldog comes to mind and Knucklehead and Jules and others, and I have a growing number of hen friends. I have quite a following already including an old crow, a hamster, a few field mice, a clapped out rooster and some lame ducks.

I flirt with some of my favourite budgie hens whom I like very much and I think they like me a lot but unfortunately they always keep me at wings length. In my mind I can hear them say, "Oh you are awful, but we like you". But that's as far as it goes.

Shall I tell you about a few of them? They are all very nice and kind and have a good sense of humour. There is a nice little chick called Marguerite who has lovely big green eyes and likes dancing a lot and eating shrimps. Trouble is she does not like eating millet and I am not too keen on shrimps or crayfish so unfortunately we cannot dine together and make meaningful and polite conversation. She is a high flyer and is so fit she leaves me for dead. She says she would like to Cajun Waltz with me but alas I do not think she would ever agree to have the last dance with me - sob sob. Well she might if I stood on her foot - that would definitely be our last dance. I do wonder how she manages to get those red cowgirl boots on with her webbed budgie feet. She's 'clipped my wings' a few times, calling me a naughty Canille boy or a rascal but I think she likes the Mr Hyde in me just a little, but perhaps she wants me to be that boring Dr Jekyll. Another little chick called Jackie is a school teacher, and I think she regards me as her Teacher's Pet. She is another American and a Georgian Girl and wears a lovely blue top and is crazy about the English Language spoken in England. She asks me incessantly what English phrases or words mean and I have to ask Eddie loads of complicated questions to feed her insatiable appetite in this regard. And of course there is Janine, who is a brilliant writer, journalist, painter, poet, theologian, mathematician, and anything else she puts her mind to - the mind boggles at her achievements and talent and sheer mental acrobatics. She reminds Eddie and I, in her writing style, of the famous Alistair Cooke, who wrote his weekly, "Letter From America". Trouble is, although we can converse together on a very high intellectual plateau, she keeps changing her mind on everything, confuses me - so I never do know where I stand with her, or indeed with any of these lady chicks. However, the one who likes me most I believe is a young bird called Cherry and I know she is wild about me but again we are much too far away from one another. I expect she is having a little chuckle as she reads all this.

Now all these ladies have little families of their own so I regard them as good friends.

So my main reason for blogging is loneliness and making new friends. I am sorry I rabbit, or should I say, 'budgie on' so much (like Eddie does) but you jolly well asked the question so I am jolly well going to answer it. Next question!
What's the story behind your blog name?

Oh what an exceeding boring question! Typical of Eddie - should I liven it up a bit?
Now listen Eddie your little budgie has two blogs (have a look if you don't believe me!):

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together Well they do. I was setting up my blog on blogger and I was asked for a blog name. This is the first one that came to mind. There is a pub called Birds Of A Feather near where we live and I like a little drink now and then so we Flocked Together in the pub and hence the title came to mind. Yes Eddie sometimes does let me come out with him. I sit on his head and if I am in a good mood leave it occasionally for biological reasons - if he annoys me I let him have it!

Don't Count Your Chicks Before They Hatch This is my second blog and I currently have one follower, which is a bit disappointing. I was expecting loads of eager readers queuing to read my stuff but only one came. The blog lives up to it's title and is a bit of a flop.

Well my answers are almost as boring as your question, Eddie, it's more exciting watching paint dry answering these questions. I'd much rather read George W. Bush gaffs like, "I'm honoured to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein" or when he first saw the White House his immortal observation is written in the annals of history, "It is white!"

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I can write what I like and when I like, say what I like, make friends, make enemies if I chose - but I am a nice little bird and say very nice things, especially to the ladies.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

If you are a young, attractive, unattached, kind, considerate, loving and rich female budgerigar then I would advise you to email me straight away and we can meet up and dine together at my favourite restaurant. If you are not - then kindly shove off!

However Eddie is insisting I answer the question as it is intended, so I would advise newbie bloggers write from the heart and from personal experience, or if you haven't had any, then invent stories, like Eddie does.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
I just loved reading Grumpy Old Ken's story of a pet hamster called Rambo. The story is real and brilliant and called Rambo by Name, Rambo by Nature. Please pop over and read it when you have finished reading my roast/midweek nosh-up.

I know Auntie Robynn at Robynn's Ravings had a pet budgie called Kiwi and she will one day write a story about him. I emailed her today and she gave me some details of Kiwi which made me very excited.

