I have been nominated for a Versatile Blogger award by the very amusing, left handed, giant of a man, Chris James. If you think this is a strange introduction then I suggest you take a look at his blog.

Now that I have been nominated I have to thank the person who nominated me, thank you Chris, put the award logo on my blog, which I have proudly done, tell my readers seven random facts about myself and then nominate 15 other blogs that I feel are worthy of this accolade. So here goes, seven things you may, or may not, have known about me until now:

1. I used to play Volleyball. I played for Solent in the Southampton and District Volleyball Association (SADVA) league from the ages of 14-18. I gave up when most of my joints were strapped up and I realised I was never actually going to be tall enough to be a decent player. I was also a qualified English Volleyball Association (EVA) Referee for a while, but I didn’t keep this up and with numerous rule changes, to try and appeal to TV audiences, I doubt I’d know what was going on now.

2. Another sporty fact – I represented my school at Sports Acro-Gymnastics and (despite my petite physique now) was the bottom middle person in a 6 person pyramid. We won the bronze medal in the Southern Region competition that year thanks to my sturdy legs!

3. I belonged to a Youth Theatre as a teenager. One of our productions was a musical of the Titanic story. We were the original cast, recorded an original cast CD and performed an extract of the show at a variety performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. Yes, I have performed on a West End stage.

4. Another luvvy fact – I have acted opposite Waterloo Road and The Prince and Me (the sequels) star, Chris Geere. He was the Lucifer to my Shepherd Number Three (yes, there were only three) in one of The Miracle Plays at college.

5. I have been in the presence of royalty. I met Prince Andrew at an opening of a new building at college. Chris Geere was there for that too actually. I performed a scene from The Glass Menagerie and he did his Ronan Keating impression. Prince Andrew didn’t arrive in time to see the performances, much to his relief I suspect. He did ask me to say a line from The Glass Managerie, I warned him my American accent wasn’t great, but he insisted. The only line I could remember, in my star-struck state, was “I’ll bring in the blancmange”. He agreed my American accent wasn’t good.

I also saw The Queen at Royal Ascot. She walked right past me, I couldn’t have been more than about 10 at the time and she didn’t seem much taller than me then. She probably wouldn’t have had a great Volleyball career either.

6. Before becoming a Mum I was a Youth Worker and then delivered training to Youth Workers and other Children’s Services staff. All my qualifications are in Youth Work, training and development and management in this sector. I worked in this area for more than 10 years and am disappointed with the changes that have had to occur in Youth Work in the public sector.

7. The final fact. I need to make it a good one…


…I like marmite and crunchy peanut butter but not together.

Now I have to nominate 15 blogs that I feel deserve this award. I know you expect me to say this, but it genuinely wasn’t easy. To be honest, I didn’t realise I kept an eye on so many blogs, but clearly I do and I like them all. Anyway, here goes and in the words of a generic presenter on some reality TV talent show, they are in no particular order.

1. Steph at I’m Counting UFOs – Another Mummy blogger who is local to me and I like to read what she writes.

2. Actually Mummy – I laugh a lot at what this Mummy writes from the perspective of her 7 year old.

3. Bryony at Views from the Lounge Widow – Always amusing, especially when writing from the perspective of her recently reduced boobs.

4. Him up North at The Blog up North – I’m not sure if he will join in with this, but I couldn’t not include a fellow Sherlock and Adrian Mole fan and a man who doesn’t shy away from a good debate.

5. Ben at Mutterings of a Fool – A Daddy from whom I have learnt where to go for baked goods next time I’m Bristol way and also exercise tips – one balances the other out!

6. Mediocre Mum – She writes about a whole range of things. This month alone you’ll find a casserole recipe right next to the question of eating your own placenta, but it’s her iPad app reviews I visit for mainly. Well, if this isn’t versatile I don’t know what is!

7. SAHDandproud – This Daddy blogger conveys messages with some great humour and has recently branched out into travel writing… sort of.

8. Chickenruby – She used to own a chicken called Ruby, many parts of her career reflect mine and now she writes about South Africa and being a Mum to teens – heely injuries included.

9. Belfast Dad – With his “scattergun approach” to blogging he is worth a read, but if you’re very particular about when the Christmas tree should be taken down then look away now!

10. Richard at Author Richard C Hale – I like his interview blog style, definitely worth a read if you’re into books.

11. Darren at Darren Cockle – Another author and another blogger who is local to me. I think his writing style and observations are captivating.

12. Another Darren, this one is at One Dad 3 Girls – He blogs about a range of things including some awareness raising posts and a beautiful post about his Grandparents.

13. Lena at A Mum on a Mission – Anyone who can combine blogging about her family and her incredibly embarrassing taste in men deserves an award.

14. The Last Slayer at A Hell of a Woman – A blogger who writes about being a Mum, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and supports others who blog about books. She really is a hell of a woman.

15. Mrs B at Crankymonkeys in London – this lady combines nearly everything that interests me or affects me in her blog touching on parenting, mental health, food, exercise, web stuff and more. In my opinion it’s definitely worth a read.

I started this post on Tuesday and I’m putting it live on Thursday. The facts were easy but coming up with this list of 15 blogs has taken ages (clearly not two whole days, I have done other things!). I almost feel apologetic that I’m asking the people above to do the same, but I was so proud to be nominated for this and I hope they are too! I also feel apologetic to those other bloggers, whose blogs I read, that I couldn’t include everyone.