Three days: Three quotes challenge :: Day 1

I was nominated for this challenge by  Bev over at Confuzzledom – and I have decided to actually schedule these posts to appear during my “Lost Weekend”, directly after my next chemo session.

The rules are (of course there are rules; there are always rules! But I’m going to break one of them, rebel that I am)

1. Thank the person who nominated you – Merci beaucoup, Bev!

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day…. This is where I am breaking the rules…My circle of blogs is very similar to Bev’s, and those people that she has nominated. So I am not going to nominate anyone, but I will say that oif you’re reading this and haven’t been nominated, and would like to join in, then feel free!

Today’s quote has been attributed to John Lennon, Ed Sheeran, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Anonymous…and I heard it said by Mark Kermode on the excellent Kermode & Mayo Film Review programme…Whoever said it first, it is something that Mr FD and I have repeated to each other throughout my current health situation.

It seems apposite.

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Thank You!

Yesterday, the Act for 40 Acts was:

The game is gratitude. Without gratitude, you’ll never be content with the things God’s given you. And, because sometimes we need to run life a little slower in order to see what we can be grateful for, we’ve made today’s act a little simpler…

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:

One option today:
 Run back over the last month of 40acts. What have you seen that’s surprised you? What’s been tough? What’s cheered you up the most? Who have you been grateful for – and can you thank them today?

I immediately thought of you, my Dear Readers.

I’m not really thinking of 40 Acts here,  when answering those questions “What has surprised you?…What’s been tough?… What’s cheered you up the most?…Who have you been grateful for?..” but rather thinking about my treatment.

What has surprised you?… Two things have surprised me:

  1. Chemotherapy has not been anywhere near as horrible as I imagined. Although I am adding the caveat SO FAR. I am having a new cocktail in April. That might make me eat my words!
  2. How close I have felt to God. How I have felt “upheld” by people’s prayers & good wishes (which, quite frankly, I consider to be prayers by another, more secular name!)

What’s been tough? Maybe that’s another surprise, because, generally, nothing has been “tough”. Even being told at the beginning that it was a cancerous tumour wasn’t that difficult. All along I have had Mr FD at my side, with that mantra “It is what it is, and we will deal with it”. I have, of course, had short periods of upset, but nothing that can’t be coped with, and dealt with fairly quickly.

I think the most difficult thing has been the moulting. Not the fact I was losing my hair: that was a given, and it shows that the chemo is working. And once Mr FD shaved my head, well…that was done. It was the experience of losing my hair that was hard. Waking up with mouthfuls of hair, and having hair up my nose and all over the pillow! That was the nasty bit!!

Here I am:

        

with my little “chemo cap”……………and without!

As the French for “bat” is “Chauve souris” which translates as “bald mouse” perhaps I need to change my moniker for the duration!

I suppose the other thing that has been a bit difficult is the fact that I’ve not been able to complete 40 Acts this year. But I will try to find a way to continue after my treatment.

What’s cheered you up the most?... Quite honestly, the kindness and generosity of friends, both RL and virtual. Here in the village, the Cycle Club giving me a novel to read (hush, don’t tell them I’ve only read up to Chapter 2), a friend from church knitting me three hats to wear, another friend giving me some handmade soap that she’d made, without perfume as she’d heard that the sense of smell can change during chemo, people from church sending me pictures to cheer me up., my friend offering to pay for a holiday, my sister buying me deliciously scented soothing balm, and ginger chocolate, my SiL sending me sweet little ear-rings, my niece sending me magazines, friends sending me books, and letters….

Then there is you, my Dear Readers. Michelle knitting me a hat (yours beats the others hands down!), T sending me a lovely letter, messages of support,  comments on my blog, little gifts, a beautiful card from Chomeuse’s little boy, the assurance of prayer, reminders of God’s goodness… All of these things have reminded me of how much generosity and kindness there is in this world. THAT has cheered me up.

