Seven things about me and seven great blogs

So a cool thing happened last week. I was nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award by Bri at Bike Like Crazy.

Her blog is awesome – actually pretty awe-inspiring at the moment as she chroncicles her attempts to cycle throughout the winter. And we are not just talking about torrential rain, wind, cold temperatures or a little bit of ice (although those things are horrible). No, we are talking about adapting to cycle in full-on snow, at -7.5F (which it turns out is 22 degrees celcius below freezing). And to top it off, her working hours means her commute to work is between 3.30am and 5am. This is hardcore. “Bike like Crazy” is a pretty apt name for the blog! Check it out ūüôā

The rules of the award are that you have to:
– Show the award on your blog
– Thank the person who nominated you
– Share 7 facts about yourself
– Nominate 15 blogs (I am going to cheat here – 15 seems like a LOT and I don’t want to just list all of the blogs I read but instead limit it to a few I REALLY enjoy and would recommend. So we are going for 7 blogs here…)
– Link to them and let the other bloggers know

What a fantastic way of discovering new blogs!! I have already started following a few new interesting blogs from Bri’s list.

Without further ado – seven facts about myself:

1. four years ago I spent a year sailing with my mum and sister. We sailed across the Atlantic Ocean twice, just the three of us, and cruised through the Caribbean for several months. It was fantastic, challenging, emotional, wonderful.


2. I have a job that I LOVE despite the full-on days and long hours. But I am currently spending a lot of time dreaming about bike touring.

3. This time last year was the first time I ever ran farther than 5k and only because I got lost. I ended up with 7 slow kilometres under my belt and was so happy with myself.

4. in fact it was this time last year where I decided to compete properly in triathlon – the beginning of my fitness journey. I came from a base of literally nothing.


5. My favourite TV show is the Walking Dead and I am not ashamed to say it. I LOVE Daryl.


6. I am really interested in things. It sounds lame but I love learning and get a bit obsessed with various places / periods in history. At the moment I am trying to learn all I can about the Middle East.

7. I studied history at university and I loved it. I would love to go back and do another history degree. I studied really diverse topics, from the French Revolution and Europe in the early modern period, to Africa from 1800 to the present day. But my dissertation was on American masculinity in the 1980s, with US films as my sources. I still did a lot of reading but the bulk of my research was watching films and then writing about it. It was awesome. I now think it would be really interesting to do a comparison between Vietnamese war films and Iraq war films and what that says about the American idea of war and masculinity.

Okay now for 7 great blogs……

1) The Wandering Nomads. What can I say about this? This is my all-time favourite blog. If the writer, Shirine, brought out a book, especially if it was a photo book, I would buy it immediately. She is touring the world on a bike with her boyfriend, Kevin Рalthough she started the journey just completely by herself. She is currently cycling up through Patagonia in South America. Read it to dream about cycle touring around the world, new cultures, camping under the stars, and beautiful, beautiful photos.

2) Sweat Once A Day – I like blogs with beautiful pictures. And Emily’s blog is also pretty awe-inspiring – she is an ultra-runner living in Oregon and I love her blog because it is so upbeat about running. It is impossible to read one of her posts about a run, any run, and not want to lace up your own trainers and get out the door. Even if I am faced with the pavements of South London instead of the incredible trails of Oregon.

3) That Emily Chappell – here is another bike tourer. Emily is a bike courier in London who is currently off on a trip cycling thorugh Alaska in the middle of the winter. Some cyclists appear to have replaced the “sensible thought” parts of their brains with overdoses of the “adventure” part (yes, I know that’s not how brains work). Her blog is great (1) because she’s cycle touring, so why not and (2) for the levels of honesty about how shit it is sometimes – like when the tube to her water freezes over so she can’t drink all day, or the fact that, if you’re a woman, being on your period once a month will really affect your ability to cycle long distances and enjoy it!

4) One Step Closer – Jess’s (Jess’?) running blog is a really personal account of the ups and downs of running – from running long distances at speeds I can barely manage for 5k, to debilitating injuries. ¬†She is also a vegan and I’ve always found her posts on food and different ways of eating really informative – even though there is no way I’ll be giving up meat any time soon! Jess is also an incredibly kind-hearted and generous blogger – this really comes across both in her blog and in her comments

5) Laura Fountain is a runner, blogger and run coach who has just brought out a book – Lazy Girl Running. Like most of us, she started of from nothing and gradually got into running, triathlon and now ultra running. She is friendly, open and honest and a London blogger – there is something I really enjoy about reading people running, cycling and swimming in my own backyard.

6) Fit and Feminist -“because it takes strong women to smash the patriarchy” – yay. I have linked to her blog before because her posts make me laugh, smile and say YES as I recognise some of the things she says in myself. I love this post on the Women Against Feminism meme on the internet. Caitlin¬†points out that a lot of the posts referred to men’s skills at opening jars as reasons why women don’t need feminism. Now let’s be honest, I’m always getting¬†James to open jars, lift heavy things, change high-up lightbulbs…. the point is that this is quite a sad reason to value men!

If you asked me to list the top million things I like about Brian, his ability to open jars and lift heavy things might show up somewhere in the 990,000s. Here are things that would show up long before: because he makes me laugh, because we have the best conversations over Sunday morning coffee……

She continues and it is lovely and one of the main reasons I love her blog.

10) DC Rainmaker – for pure utility. I’ll never buy a piece of sports tech without checking it out on DC Rainmaker’s blog first. His indepth reviews are incredibly helpful when you are faced with a wealth of similar products. Plus I really enjoy reading about his runs and cycles and his general life in Paris.

What are your favourite blogs? Any recommendations for me?! In other news – my team came second last in a pub quiz last night, I bet one of my friends ¬£10 on the answer to a history question and got it wrong (argh), my knee is still sore but less sore AND I am getting ill. On the other hand, the sun is shining brightly for the second day in a row and I have lots of banana bread to eat ūüôā


One comment

  1. I think we need to start a Banana Bread Appreciation Society ūüėČ And yay for your knee feeling less sore, but boo to getting ill. I hope your body manages to fight off the bug!

    Thanks so much for the mention ~ I feel very flattered indeed to be included among such an amazing group of bloggers. Sweat Once a Day is one of my favourites too, and the latest race she has entered looks incredible, but absolutely brutal. I don’t know how she does it, mentally as much as physically: I would find that terrain so intimidating. Fit and Feminist is genuinely one of the best blogs out there. I can only aspire to write posts as insightful and relevant as hers. I think I had this award a while back, but it would be fun to post again, as I’ve discovered some great new blogs in recent times ūüôā I would counter-nominate you as well, but I’m not sure if that’s allowed. Grr.

    Oh, and if Daryl dies…we riot. Fellow Walking Dead and Daryl fan right here. There hasn’t been enough of him in recent episodes!

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