Liebster Award


Bruce Goodman at Weave a Web has kindly shared the Liebster Award my way. Head over to Bruce’s to check out his stories, poems and best of all, his music compositions. There’s a surprise hidden there every day, so don’t stop reading and listening! Thank you Bruce!

I couldn’t answer the questions the way Bruce does – he makes writing look like a breeze! Instead, I’ll like to take this opportunity to share some blogs I’ve recently been checking out rather often – this time pointing out those I follow specifically for their photos!

Christopher Martin Photography
Chris takes photos of wildlife – recent ones include bears and birds in action. Stuff I couldn’t even capture no matter how much I wished. You wouldn’t want to miss it.

Ed Mooney Photography
Ed is a ruin-hunter who claims has an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and others. There’s never an unhealthy obsession when it comes to history – not if you take photos and share stories like Ed does.

Scott’s photos are so vivid you’ll think you’re looking at the sights with your very own eyes. I’ve never asked the reason for the name of the blog, though. Head over, take a look, you’ll see the world with a very stunning sight…

Jo’s site is full of fun; I particularly love the Monday Walks series, where she takes us with her on her trips out. And even when it’s not a walk, the blog is full of interesting info about places she has been. Casual, light, and a great reminder for us to simply stop and take in the sights around us!

Nic Freeman
Nic writes, but the photos of her adventures are so stunning you couldn’t take your eyes off them. Every picture is like a postcard that tells a story on Nic’s blog.

Licht Years
Susan asks, “where are you going, where have you been?” All of Susan’s posts take you on an adventure across cities, into the woods, sometimes even staying indoors can be a journey for the mind.

Cheers, bloggers around the world. I’m glad our paths have crossed here!

Sunshine Award


Some sunshine on a dull day indeed! Rachael has kindly nominated my ranting space for Sunshine Award! Do check out her blog – it holds lots of good flash fiction and leaves you wanting to read more each time!

I kind of figured there was a requirement to say ten things about myself, and recommend some blogs. I’ve decided to twist that a bit, and merge those two. I’ll now recommend some blogs I like and say something about how each of these blogs have brought sunshine to my life!

A Grateful Man – Russ was inspired, and he set out to inspire others. Beginning his creative pursuit only recently, Russ has shown me that it’s never too late to start!

Helen Midgley – Just like the award, Helen writes with a positive vibe even in the darkest stories. An enjoyable read, always.

Road Tripping Europe – Some of the most amazing landscape photos can be found here. I realised how much of the world I have yet to see, and would love to keep exploring!

CB Wentworth – She remains one of the most committed and inspiration writers I’ve met while blogging; check out especially all the photos that CB Wentworth has tagged poems to!

Retireediary –  Michael shares with us some of the purest pictures of nature, unaltered. Check out his blog for some beautiful autumn photos!

That’s all for now; there are so many more wonderful blogs out there – I’m sure you have a list too. Share them with me – we’ll keep reading and writing!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award


What a very sweet surprise to receive this “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” from the very blogger that inspires me so much – Gray Poet! Drop by his site; he writes beautifully!

I wish I was more inspirational – I wish I could write better, draw better, film better … but that being said, I’m grateful for this beautiful award to display on my blog!

The Rules
1. Display the logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
5. Notify your nominees.

Nominating for this award is:

  1. Scottseyephotos ( for his beautiful photos of nature and life
  2. The View Outside ( for her ever-inspiring writing plans
  3. Adrian Pym ( for his beautiful photographs that look so professional they even inspire my writing
  4. Another Bag, More Travel ( because he shares his amazing tavels with us! How I long to write like him some day!
  5. A French Frye in Paris ( because he left his home and settled right into France, thereby sharing his wonderful stories!
  6. Bucket List Publications ( for doing everything I love and following her dreams!
  7. WISIWIS ( for the awesome pictures of a country that inspires me endlessly
  8. Sethsnap ( for the great photos that reminds me every day of the beautiful things in life
  9. Cornwall – A photographic Journey ( for presenting nature with such grandeur
  10. Beyond the Brush ( for someone who worked in a similar industry as I did but chose to pursue her dreams in what she loved, and where art comes alive in different forms
  11. Doodlemum ( because she made me think of picking up my sketchbook again… Only I can’t draw as well as she does!
  12. Canoe Communications ( for travelling adventurously and sharing it with us.
  13. The Byronic Man ( for being so funny
  14. Waldotomosky ( because he never fails to think and write about the once-forgotten
  15. A Grateful Man ( because he lives with a good cause and writes from the bottom of his heart

Here’s trying to write seven things about myself which I have yet to mention in previous awards’ requirements!

