Thank you to Finding French Charming for nominating me for this award. Seriously, go check her out if you haven’t already. Her blog posts have had me laughing out loud and I love to read them with a cup of tea in the morning (how very British of me), they really brighten up my day.
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Use the “Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post.
Answer the 11 questions the selector asks of you.
Nominate 5-11 bloggers you want to give the award to.
Ask the following bloggers that you selected 11 questions of your own.
I now have 11 questions to answer and they are great questions, really made me think:
1. What has been your funniest/worst travel experience?
I had many any awkward “laugh or you’ll cry” moment whilst interrailing through Europe back in 2013 with my (now-ex) boyfriend. We had both reached the end of our tether with our jobs and decided to just quit and go travelling. Nice luxury to have when you’re young- these days I’d have to wait for a lottery win! We experienced an awful hostel in Hamburg where there were no sheets on the bedclothes, we had to ask for some and were provided with a duvet cover and 1 pillow case (there were several other pillows and no sheet for the mattress- yuck.) Unfortunately, we didn’t notice the lack of bedsheets until it was way past midnight and no staff were around, great. We had booked a private double room yet were taken to a room with 2 single beds and a set of bunk beds. This was confusing, so we asked the staff if anyone else would be in the room and were told no, we had booked private, so it was all ours. The room wasn’t great, but hey, it was cheap, and we only needed it for one night. We explored the city by day and got into bed around 10pm as we were getting towards the end of our travels and were both exhausted. We heard several loud voices in the lobby area (if you can call it that, it was basically just a flat with many rooms) around 1am, we sat awake listening out as these voices became shouts between guests and a member of staff. After these died down we started to drift off, only to hear a set of keys being put in the door and the new guests being shown in to our room by the hotel staff!! The lights were off so it took a minute for them to realise we were there, I was absolutely livid (and only in my underwear)! Thankfully the staff removed the new guests, but still didn’t say a word of apology (or anything else) to us. We got up at 6am, jumped in the shower (after an enormous queue- 7 dorm rooms, 1 bathroom- yay!) and got the hell out of there as quick as we could.
I also have a story about a sleeper train to Vienna which includes some stinky blue cheese, but maybe I’ll save that for another time!
2. What trait would you like to add to/eliminate from your current personality? Why?
I wish I had the ability to be content. I am currently striving for something new, I can never just accept my life as it is and enjoy the moment. It feels like there is a triangle in my life and I can only pick two to go right:
I envy people who can sit back and think ‘I’m really happy in my life right now’ and am striving to get there, I’ve finally made myself happy with my work life so let’s just hope that my relationship or home life doesn’t go sour!
3. You’ve secretly been given a million pounds tax free. No one knows you have it. What do you do with it?
The first thing I would do is call my boyfriend, Simon and tell him to stop job hunting (he’s recently quit his teaching job due to a bullying boss) and pack a suitcase. Then we’d head to Gatwick airport and just pick a flight to hop onto, booking a hotel on the way. I’d also buy a big plot of land in Greece for my mum, she has always wanted to run a Donkey sanctuary over there and I would make that come true. Can I tell her about the win? If not, I’d just say I got a bonus from work or some other rubbish.
4. What was the defining moment that made you decide on your current profession?
Well, I trained all my life to be a dancer and it never fully happened to me professionally. I didn’t have a family who could support me between contracts, so I just couldn’t afford it, I took jobs to ensure I could pay rent and now I’m 29 and way too old to be a professional. I went into administration as I wanted a job where I didn’t have to deal with the general public (too many bad retail/customer service experiences!). Slowly I merged both my worlds and went into administration for a higher education dance school. But I felt that my job didn’t have enough to do with dance to satisfy me, so I may as well work somewhere with a better wage. I moved onto a university…and hated it. This was mainly due to a department that worked me into the ground and had zero respect for administrative staff- despite them being the backbone of the place. My mum is a veterinary nurse and I have always been an “animal person”, when deciding on A levels I was torn between animal care and the arts, so when I saw an opportunity come up for an administrator within a dog welfare charity, I thought I’d try it. The wage was less, and the commute was more so I wasn’t sure it was something I would even accept given the chance, but why not just go for the interview, right? Well of course I was then offered it and debated over it for several days. In the end, I took the position and started about a month ago, this was after a conversation with my old manager about career progression where she basically stated there was none. I would never move beyond ‘administrator’ in that job, even though I took on many of the deputy directors’ duties and single handedly managed all the programmes offered. That was my defining moment, I had too much respect for myself to let these people destroy my confidence and never give me the recognition I deserved for my hard work and sleepless nights (I did a small blog post about it too HERE).
Now I have changed jobs I feel so much better, the team are so friendly, and I have already been told I can train as an animal behaviourist in the future. A brand-new career is on the horizon, thanks to that defining moment.
