Well, what better start to a New Year could a gal ask for? My pal, and fellow blogger Kate over at Will Wally Wonder has nominated me for a Liebster Award, which basically involves me answering a load of questions about myself and – hopefully – trying to spread the love a little by nominating other people, all of whom are the custodians of blogs I enjoy reading, for the same award. Nobody is under any obligation to take part, of course. It’s all in good fun.
But let’s hope we kickstart the New Year in style, all the same.
In bold (below) are the questions Kate put to her Liebster nominees, and which I’ve done my best to respond to.
Name a television program that makes you laugh. Who is your favourite comedian?
Funnily enough, I don’t actually follow a lot of TV comedy any more. The only TV programme I can think of which I hate to miss because I enjoy it so much is ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ It’s one of the shows my husband and I can watch together – understanding the jokes makes me feel clever, and it’s great for me to have him around to explain the more complicated bits. I can’t choose a favourite comedian, either – I really enjoy Bill Bailey and Eddie Izzard in equal measure, so they’ll have to fight it out for the title. Or, just merge into one, and create a new super-comedian…
Tell me about the worst film you have ever seen.
‘The Ninth Gate.’ Has to be. It’s been years since I saw it, and I’ve done my best to wipe my mind of it since, but from what I remember there’s Johnny Depp (usually watchable, yes? Well, not in this festering mess, believe me) who plays a rare book dealer. Like all rare book dealers in film, he’s on the hunt for a book written in the seventeenth century and apparently a copy of a work written by the Devil himself, which gives the reader powers of immortality and super-strength. This reasonable plotline turns into a convoluted and largely senseless chase around Europe with people trying to murder and/or seduce each other as they search for this tome, which culminates in a scene beside a burning castle which I almost felt I hallucinated, it was so bad.
I love mysteries. I love rare books. I love stuff that has to do with codes and the supernatural. Heck, I even love Johnny Depp. But this film is utterly ridiculous, and a total waste of time. In my humble opinion.
What animal do you feel most connected to?
Well. As a melancholy teenager I felt very drawn to dolphins and whales, perhaps due to the mournful calls that whales make ‘neath the waves, or perhaps just because I was passionate about conservation. My room was plastered with posters of them in their natural habitat, and I entertained notions of becoming a marine biologist when I grew up – this was before I realised how utterly useless I was at things like maths, science and standing upright on a boat. With the years I have developed a love for elephants, and I have a small collection of elephant figurines which I prize highly. I wish I lived in a world where they weren’t being held in captivity and/or being hunted for their ivory, though.
What would be your superpower of choice?
Knowing the right thing to say at every given moment – the right thing to say to help someone when they’re hurting, or when they’re struggling, or when they’re in a wild rage and likely to hurt themselves or someone else, or when a painful truth needs to be shared with a delicate person, or when a misunderstanding with potentially dreadful consequences is looming and needs to be put right before it can do harm. It doesn’t sound like a hugely important superpower, but I think it would be amazing to be able to use words like this, to stave off pain before it even begins.
Of course, like all superpowers it’s wide open to misuse, but I’m pretty sure I could trust myself to use it right and bring calmness and peace wherever I went. If only it were possible.
Name a little moment in time that brings you joy (for example, I love it when the best before date on perishables matches my birthday).
I love it when the numbers on car registration plates add up to one another (like ‘235’) or when two numbers can be multiplied to give another number (like ‘6318’) or divided to give a similar result (like ‘2464’). I used to get massive joy on long car journeys as a kid, doing this sort of simple maths to amuse myself. The more ways I could get the numbers to interact, the better.
My husband tells me this is actually ‘number theory’, and that it belongs to several branches of advanced mathematics, but I just think of it as my registration plate game. It still gives me a jolt of happiness when a car drives past with a satisfyingly balanced and interesting registration plate. Yes, I am a nerd.
What is the oddest object you own?
I don’t really own a lot of odd stuff. I collect books, and I have a mountain of CDs (which I’ve been collecting for over 20 years, in my defence) – in the modern world we live in, books and CDs are quite odd in themselves, but I don’t think that’s what the question means.
Besides that, I suppose you could say that a grown woman with a teddy bear collection is a bit odd. Is it? I have lots of them, and I love every one.
Name a celebrity you’d like to meet for a coffee (or beverage of your choice) because you believe you would get along well.
I think this would have to be the actress Claire Danes. We are almost the same age (give or take a few months) and I have been following her career since the mid-90s, when she played Angela Chase in my favourite TV show, ‘My So-Called Life.’ She’s currently playing Carrie Mathison in ‘Homeland,’ another show I love (mainly because she’s in it). I have always convinced myself we’d get along well, but she’s a multi award-winning artist with several homes across the globe and a background in modern dance, and I’m a person who can’t even stand up without falling over and who once dyed her hair the same colour as a character Claire Danes played on TV, so I’m probably kidding myself.
Tell me about a moment in your life that has made you unexpectedly emotional.
The most significant recent bout of waterworks, for me, came on Christmas Day during Mass when the congregation started to sing ‘Away in a Manger.’ By the last verse I was a blubbering heap. I have no idea why I became emotional, what triggered it, or why that particular hymn set me off. I am a person who cries easily anyway, so I get attacked by unexpected bouts of emotion at least once a week, but this is the one that springs to mind.
Right! So, I hope those answers passed muster.
Here are the folks I’d like to nominate for the Liebster award – not that they are under any obligation to take part. Mainly, I’d just like to let them know I enjoy their blogs.
Zissa over at Sanity? Optional. Writing? Required, a blog which amazes me with its wit and intelligence and the wonderful things it has to say about writing.
Loonytuney over at The Loony Teen Writer, another blog which amazes me with its wit and intelligence, and the wonderful things it has to say about writing, and the energy and passion its author brings to her subject matter.
Claire over at Written in Haste, a blog which amazes me because it’s always interesting, always fun, always clever – and written by a lady with a tiny son, as well as a demanding job and lots of other calls on her time. Also, she happens to be awesome in real life.
And now I have to supply some questions…
What is your favourite smell, and why?
What object in the world would you most like to own?
If you were a number, which number would you be – and why?
What is your biggest regret (if it’s something you can share)?
What are you most afraid of?
What is your favourite piece of visual art (i.e. not music, literature, theatre), and why?
Tell me about the best dream you ever had.
If you could be anyone, from any historical period, who would you be – and why?