  1. Vodka addict.
  2. Highly “negative”, according to societal standards.
  3. Coffee is a necessity to start the engines every morning.
  4. I long to visit Russia again, this time for a longer duration, in order learn more about it’s history.
  5. I don’t eat when I work.
  6. I can listen to one song over and over again for a week.
  7. Nothing much to say, mostly.

The Liebster Award

The Other Watson at Wanton Creation has shared the Liebster Award with me this week. Big hugs and big thank you! This award is meant for people with under 200 followers. Rules are as such: Answer the 11 questions asked by the award-giver, pick 11 people for the award and pose 11 new questions. Check out the receiving blogs below too! .

11 Questions from The Other Watson:

1. What’s your favourite word in the English language?
For now, I think it’s  “Tough”.

2. What are you listening to as you write the answer to this question (if not music, what sounds)?
‘Missing you now’ by Michael Bolton, slamming of keyboards and chairs creaking.

3. What was the last thing you ate that you really, really enjoyed?
teak from Morton’s.

4. You’re at a job interview and the interviewer asks you to make them laugh. What do you do or say?
Ok this is hard. I don’t ever wish to have to answer this.
“This is a trick question, isn’t it?” or “You’re gorgeous”. – somehow these statements make people laugh, awkwardly maybe, but it does. Except, an interviewer might not.

5. The world is about to blow up, but you’re being saved, and are allowed to take five things to another planet (aside from the clothes you are currently wearing), where you and only 999 other people will now exist (ignore the bleakness of this question). What do you take?
Can I take people along? Alas, if not –
(i) My laptop (ii) My cellphone (iii) Clean set of clothes (iv) A soft-toy, though I haven’t decided which (v) A potato or something that reminds me of life on earth.

6. What’s your favourite drink to consume first thing in the morning?
Coffee, without a doubt.

7. What was the last book to make you cry?
I haven’t cried because of a book for a long time. Many other things brought tears, though. In any case, I think it was a Chinese novel (yes I read Mandarin) by author Chi Zijian, translated literally as “All Nights in the World”.

8. What’s the most ridiculous or silliest way you’ve been injured?
I left my finger by the window and shut the pane. Horrendous.

9. What’s your favourite city in the world? Why?
The world is my home! I don’t think I have a favourite city.

10. What’s the most embarrassing album in your music collection? (Be honest)
Are they embarrassing?
Maybe a song from Disney’s Mulan collection – I’ll make a man out of you.

11. To borrow an old line from a Crowded House song, would you rather a mansion in the slums or a caravan in the hills (i.e. a nice house in a not nice area, or a tiny living space but with views)?
Again without a doubt – caravan in the hills i.e. tiny living space with views!

My 11 Questions

1. What is your favourite season of the year?

2. What is on your mind 80% of the time when night falls?

3. Are you a writer or an artist?

4. Which two individuals would you call within your network if this was the last day of life on Earth? Why?

5. If you could travel back in time, state a time period and geographic location you wish to visit.

6. What languages do you speak?

7. Are you working at your ideal job? If not, why?

8. Who is your favourite poet?

9.  Do you prefer to sing or dance?

10. What makes you feel worse: an insult from a stranger or an insult from a friend?

11. What do you want to achieve within the next 5 years?

My nominations
I’m ignoring this <200 followers rule because I simply cannot tell.

