A week or so ago, I read The Demented Fairy’s ‘Mystery Blogger’ post, and went all warm and fuzzy inside when I saw that she had nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Thank you! 😘
I’d never heard of the award before, but it was created by Okoto Enigma and is described as follows:
The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
WHY DID I CREATE THE AWARD?
I created the award because there are a lot of amazing blogs out there that haven’t been discovered, yet. And, most of these blogs deserve recognition. For that reason, I decided to create my own award; and nominate people who can also nominate others; and so on. This is one of the best ways to create a friendly community and build a link between bloggers in the blogosphere; as everyone gets nominated and they too can spread the fun by nominating more people for the award.
- Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
- Tell your readers three things about yourself
- Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
- Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
- Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
- Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
So – off we go! Grab a cuppa and get yourself comfy – I’ve rambled. A LOT. As per usual.
Three things about me
1. I owned, and restored a classic car
He caught my eye through the fence as I drove past. He looked tired, and old, but had a certain sparkle to him. After our fleeting encounter I couldn’t get him out of my mind, and to cut a long story short, he came home with me a little while later.
He was a 1972 VW Beetle. Originally green, but now spray painted cream, with a half-assed attempt made at installing (not even technically correct) decals on the door and bonnet.
I drove him everywhere, despite the overwhelming smell of petrol he gave off. Despite the fact that the carburetor was dodgy and sometimes he’d cut out at traffic lights. Despite the fact that there was no ‘off’ switch for the heating. Despite the fact there was a drain in the wiring somewhere and the battery would frequently run flat. Despite the fact there was a small hole in the floor.
He was mine, and he was unique.
I gave him as much love as I could, trying to keep the rust at bay and keep things in reasonable condition. I ignored all the people who repeatedly told me what a money pit these old VWs are. I learned how to do things myself – like wire in a new headlamp, change a spark plug, and adjust the fuel/air ratio when winter set in and he needed a little boost to keep going.
I was doing well, up until New Year’s Day 2007.
We lived in a small close, with 10 houses. All the houses had a garage, but with most households having more than one car, some had to park on the road within the close. I must have been last home because I had to park Herbie just inside the entrance to the close, where I’d often parked before.
The morning of New Years day, I found Herbie not where I’d parked him. He had miraculously moved himself almost out of the close, onto the main road. Approaching from the front, all looked well – it was literally as if he had reversed himself back a bit. When I walked around the back, the series of events became apparent.
Another driver, probably drunk from New Year’s Eve, had reversed into the close to turn around. In doing so, they had hit my car, done the engine bay in, got hooked on the bumper, and tried to free themselves by attempting to drive off. Only Herbie didn’t let go, and got dragged.
Long story short, this is the point we decided that the restoration we’d been taking about for years might actually need to happen – or the car would have to be scrapped.
So restoration it was – and he looked absolutely gorgeous afterwards. Shiny new paint job, new panels, new engine, new interior and even a new rag-top roof. I vividly remember putting a hammer through the leaky sunroof that was there previously to make way for it.
He was beautiful, inside and out. I got the roof rack I’d always wanted, and the rear window blinds that looked uber-cool. We had good times. He took us to VW festivals – bags on the roof, rag top open, barely able to speak over the roar of the engine.
I even had seat covers custom made for him, with his trademark stripes on them.
And used him for a wedding!
Eventually, I sold Herbie – to another girl named Sarah, funnily enough – because we just couldn’t justify having three cars (we now have none) and it broke my heart to see him sit there in the garage and never get used. I didn’t want to be one of those people who only used their classic car when the weather was right. He was amazeballs and deserved to get used on the open road.
I do miss him sometimes, but my time with him was up and I’m glad he was mine just for a little while. I hope wherever he is, he’s being looked after and living a good life ✌🏻
2. There’s a story to my tattoo sleeve
Once I’d decided that I was getting a sleeve, I spent about six months planning it before I even started looking for an artist. I saved hundreds of pictures of styles, colours and images I liked, in order to come to some sort of idea of what I wanted mine to look like. No way did I want a pre-designed flashcard job – this was going to be on me for life, so I wanted it to be a cumulation of my experiences so far in my 33 years of existence.
Once I’d noted down all my initial ideas, and compiled a colour board, I set out to find an artist. I knew I wanted a watercolour artist, but those are few and far between – even in London. Then I stumbled across Sooz, who at the time was working at Fifth Dimension Tattoo on Brick Lane. (She’s since moved to the south of France, sorry guys. She also did both the husbeast’s sleeves, which he managed to get pretty much finished before she left thankfully!).