My budgie's name was Kiwi. He was neon yellow/green with a big, dark green Canadian maple leaf on his breast. He had a gimpy leg (curled talons he could not straighten out), and was caught in the park behind our house. He gave up his freedom for a bowl of bread crumbs (how alike we were)! I snatched him up with my hand and he bit me all the way home. After a week of silence, he launched into THE most terrific songs and could imitate any bird in the wild. I MISS KIWI!!!! Looking forward to the story!
Oh! yes! yes! yes! Kiwi will be my best buddy and I'll fly over to the States to meet him and we could then paint the town red together. I am not sure how I am going to get there yet because it is much too far for me to fly. I might hitch a ride on the back of some migrating geese. I'm sure they will agree if I recite some silly poems to them en route.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Eddie will tell you he wrote these two stories. I say, "Tosh!"

Eddie was stuck for words so I dictated everything to him. Both stories were about me, of course. The first was Mickey The Celibate Budgie and it is Eddie's confession about keeping me away from chicks so I could concentrate on my academic life. The story includes how I learned to fly, and how I managed to recite long epic poems and how Eddie annoyed me by entering the room with his silly false eyes and nose, scaring the life out of me. I was so annoyed I dive bombed him like a German Stuka plane.



The second, Mickey The Lovesick Budgie, recounts how Eddie was sorry for depriving me of a natural and full life and our attempts to rectify my sad situation - and how I was on the receiving end of a lot of embarrassing comments from a load of teasing budgie hens. I am still fuming about it!

Finally, there is an account in Eddie's five-part play entitled, 767 Weddings, 2 Irate Vicars and Almost A Funeral right at the end, part 5, when I travel backwards in time with Eddie to 1891 and meet a charming little budgie hen called Elizabeth. I decide to remain with her while Eddie returns to the present time.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

I would roast Grumpy Old Ken again for his Rambo the hamster story, Rambo by Name, Rambo by Nature, as mentioned.

Marguerite of Cajun Delights because Eddie is always going on about her and thinks it's about time she was roasted.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.
Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

Cuttlefish, Millet, Female Company.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I would be the star in Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds.
I would get a load of sea gulls to dive bomb Eddie. I would enjoy watching him run like hell with his new bionic hip to see if he could outrun Steve Austen.

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

I would love to be born in Australia in the wild and speak freely in budgie language and not have to say ever again, Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie. It is totally ridiculous of Eddie to teach me this stupid poem when I could have been concentrating on learning a sonnet so I could woo a young chick and melt her heart. She would have been very impressed with a sonnet but if I go up to a chick and say, "Who's a pretty Boy!" she is going to think either "I'm God's gift to budgies" or "A self opinionated Old Fart!" or "I am extremely weird".

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?
In Mickey The Celibate Budgie I explain how I could have played any instrument being highly musical - so I am already a gifted musician. I often blow my own trumpet!

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?
Millet flavoured ice cream of course! Golly, Eddie asks some dumb questions doesn't he? As for the latter part of my answer, now look I am at the grateful age!

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.
It would be wonderful if I could return to 1891 and meet my little hen budgie Elizabeth again. That would be my perfect day. And there are two sentences not one but she was special.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?
Well I am not a fictional writer so Eddie why are you asking such a dumb question as this?
However if you must have an answer I do like H Rider Haggard stories but they are a bit dated now. Why? Because I like him - silly!

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Coming onto this show for starters! Why can't you leave people alone, Eddie? You ask people if they want to be roasted, plague the life out of them, bully them, make them do it. You use your wit and charm if you can and if that doesn't work you get all nasty and start sending snotty emails all over blogland. Isn't he a nasty cruel man, folks? You are a naughty, naughty boy, Eddie!

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!
Here is my question to you.

When I fell off my perch after just failing to learn the last verse by just one word of Georgie Porgie Pudding And Pie you and Maggie May had a little funeral in the back garden. Why did you bury me only 6 inches down? The cat dug me up!

(Sorry Mickey)


Thank you Mickey for the interview. Gosh you are a powerful lad aren't you - you roasted me!
_______________________________________

Hope you enjoyed this little digression from the normal Sunday Roast. I cannot add it to The Sunday Roast column but I am introducing a new midweek sequel called The Midweek Nosh-Up where I invite back previous roastees to answer some or all of the new questions I have introduced. I am gathering material at present so it will be a while before I launch it.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Sunday Roast

Fancy That! The Jules Wot Lives At The Gravel Farm Is The World's Smallest Giant And Guess What? - He's 'Stoned' Again!

