Monday, July 12, 2010

Up Yer Bum!

It's an odd, hermit-like existence being a blogger. I've been a blogger for so long that it somehow helps me to justify my life as a struggling writer. Whenever anyone asks what I do (dear reader, for a long time, I was a Hollywood publicist) I can always throw up the blog as an example of something creative in my life as it does seem to be months between readings of short stories.  Unfortunately, blogging has become a little bit of cliche. Everyone blogs.  Everyone mocks us. My blog started in May 2004 so I can just say a big eff you to all the haters and meanies.  I used to be self-conscious. I used to worry. And now, I don't.  "Up yer bum" as Emily Lloyd was fond of saying in "Wish You Were Here." It's part of my life, ugly bits and all. 

 My beautiful blogger award from Backwards in High Heels!

So this morning to hear that Tania Kindersley of Backwards in High Heels had given me a Beautiful Blogger Award, made my little heart flutter and made me feel slightly less alone in the world.  I am enormously grateful.  Thank you very, very much.  I'm not someone who ever wins anything (not even the RE prize at school although I did win a car detailing from KIIS-FM in 1986 for identifying the opening bars to "Jack & Diane" by John Cougar Mellencamp) so this is quite thrilling.

The lovely MTFF had previously nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award and I'm afraid I did not respond adequately because I wasn't sure what to do. My apologies and thanks to her, too. If you haven't read Motherhood, go immediately. (Why this isn't a book already flummoxes me.)

Also, Liberty London Girl should be mentioned, because without her, I wouldn't have met all the other lovely bloggers that I now follow. As I've said before, she's the glue that holds us all together (and she does lead an awfully glamorous life).

The rules are that I must in turn nominate 10 or 12 bloggers, which may be difficult as we tend to be a tight group.  The blogs I love are listed on the right hand column.  Dip into any of them.  They are as eclectic as my tastes.

If I am pressed to pull out just a few, I would like to bring your attention to these FIVE blogs:
  1. The Errant Aesthete: As beautiful a blog as you will ever find.  Her taste is quite exquisite. The photos breathtaking.  And she's a fan of gazpacho.
  2. 43rd Year: Full disclosure -- the woman who writes this blog is one of my closest friends in Los Angeles. She has a HUGE job in real life, but somehow manages to write with such honesty and wisdom about her life as a new wife and stepmother to two teenage children, about birth and death and happiness and friends and enemies, that she leaves me awestruck. She started the blog on a bet, to overcome her fear of writing.  It rings its truth to the rafters.
  3. A Bloomsbury Life: Every time I dip into this blog, there's something I want. Isn't it terrible? It's what marketers call aspirational, but this about old china and embroidery and Persephone books and living in Hollywood.  She's a true eccentric and as obsessed with "I am Love" as I am.
  4. simmer till done: Marilyn is a pastry chef, mother of 14 year old, a pastry chef and a beautiful writer.  Her tweets are the most delicious of anyone's and I'm addicted to her recipes. Plus she lives in Kansas and I'm thrilled to know someone, other than Dorothy, that comes from Kansas.
  5. North Stoke: My secret treasure trove that brings me back to England, to tumuli and old churches and hedgerow, to rivers and meadowsweet and Sissinghurst.  It's where I go whenever I'm homesick.
And then I'm supposed to write 7 things about me that people don't know:

Tjøme -- my favorite place on the planet
  1. The first boy I was in love with was Billy Stockings. We were 10.
  2. I sang the Faure Requiem in the Royal Albert Hall when I was 15, with my friend Ophelia and the Massed Girls School Choirs of England & Wales. It is still my favorite piece of music. Harvest for the World by the Isley Brothers and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending come a close second.
  3. I heart trees. Trees are my church. I know that sounds dorky.  My father was a tree man. Nothing makes me happier quicker than either being around or climbing in trees.
  4. On my first date with my husband, the Maharishi, we picked magic mushrooms in Christ Church meadow, Oxford, and then listened to the U2 WAR album in abject terror. We've never looked back.
  5. This is my favorite place in the world: Tjøme  
  6. I detest my extremely curly hair and suffer from post-traumatic stress remembering how matron made me dry it in front of an electric space heater so that it stuck out horizontally like Bozo the Clown when I was 15.  I don't think I will ever forgive her. On another occasion, when I was 14, I was kissing a boy at my friend Sophie's party, and he ran his hand through the back of my hair, dramatically, as if we were in passionate scene from Bonnie & Clyde, when his hand got stuck in my knotted frizz and Sophie's mother had to help him detach it.
  7. My favorite sandwich is chopped hard-boiled egg mixed with sweet, skinned tomatoes, salt and pepper on white bread and butter.  My mother made them for summer tea parties when we were small and there is no better taste in the world.
 Miss W is very happy in trees
    (The Maharishi just came home from work and found me sitting at my desk, with the lesser & greater spotteds at my feet.
    "How are you holding up?" he says.
    "I'm great. I just won a Blogger Award," I say.
    "Oh, that's great, shall we get it framed" he says.
    Love him.)


    Mrs L said...

    Miss W,
    I adore this post and you for my nomination! You have always been a great inspiration in my life and even more so now that I know about Billy Stockings.
    With much love and many trees,
    Mrs L

    Susan Champlin said...

    This is fantastique—and I love you for leaving us with mental image of you and your 14-year-old boyfriend literally knotted together in passionate embrace, with Sophie's mother shearing you apart. Congratulations on your most-well-deserved award! xo

    Marilyn said...

    Billy Stockings! I'll carry the name forever. Thank you for the kind words and including me in such a gorgeous list. I hope you blog forever and I also hope you visit - down a hill and along a pond, there's a perfect weeping willow with your name on it.

    Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

    What a lovely post and how honored I am to have made it onto your very selective list! I was just reading your friend's blog 43rd Year (it's wonderful) and Errant Aesthete is a favorite of mine as well.

    I too am a tree person -- chestnut trees, to be precise -- growing up in England, I was always on the hunt for a good glossy conker (still am, actually) :) And I grew up on your hard-boiled egg and tomato father still makes them for me when I visit him, sometimes with a slice of pickled herring on top as well -- must be a Norwegian thing.

    Congratulations on your blog award -- it is richly deserved. There is a magic to your entries that never fails to lift and inspire.


    Re: our plan... Next week I'm off to Kauai -- perhaps when I get back?

    Allison Anders said...

    Oh Miss W,

    I couldn't be happier for your recognition! So deserved! It was wonderful knowing you in your other life, and beautiful knowing you in this new life of yours!

    Miss A.

    Tania Kindersley said...

    Oh Miss W - what a lovely post, especially that last paragraph. The quite strange thing is that I used to live in the Meadow buildings, in my first year at university. You and the divine M were not meeting in the meadows in 1985 were you? I could have waved.


    Errant Aesthete said...

    Dearest Miss Whistle,

    In my marginally challenged universe of blogging, this missive that I responded to privately some weeks back seems to be coming around again as in "incoming" links or some such thing. So let me take a moment to herald your esteemed honor and devoted service (both recognized and ignored) in this overwhelming galaxy we inhabit, the digital one. It is a trying ordeal at times, and oh so lonely that you find yourself questioning the sanity of your actions - repeatedly.

    I am always gratified by your mentions and never, ever tire of hearing them. You are not only spirited, talented and inspirational, but impossibly kind. I was commenting, just yesterday, on a piece I read recently lamenting the loss of the virtue of self-effacement. I can honestly and genuinely say, that despite my somewhat limited knowledge of you, you are the antithesis of that notion. You are, in fact, as lovely as the sound, your blog evokes.