1. diannegray 

2. pauladkin 

3. hunting for bliss  

4. Jason Alan. Writer. Character.  

5. Images of China through English Eyes

6. culturemorph  

7. Philadelphia Psychosis  

8. A Serene Scribe 

9. lightningpen

10. 3teensmom  

11. Internets Can’t Handle Moi


Reader’s Appreciation Award

I have been holding this back a little so I’ve decided to get down to it today. I’ll like to thank Amy at Storyteller in the Digital Age for sharing the Readers’ Appreciation Award with me at the beginning of the week and later Coach Sue at The Courage to Adventure Blog too.

As per normal, to accept the award, you will need to link back to the blog that nominated you, include the picture of the award, and then nominate other bloggers. I haven’t completed my previous list at the Versatile Blogger Award so allow me bend the rules a little on this.

The two kind individuals above who shared this award over had a varied acceptance rule so I googled around and decided to do this set of 10 questions instead – it tells a bit about me, different from the previous awards and I’ll add a little about what I plan to do next.

  1. What is your favourite colour?  Blue.
  2. What is your favourite animal? Horses & dogs 🙂 Ok this isn’t new. 
  3. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee! It fixes every other problem I might have beyond feeling tired – headaches, frustrations and mental blocks 🙂
  4. Facebook or Twitter? Both are alright I guess, how about Pinterest for now? 
  5. Favorite pattern? Nothing in particular. I like lines more than dots.
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? Both! Or neither. Both are fine!
  7. Favorite number? 7.
  8. Favorite day of the week? Every day is as good as it is bad if not for the occurrences as the day progresses. So I guess, no favourite days!
  9. Favorite flower? I’m not a flower person so I don’t think I have a preference.
  10. What is your passion?  Oh NO! This is the toughest so far. I’m trying to figure this out. I love reading History, and creating stuff (eg. craft, designing with Photoshop and making video clips etc) but the skeptic in me is wondering if this is true passion. 

What I plan to do next
I’m in a phase of thinking about what I plan to do next. I want to ski inNew Zealand but my work schedule forbids this plan from materialising. That’s about it I guess? I’ll be working 😦

Now to passing the award. I happened to see an interesting method at one of my favourite blogs – C.B. Wentworth’s recent award and decided to follow suit. (PS: Drop by C.B. Wentworth too – congrats! – and I would’ve nominated her for the Reader’s Appreciation Award had she not already received it way before I did)

Now, if anyone has a great blog you follow and feel deserves this award, preferably related to some of my favourite things (i) Travelling (ii) History (iii) Writing – Please share the link with me and I’ll reach out too! Hopefully this also gives me the opportunity to learn more from writers I have yet to stumble upon!

Thanks and cheers!

Versatile Blogger Award

Once again I have been most kindly awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by a very interesting individual, A Serene Scribe. I stumbled upon her blog with great timing – about 2 months ago when things were getting gloomy, I read this particular post – “My Year in a Cubicle” – it gave me such a good laugh I felt like things couldn’t be that bad! 🙂 Dana has very interesting perspectives to share at her site, so please drop by!