And just look - he's coming up for air!! I like your snorkel, Jules!! But looks like you need CPR urgently and a large dose of Entonox! To those not knowing this is a mixture of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and Oxygen, 50/50 mix)

This week's interview is with The Jules
who writes the blog,
The Gravel Farm


Thank you for the interview, Jules

A very warm welcome to you and your followers



Jules has an introduction for us. Do you know I did one on my Roast too but it was 'cut' - I'll show it to you one day. The fact that Jules and I both did introductions may be because we are both ambulance men and maybe our brains work that way.


Introduction

My name is The Jules (in order to show the difference between me and all the other Jules’s out there), and I am a paramedic working in the West of England. I am approaching 40 years on the planet and have made literally some progress during that time. My blog is called The Gravel Farm and I feel it encapsulates every nuance of human experience in a neat, easily accessible format available to everybody and might just possibly herald a new dawn of understanding and empathy between the peoples of the world. It’s also quite optimistic. Having just had my second child, I may be lax on the old postings for a bit, but once you get into blogging, it’s a bit hard to stop. In fact, it’s as addictive as deep fried cocaine in an Easter egg.

(You have a nice way of putting things, Jules. Yes, blogging is very addictive)

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Because it’s not there, if you’re looking at a blank page. I like writing stuff. I did a ten week creative writing course once, and the class ended up continuing for three or four years, turning into a writing club. Strangely, there were quite a few men in the group which is unusual apparently. So unusual in fact that we had a visit from a psychologist who wanted to quiz us on our motivations as men in a club more popular with the less-penised half of the population. We described our yearnings to express ourselves, to be creative and to explore the inner realms of our humanity through the medium of writing, and to bond with other people from all aspects of the social spectrum. She left after a few weeks because of the strippers.

What's the story behind your blog name?

It was just a test name whilst setting up my blog, having never done one before, and I thought it up on the spot as an example of a pointless exercise. Farming gravel seemed like a daft enterprise, and if I ever decided to start a proper blog, I thought, I could always change the name. It’ll be the Gravel Farm till the end of time now, I suppose.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Well, obviously I like the ID card the government give you (from the Dept. Of Blogging) with a license to go anywhere in the country, talk to anyone, take photos of even the most sensitive and secret of situations, and everyone has to comply with your wishes lest they face a negative comment on your blog. You know the ID card right? You get it after your 5th post. Delivered by a man in a tuxedo and a balaclava, who arrives with it in a briefcase chained to his neck. It’s gold and black, with a picture of an unblinking eye in the middle, and cobalt-blue LEDs that spell out Blogger, although they turn red in the presence of Nazis. And sharks. Secondarily, and I’m not going to apologise for the lack of originality, it’s the people in the blogosphere. People take the time to read, and then follow, and this is rather humbling. The comments are empowering and can cheer you on the most melancholy of days. When folk have made the effort to interact with your blog, you don’t want to let them down. When you lose a follower, it’s painful. If I were to describe it, I would say that it’s exactly like someone has stuck a rusty ice-cream scoop between your ribs and taken a chunk out of your heart whilst whispering “No more” into your ear. Exactly like that.

(Agreed, but it's strange why followers go, sometimes they leave for no apparent reason)

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

It’s the same advice authors give to wannabe writers. Write something. Just a sentence. A quip. An observation. You don’t have to worry about word counts or, to tell the truth, even quality, because it will improve. Just because your first post was a 3000 word treatise on the history of nietzschean philosophy doesn’t mean your next one can’t be an amusing photo of a dog dragging its arse along a beige carpet. Often you’ll write that first bit and it will unlock the next sentence, which will inspire the third, and before you know it you’ve dominoed an entire paragraph. Which could be crap so you delete it and start again, but still, you’re writing . . .


(I'm very amused about the dog but thankful it is someone else's carpet!)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

There’s a blog called Any Way I Have To by a sterling chap in the States called UnderOvr, also known as The U. Reading about his history, it was like that of a man not just from another country, but from another time. Yet this guy is only in his fifties. His blog is currently on hiatus, sadly, yet I urge anyone, of any ethnic group, to read his back catalogue for an insight into some steady wisdom, and a gentle intellect with an obvious core of inner strength you could shore up the moon with. The most significant post I recall involved a comparison between him and the tribulations of a close family member, and you get an idea of how different his life could have been without his own ability to take control of his destiny. It’s called The Cycle of Life and I didn’t comment on it because . . . well, perhaps I was worried about being too flippant, or patronisingly sympathetic, or absurdly apologetic without really understanding why. I don’t know. I am a little ashamed of this now. I wish I’d just written something like “nice post” and left it at that. Maybe I’ll go and do that now.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I don’t really do significant. I do ephemeral daftness and the occasional rant, which is essentially how I live most of my life. For me, the most personally significant post was obviously the one (very recently) announcing the arrival of my sprog. I know, I know, if I was any cheesier I’d be a Dairy Lea Triangle.


