Liebster Award

Lovely surprise last night when I visited  Confessions of a Doctor to be  and found Helen Qin had nominated me for a Liebster Award. I couldn’t help feeling flattered to be first on the list .. thanks Helen!

Helen is a final year medical student at the University of Melbourne in Australia and regularly writes interesting and thought-provoking posts that I enjoy.

Rules to the Liebster Blogger awards:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to the blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
  3. Share 11 facts about yourself
  4. Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers
  5. Ask your nominees 11 questions
  6. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post

Feijoa tree we grew in The Catlins

Helen’s questions, and my replies:

1. What piece of writing are you the most proud of?

My poem about opposite seasons north/south:  Time in Two Hemispheres

2. How long does it take for a post to go from an idea to fruition?

Single-image post, 15-30 mins including prepping the image.  Normal post with a few images and some explanatory text – 1/2 hour to an hour. A more involved post that requires research and links, or perhaps an original poem, is likely multi-day.

3. What has been your most enjoyable new hobby during this lockdown?

Walking locally. The streets in our small country town have hardly any traffic, not even the highway, and we can walk wherever we want. We leave the town and walk way out into the country. Normally there’s too many big trucks and farm vehicles for road-walking to be pleasant or safe.

4. If you could go somewhere for a week, all expenses paid and you could do whatever you wanted, where would you go?

For somewhere new I’d choose Ireland; to re-visit a place I love it’d be Venice.

5. What’s one thing you wish you were better at?

Eating! My throat muscles don’t work right so it’s hard to swallow food (just the smell of food starts spasms). It’s like in the movie ‘Holiday’ where Amanda is on the balcony and suddenly gets a bad “oesophagus spasm”.. remember that? I always wonder who came up with that idea … it’s exactly like what I get all the time.

6. What language would you like to learn and perfect if given the opportunity?

I adore Italian as does Nigel. We tried learning it but it was a struggle to find the time on an ongoing basis.

7. What’s an irrational fear you have?

That if I choose to put a load of damp washing on the outside line .. it’s sure to rain 😦

8. What’s something you might be embarrassed or self-conscious about, but you know you shouldn’t be?

I’m self-conscious for all sorts of reasons, it’d be awesome if I had a single answer. We live in a very image-conscious society – I’ll just say that I wish we lived in a world where we were far more accepting of each other’s differences.

9. What food are you craving the most right now?

I permanently crave my favourite fruit feijoa – they grow prolifically up in the North Island but don’t travel well. They’re not from NZ but are native to Brazil, Uruguay, Paraquay and Argentina. I’ve read they’re called ‘pineapple guava’ in California, also ‘guavasteen’. They were bought to NZ in the 1920s.

10. What’s your best party trick?

Honestly? Vanishing. I’m not a party person.

11. What brings you the most joy in life?

The colours of our New Zealand landscapes, seascapes, mountains, rivers and beaches, flowers and trees; the song of our songbirds; and being out there to enjoy it all.

the colours of my life … i colori della mia vita

The first feijoa fruit we got – just before we sold and left!

11 Facts About Me

1. Born in a brick hospital in the small-ish rural town of Waiuku, south of Auckland.

2. Earliest years spent on large orchard developed by my father before I was born.

3. Dad, Mum and I lived in a caravan for 3 years (orchard sold when I was 4-5).

4. We travelled all over NZ when we lived in the caravan.

5. My education started with 2 years remote learning via Correspondence School.

6. Mum was a great stand-in teacher. I enjoyed home education in the caravan!

7. First school: a tiny two-room country school of ~30 pupils, in the Far North.

8. Us school kids did a huge long journey by school bus over a VERY long gravel track to get to a parent’s farm for swimming lessons in a river with a log as a ‘bar’. There were resident eels and looong strands of green algae that we couldn’t avoid!

9. In high school a teacher introduced us to multi-day tramping/hiking carrying our own tents and food. Later Nigel and I did a lot of tramping in NZ and the SW of UK.

10. In the UK Nigel and I once sat on a mown-grass roadside verge to have a food-stop while backpacking. A middle-aged florid bloke drove down the nearby driveway to the road, stopped opposite us and yelled that he’d shoot us if we were still there when he came back. We fled 😦

11. When working, I was a librarian (public, university and medical libraries and even in a photo library). I also did about 6 years working in the smelly office of a tannery!! I was a shipping/wages clerk and the tannery was in Onehunga, Auckland.

My Nominees …*

  1. Kay McKenzie Cooke NZ
  2. Ann Mackay UK
  3. Mike Powell USA
  4. Ellen Jennings USA
  5. Peter Hillman UK
  6. Michael Scandling USA
  7. Robert Parker USA
  8. Tracy Australia
  9. Wendy Montrose NZ
  10. Platypus Man UK
  11. Anyone else who follows my blog and would like to participate!

*P.S. I’d love it if you respond – but please don’t feel obliged!

