Tuesday, 28 February 2012

And the Award Goes to...

In accordance with the Versatile Blogger Award, I previously revealed seven random, never before mentioned facts about myself.  

Again in accordance with the rules, it's now time for me to detail those bloggers whom I think also deserve the title... 

So here goes:

Margaret James

Now we can all look forward to reading the seven random things these guys all come up with about themselves, as well as seeing who they'd like to give the award to, too x

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Up until I was nominated, I'd never actually heard of the Versatile Blogger Award, so it was a lovely surprise to be put forward...  Yes, there's a strategic philosophy behind it, namely to increase traffic and broaden blog readerships, but still, out of all the trillions of blogs out there someone saw fit to credit mine with the title and for that, GuernseyGirl, I thank you.

Now apparently, there are a couple of things I have to do as a recipient - firstly, to reveal seven random things about myself that I've never previously mentioned and secondly, nominate 15 other blogs to also receive the award.

So, here goes with the random facts:

1. I've never learnt how to ride a bike because as a child I was never allowed to go near one.  Such contraptions were deemed far too dangerous by my mother - I know, I haven't lived!

2. When I was nine I began learning to play the cello - an instrument that was almost as tall as I was, making transporting it here and there somewhat difficult.  Yes, I am of the generation that had to walk to and from school everyday.

3. Having always had a crush on John Barnes, when I randomly spotted him in the same bar as me one particular evening I actually hyperventilated at the sight of him. 

4. Unfortunately, I'm scared of heights - a condition that left me clinging like a limpet to the side of Pen-y-Ghent when I attempted to reach its summit and yes, it was my idea to go up there in the first place.

5. I was elected as Head Girl at secondary school, which I thought was something of an honour until I was told it was merely a token title... all the important stuff falling into the Head Boy's remit.  And people wonder why I turned into a feminist.

6. Although I became a natural blonde I was actually born with Jet Black hair.  This coupled with my lovely dark skin, left my mother wondering if she'd actually been given the wrong baby.

7. Now I thought long and hard about revealing this one as it's probably the most embarrassing thing about me. In fact, I can already hear the sniggers!  My middle name is 'Doreen'...  Parents can be so cruel, can't they?

Anyways, now I've got that out of the way you'll have to tune in next time to find out who I think deserves to also wear The Versatile Blogger badge, as I need to go and pour myself a rather stiff drink...

Never in my life have I ever admitted to revelation number 7!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Greek tragedy or just plain tragic?

It's fair to say I've been trying to learn Greek for quite some time now - not exactly an easy task, I can tell you.  After all, the written word doesn't just resemble a load of Hieroglyphics, the language has 19 tenses and when spoken, it's hard to tell where one word has ended and the next one has begun.  Still, God loves a tryer, as they say, so when my neighbours invited me to join a goup that was learning to speak Greek through song, naturally I thought 'why not?'

Then again, after two or three glasses of wine it would seem like a good idea, wouldn't it?

Of course, in the cold light of day it no longer felt such a fun proposition - particularly for a woman who can't actually sing.  But having committed myself thus far, my conscience told me it wouldn't be fair to just back out without warning.  And on the plus side, if my vocal range was going to lend itself to any type of singing arrangement, naturally, it was going to be the Greek tragedy!                                                                                                                                            

Moreover, at least I could console myself in the knowledge that I wasn't the only one nervous about what was to come.  Oh yes, as we jumped into the car and headed out, it seemed my neighbours were also aware that they could be about about to make a complete show of themselves, too.

However, I don't know if it was the rhythm of the music that somehow made the rhythm of the words easier to pronounce, but you'll be pleased to know it wasn't long at all before each of us was singing along with the best of them.  Not pitch perfect in a musical sense, of course, but we were certainly grammatically and linguistally correct - which wasn't bad to say we'd never even heard of Giorgos Dalaras or his rendition of Ola Kala prior to our arrival.  In fact, it wasn't as if we'd ever even come across some of the words we were now melodically vocalizing, yet there we were committing them to memory...  And having such fun with it!

So for anyone out there who fancies joining me in learning a new language, I'd definitely recommend having a go at learning it through song. 

Friday, 10 February 2012

Coming up... Book Signing Events!

Hi, everyone.

I have a couple of book signing dates for your diaries, should you want to pop in, say hi and of course, pick up a copy of Going Underground.

24th March, Witney Waterstones, Oxfordshire, 10.30am onwards
31st March, Northampton Waterstones, 11am onwards

Would be lovely to see some of you there, so I hope you can make it.

Suzie x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Punctuation and Grammar - Who says it can't be fun...?

Who says punctuation and grammar can’t be fun?  After all, a couple of minutes browsing the internet and we can find loads of examples as to how hilarious they can be, courtesy of sites like Facebook and The Grammar Vandal. 

I mean, take the simple comma – without it, there’s a distinct possibility we could all turn into cannibals!  After all, ‘Let’s eat Grandma!’ means something completely different to ‘Let’s eat, Grandma!’  So like the many Facebook pages dedicated to this aging relative say, the comma really can save lives!

Then there’s Bill Cosby and his book ‘Come on People’ which really should’ve read ‘Come on, People’ – an error that was completely missed by the book’s publisher and only corrected once it’s readers began pointing out their rather unfortunate oversight.

And we’ve all seen the literary lapses in many a business or newspaper advertisement.  Blunders like the tailor’s guarantee that reads:  If the smallest hole appears after six months’ wear, we will make another absolutely free.  Or the classified ad that states: Lost – a small pony belonging to a young lady with a silver mane and a tail.

Moreover, there’s my own personal favourite - the grammatical joke.  Jokes like: The past, present and future walk into a bar... It was tense.

But as well as being amusing, punctuation can also be quite powerful – as shown in the following example:

An English professor wrote the words

“A woman without her man is nothing”
on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.
All of the male students in the class wrote: “A woman, without her man, is nothing.”
All the female students in the class wrote: “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

So when it comes to punctuation and grammar we have both funny and thought provoking... who’d have thought it, eh?