Tag Archives: about me

In Which Mildwyn the Robin Comes to Stay

Um. Hello? Hello, everyone. My name’s Mildwyn.

Brrr. It's cold here!

Brrr. It’s cold in this silly country!

I’m a robin, as you can see, and I’m new around here. (I thought it was a bit scary at first, but don’t tell anyone. I mean, there’s a gargoyle living in this house! How weird is that? Even though he’s actually very nice, when you get to know him. But still). You might be wondering how I came to be here, and – well. It’s a long and sorry tale. I came across the world in a tiny box, you see, and I got lost on the way. I was sure I was never going to make it all the way to Ireland but then, just as everyone had given up on me, it all came good. Gripping, isn’t it? I think so. Maybe they should make a movie out of it.

Here I am with my new friends. Cuthbert is the smaller of the two (he’s the gargoyle, but ssh! Don’t tell him I told you), and Buddha’s on the other side. He’s quiet, is Buddha. Does a lot of smiling, but not a lot else. Cuthbert’s the chatty one.

Hello!

Hello!

You may have met them before, he tells me.

The first thing they did was bring me to see the Hardinge collection. (Keep it to yourself, but I’m really not sure what that is. I oohed and aahed at all the right times, though, and tried to look impressed. Cuthbert took a photo for posterity).

Ooh. Aah. (I have no idea what I'm doing here).

Ooh. Aah. (I have no idea what I’m doing here).

Afterwards, Cuthbert told me that the lady who wrote all the books in the Hardinge collection is one of the best writers in the world. I don’t know how he knows, but he was pretty sure about it, so I guess he must be right. The covers were pretty, though. One of them even matched my feathers, almost!

Did you know robins are supposed to live outdoors? When we left the Hardinge collection, Cuthbert kept trying to shove me out the windows, telling me to ‘fly’ (he didn’t seem to understand that I’d already flown halfway across the world, and he told me that didn’t count, which I thought was a bit mean, but we’re friends again now). I did go and have a peep outside, but it seems far too cold out there for me. I come from a hot country, don’t you know? I’m not ready for all this frost, and stuff. Nope.

I don't see any other birds out there. I think Cuthbert's pulling my leg!

I don’t see any other birds out there. I think Cuthbert’s pulling my leg!

Plus, when we went into the living room there was another robin there. He was bigger than me and he was a bit on the quiet side, but Cuthbert made a rude face when I told him ‘Look! This robin’s not outside, but you’re not shoving him out the window, are you?’

But don’t worry. We made friends again. I think it might take him a little time to get used to me, though. I’m not sure why. I have a feeling it’s because the human who lives here (well, there are two, but I’m talking about the shorter one, who spends a lot of time on her own, talking to herself) got emotional when I hopped out of my box yesterday. She got a bit teary-eyed and sobby, you know what I mean? I don’t know why. But she was smiling, too, so I guess it was a good thing.

Who knows, eh? Humans. They’re all a bit weird. Not like us robins.

Here's me and the other robin. He was a bit too interested in posing for the camera to say hi, if I'm being honest.

Here’s me and the other robin. He was a bit too interested in posing for the camera to say hi, if I’m being honest.

Anyway, Cuthbert loves this short, strange human and so I suppose he feels a bit jealous that now he has to share her love with me. But she looks like the type who has plenty of love for all of us. I don’t think he needs to worry too much.

My favourite bit of the tour was meeting Elfie. She lives among the books, like a guardian (even though Cuthbert wants me to point out that he’s the guardian of the whole house, which includes all the books, and Elfie is only his helper, so that’s clear). Anyway, Elfie was very lovely.

Can you even see me? Hello! I'm utilising my camouflage here. Hee hee!

Can you even see me? Hello! I’m utilising my camouflage here. Hee hee!

So, phew. That was a lot to fit into one day, right? I’m off now to get some rest and find out what robins eat. Things are very different here than they were in Australia, where I was born, but I’m sure I’ll be very happy. One thing’s for sure: the short weird human loves me, and that’s all I need. I think she’ll take great care of me, and of Cuthbert and Buddha and Elfie too, and even that silly poser robin on the mantelpiece. I think I might have to learn to read, though, because there are a lot of books here, and they all look awesome.

It was so much fun to meet you all. I’m sure I’ll see you all soon! This is Mildwyn the robin, signing off, but if you need me you know where to find me.

(And if you don’t find me where I’m s’posed to be, ask Cuthbert. He seems to know everything around here).

 

My sincere thanks to my gentle friend Kate for making my beloved Mildwyn and sending him across the world to me for my birthday present. I hope this post will help you not to fret about your dear little robin, Kate, and reassure you that he’s among friends! (Don’t worry – I’ll keep an eye on Cuthbert) – S.J.

The Shine On Award

Hello! Thanks for leaving the fire lit and the kettle on for me, folks. Am feeling all warm and welcomed.

Today’s blog is all about the lovely award which was kindly bestowed upon me by the fabulously talented zissadc of ‘Sanity? Optional. Writing? Required’. Apparently I have several obligations to fulfill in order to accept this award, including answering some fiendishly difficult questions, so I’d best crack on!

First step: acknowledge the blogger who nominated me. I did that (see above. Did you miss it?)

Next step: Post the badge of the award on my blog. So, here it is:

Shiny!

Shiny!

Now for the hard part. The questions! I’ll give it my best shot. Here goes:

Why did I start blogging?