I haven’t had a Happy Turtle arrive – but I’ve had so mazny other lovely things!

Who have you been grateful for?

1. You, my lovely, dear Readers.

2. Mr FD, who has been here; even when he’s not known how to make me feel better in those rare times when I’ve been down, he has been next to me, trying to help in the ways he can. He has been wonderful. Thank you, Mr FD

So, this time (albeit a day late!) I’ve been able to complete a Challenge for 40 Acts…Not that it was a challenge, but rather a pleasure.

THANK YOU!!!!

Award Ceremony Part III

And my final Blog Award is

which is a new one for me! It was originally created by Okoto Enigma

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.” 

This one was “awarded” to me by Emily Guiton-Lange, at Never Idly Dreaming, who wrote a lovely comment: Hello! I enjoyed your review, especially since I would like to start including more book reviews on my own blog. Since I enjoy your content and blogging style, I decided to nominate you for the Mystery Blogger Award! I would be thrilled if you would accept. 🙂 If not, this is simply my way of saying your blog is great. 

Emily’s blog was new to me, and is an eclectic mix of writing, crafting and general comment. I particularly love her Zentangling posts – a very different style to my zentangling, but I really like it! So, thank you for nominating me, Emily!

 

Of course, there are “rules” to accepting the award:

 

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog. (check!)
  • List the rules. (check!)
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog. (check!)
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. (check!)
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself. (see below)
  • Answer the questions you were asked. (see below)
  • You have to nominate 10 people. (see below)
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog. (see below)
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (see below)

So:

Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

  1. I had a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel for lunch.
  2. Mr FD bought me some new ear-phones yesterday, because Jasper chewed through the right-ear wire on my old ones, so I was listening in mono. The new ones are very smart, with a neat little pouch for them, but I’m already getting my wires tangled up! My old ones had a neat little doomy-wang to wrap them around.
  3. I have been married to Mr FD longer than I haven’t been married to him. We got married in 1985 – 32 years ago – and we were both 25. We are both now older than 50.

 

Answer the questions you were asked

  1. If you could learn a new language instantly, what would you choose and why? French!!!! Because I live in France, and, although I get by, I miss the nuances, and can’t express myself particularly well.
  2. What book(s) do you reread over and over? Quite a lot…Mr FD claims I only read 1 word in 3, so I read a diufferent story each time! Not true, but I do read a lot, so will often forget which books I’ve read.
  3. What’s your favorite comfort food? I’m not sure I have one. I like trying out new recipes, but do return to old favourites as well. Chilli con carne with garlic bread, and lots of extras on top (avocado, grated cheese, salsa, chopped onion) is a meal that’s hard to beat!
  4. Do you plan your blog posts in advance, or write them as the ideas come? I rarely plan in advance (for anything!) Sometimes, if the mood is on me, I may write a couple of posts (in fact both this, and “Awards Ceremony II, were written on the same day as Awards Ceremony I – I think today I have just wanted to sit at the computer and write!) but usually I just write when I think I have something to write about. Sometimes I will want to blog, but have nothing much to say – those days are more difficult.
  5. If you could have any mythical creature as a companion, which would you choose? Hmm, that’s a tricky one, as I’m not well versed in mythical creatures. I like the idea of Hedwig, in the HP books, because I like owls, but I don’t know what skills Hedwig brought to the party. A talking cat? But then, cats being cats, it wouldn’t say anything to me, because Well, why should it? A unicorn? A bit big – and I’m sure the horn would get in the way!

You have to nominate 10 people. Oh, no…I’m afraid not! With all the other awards, and the fact many people don’t like these things, I’m not going to name anyone.However, if you read this, and want to try answering the questions, then consider yourself nominated, and follow the “rules” (unless you’re a rebel, that is!)

Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog. Consider yourself notified!

Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question: It’s hard to come up with questions that are original and I may have already asked you these, but still:

  1. Is there a play, or stage musical, that had a profound effect on you (or that you just really enjoyed)
  2. What was the last (or recent) piece of music that you listened to?
  3. Is there a piece of advice that someone gave you that has really meant something in your life?
  4. Who was the last person you received &/or sent a proper letter or card to (rather than an e-mail or e-card)?
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? (The weirder the better.)

 

Good advice.

So there we are!

Three Blogging Awards. Thank you to everyone who gave them to me. I appreciate that you take the time to read my blog and to think enough of it to nominate me.

 

Award Ceremony Part II

So, yesterday I wrote about being awarded the “Leibster” award, by theNewMrsM

Today is all aboutwhich I was “awarded” by Chomeuse with a Chou

The Friendship Blogger Award was invented by: Novus Lectio

“This Award is for those we cherish in WP and to show them affection and to offer them our friendship.”  – which is one of the great things about blogging in my opinion – not just WordPress (which is what I imagine “WP” stands for) but any blogging platform. I have made friends all over the world, and hope that I have inspired someone, somewhere, with what I write. I do cherish those “virtual” friends, and want to encourage people to support, cherish, comment on other blogs.

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the Award (Novus Lectio) and its purpose.
  • Nominate other bloggers to receive the awards.
  • List the rules and display the Friendship blogger award logo in your post on your blog.

As I’ve said before, it’s difficult nominating other bloggers for awards, as they sometimes find them a bit of a burden, what with “rules” and things they have to do, but here are three other blogs that I enjoy reading – which are perhaps a little different to the others I have already linked to at other times.

1) Deep Heart of France This is a blog written by an ex-pat who obviously loves this area of France. He is writing about the departements slightly west of where I live, and his love of the area shines out through every post. I particularly like reading his posts about Clermont Ferrand, where I sometimes work, and where my church is.

2) Kirk & Bert This is a blog started by someone who wants to explore living a more organic & chemical free life. After her husband survived cancer, the author decided to try to cut down on those things that she suspected may have had some part to play in the development of said disease. It’s full of interesting, thought provoking ideas. Not that I’ve actually tried any of them – but that’s mostly laziness on my part!

3) Unseen Beauty Now, I am not a beauty blogger, in any sense of the word. I don’t wear make-up (although I’m being encouraged to do so during chemo, as my new wig – still to be revealed – is a different colour to my natural look, and needs a stronger colour), my “cleansing” routine involves whatever shower gel/cream I bought cheaply at Noz, and some general shampoo, I don’t use anything on my face, except a bit of Yves Rocher cream when it feels very dry. And that’s it. But I enjoy reading Kirsty’s blog particularly, as it comes from the perspective of a visually impaired person.

So there are three different blogs for you to explore, should any of them appeal to you.

As an added bonus (?!) I’ll answer the list of questions that Bev, another blogger, posted for her Sunshine Blogger award:

  1. What is your most treasured possession and why? I really don’t know…I’m very much attached to a Victorian opal ring that was my “aunt”‘s (not a proper aunt, just a very close friend of the family), but there’s no one “treasured possession” as such.
  2. What would be your dream job? I’m lucky enough to love my work as an EFL teacher, but a dream job would be author, or actor. In the UK I did lots of am-dram, and while I wasn’t fantastic, I loved it! Mind you, learning lines would come more difficult now!
  3. What was the last film you watched? “Young Frankenstein” which we watched last night. I used to find it hysterically funny, and there are still parts that make me chortle – especially those parts with Marty Feldmann in – but there was one part which now actually makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, as I rewatch it…Maybe I’m being over sensitive, but in the light of the #Metoo rising, this one tiny part jarred with me much more than it did in the past. I won’t say what it is – and don’t let it put you off watching the film – but … meh.

We have recently watched Paddington, and Paddington 2 – no controversy there: loved them both!!!

4. What was your favourite subject in school? English language – what’s not to like about lessons about making your writing better?!