Here’s what’s to be done if you’ve been nominated for the award –

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
15 Blogs – (will be updated over the next 3 weeks)
This will prove a challenge to me – to be frank I’m pretty new blogging here, and I’ve listed some of my favourite active blogs in the previous two awards. So I decided to come up with as many as I can for now and update the list until I reach 15 over the next 3 weeks as I chance upon more to share!
1. Have Bag, Will Travel – this is one of my favourite blogs to read about travels – Andrew is all over the globe with shares wonderful pictures, travel experiences and interesting stories! There’s never a time to be bored when you’re at his blog!
2. Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe – Elena’s blog never fails to move me. She writes about life, travels, photography and even poems that I identify with so much I recall returning to the blog 3 times to read the same poem! To add, Elena has an interesting life from Russia to the States, and a beautiful reunion with her mother. A great read anytime – and the title of her blog says it all.
3. grandfathersky – I’ve recently been reading posts from grandfathersky and I realised how powerful his words can be as he expresses them in the form of poems. Thought-provoking and I wish I could write like that too.
4. European Scientist & Journalist – This blog isn’t in English but one might use online translation to help in reading it. It isn’t always accurate, but the author Mr Kotev writes about history, with real historical and journalistic information. Fascinating family history too, with great pictures, for those of us who like to look black & white photos of the past.
5. culturemorph – I might be a little biased here because I learnt that the author shares an interest in Russia as well. Nonetheless, I assure you this is worth a visit – you’ll get to see art through the eyes of a scientist! Check out the interesting photos there!
6. where’smyt-backandotherstories – A highly information and meaningful blog – Eva writes in dedication to her patients who have encountered Alzheimers’ and through her, I learnt so much more about the disease. Eva spreads the word to all who care, and on a lighter note, she shares beautiful pictures from her travels too!
7. Storyteller in the Digital Age – Amy writes about her inspirations derived from her visits to various places, of which, one about looking for the best scary setting got me imagining how and where I would’ve planned a horror story. Always an interesting read as you run along with the thought process of this storyteller!
8. Heart to Harp – She learns the harp at 52 and shares her journey with us. I find this inspirational – will I ever find my passion, and if I do, will I persevere as she had? I ponder. Check out the photos too, and I love these reflection-posts, they keep me thinking about life.
9. Doodlemum – I don’t usually read comic blogs but I chanced upon doodlemum and this is beautiful. I really wish I could draw like doodlemum! Drop by to check out the comics!
10. Scottseyephotos – Scott has lots of beautiful pictures of artiodactyl animals (and much more but that was the first thing that drew me to his site!) and a fellow traveller! Something about his photos makes me want to head back every so often – click to visit, you won’t regret it!
Note Jun 1: I have to stop here for now – but I promise I’ll keep passing this to fulfill the requirements! Halfway there!
Note Jun 7: Updated 9 & 10 today 🙂 More to come!
Alright, so let’s go with the 7 random things – and I promise it’ll be different from the 10 Random Factoids!
1. I love Bernese mountain dogs – grand heroic beautiful animals.
2. My favourite colour is blue.
3. I feel a strange sense of melancholy when I look at historical photographs; sometimes they move me to tears and I feel as if I can identify with them.
4. I am intrigued by the concept of time and fate (partly triggered by a wonderful storyline I can never forget – “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder)
5. I can cook a decent range of Western & Asian cuisine.
6. I like winter.
7. I enjoy peaceful quiet nights.

Thanks again for the recent awards from some very wonderful bloggers, I am lucky to have connected with many of you and lets all keep writing/sharing!

Kreativ Blogger Award

I am grateful for the kind individuals who have been so kind as to nominate me for the awards over these 2 days. This time I’ll like to thank one of my favourite blog writers C.B.Wentworth, in fact she has  inspired me to keep up with writing! There’s always something fun happening on her site – stories, travels, art – do drop by!

Here are the rules:
1) Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2) Answer the following 7 questions.
3) Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
4) Pass it on to 7 deserving blogs.

7 Questions
1. What’s your favorite song?
This is going to be difficult. While I wrote about a song recently, it isn’t really a favourite. I listen to a wide range of songs, so to list a few that I listen to almost every other day

“Separate Ways” by Journey
“Where Did Your Heart Go” by Wham
“I Need You To Fall” by Michael Bolton
“An Autumn Leaf” by Vitas
(quite a weird selection, I think…?)

2. What is your favorite dessert?
I’m so fickle I couldn’t decide. Bread Pudding maybe. Or Warm Chocolate Cake 🙂

3. What do you do when you’re upset?
I stare into the night sky, think, and write.

4. Which is your favorite pet?
Horses & dogs  mostly.

5. Which do you prefer? Black or White

6. What is your biggest fear?
Getting consumed by some strange sea-creature unknown to the world. Ok sounds silly but who knows what lives in the deep uncharted waters?