(He's too modest! I think the post Jules refers to is called Babbling On which is a hoot and I must highlight Knocked Up For Six about pre-natal escapades - very funny! And of course we all congratulate you on the birth of your daughter)

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

I’m thinking of keeping my selection to this island, as a sort of self-imposed section procedure because so many of the blogs I read are amazing. There is a Scotch theme to my choices: Madame De Farge’s blog at Bateau De Banane – her titles are wonders on their own. Jimmy Bastard’s eponymous blog – The man is a poet, and no mistake. Thinking about it, these two could actually be the same person. I’ve never seen them in the same room at the same time.

Honourable mentions must include Pearl, Vic and Steamy. They make me go “Mweh!” On a regular basis.

(Too late man! Where are your blues and twos? Madame De Farge was roasted last week and she was cooked to perfection. However, I will contact the others soon - thank you)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

I take it they have to be things rather than people, because I’m not particularly materialistic. I expect oxygen and water come fairly high on that list but I’m guessing that is also not the point of the question so, if I had to choose three things, the first would be my ukulele because it may be daft but it’s soooo much fun and keeps your fingers nimble. Second, I love my Gerber multi tool, which I feel naked and incapable without. Thirdly, I would hate to lose my motorbike. Having now got a couple of kids and only one car, I’m hoping that the bike isn’t on a sticky wicket. Loads of my friends who got rid of theirs when they became responsible parents - all regretted it, so I shall endeavour to keep it.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

A fill um about the blogosphere would have a hell of a lot of leading characters, but it would be a simple premise. I’m thinking every actor in the world, filmed from above, shouting their opinions for the first half of the film, and then everyone shouting their opinions on everybody else’s opinions for the second half. I think I’d call it “The Gravel Farm And Some Other Blogs.”

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Ooh tricky. Superman maybe? Only I’d have a krypton-resistant suit for health and safety reasons. No wait, that’s silly. He’s fictional I think. Right, it would have to be He-Man, only I’d spend more time round at She-Ra’s gaff showing her my powerful sword and asking why no-one recognises me when I look exactly the same as my alter ego. I’ve just looked up She-Ra and discovered that she’s He-Man’s sister. So now I feel bad. Also, curious.

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I like the idea of being a novelist, only without putting all that effort in, so I would like the talent of having a great ghost writer, who is agoraphobic and hates publicity. Who also eschews material things and gets paid in spuds.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Bhut jolokia chilli peppers and lidocaine flavour might be good. The licker (and may they be legion) would get a blast from the hottest chillies in the world before they went pleasantly numb afterwards.

(Spoken like a true Ambulance Man. The uniform helps of course!)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

Quite mundane really. Maybe a lie in, followed by a pleasant breakfast with the family, before going out and refereeing at the International Naked Ladies Wrestling in Honey Championships (INLWHC), a quick uke rehearsal with The Levellers in the afternoon, a snorkel in a warm sea before a dinner party with various heads of state and some selected comedians for my entertainment, finished off by the impromptu discovery of immortality before bed. As I said, mundane.

(You do lead an extremely boring life, Jules! What do you do for excitement?)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I like the idea of being a fictional writer rather than a fiction writer. The former would be Ford Prefect, from Hitch Hikers Guide To the Galaxy, because he writes for a guide book for hitch hikers. In the galaxy. If it was the latter (and I suspect it is), then Iain Banks (with or without the middle ‘M’) would be high on my list for the sheer imagination he shows, or maybe Terry Pratchett because he looks like he has so much fun doing what he does.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

(In fairness I was a little late springing this question on Jules but here is what he said just prior to posting his roast)
It's a bit late for me to add anything else, although I've got a plethora of excruciatingly embarrassing moments. Maybe a topic for a post of my own . . .

(I shall do a special on this one day, Jules, when I get my sequel midweek interview launched! Watch out folks for my column for all previous roastees entitled The Midweek Nosh-Up. I am currently gathering material.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do, so OK fire away!

Thanks for the roast Eddie. Made me think, so only fair I return the favour. As a fellow ambulance person, I’d like you tell us, if you could do any job in the world, astronaut or lumberjack, chemist or mastic ashphalter, what would you do?

