And then, because she is sweet, she passed on an award to some random people, including me. Here it is. I am the world's worst acknowledger and passer-onner (and I have just invented those words, which I do believe you should all use immediately and frequently, of course) of awards. I get these amazing awards, and then I a) forget to acknowledge them, and b) forget to pass them on. I am unworthy. Grovel. And I hereby apologise to all and sundry who were gracious enough to think of me. I am reformed. I think. I hope. I will do better.
So I am passing this on immediately to 3 of the many people who make me smile, or laugh out loud, and who are, by definition, Just Plain Fun to Read.
Here you go ladies! You are all a delight. (And so are all the rest of you too, people.)
There is a great deal to think about out there in the blogging world right now. Are we heading into a Depression? Recession-proofing. Simplifying. De-cluttering. Taking our writing to a new level. Retirement. Moves. Precarious work situations. Illness. Soaring fuel costs. Greener options. Self-sufficiency. Concerns.
Babies are being born, children are heading to college. Gardens are blooming. Young ones, and the not so young any more too, are getting married. Adventures are being planned and shared. Fascinating questions are being asked for us to ponder too. More about those later.
It is all about balance in a way. The hard part is striving to arrive at a reasonable balance. Good/bad. Pessimistic/optimisitc. Practical/impractical. All we can do is try to make the choices which can make a positive difference to our own lives, homes, and communities.
Here in the UK, we may be a little further down the road than those of you who live in the States with regard to going "green" and trying to conserve resources. Never mind actually affording power or fuel in the first place. Our energy costs have been stratospheric in comparison for years, so the era of big cars never really arrived here. Smaller houses, a relatively extensive public transport system and incentives for insulating homes have all helped to make us aware of other options. The global warming issue has been real and pressing and part of our government policy for years. Now, we have no choice other than to use those alternative options, and be thankful they are there in the first place. Our local supermarket has now instituted a pay for bags policy, and it didn't take long for us to remember to take cloth bags when we go shopping. Every small thing makes us more aware. In Switzerland, they have had this for years.
Recent government meetings with the energy chiefs have made it clear that our gas and electricity costs, which have already gone up around 40% in the past year, are about to rise at least another 40% in the next couple of months, which will mean something like 16 million households being plunged into fuel poverty. That is the statistic of people who are paying out more than 10% of their income on fuel. Crazy stuff. Bring in Granny, who is crochetting blankets like crazy. She is going to be much in demand come winter time. (Memo to self: ask Mum to teach me how to crochet too).
One of the great discoveries I have made locally, is our Freecycle website. Just google Freecycle, and the odds are there is one near you too. It is a wonderful way to find the things you need, and to get rid of those you don't need too.
I rather suspect that, over the next few months, we will all be posting about ways to save or cut out things. Cut down costs, live simpler lives. Thank God for the Internet, and the opportunity to share ideas. We will all be learning from each other, and that is going to strengthen this community and in turn, help the real communities we live in.
And about those questions ......
Britt-Arnhild asked us what or where our favourite places were. This is something I need to think about. Fascinating question, and sifting through possible answers is great.
And Ree asked how different our lives were to the way we imagined them 10 or 20 years ago. Are we where we imagined we would be? Do we mourn unrealised plans? Are we happy, no matter what the circumstances? And she had 1526 responses. I got up to a couple of hundred while reading the comments. Absolutely fascinating. I need to think about this too, and perhaps do a post on it. Maybe you would like to look back and ask yourselves the same questions as well.
Anyway. That is me for now. I have loads of ideas today. But now I am off to physio.
I will be back.