I started blogging because I’d wanted to do it for years but never had the courage. When I started trying to become a writer I figured what better way to get my writing gears a-crankin’ while also making friends and getting to know other people going through the same process as me than keeping a blog. So far it has worked out excellently! I really enjoy writing here.

Tea or coffee?

Ah, the doozie. Can I answer ‘both’? It’s the truth, you know. It depends on the time of day (usually coffee in the morning, tea during the day), but also my mood. And, also, my conscience. I’m trying to cut down on my caffeine, so these days it’s more likely to be herbal tea. Which is delicious. *grimaces*

Most inspiring writer?

I’m going to take this as referring to writer writer, as opposed to blog writer, but if I’m wrong I hope zissadc will correct me. My most inspiring writer is probably Ursula K. Le Guin. The breadth and depth of Le Guin’s imagination leaves me astounded, and her spellbinding storytelling is a treasure. She is inspirational because she writes so perfectly across genres and forms, whether dealing with space travel or dragonflight, and all her books (despite their settings) are so real and believable that you feel like you have a personal relationship with her characters. Her work is fluid and effortless to the eye, which of course means the author is not only an expert at doing huge amounts of work, but also at hiding it expertly beneath the beauty of her words. But if I was able, I’d love to say my most inspiring writer is a cross between Le Guin, Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman. If only such a creature existed…

Your favourite fandoms?

Well. I’m a huge fan of lots of things, but I don’t know if I really qualify as having ‘fandoms’. I don’t go to conventions or dress up in costumes (yet, at least). If I was to list some of the things I’m a fan of, it would look a bit like: ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Firefly’, The SF Masterworks Series (the yellow covers make me happy), the Sandman graphic novels, Neil Young’s music (in fact, I did sort of dress like him when I was younger… but anyway), ‘My So-Called Life’ (90s television show), ‘The Big Bang Theory’, the life and works of Geoffrey Chaucer. I’m sure there are loads more, but those must be the ‘cream’, because they rose to the surface of my mind. Whatever that means.

If you were to take over the world, how would you do it?

Lovebombing, I think. I’d equip myself with a giant airship and spend my time flying gently around the globe tipping armfuls of candies, chocolates, art supplies, pens and paper, story ideas, books, aphorisms (‘you’re so wonderful!’, etc.), pictures of happy things like kittens, tons and tons of syrup, glitter, feather boas, happy wishes, love letters, and all that stuff. I’d keep going until the entire surface of the globe was covered in at least five feet of detritus, and then I’d sweep in and claim the whole lot while everyone was struggling to free themselves from a mixture of syrup and glitter. I’d expect most of the world to have surrendered to me, citing happiness burn-out, by that point anyway.

Which do you prefer, a computer or paper and a pen?

Well. Normally I write straight to computer, so I suppose I should say ‘computer’. But I love writing with a paper and pen, too. I have a collection of ornate little notebooks all over the house and in every bag I own (I can still never find one if I really need it, though), and a pen with each one (which normally doesn’t work). Despite all that, I usually make notes straight into my phone and then transcribe them into my computer file. So, the only fair answer is ‘computer’. Much as it pains me.

The best moment of your life was – ?

The day I got married. I suppose you could narrow it down to the moment my husband and I exchanged our vows, if you want to be picky. But I also loved the day I was finally conferred with my PhD, and the day my Dad got out of hospital after having a major operation nearly five years ago. All of those were marvellous moments.

The first song to come up on your portable music device of choice?

Um. I don’t have a portable music device. *blushes* I’m so old school. I still listen to CDs, and if I’m on the move I’ll pick up the radio on my phone. The CD currently in my player is ‘The Lumineers’, by (funnily enough) The Lumineers. The top 5 CDs in the pile beside my player are: Muse ‘The 2nd Law’, Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die’ (Paradise Edition), Neil Young’s ‘Psychedelic Pill’ and the aforementioned Lumineers. I feel so old and out of touch now. (I’m not that old, really).

Love is –

Love is the freedom to be yourself, both on the good days and the bad days, secure in the knowledge that no matter what, your partner will be by your side. It’s important to afford your partner the same freedom, of course. Love is freedom, love is laughter, love is the ability to share all you have and all you are with someone else. Love takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable – as I said in a blog post a while back, love involves a huge amount of risk. But if your partner is the right one, it’s all worth it.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because a wily chicken-hunter set up a little sign on the far side of the road. The sign read ‘Vegetarians Only! No eatin’ animals over here, no sir!’, so the chicken did the only thing it could, and made a break for this animal-loving sanctuary. But, just as the chicken reached the sign, embracing it in gratefulness, the tricksy hunter sprang, and the chicken was plucked and in his bag before it could squawk.

True story.

Now I have to nominate people. I’m not sure how this works exactly so I hope I’ll do it right. Also, I hope nobody minds if I only nominate three people (who, I hope, won’t mind my doing so):

Aanderand – because I really like his take on life and his wise, thoughtful posts and comments;

Ania – because I really like her enthusiasm and zest, and her idealism;

WillWallyWonder – because her writing is warm, kind and full of love.

And now some questions for these bloggers to answer:

What is your favourite word?

What did you want to be when you were little?

Are you, or have you ever been, able to do a full handstand?

If you could be any ‘baddie’ from history or literature, who would you be and why?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you’d buy?

Do you have any weird favourite ‘things’, like favourite shoelaces, favourite spoon, etc?

Have you ever been to a ballet – or, better yet, have you ever danced in a ballet?

If you could own anything that you’ve read about in a book (like your own personal dragon, or The One Ring), what would it be?

Happiness is – ?