Old Year, New Year and being a Versatile Blogger

A few weeks back I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful Nikki, the Brainless Blogger.

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I met her on the “chronic illness” circuit – have a look at her site The Brainless Blogger here – but she also writes fantasy fiction and you can find some of her work under her pen name Lil Hamilton.  I think you will agree her own Versatile Blogger award is very well deserved.  Thank you, Nikki, so much for nominating me!

THE RULES:

1. If you are nominated, congratulations – you have been awarded the Versatile blogger award! 

2. Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog.

3. Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. 

4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

 5. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself. 

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At the beginning of the New Year many bloggers reflect on the year that has just gone before and think ahead to set goals and/or resolutions for the year to come.  I thought that I would try to do something slightly different and incorporate my seven Versatile blogger answers with my New Year post!  So here goes…….

  1. I have a chronic genetic condition, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which means that rather than producing connective tissue that is elastic, mine is more akin to chewing gum.  It can affect any body part that has collagen/connective tissue.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dislocate one joint or another, or experience a pain free day but my first major problem came aged 21 resulting in major back surgery, nerve root damage and chronic pain.  Whilst a consultant picked up that I had a “syndrome” when I worked in his theatre as a student nurse, ironically it wasn’t until 20 years later that I was formally diagnosed at my old training hospital, University College London!
  2. I was a nurse in a former life.  It still hurts to say “was” rather than “am” – one of my greatest sadnesses to come with chronic health and disability has been losing my career and registration.  My passion was “head and neck” cancer nursing and later Palliative care – I was privileged to work in both specialities for many years.  2018 marked 30 years since the start of my nurse training and I was so fortunate to be well enough to spend a weekend with some friends from my nursing set, to visit the hospital and a few of our old haunts! img_1650
  3. I am a book worm! Remember the days before mobile phones using a torch under the bed covers to read? I was one of those kids! I still prefer proper books really, but will admit to reading nearly everything on my Kindle as easier for dodgy joints – but I remain a bit OCD with my books as I can’t stand for anyone to crease the spine let alone fold down a page corner! These days I write the odd review, belong to  book clubs and will read just about anything.  I go into 2019 pleased that I made my personal 2018 reading challenge (on goodreads) and hopeful that I can continue reading and reviewing.
  4. I am a mum to 3 young adults aged 22, 19 and 16.  This last year I have felt the most pride as a mum and also the most stress and angst as a mum to date – these kids don’t come with a manual and it definitely doesn’t get easier as they get older.  I guess my parents would agree!!  Let’s hope that the next 12 months are less of a rollercoaster….
  5. I love dogs.  All shapes, sizes and colours.  I am currently broody for a pup but our old (16 years) collie cross Samson is not in agreement with his mum.  He is my constant companion – a completely batty boy with special needs who we rescued aged 6 – and has seen me through the years since I was forced to retire.  He is completely in tune with my bad days and is very protective of me.  We also have a surrogate boy, the beautiful viszla Chester, who we have looked after for friends a couple of times a week since he was 6 months (Sam goes to Grandma on those days!) – we love him to bits.  Being at home, sometimes for long stretches, I couldn’t imagine being without a furry friend at my side!

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    My old boy Samson

  6. I make celebration cakes. Not professionally, but for friends and family.  I have always made birthday cakes for my kids, but when I had to stop working I started to play about with some more ideas and experiment with icing.  The strangest request was from a friend wanting a “Tesco” carrier bag for her husband!!  The icing is becoming more and more difficult though as my joints deteriorate – rolling out a sheet is nigh on impossible with a dislocated shoulder, so I’m trying to teach hubby!  Fingers crossed that I will be able to make a few masterpieces (ha, ha, ha) in 2019.
  7. My guilty pleasure is binge watching box sets – Netflix and Prime have become my best friends in recent years and I blame my daughter for the binge watching!  These days it is much harder to join in with family activities, so it is great to be able to spend time on the sofa with my lovely girl…..some favourites for us in 2018 were the finale of Sense 8, the German series “Dark” and “You are Wanted”, “Travelers” and “Anne with and E”.  We are both looking forward for the next season of Dark to be released in March!250px-darknetflixposter

There you have it – seven things about me, with a bit of looking back and looking forward thrown in.  Maybe I should have said that I don’t make resolutions – I’ve never been able to stick to them beyond the first week of January so years ago I just thought why set myself up to fail?!  I am happy if I can go into the new year with some positivity and hope!

Tagged Bloggers who are versatile and interesting – great if you take part, no problem if you don’t.  You are all still versatile!

Lorna at Gin & Lemonade

Orla at Fancy Paper Blog

Anindya at My Daily Journal

Debbie at Debs World

Josy at A Walk and A Lark

Jo at A Journey Through the Fog

Rhiann at My Brain Lesion and Me

Sam at My Medical Musings

Lainie at Trend-Able

Sue at Sizzling Towards Sixty

Kerry at Kerry, Life and Loves

Pamela at There is Always Hope Blog

Jen at Tripping through Treacle

Liberty at Liberty on the Lighter Side

Arv at Jaipur Thru My Lens

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I could have tagged so many blogging friends here – some are other chronic illness bloggers, others I have met in groups or follow.

Enjoy and have a very Happy New Year!