I would be a professional sun bather in the South of France - definitely! Someone please lasso the UK and tow it further south - my genes are screaming that I should be in a much warmer country!
My honest answer to your question is that had I been a lot younger when entering the Ambulance Service I would have studied to be a Paramedic, just like you. It is great to be able to help sick and injured people and readers know I would like also to lay hands on sick people and make them well. If all of these options were deemed not possible for me I would wish for one of two things: to be a great batsman in the England cricket team or to be a great concert pianist. I have retired now so it is a little late for me to announce , "I want to be a brain surgeon."



Thank you Jules for this informative and humorous interview.

________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with The Jules is the 116th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE
________________________________________________

Next roast is Ethel Mae Potter - a lovely lass and her roast is not be missed!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Home Improvements Taking Up Time

My wife and I were pondering moving home at the end of last year and wondered about 'down-sizing' (a well used and 'in' phrase here in England in recent times).

We looked at 15 newer houses and just did not like any of them. So I said to Mrs Bluelights, "Let's save ourselves a bomb on Estate Agent's fees and Solicitor's fees and 'do the place up' instead. So that is what we decided. We love the garden. We love the house. We love the locality and the neighbours - well the pretty ones anyway LOL.

But the house was looking 'tired' and needed some modernising. So we decided to renew the windows and doors except our beautiful wooden front door, renew a lot of carpets, and completely modernise the kitchen.

Before my hip replacement I managed to decorate two bedrooms and we had the double glazed windows renewed at the rear of the house. I was in a lot of pain with my arthritic hip but managed to complete the bedroom decorations just before I was admitted to hospital for my total hip replacement.

I am an agent for a local window company so we got a very good deal on the windows and they are high quality ones with all the latest benefits like fire escape openings, internally glazed units, partial opening locking mechanisms etc.

We have just had the front upstairs windows replaced and our bedroom recarpeted. Two neighbours were so impressed with the windows they want me to give them a quote - which is nice. Tomorrow we are having the remaining windows fitted in our largish lounge. We had to get things cleared away ready for the fitter, who I know very well. I expect I will hold a few things for him while he secures the windows.

As you can imagine we have been very busy here for a number of weeks and consequently I have been rather inactive in the blogging world, except for preparing roasts. which does take some time to do but I feel I must keep them coming.

It is now 12 weeks since I had my operation and I can walk around freely without using sticks but sometimes I get a 'twinge' of pain when I start walking - just for the first few steps, then I can keep going for over 2 miles. I'll tell you all about it in another post. I can jog a little as well - moderately for about 50 metres. Oh! and I celebrated this morning. I can poot on my left sock ny myself!! A giant step for Eddie, a small step for mankind!!

There were some heavy things to move today and I was very surprised how easily I managed to do it - like lifting one end of the piano and walking it with my son in small steps into our breakfast room.

It was then I got inspired to sit down and have a go on the Joanna as the East London Cockneys would say. I played some Bach, his Prelude No 1 from his 48 Preludes and Fugues and I was surprised that I got through with just a few mistakes. I have not played for 15 years. My son was gobsmacked since he has never heard me play. Then I tried my previous party piece, Prelude No 6 which I used to be able to rattle off beautifully. My fingers crashed all over the place but some of it was OK. Then a Mozart Sonata - if you get him wrong he is very unforgiving and it sounds awful. Then Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata - just the first movement. I used to be able to play it with no mistakes and I was a bit frustrated but quite pleased. If you foul up Beethoven you can get away with it much more easily than with Mozart. I could not find Chopin's Prelude No 2 which I used to play.

So to sum up I murdered Mozart, severely injured Bach and mugged Beethoven, all of which leads me to a question:

Q. What did Mozart do when he died?
A. He started decomposing! LOL

In conclusion I would like to publicly thank Marguerite for presenting me with this award.

You are such a 'sweetie' and I appreciate very much being one of your blogger buddies and I am grateful for the award which is proudly nailed to my side bar. I am supposed to nominate 10 blogging buddies and I shall do so in due course.

I do have a lot of posting ideas but time is at a premium at present. The ideas are just 'wizzing' around in my head at present LOL

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Sunday Roast

"Off With Your Heads!" Does Madame de Farge Really Have A Boat-full Of French Bananas?

Golly Madame! You're not giving away any official state secrets here are you! LOL
I'd recognise you in a crowd anywhere! "There she is folks! The one with the cherry on top!"


This week's interview is with Madame de Farge
who writes the blog,
Bateau de Banane .


Thank you for the interview

A very warm welcome to you and your followers






Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Mostly from a shameless sense of self publicity, which is hidden carefully behind a veil of anonymity. But mostly because I enjoy writing as a form of catharsis. It allows me to display my terrible alliteration, pay-off lines and baffling titles and all within the confines of 480 words.

