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Saturday 9 October 2010

The Sunday Roast

It’s Easy Being Green When You’re A Frog With A Blog! 

or:  It’s a Frog’s Life

Says my guest, "Behind every Happy Frog there’s a bottle of red wine and a glass. 
All those in favour say ‘I’!"

Froggy on the move – 80s Rewind Festival

Caption - Do you think Happy Frog got the point? I do!

This froggy bloggy follows last week's roast post when we featured Jazz with her froggy avatar,  Michigan. Any relation I wonder LOL??

This week's interview is with I
who writes the blog,
 Happy Frog And I
Thank you for the interview, I 

A very warm welcome to you and Happy Frog and your followers

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

There are so many reasons why I blog and I am always thinking of new ones.  I was first encouraged to start a blog by wendy house.  It was quite a while after she first suggested the idea, however, that I went for it.  I’d had quite a few tough things to deal with and was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I thought starting a predominantly positive and happy blog would be a good move for me.  The blog continues to change and evolve and I seem to have enough ideas to take me through to 2013 so I am really enjoying it.

The community aspect and support offered by bloggers is wonderful and I find it very cathartic.  There are many generous, creative and caring people out there, which is fantastic. 

I have gained so many new approaches and different ways of setting down my thoughts and ideas.  These include the 100 Word posts of  Mr London Street, which I have so far only used as an exercise but plan to put up my own in the future; the Three Beautiful Things (3BTs) that Clare posts daily, which she knows inspired me to do a monthly round up of positive things on my blog; the photos that tell their own stories in so many blogs, but in particular in the Heyokah and Kitty’s Bloggy Bits blogs.  They have inspired me to try and do better with my photography for myself and also for the blog. 

I love the discipline of ensuring there are 3 posts ready to go each week.  I’d stopped creating for several years so this has been a lovely way to get back into it again.   

What's the story behind your blog name?

At the time I started the blog, Happy Frog was the smiley one and I was hopeful that I could get back to being my usual smiley, optimistic self.  But I wasn’t quite there yet.

I love films and one in particular that has always made me laugh with its witty and memorable quotes is Withnail and I.  Since he hopped into my life, I’ve found Froggy Frog Frogton (Happy Frog) a bit of an inspiration, especially if I’m away in a hotel room on my own for work and/or feeling down – who can resist that massive smile?!  So the name Happy Frog and I (Tales from the Lilypad) seemed right. 

I liked the fact that in Withnail and I we never get to find out the real name of I.  It added a bit of mystery.  Once I get to know fellow bloggers I do often let them know my real name though, so I’m not very good at being enigmatic myself!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

For me it is being inspired by fantastic people to try new ways of releasing my creativity.   

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I am a newbie blogger so I’ll tell you a few things I’ve learnt over the last 8 months.  This advice mainly relates to personal blogs where you aren’t looking to make any money out of them but you want to do something for yourself that others may enjoy. 

Personally, I think it is bad form (or should that be ‘netiquette’?) to put people’s real names in your blog posts unless they have said they are happy for you to do so.

I would heartily recommend turning to and getting in touch with other bloggers for advice.  They won’t bite in my experience and everyone I have communicated with has been very helpful and encouraging. 

Always let great writing and ideas in other blogs inspire you rather than put you off writing yourself.  Try not to get disheartened if you have a long period of time where hardly anyone comments on your blog, or you can’t think of anything to write.  Don’t become childish in a bad way and let that stop you following others or leaving comments on other blogs.  Try to respond to people who take the time to comment on your blog; it is appreciated.  If you lose your way, remind yourself why you started blogging in the first place. 

Never be afraid to change your vision of your blog and where it is going whenever you want to.  It’s your blog!  When I first started I envisaged a large part of the blog being about Happy Frog’s travels to far flung places courtesy of anyone who wanted to take him and send back photos (a bit like the gnome in the 2001 film Amelie).  However, my vision of the blog has changed and continues to shift the more I see other blogs and have different ideas, which I find very refreshing and enjoyable.

If you feel a bit bogged down and want to take a bit of a break from blogging, do it!  You are likely to come back feeling full of ideas and raring to go instead of feeling resentful that blogging is taking over your life. 