You all will have seen the sleeve in my blog photos, but perhaps not in any level of real detail. So, let’s start:
Inner forearm: compass and passport stamps
The compass represents a couple of things – my love for travel and wandering, and also the husband. He’s like my due North – when things get a little bit crazy, he’s always the calm, grounding force. He helps me keep direction.
I chose the stamps from my passport, and they are replicated exactly on my arm. They are mostly from my time spent in Asia, with the exception of my favourite trip to New York City. I’ve got the day we moved abroad, the time I spent my birthday in South Korea, our visit to Cambodia, and one of our trips to Singapore.
The pink and orange smoke behind the passport stamps represents my free spirit – subject to change direction at any moment, for no apparent reason.
Outer forearm: owl and clock
Despite the common (but I guess, understandable) misinterpretation, this owl is not Hedwig from Harry Potter. It is in fact the bird form of Jareth the Goblin King, from that 80’s classic Labyrinth. It’s my favourite film, EVER.
If you’ve not seen it (and if you haven’t, you must watch it PRONTO), the plot is as follows:
Sarah is babysitting her baby brother, who is crying and doing her head in. For the lolz, she calls on the ‘mythical’ goblin king to take the child away from her so she can get some peace. He appears, and takes the child, giving Sarah 13 hours to solve his labyrinth and reach his castle, if she wants her brother back.
The clock on my arm that the owl is holding has 13 hours on it (naturally 💁🏻♀️) and the hands are pointing to 8:05 – which in the 24hr clock is 20:05, and 2005 is the year we got married. It’s all about the details 🧐
Upper arm: Phoenix
Again, this was not intended to be Fawkes from Harry Potter. It’s not any Phoenix in particular, but rather represents a few things – broadly, me finally being proud to be ‘me’. I used to dye my hair crazy colours when I was younger, and wore the crazy hippy clothes, and then sort of stopped for a bit in the earlier stages of my career. The working life, and the pressure that you should be ‘sensible’ (‘boring’) so that you can climb the corporate ladder as high as you can and get as much money and stress as you can (because this, of course, is the goal in life – to boast that you’re a CFO, even though your quality of life is zero, but it doesn’t matter because you’re ‘successful’) kind of pushed my quirky personality down for a while, and I lost who I was.
After the death of my Mum, and a couple of years spent living in Asia, I re-evaluated life. My ultimate goal was no longer to be successful in my career. It means nothing if it doesn’t make you truly happy – you’re just doing it to look good to others. The colour started coming back into my life, and into my hair. I started sewing, and doing the things that made me happy. And expressing myself in whatever way made me happy, and not caring whether others thought it was age- or status-appropriate. Yes, I’m 34 and I have pink hair, a cool nose ring and a pair of Pikachu socks. I’m also a qualified accountant. Deal with it.
So that pretty little birdie on my arm and shoulder represents me rising from the floor that I was ground down into, showing my true colours and spreading my wings as far as they will reach.
3. I hate tomato ketchup
Yep, for real. The smell of it makes me want to vomit. The husband puts on it food and to me that’s just wrong. I like tomatoes, but there’s just something so… unnatural about ketchup. The worst kind is the stuff in the massive red squeezy bottles you get at grimy hot dog stands 🤢🤮
I’m not really a fan of sauces in general, really – if I order a meal and it comes with loads of garnish and sauces I’ll just ask for it plain. Which usually prompts confused responses from the person taking the order, but whatevs 💁🏻
So, moving on to the questions set to me by The Demented Fairy:
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done?
Ermmm, I’ve probably done a fair few things in my life that qualify for this. But let’s go with the one that happens a to be at the forefront of my mind – my first office summer party after moving to London. It was a sports day in Camden.
One of the activities was a welly-plank walking thing – best described in the picture below (except there were just two of us, facing each other, and wellies on each end of the board.)
Anyway, I was going forwards, and my lovely friend Gwen was on the other side. When we reached the finish line, I thought we had one more step to go, so I went to lift my right leg to step. We didn’t have one more step to go, and so Gwen didn’t lift her leg and the plank didn’t move like I was expecting it to. I lost my balance, and my right kneecap came crashing down on the (very solid) board between our wellies. It hurt. A lot. Not wanting to cause a scene as the new girl, I got up, shook it off and tried to carry on. It got worse and worse, and eventually I took to cheering rather than participating. I hobbled to the pub for the food and drink, supported by a couple of others from the finance team. They sat me down and got me some ice for my knee. It was then that the pain hit me and I passed out sat in the chair, falling to the floor – dropping my ice and knocking a couple of drinks over in the process. They then call a taxi to take me to the nearest hospital, and call up the husbeast and tell him what has happened and where I’m going. He was probably not surprised at all (I’m quite clumsy).