5. You have a favourite movie, the one you could watch a million times. How do you convince someone you care deeply for to watch AND like the movie? Would your feelings change for that person if they didn’t share your appreciation?
Now, my favourite film is a cheesy one- Pretty Woman. It just gives me happy feels, I know it’s ridiculously cheesy! I don’t think my feelings would ever change towards a person if they didn’t like it. I’m happy to accept that not everyone likes everything I like! I would convince them to watch it by singing ‘Pretty Woman’ and dancing around like a loon, but hey you don’t like it? More for me!
6. Have you ever committed a crime in the name of love or to help someone? What as it and did you get caught?
Quick answer: no. Longer answer: maybe speeding to get to someone quicker? Nothing except that I’m afraid!
7. What is the most embarrassing misunderstanding you have had? (Was it a language issue or lack of hearing properly?)
Nothing springs to mind for this. I have had this happen many times in normal social interactions. I get embarrassed very easily and often feel too awkward to ask a person to repeat themselves. If I do resort to asking, I definitely couldn’t ask them to do it a second time, so usually if I didn’t hear what was said I nod and smile, sometimes throwing in a ‘yeah!’. As you can imagine, that usually isn’t the required response and I get a puzzled look in return. I sometimes try to dig myself out by explaining why this relates to what they said (even though I don’t know what it was!), this can go along the lines of “well, yeah, like you were saying really. It doesn’t make sense? Don’t know how to express what I mean…” etc. etc. until the other person just thinks I’m a moron!
8. Did you hate your name when you were growing up? Did you try to get people to call you something else? Did it stick?
I didn’t hate my name when I was much younger, ‘Nicola’ was all I had known. However, when I started Year 4 (at about 8 years old) my teacher asked if I liked being called Nicky. My mum called me this in an affectionate way occasionally, so I nodded not knowing it would mean I would only be called Nicky forever more. Now if someone calls me Nicola it feels like they are speaking to someone else. I find it hard with jobs apps and other formal forms as I legally must write ‘Nicola’ but that has resulted in colleagues only calling me Nicola forever, and I am too awkward to correct them. I tried once in my first week, but it was at a social event, and everyone who I told must have been more drunk than I realised as nobody ever remembered. I always feel like those colleagues never really knew the real me because they used my full name. In my new job I am slowly getting them used to calling me Nicky, but my email is still Nicola so it’s undoing all of my good work!
9. When you doodle (for ex. when you talk on the phone) do you doodle geometric designs (squares, diamonds, rectangles etc.) or objects (people, flowers, etc.)?
My notepad at work is covered in doodles, the majority of these look like the doodles of a 12-year-old girl. There are hearts and stars drawn repetitively all over the margins, several copies of my signature (not a clue why!) and a few squares with crosses in… again not sure why. I do also draw the occasional flower, but they always look awful and of course, little black cats in honour of my little Basil.
10. Growing up, what kind of games did you prefer? Do you think it had any influence on your career choice?
The most memories I have are of board games with my mum, I enjoyed monopoly (and still partial to a good g
ame, especially on Christmas day!) and games with strategy. I could be very competitive and a sore loser. However, I think my fondest games were by myself with barbies and toys. I loved to use my imagination, as an only child I was alone a lot and I can still remember the imaginary places I would go to distract from the boring reality. I liked games that allowed me (or my toys) to be whatever I wanted and had no limits. I don’t think this influenced my career, unless you think my stuffed animals helped foster my love of real ones, but as mentioned before I trained as a dancer for my entire life, so I think this creativity definitely came through in other ways as an adult.
11. What is your go-to signature dish when you want to impress whomever you are cooking for?
My go-to is definitely a good, creamy risotto. I like that this dish can be changed to suit the persons tastes, so I can include mushrooms or maybe butternut squash etc. Before going vegan, I used to love to pile in the cheese too! Pop a little garlic bread in the oven, pour some nice wine and it’s perfect! I have also really started enjoying cooking roast dinners, my boyfriend thinks I cook the best roast potatoes in the world (though I’ve forbidden him for telling his mum that, she would be heartbroken) so I think that’s quickly becoming a new signature!
Anna the Fangirl
Bitchin’ in the Kitchen
Words with Kris
Sunshiny SA Site
Bakey Doesn’t Bake
Please don’t feel like you have to participate, I just wanted to show my appreciation for your awesome blogs!
1. How do you hope you’ll change as a person in the future?
2. What keeps you up at night?
3. What bridges do you not regret burning?
4. What are you afraid people see when they look at you?
5. What is the favourite moment of your life so far?
6. What incredibly strong opinion or belief do you have that is completely unimportant in the grand scheme of things?
7. If your life was a book, what would its title be?
8. If you could have a never-ending candle that smelled like anything you wanted, what fragrance would you want it to be?
9. What do you want to be remembered for?
10. What stat for your life would you most like to see?
11. If you had a clock that would countdown to any one event of your choosing, what event would you want it to countdown to?