5. What’s your favourite thing about yourself? Bof! I don’t know…sense of humour?

6. Have you ever been told you resemble someone famous? Who was it? Not that I recall.

7. Do you snore? Oh yes! I have the family snore, which, I have been told, is reminiscent of a motorbike revving up. My sister also has it, and I would assume my brother too. Mr FD claims that not only can he hear me through noise-cancelling headphones, but I make the bed vibrate!

8. If you could learn to transform into an animal (but only one) which animal would you choose? Cat, definitely – though preferably a well-loved cat. Eating, sleeping, purring, and being stroked. With the occasional saunter into the garden – sounds like a good life!

9. What’s your favourite cartoon? Don’t really have one…or do you mean animated film? Which could include many – practically any Aardman film, but especially Wallace & Gromit, Toy Story, Up, Inside Out…

10. What was your favourite film as a child? Absolutely no idea!

11. If there was a film about your life, what would it be called? Again, no idea! I don’t really feel imaginitive to think of one either. “An un-extraordinary Life” ?

So, there you have it!

Thank you for the award, Chomeuse!

Award ceremonies.

Recently I’ve been nominated for three blogging awards, but due to chemo, and Other Stuff, I’ve never quite got round to posting about them. I may not get all three done today – having re-started walking a mile in 15 minutes today, I find myself absolutely knackered! I managed it, but now I feel really tired. Perhaps I was being a tad ambitious, but I really thought that I needed to do some exercise. Plus Mr FD has been nagging me: apparently I “should” be doing about 150 minutes of exertion each week in order to aid recovery. When I told him, in no uncertain terms, that in the first week I’m lucky if I can stagger round the house, he responded that it “helps with the fatigue”. I nodded, said “Yes, dear,” and planned to continue doing what I feel I can do.

Just on a side note: the sinus infection is sorting itself out, the medication is (just about) bearable, and hasn’t had the threatened results. Huzzah. Thank you for your messages of sympathy and support.

So, on with the Awards Ceremony!!

First: from ThenewMrsM comes the nomination for

The Liebster Award 2018 is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means ‘sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome’.

I can’t remember how I came across Mrs M’s blog, but from the beginning I enjoyed reading about her family life. She has an enthusiastic and engaging way of writing, and even when documenting the less-welcome sides of her life, she always seems to be positive. I have become quite fond of her daughter, T, and her husband, Scott!! T recently wrote me a lovely note, which I intend to reply to shortly. Mrs M and T have been taking part in 40 Random Acts of Kindness over Lent, and it’s been great reading how T has embraced this spirit of generosity.

The “rules” of this award are as follows:

Rules of the Liebster Award 2018~
1) Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. (check)
2) Display the award on your blog. (check)
3) Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blog posting. (see below)
4) Provide 10 random facts about yourself (optional in 2018) – the question answers can be my random facts)
5) Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award. (see below)
6) List these rules in your post. (check)
7) Inform the people/blogs that you nominated (see below)

So why do I like blogging?

I am a slightly frustrated writer: I have written a novel, but then was too lazy to do anything about publishing it (whether self-published or “proper” published) so I suppose blogging gives me an outlet for that. I enjoy recording various outings, and love reading back over old posts. I started in August 2011 over on wiblog.com, which no longer exists, but you can read some of my “rescued” posts if you follow the links at the top of my Home Page, including my very first post. After that I started another blog to record my “weight loss journey” (which frankly didn’t go very far – the journey, not the blog!) It was supposed to be more “foodie” than this one, but gradually the two blogs looked more and more similar, so I finally stopped writing on Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner.I have kept it “live” though, and occasionally post a link to The View… because some people seem to find it easier to access Fat Dormouse

I love reading people’s blogs too. I don’t tend to follow blogs, but I do have a lot bookmarked, and I visit regularly. I don’t always comment, but I enjoy reading. I like reading about how other people live in France, so read, for example, Chomeuse with a Chou, and Adventures of an Anglaise…I also enjoy reading about food adventures, so Chez le Reve Francais fits both categories – some delicious recipes there! Cat blogs always appeal so I often pop over to Daily Feline Wisdom to find out what advice is being given out by the Meeowies and Woofies. Je Suis Le Roi Soleil is another charmingly written cat blog. Both have lovely photos of their animals too. And then there are those I read because the people who write them have different lifestyles to me (family life, living in a different country, etc) or just write in a really engaging way – these include Kezzie, PomPom, Ange and lots more that I linked to in this post back in February. Oh, and Bev! How could I forget Bev, who lives in Switzerland and reads loads of books. She too has a lovely engaging way of writing, that always keeps me checking to see if she has written another post.