So, to sum up in a sentence, try to remember that you can’t please all the people all the time, so just have fun with it. 
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
This is a really hard question for me as I’ve read a lot of blog posts that have been significant to me for different reasons.  Also, the one that instantly popped into my head (Happy Pills by Mr London Street) has already been (quite rightly) mentioned before by other Sunday Roast participants. 

One that I think about and revisit every so often was written by Lo over at It’s Always Something.  It was entitled ‘back to the kitchen and fireplace’.  Lo managed to discuss good times and bad times in her marriage, a Bridget Jones food moment and the minutiae of life so well in the space of one post.  I found it significant because her writing has helped me put a lot of my past experiences into perspective and to ponder on the good as well as the bad without being too sentimental.  She strikes me as an incredible woman who has really lived her life and has been through a lot this year alone.  I’m so glad that she is blogging about her past and her present. 

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

I liked an unanticipated off-shoot of my first and, at the time of writing, only meme post entitled A list of 30 things I like.  A couple of people who commented thanked me for making them aware of what vitiligo is (a condition I developed out of nowhere in 2005). 

At the moment, I think the most significant blog post I’ve written is called A Difficult Journey.  It’s a truthful account of a holiday I took several years ago and the subsequent fall out.  I had been mulling over how to write it for months and then suddenly one day it popped out while I was attempting to write something else.  The significance is there because it is quite personal to me and yet it resonated with quite a few people, some of whom emailed me rather than commented.  Some of the comments and emails I received really moved me.  It has given me the confidence to explore that side of me within my writing in the future.

(See what I did there Eddie, sneaked in two when you only asked for one – positively shameless!)

(No just typical of your gender LOL - none of you can count!)
Which two blogs would you recommend for roasting?

Right, this is going to be very hard for me to do as there are so many blogs/bloggers I would want to recommend for roasting. 

I have not met either of these bloggers but would love to know more about them.  The first is Amelia who writes the blog 101 Bird Tales.  I find her and her blog posts a real inspiration, as do many other readers.  Often when I read her posts I can feel the excitement that Amelia clearly feels when she is sharing ideas on how to be creative just bubbling through the posts.  She has just had her first solo exhibition, she offers courses to help anyone who wants to become more creative, she gives free ideas of how to express your thoughts in a different way on her posts and she has recently run a competition to give funds to people who wished to spend the money on a creative project.   Yet that really is just the tip of the iceberg.  Do please look at her blog if you haven’t already.

The second is Forgotten Old Photos which is run by a lovely lady (I know her name but don’t feel right about putting it here without her permission as it isn’t in her blog profile) who also has a blog called Far Side of Fifty.  I love the concept of finding boxes of old photographs left discarded in antique shops, putting a different one onto the website each day and trying to reunite descendants with their family photos.  She has had several successes and I love those moments when we get to hear about a photo that has made it home safely after all these years.  She recently posted her 300th photo; the time has just flown by!
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.
Hope, optimism and love.  Or, if I need to be a little more practical and a little less conceptual in my choices then I would say chocolate, nice tea and hair conditioner.

(What about poor Mr Froggy LOL? He'll be 'hopping' mad!)
If we were to make a movie about BlogLand, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

As someone who is quite interested in Sartre’s vision of existential humanism, rather than the other 3 versions I have seen expressed, my initial thoughts had gravitated towards a remake of The Matrix.  However, when I really thought about it I realised it wasn’t quite right. 

I need a film in which some of the key protagonists might change their names for the best of reasons and intentions; where the characters often stumble across help and interesting insights when they least expect it; where community spirit is a daily way of life that could ultimately overcome all; where the urge to express yourself is always nurtured and encouraged. 

So I came to the conclusion it would have to be an adaptation of Sister Act.  I had considered calling it ‘Caught In The Sister Act – A Guilty Pleasure’ until my husband (who has an annoying habit of always being right) noted that this sounded like a lesbian porn flick.  Having brought this unforeseen interpretation to my attention, I thought it wise not to recommend any fellow bloggers for the casting couch.

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?
This question makes my head hurt!  The obvious answer is I would want to live my life over again as myself because all the successes, failures, lessons learnt, friends and family gained and lost have made me who I am today.  While this is true, I like to problem solve so there may be a better way of answering this question.