I also started because I live alone during the week, as I work away from home. So, starting the blog stopped me feeling lonely. That sounds very self-pitying, but I am not the most sociable of creatures and wanted to be rather more creative than just sitting in the pub, gossiping after work. I'm not very good with hobbies and rarely keep up with anything for more than a year. Just not very good at putting in the effort, so I suppose that I was also looking for something that I could do as and when it struck me. But I also prefer structure in my life, so wanted something that would force me to stick to a framework. All very complicated. In my dim and distant youth, I had been involved briefly in the world of fanzines and knew that I could write, but had forgotten how after so many years of writing for work.

Oh, and I enjoy it. That's rather important too.

What's the story behind your blog name?

It's all because of a drunken escapade in France on holiday three years ago and a unfettered desire to translate Glasgow street songs and phrases into French. This post in September 2008 explains it, entitled Unaccustomed as I am To Public Speaking. And the name trips off the tongue rather nicely. There were all sorts of other, pretentious names, but a vote by chums decided it. My nom-de-plume is for much the same reason. I don't particularly like Dickens, but always liked the baddies, so Madame DeFarge seemed ideal. I don't knit.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

There's all sorts of replies that I could give. It's the ideal way for me to show off my talents to an uncaring world, the perfect way to spend a dull evening in London or Derby and it's cheaper than being in the pub.

But that's all nonsense really. I like writing. I like reading. I like connecting with perfect strangers through their writing. So, it's ideal for me. I've 'met' some wonderful people through this medium and although we might all be very different in real life, they've been a source of inspiration to me. Within the confines of the blog world, I consider some of them to be chums.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Write about what you know best. In my case, it's myself, which seems very self-centred, but it works for me. And don't measure yourself by followers and comments. Some of my favourite blogs have few followers but a loyal readership. That's more important. And never feel guilty for not blogging. We do all have a life to which we should attend.

As for the actual writing, for me, structure is very important, so I stick to roughly the same length for every post. I'm not sure how many people think about structure, maybe they just write. But my writing at work is very structured, so I bring the same habit to the blog. It provides a useful framework for me. I like a beginning, middle and end. So, unless you want to write a stream of consciousness post, I suggest that you think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.

I also don't finish a post if I can't get past 250 words. It's a quirk, but if it's not flowing, then it's not worth it. I've now realised that I must sound very sad. So many rules.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I tend not to read 'serious' blogs. I prefer funny or observational blogs, but that's more because I rarely feel comfortable with serious posts. People write for all sorts of reasons and blogging can be akin to the confessional. However, there's a few significant for different reasons, some sad, some funny, some insightful.

Kevin Musgrove at his blogs Commonplaces and Tales from Helminthdale is always wonderful and makes me want to write like him. He wrote a very moving post Layers Of Regret and I could have cried for the ache in his words.

Another one that made me howl my eyes out was this one from The View From Macy, a lovely, unsung, blog. The post that got to me was I may have graduated from St Maggies.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Significant is a loaded word. I'm not sure that any of them would ever count as significant. They are there to be enjoyed and to add a chuckle to someone's day. I don't like writing serious posts and try to avoid them wherever possible. I have written a couple when I've felt miserable, but they don't sum me up. Actually, I tend not to write when I feel miserable. It sucks any creative thoughts right out of my head.

My most significant one is way too personal and it's about someone else, so I won't mention it in detail. However, it meant a great deal to me and still does. It was a very rare foray into a demonstration of real feelings.

If I had to choose one that does sum me up, I'd probably go for Me? Myself? Aye just because it's a perfect example of my approach to blogging. And it still makes me laugh.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Neither of them would probably wouldn't do it, but Jimmy Bastard and Kevin Musgrove .

Jimmy is rather well known in the blogging world, but it's entirely deserved. We have a nefarious past association apparently, but he's a fine chap and I miss him when he's not around.

Kevin is, well, wonderful. He is inventive, has better titles than I could ever imagine and is enviably dry in his wit and humour. I am a shameless fan.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

My MacBookPro, my finely tuned sense of comic timing and my regrets. There's plenty of other things and people crucial to my life, but I wouldn't want them becoming bigheaded.

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Myself, but with fewer mistakes and regrets. To paraphrase Gershwin 'Oh, how I long to be the gal I used to be”. I've rarely felt the urge to be anyone else. I'd like to be happier, but suspect that I never would be. Blimey, now I sound a real misery guts. My point is that I am content enough with my life and to live with all the nonsense that shares it with me. However, at a push, I'd like to be 5'8''. Always seemed to be a good height.