Mrs M posed some questions:

 

  • What book are you reading at the moment? I have been taking a long time to read Elizabeth George’s “Believing the Lie”. Like many of her Inspector Lynley books, it is long and complicated, and it is in book form, not Kindle. So there are certain weeks during treatment when I can’t be bothered to try to lift it! I have read it before, but can’t remember much about the plot, so it’s like a new book all over again!
  • What is your new favourite hobby? I haven’t really got a “new” hobby; the newest, I suppose, is my zentangling, but I’ve been doing that for a few years now. I do go through “phases” with hobbies – so I used to make loads more cards than I do now, so have an enormous stash of stuff (which I add to from Noz!) which isn’t getting used very much.
  • Where did you grow up? In Aintree, which is a suburb of Liverpool, quite well known for its race course, upon which the Grand National is run. Here’s a link to an estate agent’s page with our house up for sale!! I do have to say, the inside doesn’t look much like the house I remember from 37 years ago, but the outside does. The little “granny annexe” to the left used to be my father’s surgery, as he was the local GP, but then it got converted into a flat for my Nana to live in.
  • When did you last “just do it”? Not quite sure what Mrs M means here… If it’s something to do with not really considering one’s actions, I really don’t know…Sorry!
  • What is your favourite TV show? I haven’t really got a favourite, as there are lots we enjoy. Recently we have watched “Shetland”, “Endeavour”, and “Silent Witness”. For comedy, “Damned” (although I wonder if this is more a documentary!), “Modern Life Is Goodish”, and “The Last Leg”
  • Name something you are really proud of and tell me why. Crumbs! I really don’t know! I’m often quite surprised and proud of zentangles that I’ve done. I’m proud that I wrote my novel – even though I did nothing else with it…Ah, yes! I’m proud that I cycled 1,000 km in 6 months and raised 1,000€ for a school in Africa. I’m not sporty, and I don’t really like cycling, but I did it! Here’s a photo of me at the end of my 1,000th km

  • What is the most memorable trip you have taken and why? So many…I can’t choose just one! But I loved my trip to Budapest last November (which you can read about on the blog). I had a fascinating and useful retreat first, and then spent 4 days with a very dear friend from school. It’s ages since we spent much time together, but we fell quickly into a very comfortable rhythm. We enjoyed it so much, we’re planning a second trip to Strasbourg this year, to explore the Christmas markets there. Here is Jane inthe covered market.

  • What do you most love about blogging? See above – but I think it’s the friends that I have made: those who I will probably never meet, but who have sent me letters, hats, little gifts, cards through my blogging time. How lovely!
  • What is your favourite weekend breakfast? It’s usually the same as my weekday breakfast, TBH, (Marmite toast at the moment!) but of course, if given the opportunity, a full English sets one up for the day!! But it does need to be followed by a slice of toast-and-marmalade, for a touch of sweetness, and plenty of hot, strong coffee. My most recent full English breakfast was when we were in Manchester (we had it on a Monday, but never mind!) which was lush! I only missed the fried egg, because at the moment, I’m not allowed soft cooked eggs due to the possible risk of salmonella. And that didn’t really matter, asthe egg is my least favourite part.

just missing the hash browns and the brown sauce…and it needs a bigger plate!