7. What is your attitude, mostly?
I like to call it ‘constructive discontent’. Or ‘constructive melancholy’. It helps me to think, strive to improve, and write. 🙂

10 Random Factoids
1. I cannot resist singing the lyrics of songs I know to myself on most occasions.
2. My favourite cartoon is Winnie-the-Pooh (of the good old days!)
3. I sleep crazily few hours each day, I think I might develop some serious health problems.
4. Reading history is like second-nature – It doesn’t take much “memorising” as the common belief goes.
5. I play the piano.
6. I love the storyline of a little-known tv programme, Dragon Flyz and I remember every character’s name & their distinct features.
7. I am addicted to gaining new knowledge in various fields of studies, I’m like an information junkie.
8. I’ve watched ‘The Song of Lunch’ over and over again, and I think it is an absolutely clever production – brilliant in fact!
9. I can’t seem to keep my desk clutter-free for more than two days.
10. Not a fan of beaches.


Passing the award on to…
1. A French Frye in Paris – a very interesting writer who shares his experience of leaving his life for a new beginning in France. Light-hearted, with a good lot of photos and there’s so much to learn!
2. Go Hvar – wonderful pictures about life in Hvar, covering the glorious food and views! Don’t miss this, you’ll almost wish you were right there after reading it!
3. The Dorset Rambler – because he documents his trips in the most detailed and pleasant manner, I sometimes wish I could do a better job in writing my travels. PS. He takes pictures that are almost magical to me! Everything is so beautiful!!
4.  WD Fyfe – he never fails to offer an interesting perspective to life and recent happenings – a great observer and definitely a great writer too!
5. A Detailed House – if you’re looking for great ideas to remake your house, this is where you must visit. Great ideas to consider and I learnt too, that my dream-house can become a reality too!
6.  The Blissful Adventurer – Michael writes about eating, drinking and travelling (everything I like!) and his posts never fail to bring a smile.
7. Gray Poet – his poems moves mountains, his words always so powerful. Through a time of suffering, this isn’t the most appropriate thing I can do, but he is still a genius I wish to give due credit and respect to.

Thanks for Writing award

Here’s a big thank you to Luciano Cavallaro, author of Eternal Atlantis for passing the award my way. I haven’t heard of this but it’s all good fun to share!
To spread the appreciation along, (bending the rules a little), I’ll like to nominate some wonderful people around here and just as the award says, thanks for writing!

C.B. Wentworth – one of the few blogs that you can keep going back to and you’ll find all kinds of meaningful things to read about!

Lolabees – someone I met through another blog’s comments and there I found lots of inspirational stuff on her blog 🙂

Waldotomosky – because he writes with a heart to let us learn more about the ‘forgotten’, to share knowledge and information about those we have oftentimes unwittingly neglected.

ladyfi – for the wonderful pictures and inspirational words. On top of the beautiful photos, I was enlightened by a recent post about rainbows and I trust you will to – do drop by when you can!

A few rules:

  • Display the Award in your page
  • Award them to your favorite commentators
  • Ask them to forward it to their favorite commentators (please do pass it forward!)
  • And don’t forget to link their page to their names

it’s all about the chemistry

I’m not sure if this happens for all of you, but I am always very grateful to meet people who understand even when few words are exchanged. No, I am not a fool for politeness and I often find, in my cynical nature, a distaste towards the strange concept of positivism that I could never quite comprehend. I can distinguish between social polite conversation, hypocrisy, and genuine concern. What I refer to here, is the meeting with people you can click with – even if you’ve met only briefly.

Lets not go all pedantic about language, but I’ve recently started to see the difference between those I feel are reliable vs dependable. It might be common for many of us, or sometimes you just don’t think twice about it. I do, however, and I realised this – logically speaking, someone who delivers his promises consistently across many occasions of collaboration should be considered a reliable person, but something in the skeptical self questions if you can always trust this “reliability”. Conversely there are some that you meet, and unknowingly your mind is conditioned to trust that you can depend on them. In similar light, this person will deliver as promised, but even before you can prove it, you naturally feel at ease and foresees that even when crises arise, they will resolve the issues. This is, dependability.

