I am thrilled to have been nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award. Writing a blog post is something of a strange experience: you tap away at your keyboard for a while, read through your post, and send it off into cyberspace. It seems incredible to me that anyone would read what I have written, and so it is really quite exciting to receive some public recognition.
I have been nominated by Vera (thank you, thank you!), who writes a blog about hearing loss called More Than a Bit Deaf. Vera began to lose her hearing after a particularly vicious bout of the ‘flu in her twenties. Now she is retired and her hearing has deteriorated considerably, making many humdrum activities much more challenging, particularly interpreting speech. I love her blog for its humour, honesty and articulacy in the face of personal adversity.
Reading More Than a Bit Deaf has proved to be an education: I know Vera in real-life, but until I read her blog I was almost entirely ignorant of the difficulties she faced every day. Her account has opened my eyes to the experiences of other people experiencing deafness, too. Particularly if you think that deafness has nothing to do with you, I urge you to give Vera’s blog a try, and perhaps even to subscribe to it.
My purpose in writing Lost in Lyon feels a bit frivolous by comparison. I started the blog in early 2015 as a means of communicating with my friends and family in the UK. After a year of hurling myself at French life, I had found that I had begun to remark upon the myriad tiny differences between French and English culture, and I thought that they might be of a more general interest. As well as being fascinated by these differences, I was experiencing a yearning for the security of my own native culture: at that time a dose of the British stiff upper lip felt to me as comforting—and as remote—as a piece of toast and marmite. Writing about this gave me an outlet for my homesickness, but also enabled me to put my Englishness into relief, and to question it as I had never done before.
What I begun experimentally, almost on a whim, has turned into a habit. I write blog posts as a way of disciplining myself to write at all (I have other projects, which need all the discipline they can get); as a means of reframing sometimes quite traumatic experiences with humour; and because I enjoy the possibility of making people laugh.
If there were just two pieces of advice that I would pass on to anyone thinking of starting their own blog, they would be these:
1) Define your subject before you get going. Very few people want to read the inchoate ramblings of anyone’s mind, but they might be interested in ramblings on a particular theme.
2) Start visiting other blogs. Leave comments when you like what you have seen. You’ll learn all sorts of things that you never knew that you wanted to know, and the contacts that you make may discover that they like what you are doing, too.
The rules of this nomination ask me to nominate 15 further blogs for an award. My blog tastes are like my taste in books: catholic. I am, however, a faithful reader of very few. Rather than listing everything that I have ever once looked at, I have chosen to nominate eight blogs, which I visit on a regular basis
Blogs about France
If you read my blog because you are interested in French life, you may be interested in France Says, a blog written by a Canadian woman who arrived in France twenty years ago and has acquired a French husband. I enjoy the appositeness of this blog, which has something pithy to say about every major event in the French calendar, and which brings to my attention some of the linguistic nuances that would otherwise have gone over my head.
When I started out, I found comic inspiration in Bread is Pain, Nancy’s blog about French life. Nancy is/was editing her first novel, so her posts are, by her own admission, rather infrequent, but they are always worth a read and usually a chortle. Nancy, I hope that the book is going well, but hopefully a nomination will prod you back into blogging life…
I can also recommend a visit to Phoebe’s blog Lou Messugo. As well as making readers jealous with her accounts (and pictures) of life on the Côte d’Azur, Phoebe plays host to a monthly link-up called #AllAboutFrance, which has become an invaluable index of blogs about English-speakers living over here. Phoebe has worked tirelessly to make a success of her link-up, and all this alongside running her holiday business and writing her own posts.
It was via Phoebe’s link-up that I discovered Margo’s The Curious Rambler blog. It is a veritable miscellany of interesting curiosities about France: on this site you can learn everything you could ever want to learn about the baguette, for example, and who knew that the hairdryer was a French invention?
Agatha Bertram travels is a very rich blog full of interesting thoughts from a seasoned traveller. If you are interested in France, but other places too, and you like reading and culture, this blog will have a wealth of good posts for you.
Blogs about writing
I am proud to be a pedant. I therefore thank the blogosphere almost daily for the existence of Stroppy Editor, which professes to exist in order to mind other people’s language. Whether it be the split infinitive or the Oxford comma that bothers you, you will find a post to scratch your itch here. Visit the blog and work yourself up into a lather about the endemic of misplaced apostrophes. It’s therapeutic.
On a mildly less pedantic note, Sentence First is an interesting blog written by Stan, an Irishman, about the English language. There you will find grammar, vocabulary, literature, history, and quirks. Stan has won plaudits in many prestigious places, but I salute him nonetheless.
It was inevitable that my eye would be drawn to any blog entitled Nerdy Book Club. This is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking books for their young people to read. There are reviews; they give awards. It’s great.
So there we have it. Thank you again Vera, and thank you to all my favourite blogs for keeping me entertained.
The rules are as follows: write a post…..acknowledge the blogger who nominated you…..give a brief story of how you started blogging…..give two pieces of advice to new bloggers…..nominate 15 deserving bloggers. All done!