One Lovely Blog Award

lovely-blog-award-logoI would like to offer my thanks to Anna Marple for her kind addition of the One Lovely Blog Award to this shardy’s accolades. Thank you for brightening the blogosphere and for inviting me along on your journey. Given that I have been away for quite a while, it is both an honour and a delight to be welcomed back with such warmth. While I feel undeserving of the spotlight, I will always aim to make your visits worthwhile.


Now for the award. Here are the guidelines for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you for the award;
  • you must add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post, your blog or both;
  • you must share 7 facts about yourself;
  • and lastly, you must nominate 15 bloggers who you admire and consider “lovely.” Let the nominees know they have been nominated by commenting on their blogs.

7 Facts about yours truly:

1. I have Mad Hatter eyes. What are those, you may ask? Take a peek at Jonny Depp’s impersonation of that character and you won’t be very far from the truth.

2. As a child I got some first-hand experience in the tobacco industry: those nimble little fingers came in handy when sewing leaves onto threads, ready to be dried.

3. To this day, I have lived in, visited or travelled around 30 countries in addition to the one where I was born.

4. At the moment I am in the US, engaged and befuddled by all things American.

5. I love theatre and have even tried my leg as an extra in a West End production (leg still intact and going strong).

6. The old and war make me melancholy. Put the two together and I am bound to tear up.

7. My blog will be celebrating its first year anniversary in a couple of days’ time. Where has the time flown?!  

My nominees for One Lovely Blog Award

(If you are not amongst their number, it is not because I do not think your blog equally lovely. It is always difficult to choose and I hope to add you to my next list of awards – I have quite a few to add to their number)

Congratulaltions to:

Is it just me? for important trivia, well crafted stories and excellent conversation.

Sugar-coating since ’91 for life experience and snippets of inspiring art.

psychologistmimi for food, road trips and everything else that travel can gift.

Ivy Mosquito | Liberating My Creative Soul for a slice of peace, nature, photography, crafts… Need I say more?

Musing Off the Mat to regain your sense of wonder and love of simplicity.

Traversing Lines for a commuter’s haven.

The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project” for literary fiction and photography.

It Goes On for insights on mental health and how to keep one step ahead of the darkness.

Icezine for a meeting of English and French curiosities: dream-think-protect-live.

Business over Coffee (newly arrived) visit for a cup of coffee and words for thought.

Find Your Passion for a little inspiration and a lift.

SoulFood for recipes and life lessons.

A Bowl of Cherries for a survivor’s tale and bright photography.

From Hiding to Blogging for a journey into Xi’an and essays on the essence of life.

A glimpse of paradise for a photographer’s view of the enchanting.


With warm regards,


HarsH ReaLiTy | Re-Blog

OM has long been a one-man opinion force in the blogosphere. His great number of followers reflects his commitment to blogging and his determination to make a success of HarsH ReaLiTy.
I had the opportunity to spend some time as a guest writer on his blog, and subsequently had the keys to his lovingly built kingdom. I was amazed by the rapidity with which he was able to amass a large and diverse following, while also providing content and engaging with more bloggers than seemed humanly possible.
The statistics I got a glimpse of were truly astounding, more so because it showed the Gargantuan effort coupled with astuteness and creativity that OM dedicates daily to WordPress and HarsH ReaLiTy.
I hope that in reblogging this post, I can help someone who has dedicated so much time to helping others, to be able to earn the necessary funds that would avail him of the time required to continue this journey.
His model is very straightforward, and while it may not work for everyone, I am certain that there are many tips that would come in handy.
If anyone can make you a blogging success overnight (well… almost overnight – you will still have to do the metaphorical leg work) then I’m certain that OM is your man.

‘Tis the Season to be Nominated!

doncharisma-org-the-inventive-blogger-awardHis name is. His name is. His name is.

Don Charisma!

He loves the bloggers and the bloggers love him,

So much that he invented a new award theme.

He’s part engineer, dive instructor and meditator too,

But one hundred per cent phoenix. Cheers, Don, and thank you!


