Dear readers, last week I received a Liebster Award from fellow blogger Seven Year Hitch. Before we all get too excited, it is not really a proper award, but more of a cross between a chain letter and a blogging badge of honour. Conveniently it has provided me with some inspiration this week just when I was running dry.
As part of the award, Vanessa Holburn, the writer behind Seven Year Hitch, has set me eleven questions, which I shall attempt to answer below. The idea is that I go on to nominate eleven more bloggers, whom I happen to admire, and then devise another eleven questions of my own. I also have to provide eleven random facts about myself. Thus, oiled by our mutual enthusiasm, the Liebster wheels keep on rolling, with Q&As bouncing around the blogosphere.
Here are the eleven questions posed by Vanessa:
1. What did you have for tea last night?
My husband Will, who usually cooks my evening meal, is away in Hong Kong so I was forced to put a packet meal in the microwave - red Thai curry with prawns. It was surprisingly tasty and only took four minutes. I still prefer his cooking though - and his conversation.
2. What was your favourite item of clothing as a teenager?
A torn, suede jacket I bought from a secondhand clothing shop on the King's Road. It made me feel like I was part of the cool crowd, which of course was an illusion. Sadly, it suited my little brother better, who was part of the cool crowd.
3. Cats or dogs?
Instinctively I would say dogs because I grew up with them. However, when I worked in London, we acquired a tortoiseshell kitten called Daisy (a dog would have been too high-maintenance) and she is still with us today. Over the years, she has bitten the children, been sick on the carpet, brought in mice and played havoc with my sinuses, but she is part of the family. Maybe one day she will be joined by a dog-sibling.
4. Congratulations, you’ve been canonized – but what are you the patron saint of?
Gosh, wouldn't I love to be the Patron Saint of Motherhood or Struggling Writers, but I am more likely to be canonized for my organisational skills. People will pray to me for help with their Christmas shopping and holiday-packing. My best friend Shauna has been known to borrow my prototype packing list.
5. Do you owe anyone an apology?
Years ago one of my former boyfriends wrote to me when his father was ill. The letter I returned was not the same letter I would write today. If I ever saw him again, I would try to explain and say sorry.
6. A new government policy says we must all open a shop – what will yours sell?
Jewellery. As many of my friends know, I adore trinkets and I would use my shop as a justification for touring round Asia and the Middle East in search of stock. I might sell the odd book too - a few first editions and tattered hardbacks.
7. What is the worst way to spend a Sunday?
Doing chores, changing the bedsheets and having an argument with my eldest over maths homework.
8. Name and shame the first/only person to break your heart
I don't think I have ever had my heart broken (yet). Instinctively I am a pragmatist - I don't get too emotionally involved until I am confident of a return in affection.
9. If you could choose your own name, what would it be?
I did, and it is 'Emma Clark Lam'. I was born 'Emma Clark' which was not quite so unique.
10. Who decides where you go on holiday?
Oddly enough we don't tend to choose. Holidays just seem to happen - invitations by friends or trips that tie in with other events. The last time we actively sought a holiday was when we went to Oman in early 2012. I suppose I chose that holiday because I used to live in Muscat as a teenager and was curious to go back. Usually, however, it is my husband who actually books the holidays.
11. What annoying song can you NOT get out of your head?
Gangnam Style. My kids love it and sing various versions of it on a daily basis. My husband covers Korean stocks for his job so we discovered PSY even before his song became a stratospheric hit. I have been living with 'Hey sexy lady' for a very long time. And it still doesn't sound right coming out of the mouth of a six-year old.
Eleven random facts about me:
- After 30 years I have finally learnt how to style (my) curly hair
- I was sent off to boarding school at nine years old
- I studied Russian for more than five years at school but can hardly speak a word now
- As a child I detested vegetables, but now I eat them all the time
- I have lived in eight different countries
- I can't get to sleep at night if I haven't had a hot shower or a bath
- Nothing absorbs me more than a computer-related problem
- My favourite author is Jane Austen
- Quite randomly my best friend and my husband are both half-Chinese
- My daughter shares a birthday with her dad
- I love swimming: show me some water and I can rarely resist getting in
Eleven nominated bloggers:
The Joy of Slow Communication
Sara Bran's Notes From the Edge of Motherhood
The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard
Finally, eleven new questions for my eleven bloggers:
What did you dream of becoming when you were a child?
If you had to act in a Shakespeare play, which character would you choose to play?
You have won a dream holiday to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?
If you were stuck in a lift/elevator for four hours, who would be your ideal companion?
Who do you most admire: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Brown or Cherie Blair?
If you could erase once incident from your past, what would it be?
Do you prefer reading an ebook or a paperback?
If your home was burning down, which possession would you grab first?
Name two positive things that have happened to you today.
If you were forced to read any book three times, which book would you choose?
Why have you chosen to write a blog?
Thanks to Vanessa Holburn for nominating me - this was surprisingly fun!