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I'd like to be able to play the organ. I've always wanted to do that. I played the double bass at school, but was never really that musical. So, if I could pick any talent, it would be to be a great virtuoso on the organ. And this is entirely serious, which is most unlike me as you know. I recall hearing Widor's Toccata being played at my graduation and just wanting to be able to do it myself. Just being able to know how to do that would be wonderful. I imagine being in Canterbury Cathedral at night and playing something really loud. It's so exciting to hear, but it would be even better to be the person that could do it.

(Love the organ and Widor is fantastic - also Bach's Toccata and Fugue - and yes it would be wonderful to play it well)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

It would have to be Dime Bar Crunch from Equi's in Hamilton. And as for the licking, well, anyone who likes Dime Bar Crunch, although I may have to restrict access. It would be a joy to provide such pleasure to them. Assuming I didn't melt too quickly. There's nothing more annoying than having ice-cream drip down your cone and get your hands all sticky.

(You win a star for the best answer yet! LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

Waking up without an alarm, being with someone I love, eating ice-cream, walking on a beach, thinking up the perfect blog post title together with a superb pay-off line.

(May every day be your perfect day)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

It's bad enough thinking about being a writer, let alone a fictional one. If I could be a real writer, then I'd be Stephen Leacock or S.J. Perelman. Both superb and sort of what I aspire to be. Well, as they're both dead, maybe not entirely like them. But they wrote in a way that I would love to be able to do.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

There are so many to chose from, but I think that one would certainly be when I was at university, flouncing out of a students' council meeting, swearing never to come back (for reasons lost in the midst of time), and not being able to open the doors through which I had intended to make my dramatic exit. It loses something when you have to nip back to ask if anyone knows how to let you out.

(Lovely! LOL Didn't a certain famous playwright observe, "They have their exits and their entrances!" LOL)

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

If you didn't blog, would you feel a sense of loss?

If someone had asked me that question a year ago I would have said a resounding "yes". I would have regarded it akin to having an arm amputated. However right at this point in time I would not mind a short break from blogging which I have not actually had since January 2009 - so I think I am overdue for one. Of course I have to continue with The Sunday Roasts but lately I am not writing much and cannot devote much time to visiting and commenting, alas because I have a lot of things to do in real life. But in answer to your question I would feel a loss because blogging is very addictive and I do not want to desert my bloggy friends..


Thank you again for the interview and it is always nice for the readers to know a little more about fellow bloggers - hence the beauty of The Sunday Roast. Please tune in regularly.

________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with Madame de Farge is the 115th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE
________________________________________________

Next week, The Jules at The Gravel Farm
(No doubt he will be 'stoned' again! and wearing his snorkel LOL. See him next week to find out what I'm talking about!)

To end - by popular demand I have been asked to roast my pet budgerigar, Mickey, who has featured in several of my posts. Hope he does not end up as a burnt offering! Preview of forthcoming attractions!! LOL

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Sunday Roast

Let's Take A Fascinating Journey Into Slommler's World Of Art


It gives me great pleasure to introduce a lady who is a consistent follower of The Sunday Roast and I wish to publicly thank her for her support. I don't think she has missed one roast since I started in October last year. Now who is she, you might wonder? Oh! go on then! It's Christmas according to her photo so I will give you a clue! It's her commenting calling card: you have all seen it:

Now we are getting warmer!

. . . . and don't they make a lovely couple?


This week's interview is with Slommler, otherwise known as SueAnn

who writes the blog,
SueAnn's Journey .

Thank you for the interview, SueAnn


A very warm welcome to you and your followers




Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I started blogging to showcase my artwork. Nothing more; nothing less. Then it reached out and grabbed me. I ended up on a path that I was totally unfamiliar with and I had no idea where it would take me. Still don’t! It became so much more than showing pictures of my artwork. The process of making my art and personal stories caused my blog to evolve. Linking me to people from all over the world and actually getting to know them. And to realize they were actually interested in what and how I was making art. This still blows me away.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I suffered from Agoraphobia and my house became my world. I found it extremely difficult to get out of the front door. All I wanted to do was wander around the five rooms of my house. I called it, “The Journey of Five Rooms”. Living room, dining room, master bedroom, guest bedroom, and my studio. Through all of this, I clung to my art. It was and is who I am. It took me ten years; but I finally made it out of the house. My journey was complete. Now I take journeys with every piece that I work on, be it baby doll, sculpture, photo or mixed media. Hence, SueAnn’s Journey!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The ability to share my work and the process behind it as well as meeting bloggers from all over the world. I have met some fabulous people! And it still catches me by surprise with the close ties I have developed in sucha short period of time.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

It has been said so many times before. “Be yourself”, share what you know; be it stories, poetry, photography, recipes, art or whatever. Visit other blogs and make sure and leave comments. Leaving comments is a way of getting to know your neighbors. You introduce yourself and let them know of your blog. And don’t be afraid to ask advice. Learn by example!

