Last year I was nominated for the Liebster Award, which was very surprising and flattering considering I was a relatively new blogger at the time. It’s a fun way of showing your fellow blogging friends that you appreciate and enjoy their work, by giving them valuable exposure and promotion.
If you’re nominated, the rules are simply to thank the blogger who nominated you and answer the 11 questions they’ve set you, and then set a list of 11 new questions and nominate 11 other bloggers to respond to them.
And this year I’ve been nominated for the second time, with huge thanks to Holly at Life Of A Blind Girl! Holly recently graduated from university, which is fantastic, so congratulations to her! I remember how wonderful that feeling is, seems a long time now since my own graduation. Anyway, Holly writes lots of wonderful posts about her experiences being visually impaired, as well as advocating and educating around sight loss and disability, and posting about other things she enjoys too. So do go and check her out, there’s a lot of great stuff to read there.
I’ve been meaning to write my response post for a while, and I’m sorry it’s taken so long. But here are my answers to Holly’s questions, and I hope you enjoy. Thanks again Holly! 🙂
What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
The responses from others and the impact it’s had on my personal life.
Dipping my toes in the blogging waters has led to far more than I anticipated it would at the start. I had experimented with it to see if I could make some online connections and get information when moving to London, as I knew all sources of help and friendship would be useful. If anybody found my posts about my disability or experiences interesting or useful, then that’s great, but I didn’t really expect many people to notice.
However, people did notice, increasingly so, and it’s had many unexpected results. I’ve had a lot of wonderful feedback in particular, not just from disabled people, but also from parents and carers of disabled children, who have found my posts a source of information and comfort, knowing that someone with a visual impairment can live a good life. That alone makes the endeavour worthwhile, knowing my ramblings are having a positive impact.
But it’s also had a huge impact on my own life too, particularly since I moved to London last Christmas. As a direct result of my blogging I’ve made new friends in real-life as well as online, learnt new things, had new experiences, and been offered new opportunities, all of which I couldn’t have anticipated when I started. This past year in the city would have been very different if I hadn’t done this.
So it is true what many bloggers say. Once you find your footing and get into the swing of it, it is a very rewarding experience.
If your life was a book, would you stop reading at this point or carry on?
Carry on. It would have been tempting to stop reading during the last few years, when there wasn’t a great deal happening. In short, the move to London had taken much longer to come to fruition than we’d wanted or expected. If we’d known it would take that long, we’d have done things differently. But hindsight’s a wonderful thing and, actually, I seem to have come to the city at the right time given all the opportunities that have come my way this year. Indeed, moving here has allowed me to start a massive new chapter in my life, and things just haven’t stopped since. There’s been so much going on, and it’s impossible to predict what will come next. So I’m very keen to see how things will play out.
If you could meet any celebrity, who would you want to meet and why?
I could pick loads! If I had to pick one though, I’d love to spend a day in Freddie Mercury’s company. He led a fascinating life, produced such great music with Queen and in his solo work, and was an incredible showman. Or if we’re talking about someone living, I’d love to meet legendary actor David Jason. He’s led such a fascinating life and been in so many great TV shows that I grew up with, I could chat to him for hours.
Favourite album at the moment?
Favourite memory of 2017 so far?
2017 has been full of new experiences since I moved to London, and narrowing it down to just one is impossible! If I were to pick a top 5, though, I would say the standout memories are:
- Giving my first public talk about my disability
- Meeting Emily Davison from Fashioneyesta
- Playing a treasure hunt on the Tube
- Having a Harry Potter theatre touch tour
- Being in the audience for The Last Leg
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I assume and hope I would still be in London, still enjoying everything the city has to offer. Hopefully I would have a partner by then too, as I’m single at the moment. But given how rapidly and unexpectedly things have progressed this year, who knows? Anything’s possible. Right now it’s best to take things a year at a time, never mind 5.
Favourite social media site?
Youtube has introduced me to so many great people, particularly in the visually impaired and disabled communities, and I’ve learnt a lot from watching their content there. It’s great to be able to connect with people through their content there too.
Twitter is good for more brief, concise interactions, and keeping track of updates from bloggers, brands, celebrities and places that I like though, so that’s good too. And there are some good groups on Facebook for disabled people and bloggers as well. Plus Instagram is great for photos of course.
So I like all the main social media sites in their own way, as they all have a slightly different purpose. But Youtube is probably my favourite, because there’s such a variety of education and entertainment there, and it played a major part in introducing me to the whole disabled blogging phenomenon.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My family and friends are naturally top of the list. The reason for moving to London was father passing away in our old town, and he’s always with me in one way or another. But in terms of the past year in particular, there are loads of bloggers and Youtubers I’ve been following and interacting with, and members of disability organisations and groups that I’ve met, who have also been a huge inspiration to me.
What’s your biggest achievement?
Giving my first public talk about my disability was a huge deal for me this year. I had never given any thought whatsoever to the fact that this might happen, and part of me was very tempted to turn down the offer for fear I wouldn’t be very good at it. But I did accept it, and I did give it a go. I pushed myself to do something that had long seemed way out of my comfort zone, and it went really well, more than I had expected.
I’ve since been offered the opportunity to do another talk very soon for another group of people. And, while the nature of it will also make it a big challenge in its own unique way, I felt much more comfortable accepting the invite this time because of my previous experience. Doing something like this would have been unthinkable in the past, but I’m really glad I didn’t shy away from it when the opportunity arose. It’s been worth it.
One place you’d like to visit?
I visited America back in 2000, seeing sights such as the World Trade Center, so I’d love to go back to places like New York and Washington again for a more in-depth look around, as well as other parts of the States too. And the kid in me loves the idea of going to Disneyland and the big Harry Potter attraction over there too, of course.
In terms of countries I’ve never been to before, I’d love to go to New Zealand one day. Probably because it’s where they filmed the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit films, and it looks stunning. But closer to home, I’d love to have a holiday in Scotland too, it’s strange to think I’ve never actually been there!
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you spend it on?
A house in a beautiful scenic area in or around London, so I can enjoy the scenery and landscape around me, but still have easy access to all the wonders of the capital. Tickets to all the theatre shows and concerts I could ever want to see. All the music, TV shows and films I could ever want to keep, either on CD/DVD or my computer, and the storage for it all. Ensuring the best possible care for my mother as she gets older. And a driverless car – or even better a jetpack, so I could just fly over everybody and enjoy the sights at the same time!
My Nominations & Questions
I nominate these wonderful blogs for the Liebster Award:
- Amanda Gene
- Blind Moving On
- Girl Gone Blind
- The Invisible Vision Project
- Just Call Me Elm Or Something
- Luke Sam Sowden (see his response)
- My Blurred World
- See My Way
- Stories From The Edge Of Blindness (see her response)
- Living, Laughing & Loving With Wobbly Eyes
- Where’s Your Dog?
And here are my questions:
- What is your favourite food?
- If you could set a world record for something, what would you want it to be?
- What is your favourite sport?
- If you could invite 3 celebrities over for a dinner party, who would it be and why?
- Who would play you in a film of your life?
- Do you cook/bake?
- What is your favourite book?
- What is your favourite season of the year?
- What advice would you give to new bloggers?
- What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you this year?
- Are there any quotes or mottos that you live by?