People have been extraordinarily generous of late. And have bestowed upon me awards which I absolutely do not deserve. Such flattery has left me squirming with an uneasy mixture of delight and bashfulness. The pretty one above is the Wylde Women Award ; Mozi Esme gave it to me. The criteria is that award recipients “teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy”; I don’t think I’ve taught anybody anything new (except how not to raise chickens, perhaps). And alas I frequently fail miserably at the ”living life fully with genorosity and joy” thing; I am often unspeakably ungracious about having to put up with life in an outpost.
But thank you, Mozi, for a lovely award and for believing I am a better person than I really am!
This one came to me from my friend Janelle at Ngorobob House. She is a much more special, and eloquently flamboyant, scribe than I shall ever be. She uses language daringly and vibrantly where I would never have the imagination to use the same word. I have – ironically, though perhaps not? – grown to know her better since we both began to blog. I like to think – simply because I began before her – that my waffling inspired her to get talking too. I like to think you can thank me for delivering her lovely, passionate, full-of-life-and-colour words to you. She’d have probably have done it anyway – begun to blog/blab – but it’s always nice to think you’ve helped drag the latent creativity out of somebody whom you could see bubbling with the stuff all along.
This one was from Potty who is practically a celebrity and who sweetly endured my emails in lieu of comments for months and months because I was too thick to manage to say what I wanted to say via conventional blogging channels and instead sort of stalked her via Outlook Express. I think she was quite relieved when I worked out how to get around the problem without jamming her inbox. I hope Random House or similar is paying attention because everything she writes is brilliante – which is why she got the award to pass on in the first place. And so now I am a stalker and fully fessed up Potty groupie.
And the very grand award here is from Alcoholic Daze who writes about life with her alcholic husband with grace and courage and even – which augments the already evident bravery – humour and all without a trace of self pity. Not even a hint of it.
My scratching was recognised by Not Enough Mud . And Milla at Country Lite tagged me. Which was very nice of her but I need to point out – here and now, for the record, lest anybody who reads me but doesn’t know me yet meets me in the future and is horribly disappointed – I am amongst the most awkward and gauche people I know. I write – like Mud – because ”there are many things I would not talk about. However, I find I am able to write about them. I then find that, far from being a lone weirdo, other people have these thoughts, fears and peculiarities (although maybe not all at once!) and are able to tell me so. More than once I have breathed a sigh of relief or laughed out loud at someone exactly pin pointing something I had been feeling or worrying about, rather reassuring.”
And because – being clumsy and plagued by self doubt in reallife– I feel comfortable on the page. A reallife conversation might leave me tongue tied and breathless and blushing. But at the keyboard I can take the time to articulate what I want, how I want. I can select the words at leisure, like a child does the precise crayon for her colouring. She thrusts the tip of her tongue out of the corner of her mouth and deliberates carefully between the orange and the green, as I do the words. Sometimes the choosing is easy, sometimes I wonder if there isn’t some tiny writerly guardian angel at my shoulder nudging me encouragingly. I like to think it’s Dad, who wrote such beautiful letters to my mother,
The lights have long since gone out and I am writing by torchlight. There is a grasshopper sitting at the top of the page obviously trying to read this. I don’t know how he does it – reading from the bottom to the top – but I am sure he is reading out aloud, probably to the two illiterate moths, the one tiny black beetle and the very sedate and proper praying mantis who are all sitting in an audience around him. If I look closer I will probably find the grasshopper is wearing horn-rimmed spectacles and a gold watch chain.
Dad in a letter to Mum, 1964
But often its not at all easy to find the right one. And then I huff and puff crossly and snarl at my children and prove I am not a bit worthy of Mozi Esme’s award, or any other for that matter.
Mostly this overwhelming recognition requires that I mention where the awards came from. So I can confidently tick that box. And put the handsome awards in my sidebar, which will be challenging given that I cannot organise my text font or line spacing. And nominate writers for the same awards.
Which is where I am going to cheat a bit.
Once upon a time there was a wonderful blogger called The Good Woman who moved from Scotland to Kenya and we haven’t heard from her since. Which is really sad because she wrote brilliantly and because now we are all wondering what happened to her. Blogland can be like that – you make fantastic friends who you absolutely believe to be real (because they are, of course) and whom you develop a certain affinity with and whom may suddenly drop from view. Good Woman invented her own award which is what I am going to do.
Because I’m an indecisive cheat, mainly, and because for me, in this splendidly isolated OutPost, I really only get Out by writing and reading and swanning about in cyberspace. So my OutThere Award – which doesn’t have a logo because, as Potty Mummy will testify, as the fact I cannot comprehend why I have gone from single to double spacing will prove, I am too techo-challenged for that, though I can give you an OutThere photograph –
goes to an assortment of people who have made me feel less lonely OutHere:
Kathleen who feels like an old friend; Ann who is just bloody cool. And a great-granny. Which just adds to how cool she is; Mr Sherman who has been a faithful and patient reader who never tells me I am boring, just politely and gently points out that I’ve already touched on that particular topic; Roberta because she – another old friend – loves books too. Nutty Cow because she blogs regularly and because I, who hurtled past the sign for 40 so fast I hardly saw it, am hugely flattered that anybody so young should read my often Grumpy Old Woman rants. And Primal Sneeze who doesn’t really do tags but who is getting one because he had a sense of humour big enough to laugh off the fact I call Him Her.
I don’t expect anybody to do anything with their award. Unless they feel compelled to pass it on, in which the only criteria would be that nominees have helped to feel you less lonely when you might otherwise have felt a little bereft of company.