As the question doesn’t categorically state I can only live my life again once, the permutations are huge regarding how many different lives I could live before I went back to living my current life again.  I’d love to live lots of different lives in various cultural states and then remember them so that I could have a much better understanding of humanity in my final life as me and hopefully find it easier to communicate with and understand better the motivations of others.

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 would love to be a gifted musician; that would be amazing.  I would like to be able to play lots of different instruments really well such as the piano, guitar, harp and oboe.   Music can reach and move all types of people around the world without the barriers that language can often create despite the best of translations and intentions.  All I can currently play is a treble recorder and a kazoo (though not at the same time!).

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

The ice cream I would choose to perch on top of the cone would be Earl Grey flavour, specifically from mya lacarte.  I cannot stand Earl Grey, I think it smells of perfume and tastes horrific, but my other half loves it and that’s all you need to know really!   

(Last part - nicely side stepped)
Describe in one sentence your perfect day.
After waking up late in a boutique hotel situated near the seaside, following a long and deep sleep, I enjoy a long vegetarian brunch with my other half, which includes copious amounts of English Breakfast tea (Earl Grey for him), after which I successfully write a funny, eccentric episode of my first ever sitcom, read and comment on some excellent blogs, go for a long walk, head to a fantastic restaurant where I can sample lovely food and red wine, before retiring to bed where there are chocolates on my pillow, and looking forward to more of the same the next day.

[Ok, it’s more of a paragraph then a sentence, but I’m hoping you’ll let me get away with it Eddie!]

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

Hmmm, this is a tricky one.  If I could go back in time to when he was alive I quite fancy being William Shakespeare as I would love to know how he felt when creating so much amazing work and what his thought processes were.  Otherwise, under the same proviso, I think I’d like to be Beatrix Potter as I love her illustrations and children’s books and would be very happy if I was able to think, draw and write as creatively as her. 

(Talking of frogs Beatrix Potter wrote about a great character, Jeremy Fisher!  Are you sure you are not her?)

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Goodness me, so many stories, only one asked for.  This could be tricky!  I’ll have to go for several moments in one afternoon.

One that particularly springs to mind that I haven’t yet mentioned on the blog was the time I went to South Wales for a long weekend with my university motorcycle club back in May 1997.  I had only passed my test in October the previous year and had picked up my new (to me) Kawasaki 500cc motorbike with twin after market exhausts the week before.  The seat was a bit higher than my previous 250cc bike and it was a heavier vehicle, but I was very happy with it.

I am notorious for being unable to find my way.  I often do not realise where I am in relation to where I need to get to and constantly get lost; I always have been that way, always will.  After we had been travelling for quite a while and had reached Wales I really needed to go to the toilet.  It was just fields and bushes everywhere as far as the eye could see.  My fellow motorcyclists kept telling me to hold on, we were nearly there, but after a while I had to stop.  Having parked up the bike, removed my helmet and sorted out my leathers I settled myself behind a bush and relieved myself.  After I had finished I felt as if someone was watching me from behind.  I turned round quickly and let out a torrent of verbal abuse, convinced that one of my fellow bikers was spying on me for a prank.  The poor sheep I had sworn at looked pretty mortified, I can tell you, while its mate gave me an evil look before knocking over my helmet in disgust. 

That wasn’t the worst of it though.  Firstly, I had to explain to my fellow bikers why they had heard me swearing so loudly.  Then I had to watch them fall over laughing at me.  Within ten minutes of setting off back on the road we reached a village and everyone pulled over and stopped.  They then all walked into a tea room to use their facilities and stop for tea and cake.  Apparently, we had been driving the long way round and round this village and I was the only one who hadn’t realised.  They had duped me and duped me good.  

When I thought the trip could not get any more embarrassing, I went to park up at the youth hostel where we were staying and didn’t see a pothole to my left.  Down went my foot and down and down.  Over went the bike, with me pinned underneath it.  When the gales of laughter eventually died down I was helped up.  I never lived it down.

. . . . and if you are really brave, if you awoke to find you had changed gender what would be the first and second things you would do?
I would probably think at first that I had been reading too much Iain M. Banks books where people in the culture can change gender whenever they want to.  So firstly, I’d pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.  If I didn’t let out a girly high pitched scream as per usual I would know it was true. 