Such thoughts arose  recently when I continued to meet new people. I noticed how I had this inherent trust for some people I might never have met, and after meeting, realise that we clicked far better than imagined. Instinctively, I had faith that things were certain and nothing could go wrong – and even if it did, they can be trusted to help fix the problems. I recall how I’d met some interesting characters at the start of the year and how we managed to coordinate our actions and thoughts so well together that everything seemed to work out perfectly even at crunch time. I thought about the individual who had agreed to a last-minute request with only a brief verbal acknowledgement, then delivered on the promise beyond what I’d expected. I then think about how just a week ago I’d encountered yet another character who was amazingly different from my impression but we turned out to be highly aligned in various aspects.

This isn’t just about gut feeling. This is about finding security, certainty and someone dependable amidst a highly cluttered, complex and competitive lifestyle. We aren’t always lucky enough to meet the right people. When you do, please remember to treasure it – turn back and give a shout out, keep in touch as much as you can, because it is this very unique set of people that will touch your life, change and shape it. When everything seems to fall apart, they might just be the ones who understand and be there for you.

One more thing to be appreciative of now.

smile, nod and share a word of thanks

We are so very often caught up in our own world that we don’t seem to realise how unfriendly, unkind, or oblivious we may be. I guess no-one is to be blamed for this – there is so much to busy ourselves with in life, every so often pre-occupied with worries of job, family and personal issues, one just didn’t always have spare time or energy to care.

I was however, in my usual overly-sensitive nature, put into deep thoughts after watching various episodes of Undercover Boss. Sensationalised, edited, whatever. Bottom-line is that we forget – we move on in life, accelerate in our career, and forget the most basic things like showing appreciation or civic-mindedness.

I realise how little we know or care about those who are behind us in our careers, or those who are in jobs less glamorous than us. Take an example for the show abovementioned. We think about how to increase sales by giving great customer service, but we forget the difficulties of our staff in living up to some unrealistic standards that are to be offered at their expense. We think about recycling and saving the environment, but we forget the toil and harsh environments we put our staff in just to achieve what claim we can offer. Of course someone out there is going to talk about society and how sacrifices are made as a normal cycle of life, survival of the fittest, the human food-chain and every other theory we can conjure or pull together. I don’t disagree. I’m just saying it’s a sad fact that we forget too soon how we were once at the bottom of the food-chain suffering all the unimaginables – and we subject others, unwittingly or not, to it after we depart from the sorry state. Now with reference to the very same show above, I noticed how a little kind gesture could make a big difference. You hear in the show about employees who love their jobs but face constraints due to long hours, undesirable conditions, or simply personal family issues. Sometimes we really aren’t asking for too much – an extra day of leave, some flexibility in work hours, a holiday maybe. When the organisation stops to listen to your needs and tries to help you in fulfilling them, you can imagine how happy the employee might be. The upsides are decent – greater loyalty to the company, higher productivity etc. It really pays to be nice sometimes..

Today as I was at a restaurant, I happened to observe some wait-staff working on lunch-hour turnover. Necessary job, most definitely, to clean the tables quickly and usher in new customers. But as I looked, I started to wonder why some customers had to make such a ferocious mess of their tables. I was appalled by the filth at a nearby table – food scraps scattered all over the table, drinks spilled across the seats, balls of rolled-up serviettes strewn around. You just made someone’s job so undesirably tough because of your uncivil behaviour.

This also got me thinking about consumers at fast-food restaurants. Where I am in this world, it almost seems a rarity that patrons at fast-food chains clear up after themselves at the end of the meal. Unbelievable! This has bugged me for years, but it doesn’t change. Cultural differences, I was told. Excuses, I believe. But of course, who am I to impose my beliefs on others. I just don’t see why we can’t return our trays on our own and dispose of the waste along the way. I watched an elderly lady clear the tables around me and as I walked to the waste-bin to return the tray, she broke into a smile and exclaimed, “You’re the first today, thank you very much. See you again!” I laughed too, and thanked her as she gave the table a quick wipe.

Make someone else’s job less distasteful – you might be a boss to hundreds of employees, you might be yet another shopper at the mall, you might even be one of the million commuters at the railway station. Whoever you are, wherever you might be, it works well to smile, nod and share a word of thanks.