My 11 Questions:

1. What connection (if any) do you feel that you have with New Zealand? 🙂

2. What place in this world do you most love?

3. Your favourite colour(s) are what? –and what do you associate with the colour?

4. What connection do you feel/experience with Nature?

5. Your favourite ‘active’ recreational activity …?

6. Your favourite ‘quiet’ hobby/interest?

7. Is there something you enjoy ‘having a go at’ regardless of skill?

8. What was (or is) your favourite children’s book?

9. Your current or past ‘occupation’ ie. work / study / keeping busy is …what?

10. What’s your favourite creative activity.. what do you have a passion for?

11. Is there something you can share about a challenge you face, or have faced?

Many thanks Helen for the nomination! It was fun responding, and this was definitely a more time-consuming post!

Thanks in advance to kind readers who read this post 🙂

Huge thanks in advance to anyone who responds – in which case I look forward to your post with much anticipation!

Posted by Liz; Exploring Colour (2020)

35 thoughts on “Liebster Award

Add yours

  1. Congratulations Liz and thank you for the nomination. I’ll try to get onto it as soon as I can. I think feijoas are such a kiwi thing. I love them too and have 5 trees but I’m lucky to get 100 fruit a year. Just as well my daughter has a feijoa hedge at her new place 🙂
    I feel for you with your swallowing issues. My youngest grand daughter has achalasia, a rare condition that causes swallowing problems. Like you she lives with it but it’s a challenge all the same.
    I’m fascinated by the swimming ‘pool’ of your school days. Sounds very No. 8 wire ish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks because I really enjoyed reading what you shared and I sympathise with this new fellow-sufferer, your grand daughter. It’s just comforting to know that one is not alone although I’d never wish it on anyone else. I remember lots of feijoa trees and hedges being around when I was a kid in Auckland/Northland and they’re something I truly miss 🙂 I’m excited that you also will respond – am so looking forward to your post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulation on your award, Liz. It is well deserved. What I love about your blog is the way you share your love of your home town, the natural world, and your blogging community. Your kindness and enthusiasm is infectious, in a good way. 🙂
    Thank you so much for the nomination, Liz. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t pay it forward. Most blogs I follow are award-free. I will check out the other blogs you’ve mentioned. If they are as lovely as yours, it will be something to look forward to. 😉
    Kind Regards.
    PS. I have a feijoa plant. It often doesn’t fruit because it is too dry here. It is looking lovely now. So happy with the rain we’ve just had.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so kind Tracy and it’s nice to hear about the ways in which you love my blog because it’s really encouraging but also valuable to know. ‘Infectious kindness and enthusiasm’ is amazing, just the best thing you could’ve said! I also had a wee laugh because I *thought* I was an award-free blog but have done two awards this year when bloggers I admire surprised me by nominating me – guess I’m not an award-free blog haha. Feijoas.. I found in The Catlins they’re not keen on being too wet either! Did you know that even self-fertile varieties benefit from having another kind of feijoa growing nearby – I’ve read that they bear more fruit than they would otherwise. Thanks heaps, Liz xx

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s right Tracy! Hehe.. The Catlins is an area of rainforest and it was unusual to have a lack of water in the tank although shortages can happen in a dry summer!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. My goodness, congrats & thanks so much for the nomination, how nice!
    I don’t ever remember seeing your favorite fruit before, the feijoa. I’ll look for it next time I’m in one of the fancier grocery stores.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The season for feijoa is autumn and I’m doubtful you’d find it on the shelves out-of-season unless they airfreight it in from the southern hemisphere. My examples are very small, they can be much bigger. One variety is even called ‘Mammoth’ haha. Here’s a page that’s quite nice and shows pictures for many varieties: The fruit must be in good condition otherwise they can be disappointing but a good one is a taste sensation! You just cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon.


      1. Thank you. I love fruit, I’ll keep an eye out for it. The bigger stores here sometimes have guava, passion fruit, mangoes, etc. and kiwifruit from NZ, although some of it also comes from California, and sometimes Chile. My parents had kiwi vines, some sort of hybrid that tolerates our winters, the nursery swore they provided male & female vines, and they fussed over the plants for years, but they never bore. Well, I’ll look forward to trying this when I find it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I hope you can make it some time, post Covid-19. One of the great things about NZ is that there’s lots of different natural features to be seen without having to travel a long way in between. That said, you still need to allow *lots* of time because there’s so many things to see – and you don’t want to be rushing your trip!


    1. Thanks Louella.. I’d meant to pop you on the nominee list – must’ve slipped my mind when I added the general invite at the end. If you’d like to participate consider this a personal invite!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Liz and thank you for the nomination! I’ll take part in the next couple of weeks – when I’ve had time to think up some good questions…hmmm (*thinks*). It was very interesting to learn a bit more about you and I reckon that it will be fun to read everyone’s responses. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, thank you Liz, I’m truly flattered and just a bit flabbergasted. My weekly post for next Wednesday is already written, but I’ll try to work something up for the following week. I’m fascinated by your early life on the road. What a wonderful way to see NZ at an early age. Tell us more one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope your throat feels better soon! Those spasms sound awful 😦 Oh and I’ve done a tiny bit of Italian, it probably would have been the language I’d want to learn as well but I agree it’s just so hard to start from scratch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The swallowing thing is something I’ve had to learn to live with, difficult but I never choke i.e. it’s not dangerous (a new friend down the road told me her adult son has had several life-threatening situations with a similar condition – yikes). Ciao Helen!


      1. Still, that sounds rather uncomfortable, food is one of the greatest joys in my life so I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy it freely. I am glad you’ve learned to manage it though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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