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Diane Irby from Good Morning Glory always moves me. Her honesty and openness softens my heart. She has two special needs children (one is a teen so she gets double brownie points) and her courage and tenacity blow me away. I can think of several posts that have brought me to tears! And posts that made me laugh out loud. She is definitely worth a visit.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I don’t know about significant; but the most fun post was the Halloween party sponsored by Vanessa at Fanciful Twist. It was entitled Happy Halloween! Vanessa is so fabulous and such a creative and talented lady! I just love her.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Margaret of Nanny Goats in Panties She has a rich sense of humor and is deliciously wicked! She always puts a smile on my face. Many times I have spewed coffee all over my keyboard reading her ramblings. Definitely worth a visit. Kristina of Pulsipher Predilections a Snuggie Queen!! Her quote from Erma Bombeck is “When humor goes, there goes civilization”. And she definitely lives by that motto. She also makes me laugh out loud. Can you tell I like to laugh? Go visit Kristina…she will make your day.

(Both are great choices, SueAnn. Margaret at Nanny Goats and Panties has been roasted HERE and I have invited Kristina of Pulsipher Predilections and she is writing her roast at this very moment, I hope. Come on Kristina! get on with it LOL)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

My God and my laughter
My art and my vast array of supplies!
My husband and family; which includes five grandchildren whom I adore.

(Great choices!)

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

The Nightmare before Blogmas! With Diane Irby of Good Mourning Glory as Sally and Brian Miller of WayStationOne who would be perfect as Jack!! He is a great storyteller and the role of Jack suits him to a “T”. And last but not least, you dear Eddie as the Town Mayor…the mayor with two faces!! The “I am here to please you” face and the “I am going to make you pay” face!! LOL!! Jack (Brian Miller) would be intent on taking over blogland on Christmas Eve. He would have everyone eating out his hand. Everyone but Sally (Diane Irby); she would be most hesitant. The Mayor (you) would see this as a perfect opportunity to rule a new kingdom and would be all for it. In the end, Sally mounts a counter attack and rescues blogland from Jack’s corrupted ways and the Mayor sees he must be content just ruling the tiny kingdom he has. The End

(Two faces . . .eh! Empire building . . . eh! Well I suppose I should rule over a very tiny kingdom! LOL . . but no chance of that Mrs Bluelights around! LOL)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Heidi Klum…need I say more?

(Heidi Klum - oh yes please and can I have your telephone number? LOL)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

I would be Butter Pecan and I would love to have Johnny Depp and Robert Downey, Jr. licking away at me for sure!!!!

(Now we know your secrets LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day?

Get up early (3 to 4AM) and have coffee ready and waiting. Read blogs and write one of my own posts. Eat my breakfast, shower and dress and head out into my studio. Work in my studio all day with breaks for lunch and a snack. Hubby home at 6PM; eat dinner and talk until bedtime. That is my perfect day!

(Gosh! That is really early! I can't get into second gear until 8am)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

Charlaine Harris! After spending time reading her novels; especially the Sookie Stackhouse series, well she is just having way too much fun in her head!! I want to live there!

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I was in high school and had on a pencil skirt and blouse. I borrowed the skirt from my good friend, Bonnie. Walking down the hall, a boy named Eddie (of course) started teasing me about something...I forget what. I kept telling him to leave me alone and he wouldn't. So I swung my foot towards him to kick him and when I did that, my skirt ripped up the back seam. My entire backside was exposed! And I had no slip on...so undies were showing! I was mortified!! I made my girlfriend, Bonnie, walk behind me as I went to the ladies room. What a way to start my morning at school that day!! Sheesh!!

(OK blame Eddie again!! Great story! Hey folks, do you like the new question?)

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

What does family mean to you?

They mean the world to me, in fact everything. I am most fortunatel to have a lovely wife whom I married 37 years ago. Unfortunately she has secondary cancer and we are not sure how long she will remain with us - I love her very much as indeed I do my daughter and son. Time flies by so quickly -it seems yesterday the children were babies . . . and I was a young man . . . sob, sob.

Thank you Eddie! I had way too much fun doing this.

My pleasure SueAnn - great to have you on the show.



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Today's Sunday Roast with Slommler is the 114th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE
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Next week's roast is
Madame de Farge