Five things I love about blogging:

Meeting You – Being free to create and invent – Finding inspiration in the most unusual of places – Learning something new every day – Chasing the Muse and then running away from her whenever she comes around 😉

My nominees:

09ce012478d3900a332899bb1b88e7d7Taylor J.   He is so much more thanphotographer. He is an artist and had I the means, I would buy out his entire collection. Stunning is an understatement. If you are a photographer or not, The Photography Lie article is a great place to begin.

cropped-dsc_0026 Bea’s BulgingButtons who’s Simple Things bring a smile to my day and I rather enjoy being Spoiled Rotten every now and then too.

untitledErik Lehman is a fellow writer and his steamy prose (fragments of his Daughters of the Rose series are now available on his blog) will make for nice fire-side reading this festive season.

LindaGHilllindaghill is a wonderful writer. She will make you laugh, she will make you cry, and will always have a kind word for you. Her Boy Series – One through… is quite something – emotion streams from every line.

hufflepuffThere is a lot more to find of interest on A Cup Of English Teas blog, but her article “A Most Unjust Representation: Life as a Hufflepuffist” made me laugh so much that I can’t recommend it enough. Harry Potter fans, this one’s for you –  delivered by owl post on Christmas Day. 😉

NKNina Kaytel and I have been exchanging Creative Writing Tips and Applications of late. She is an incredibly generous writer, both with her knowledge and time and I’m very glad to be on this journey alongside her.

6645 and 009Andy Kaufman’s Kavalkade Krew – My home for music and humour on WordPress. Kavalkade has been very diligent in chronicling the adventures of British spook 009 (I’m a master of disguise it would appear and the owner of many a secret agent hats – 007, M and Q have their hands full with this elusive Krew.

cropped-dovesEvery time I return to her about page, I am once again struck by the beauty of this phrase: “My memories are my identity,” says alygeorges. This blog-come-memoir memoirs of aly (the way i see it). hopes to motivate others and “help them understand that there’s so much to life than just resigning oneself to misery.” 

bfd723d72727c4156157dc114edca1f8For SIM | ANTICS writing is a cathartic experience, a medium to express her emotions. Sounds familiar? For many of us blogging is the equivalent of keeping an online diary and this is why I believe her blog will resonate with you.

img_1615Swivel Freely for A Bit of Cheer from a humorous swiveller who’s been an active member of The Human Race™ since 1996. She’s been “mostly hanging out in the North American continental area, so if you stop by, we should totally connect!”

cropped-snow-covered-christmas-tree1love o’clock‘s collection of short films are certainly worth a visit. They are so sweet that I’m sure she coats them in icing sugar before posting. Her blog is filled with… love, actually. 🙂

Richard AnkersRichard Anker’s blog is a place for writing, poems and dreams. His recent posts have been rather Christmasy and I’m sure they’ll bring sparkle to your holiday season. Here are a few you are sure to like: Christmas LightsDistant Christmas, Christmas Eve and Little Heart ( The Story of the Christmas Fairy)

0dc1c473efbb2460aa75a7eaceb39612If you have ever stepped on a bus or any other public transport, then sweetness6645‘s  Chronicles of a Public Transit User blog is for you. I’ll let her tell you all about her adventures herself, and of course, she’s been agent 6645 on Twitter of late, helping me – aka 009 – chase the Krew to the four corners of the world.

38183f531eccac601046f61bc645715fRob’s Surf Report will entertain you with snippets of Life, Music, Humour and if you’re craving a little poetry and some more prose then perhaps you would like to indulge in his Fiction and Haiku collection too!

cropped-tumblr_lbxy4jhp5p1qawpa6Scarlet. She writes with such honesty about her life’s story that whatever your own take on the oldest profession, you will struggle not to be charmed. She reminds me of how important it is to never give up on oneself and the world, no matter how tough the going gets.

chateau-defaultI know that chrisnelson61 is rather reluctant to accept awards, however… I would like to take this opportunity to share with you his poetry – of late melancholy, but beautiful nonetheless: Without You.

There are many more of you I would love to nominate for this award. Time, I’m afraid is not my friend and if I spend much longer of this eve on WordPress I will risk being ostracised for all eternity from the family pack so I will have to leave you with the above nominees and wish you a wonderful morning – day – evening wherever you are 🙂

Directions for you to accept the The Inventive Blogger Award

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the The Inventive Blogger Award.

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3. Include in your blog post *FIVE* things that you enjoy about blogging.

4. Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badge!)

