Monthly Archives: February 2013

Stuart’s Leibster Blog Award, Part The First

I have to confess, my first reaction to KJ Waters making this award was one of disappointment. But this was only because I had read it (in the absence of my reading specs) as the LOBSTER award. I do eat lobster, but it’s not my favorite. Having sorted that out, I was then intrigued by the name, thinking that perhaps it might have some Irish connotation. Turned out I was confusing it with Leinster, which is one of the counties in Ireland. Leibster is German for favorite. One lives and learns day by day. Indeed one does.

Anyway, a big thanks to KJ for including me in her list of awarded bloggers. I am genuinely honored.

The rules of this award (for the hard-working author gets nothing for nothing, as I ought to know) mean that I have to divulge eleven random facts about myself and answer KJ’s eleven questions. Finally, I have to nominate eleven bloggers for the award. Phew! I have achieved the first two goals, but still working on the third. I’ll post the final list in a day or two.

Random facts

  1. Most of my childhood was spent living in a small village on the shores of the Holy Loch, in the Clyde estuary in Scotland, which later became the base for the US Polaris submarine fleet. (There is no connection between these two things, as far as I am aware).
  2. I’m 65 years old. Kind of late middle age…
  3. My stock response to people here in the US who say “I love your accent – just say something for me,” is “Aye, no bad. Ah wiz born up a wally close wi a richt eneugh midden in the back court, an ootside cludgie an nae bath. Ma ma used tae gie me a syne doon wance a week in the jawbox.” (Translation available on request).
  4. I can occasionally be induced to sing. Drink is usually taken on such occasions. By those listening.
  5. I love to sail. Our dear old 30-foot Morgan sailboat lives just ten minutes away from our home here on the Chesapeake Bay.
  6. I have two delightful grandchildren (a three-year-old and a one-year-old) who live in Portland, Maine.
  7. I’m an enthusiastic chef.
  8. I’m not a fan of Ernest Hemingway.
  9. I’m married to my editor.
  10. I can turn my hand to almost any task around the house, including electrics, plumbing, carpentry and cleaning toilets.
  11. I’ve never liked soccer, so I don’t support any UK football team. This is a major social drawback for a Scotsman, I can tell you!

KJ’s Questions

1. What is your favorite movie and why?
Out of dozens that would come into this category, I’ll choose Fargo at random. Wonderfully directed, great performances and a fine story about human weakness and degradation being defeated by a strong woman with no pretensions. What’s not to like?

2. Who is your favorite author and why?
Impossible question, but I can do this. It has to be Patrick O’Brian and his wonderful Aubrey/Maturin series. I read all twenty of them in a row. Beautifully written, great characters and wonderful stories. The hero is also based on a real historical character, who happens to be a Scotsman, so that made it even better!

3. What is the concept behind your blog? Simply to promote your book/skills/product or a bigger purpose, like mine as therapy to deal with my current location?
Concept? Concept? Good grief! You think there was some PLAN here? My original intention was to attract readers by writing something that was just a bit different, loosely focused around my writing activities. The jury is still OUT!

4. What is your favorite meal?
Mince and tatties (explanation available for the uninitiated).

5. What would you describe as your biggest personal accomplishment?
Raising children. No question.

6. Why are you so awesome? I ask this because I chose you…apparently I think you’re pretty fab.
I might fantasize that it’s because I’m good-looking, loving, intelligent, sociable and compassionate, but really I haven’t a clue. Anything to do with the way I write? Oh, I give in…

7. What is your favorite household appliance and why? Ha! How’s that for a quirky question.
Our Black & Decker bread-maker. My wife bought it for me at a thrift store for $10 and it makes wonderful bread. Coming into the kitchen in the morning to the smell of fresh bread and coffee is one of life’s great joys!

8. Boxers or briefs
Briefs every time. When it comes to those all-important bits, I like a sense of security.

9. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Cruising in our good old sailboat or traveling anywhere in Italy. Gorgeous country, beautiful cities, great food, excellent wine. In spite of all its political and financial problems, it is still one of the most civilized countries in the world.

10. What is your favorite restaurant? Why?
The King’s Wark in Edinburgh, Scotland. Essentially a fine, old-fashioned pub, it has a superb restaurant which serves some of the finest food I’ve ever eaten. A great ambiance and relaxed, friendly service complete the perfect eating experience.

11. Which question above was the hardest to answer? Why?
Ach, there were all easy-peasy… (wipes sweat from brow).


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