Long story short they said i was lucky not to have smashed my kneecap and it was a good couple of years before I could run without it hurting. I mentioned earlier that this particular incident was at the front of my mind – that’s because I started a new job last month and they’ve just announced the summer party agenda: a sports day. Another fecking adult sports day. Needless to say, I’ll be spectating rather than taking part – it’s too much like tempting fate 🤣
Where did you meet the love of your life?
Get ready with the ‘ahhhhhhs’ – we met at high school! And have been together ever since. Yep, we were high school sweethearts 💕 It sort of puts things into a weird perspective, being together that long – when you can remember sitting together on the school bus, things like getting your first grey hair or wrinkle (or turning 30) seem all the more shocking. Like, how did we get to be so old? 😱
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Ooh. I don’t think I can choose just one – New York has got to be on the list, as does Hong Kong, and Singapore (where I hope to live, one day before I die)… OK I’m gonna settle on south-east Asia. Slightly bending the rules as it’s not one destination, but hey.
What song do you want played at your funeral?
Probably ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon and Garfunkel. I love that song. I even have it on an original LP (record? Vinyl? What do we call them these days? 🤷🏻)
Either that, or a piece of classical music like the Feather Theme by Alan Silvestri (from Forrest Gump). I actually chose that piece of music for my Mum’s funeral, and if she could get me a message from beyond the grave I know she’d have something to say about the fact that I played Forrest Gump at her funeral 🤣🤣🤣 It’s a really beautiful piece of music though, give it a listen if you’re not familiar with it.
Can I come over for tea?
Of course! I’m not a fan of the old traditional British tea though, so it’ll have to be a jasmine green tea. I’m more of a coffee person, but I can’t drink 5+ cups of coffee per day (or I’ll be BUZZIN’ 🤪) so I balance it out with something that supposedly does me some good.
**While this blog post was in production, I actually received a SECOND nomination from the awesome BusterSew (thanks for the love guys! 😘) and he also posed a set of questions to his nominees – so here goes with those!**
1. Summer casual or winter formal?
DEFINITELY winter formal! I bloody hate the summer (yes – I said it!) and this heatwave that London has been experiencing just lately is my idea of actual hell. Can it just be autumn all year round please?
2. Most made garment?
Haha, easy – the Kielo dress!! I’m not ashamed to say that last night I bought fabric for three more 🙌🏻🙈🤣
3. Favourite fabric shop?
Ooh, now this is a difficult one because I get my fabric from all over the place… so I’m gonna (sort of) cheat and say Etsy – you get some really good finds on there!
4. Dogs or cats?
Now I don’t want to play favourites, because I have two dogs and a cat. They are different in their own ways… the cat is proper chilled, doesn’t want much other than food and a comfy place to sleep and isn’t too much of a diva.
The dogs on the other hand have their own very distinct personalities – but have those annoying tendencies such as hogging our bed during the winter, staring at you every time you dare to eat something when they are not eating (like they are starving and haven’t eaten in a month) and chewing up books/boxes of tissues/chocolate santas that were mailed to us as a Christmas gift (letterbox is now out of action for that reason)/£80 in cash just for the lolz. (Yes, this genuinely happened. Leela shredded four £20 notes. Because the banknotes might have been tissues that needed chewing. She had to check. Thankfully the bank exchanged them for me, probably out of pity.)
So can I go halfway – like an animal with a dog personality but with cat low-maintence? That’d be good, thanks.
5 Flat felled or french seamed?
Given that I use them a lot on the many (MANY) shirts I make, it’s gotta be French seams. Can’t beat ’em for a profesh finish!
Well guys I hope I’ve brightened up your Sunday morning a bit with my ramblings, this was fun! 🤣
As per the rules, here’s my list of amazeballs bloggers that I nominate to take part (if you like, you totes don’t have to):
Mensew (yes, I know you’ve already done your Mystery Blogger post – but you were on my list before I read your post so you’re staying on there! 🤪)
It’s a small, but perfectly formed list of absolutely amazing peeps from the sewing world, go check ’em out if you don’t already follow them!
And here’s my set of five questions:
- If you could time travel, when would you go to?
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
- What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
- Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals?
- If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Yep, you knew I’d pick some weird ones 🤣
Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… it’s been a while, but I’ve finally made another shirt for the husbeast 😍 Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out!