Secondly, I’d check if my other half had also changed gender, as I now know that on occasion things aren’t always just about me and this could all be some strange experiment gone wrong.  If he had changed gender as well I’m pretty sure the first thing I’d do is make him shave his legs!

Your turn to ask me a question if you wish.

I am a massive fan of history in all its manifestations but particularly the social side, so I’d like to know if you could live in any historic time period which would it be and why?

Life is quite hard in the age we live and if I travelled back to a previous age it would probably be even harder.  For starters I would not have been able to have my new hip but there again I probably would not have lived as long so I wouldn't need one.  I read somewhere that the best time to live in the UK was from 1906 to 1914, just before that awful war began.  Probably the most interesting period and therefore the one I would most like to live is the Elizabethan age but I would have to be part of the aristocracy and to be very careful or I might lose my head in which case I would speak these words to Lizzie from my severed head held aloft, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much!" LOL. 

Thank you very much for your interview, I

Today's Sunday Roast with "Happy Frog And I" is the 136th
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


  1. what a wonderful roast! tea, chocolate and hair conditioner...I can TOTALLY relate! LOL! :)

  2. great Roast, Eddie.
    Seems we have a lot in common- chocolate, can't count!

  3. As one Frog to another, this phrase...well it's perfectly froggy isn't it?

    Behind every Happy Frog there’s a bottle of red wine and a glass.

    Off to read your blog now cause obviously we floated apart when we were merely eggs.

  4. This was quite a good interview. The blogging philosophies of your guest are pretty much in line with the way I look at blogging. And now off to check this Happy Frog Blog.

    Tossing It Out

  5. What a delightful interview! Enjoyed meeting "I" and now I am off to check out the blogs she mentioned!
    Good work Eddie!

  6. This is one of the best roast ever. It was such fun reading and the blog is new to me so now I have another great blog to follow. I really like the advice to new bloggers and the honesty and humor throughout her answers. She sound so "real". Hello to I.

  7. Happy Frog and I want to a big thank you to Eddie and everyone who has commented on our interview so far. It was so much fun to do and we were thrilled to be asked in the first place.

    I look forward to reading the Sunday Roasts every weekend so it has been lovely if a bit strange to see my own interview up there.

  8. I must admit that this interview had me enthralled from start to finish.I really loved all the answers from both of you and thought they were really good and sometimes very funny.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  9. I am loving this Roast Eddie-- Great job from start to finish. 136 Roasts. WOW.

    Hope you have a GREAT week ahead. Thanks for all your hard work on this.

    Off to read more Happy Frog. Cheers, jj

  10. Oh, now you have both done it!!!! Made me laugh, smile, and absolutely taken with you!!! Loved, loved, loved this!!!! Ms. Happy Frog is an ABSOLUTE DELIGHT!!!! A kindred spirit, for sure!!!! I cannot wait to meet her...I am going to her blog as soon as I finish here, my good sir Eddie!!

    And have once again carried this interview off brilliantly!! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!! (Included both your hips--bionic and otherwise-- there...LOL) Seriously, this was another AMAZING interview...and you are an incredible host...even when you are extraordinarily busy!! Bravo!! Hugs to the both of you, Janine

  11. Great interview Eddie and I love her comments/advice on blogging, spot on!

  12. Thank you all so much, I'm so chuffed with the comments, response.

    Also Eddie, I meant to say before I really enjoyed your response to my history question. Excellent work! :-)

  13. And you didn't do this post in five minutes! Well worth it, though, well done.

  14. Thank you EVERYONE for your wonderful comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed "Roasted Frogs Legs" this weekend (and last weekend for that matter LOL).
    Mrs Happy Frog, or "I" (funny we had an "Mmm" a while ago), your roast was exceptional - thank you! You can see how the readers liked it. Pity there were not more but your roast, along with all others, can be accessed at any time and comments will be accepted.
    Once again, thanks to everyone.

  15. Oh I enjoyed this..well done...bravo Happy Frog! :)

  16. Sorry that I'm late to the party, cher, but as you know, I've been at another party for three days! A simply brilliant roast and engaging interview! Loved I.'s answers and especially loved the way she gave you the slip on the ice cream question! lol Kudos to both of you for a job, well done! Cheers!


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