  • Name an act of kindness that you or someone you know has carried out. As I said, I have loved reading about those carried out by T, because they have shown how small things can make a difference. The one towards me, that has really blown me away, was when a friend, who has recently inherited some money, offered to pay for a holiday for Mr FD and me, when my cancer treatment is finished. Yesterday’s 40 Acts read:

Extravagant. Overblown. A bit much. We’re going extravagant today. If someone mentions that they’d like something a little over the top, why not just go for it? (And go all-in, too – if you need the excuse to go big, consider this it!)

Green:Give something small but thoughtful – like adding a biscuit when youbring someone tea.

Amber:Give something big and thoughtful – like a three-course, all-paid-for meal, or a year’s subscription to cinema tickets, not just a gift card.

Red:Give something absurdly, radically thoughtful – like Philip’s unexpected car donor, what can you do to step into truly sacrificial generosity?

I know that I have an idea how, eventually, I might complete this Act, but on the 40 Acts FB page I wrote: There’s also the other side to this: being able to “generously accept” an extravagant gift. A dear friend has offered to pay for a holiday for us after my cancer treatment. That’s a huge thing, and our first reaction was ” thank you, but we couldn’t possibly…” But it felt wrong to do so. Her generosity is God’s generosity, and this time I am on the receiving end of a 40 act and it’s my job to graciously accept.

Sometimes it is hard to be the one to accept an Act of Generosity… But thank you, dear friend!

So there you are!

I’ve completed everything, except the links and award to other blogs. I know lots of people don’t actually “accept” these awards, but I would certainly recommend reading those linked to above, and on my earlier post in February.

I have also been nominated for

and

But I don’t think I can respond to those on this post too, so this will have to be Part One of the Award Ceremonies. Part 2 will follow at a later date!

 

The Fox and the Penguin

No, this is not a new Aesop’s Fable that has been discovered, but rather the two most recent pieces of zentangling that have reached their destinations.

The Rockhopper Penguin fairly flew to his new home – I posted it “economy class” (or, 2nd class post, as I believe it’s more commonly known) on Wednesday, and it arrived Chez Chomeuse the next day. As she is better than I am at taking photos, I direct you to her site to admire the Rockhopper Penguin, or Gorfou Sauteur as it is known in French. I was really quite pleased with how he turned out – and he was quite quick to complete, as penguins have a lovely white front.

Here is a photo of a Rockhopper:

The Fox found his way to Switzerland. He must have trotted fairly quickly, as he arrived the day after Rocky had found his home.

Again, as Bev is better at photos, I direct you to her post, Foxy,Foxy where you can see him in all his glory. I haveto admit that I borrowed his pose from a drawing on t’internet – I’m not actually very talented at drawing, you see – but the zentangling is all my own.

Kezzie, if you’re reading this, you need to let me know your new address. I tried emailing you via your profile page, but I don’t know if that was successful. A copy of Mr Foxy is waiting for you.

I have two zentangles on my list to do, but if you’d like one, please let me know. My list is more organised, and is now written down, so if you’ve previously requested, but not received, a zentangle then ask me again. I have forgotten about it. The speed of production may slow down once chemotherapy starts, as I have no idea how it will affect me, but it might well be good to have something non-energetic but creative to concentrate on.

And here’s a totally unrelated Lol Cat Dog:

Happy New Year

Hello dear ones.

This is just to wish you a Happy and peaceful 2018. I hope that your year is full of blessings and good things, and that even when the bad things happen, you can find the grace and strength to deal with them. On a post on Ship of Fools about the power of prayer, one poster wrote to another

May I pray for you and your wife – for strength, for courage, and that your home would be filled with love, with laughter and joy, with good wine and great friends and family. For relief from pain and fear.

This is what I wish you all, dear ones. Thank you for your support, your messagres, your comments and for your sharing of this journey with me.

May 2018 be good for all of us!

Here’s a photo Mr FD took of me on Christmazs Day. It’s not often I like a photo of me, but I really like this one, so I thought I’d show it to you. Click on it for an even better view!