5. Come over and say hello to the originator of the “The Inventive Blogger Award” via this link:

6. And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award, and then proudly display the award on your blog.

The eye of the beholder

Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with lindaghill

“A fool once told me, after I started blogging, that it was useless to think the ‘like’ button on WordPress was anything but a way for others to make me read their work. She told me that the comments I received were worthless. Drivel. Dishonest. That I couldn’t believe anything but that which was brutal, because praise was purely selfish.” A Special Thank You


I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Linda‘s advisor was a veritable cynic. I can taste bitterness in those words and it saddens me that anyone should have been hardened against the world to such an extent. What is more, that they should taint another’s entry into the blogosphere with their own brush of disappointed hopes.

Why do we blog? Each of us will have their own reasons. I find that most blogs on WordPress at least have the feel of journals to them, whether they come in the form of writing, photography or another form of artistic expression – everyone is generous in what they share, and the support they offer to other bloggers in the community.

For this is what we are: a community.

Getting feedback on what we write is a vital stepping stone in our journey as writers or artists. At times “feedback” appears to have a negative connotation precisely because the word is associated with criticism rather than with positive, constructive feedback that could help one do better. After all, in a schoolroom or university classroom, wrongs are corrected, but as for what we got right…

However, I find that the opposite is the case here. As far as constructive feedback goes, most bloggers take time to write thoughtful and honest comments. If there is any expectation of reciprocation – I don’t see that as a negative. Relationships – even virtual ones – can only thrive when there is a balance between the giving and taking.

My experience on WordPress is similar to Linda’s: “I’ve found kindness and acceptance. I’ve found people with whom I share things in common. …I’ve found more honesty here at WordPress than I could possibly have hoped for. I’ve found brilliant insight, read fantastic rants, and taken in beautifully creative fiction and poetry.”

Here is what I have learnt about you in the past four months since I’ve joined WordPress:

You genuinely care and this is reflected in the way you interact with others.

Whenever a story speaks to you, you are generous in sharing your own stories and lessons learnt from personal experience.

You are honest and considerate in your comments, even when you disagree with an opinion or the way a view is expressed.

All in all, you are wonderful and I am grateful to be able to number myself amongst you.

Thank you for being you!

A happy holiday season to you all, amazing people.


Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.

Or if you happen to be a fellow Hogwartsian send me a letter by owl. ;)

Child Pornography. Disturbing Search Engine Terms


Let’s Talk Opinion Revisited

Last month I published a Let’s Talk Opinion post on the subject of Child Pornography and The Sexualisation of Children in popular media. Amongst other things, the article touched on the on-going debate in the British media regarding David Cameron’s support for pornography filters to be implemented by four major internet sites in order to reduce access to child pornography online.

Photograph by Samir Hussein | Getty Images

Photograph by Samir Hussein|Getty Images

What instigated David Cameron’s response were the revelations that late Jimmy Savile, host of the much-loved TV show Top of the Pops for 20 years, used his celebrity status to sexually abuse hundreds of children on BBC property, in hospitals, and elsewhere. In response to an enraged public, British PM David Cameron made restricting access to pornography and eliminating images of children on-line, a signature issue.

The six biggest providers of public Wi-Fi networks complied with the PM’s request to filter explicit content in public settings. Subsequently companies offering home Internet service were asked to install filters that automatically block pornography so that  subscribers would need to “opt in” to view such material.

On Monday, the 18th of November 2013, Google and Microsoft announced that 100,000 search terms have been disabled so that it would be impossible to use them to find illegal material. By early 2014, these filters will be on virtually all Internet accounts in Britain.

In order to get the material for this article, I have typed into my browser “british news child pornography filters” and at the top of the page the following add appeared:

Warning – Child abuse imagery is illegal‎
Report it or find help here.

What instigated this piece however was not this. It was the search engine term reported by WordPress in my stats: “young girl child pornography website.”

I have to admit that I was somewhat disconcerted by this. I’ve been mulling it over in my head. What was the searcher looking for? Was it an official search aimed at un-covering child pornography sites that have escaped though the filter-net? Or… more worryingly, have I been visited by a paedophile.

Scary thought.

Do you check the search engine terms used to find articles on your blog? If so…

What are the most disturbing search engine terms you have come across?


Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.

Or if you happen to be a fellow Hogwartsian send me a letter by owl. ;)