Living Between the Lines

Moves Freely in the Wind

The Versatile Blogger Award

I have recently been handed the Versatile Blogger Award. Unlike the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, this award seems to be all about the writer’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances. According to my dictionary, it suggests an all-rounder, someone who is adaptable and capable of many different skills, a purveyor of all sorts. Of all the meanings attributed to it, my favourite is the botanical:

“Versatile: When the anther is attached and lightly swings, moving freely in the wind.” It has the feel of an ancient American Indian name don’t you think? Perhaps, had I been born into another life I would have been named, “Moves freely in the Wind”. You have to think in the same vein as “Dances With Wolves”.

This is the meaning I would like to keep in my mind as I write. I am anchored to a small degree but can move freely in the wind when necessary.

My thanks must go to Dr. Brown for nominating me for the award. I was Dr. Brown’s first official follower apparently. His sense of humour grabbed me and I love the way he looks at life. You should take time to check out his site. It is always worth visiting and while there, don’t miss his ” 25 random things about me” page. Priceless.

The rules of acceptance for this award are simple:

  1. I must thank the person who kindly bestowed it upon me.
  2. I must list seven hitherto unwritten things about myself
  3. I must pass the award to a number of  my favourite bloggers

I have clearly accomplished the first rule. Now, seven things about myself that I have not told you about before…

…here we go!

  1. I am allergic to grass and trees, feathers, bananas, peppers and hamsters. I had one of those tests once where they put drops of the allergen on one’s wrist and wait for a reaction. Dog hair did not react. I suggested they strap a hamster to my wrist and see what happened…they didn’t have one available. Shame!
  2. My Great, Great Grandfather had tea with Charles Dickens regularly and I am currently writing a book based on this fact. Unfortunately, or even fortunately, I have unearthed so many interesting facts during my research, I have not got very far as yet which is a shame because this year is Charles Dickens’ 200th anniversary of course and my offering would be very topical – if I ever finished it.
  3. Staying on the theme of ancestry, I am reliably informed that we are related to the Duke of Buccleuch – on the wrong side of the blanket – me and half the world I suppose. This too awakens the need to write a novel based on the story – more research, more procrastination…
  4. On the subject of writing, I am always delighted to hear that something of mine is to be published. It makes all the rejections mere stepping-stones. My memoir, ‘The Boy in the Cowboy Hat’, first posted in this blog, is to be published in issue 11 of “Memoir (and)” in the autumn. Hooray! I am extremely pleased and flattered and must thank Katie Gates for telling me about Memoir.
  5. I have inherited a form of second sight from my great aunt Daisy – mine tends to come in the form of dreams. I believe there is more to this world than any of us can possibly imagine, more than most of us will ever realize and definitely more than we are allowed to know.
  6. I can ‘turn-off’ and not hear anything going on around me (ask my family) which enables me to read a book anywhere but drives the family up the wall. An essential skill to possess I think when one has five children, two grandchildren and two dogs, all of whom are regularly in residence.
  7. When I was growing up, it was my ambition to write and live in a rambling house surrounded by books, children and dogs. I owe this vision to a novel called ‘Elizabeth of the Garret Theatre’ by Gwendoline Courtney which I read aged ten. Thanks to Gwendoline, I believe I have achieved my dream.

So, those are seven ‘things about me’ that you may not have known. Now I must bestow this award on a number of other bloggers  whose work I love. So many of the blogs I used to enjoy, have taken a sabbatical of late, that I have drawn up a short but eclectic list and I hope you will visit each and enjoy.

My first nominee is Hilary Melton-Butcher whose blog goes by the title, “positive letters.” It is truly a treasure chest of information, sundry facts and delightful images. If you want to know what the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was like, her latest offering will tell you in a palatable and entertaining manner.

Next, I choose   Screenscribbler. John Cowton writes with humour and total honesty and often uploads chapters of his latest master piece for the rest of us to view. He loves comedy and his blog is a riot of comic colour. It looks as though someone has spilt a jug of water over what was a beautiful sunset.

A slightly nepotistic choice now, Z I wont apologise for including Zoe’s blog because I admire her tenacity and drive and the sheer versatility of her talents. Her designs are gorgeous and “Beautifully British” and you will not be disappointed if you visit her site.

So, those are my three favourites of the day and it is to them I pass the Versatile Bloggers Award to do with as they wish.

Now, as I sway gently in the breeze, not a drop of vodka having passed my lips… I leave you to muse on the question, how versatile are you?

Happy musing!

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


  • Teresa

    Great post! All those allergies – thank goodness you aren’t allergic to dogs! And the link to Charles Dickens – how wonderful! I so agree with and understand your no. 5. And isn’t it lovely that you’ve achieved your dream. Congratulations on the award and also to your chosen blogs. I’m off for a visit now x

  • screenscribbler

    Congratulations on your award Deborah, and thank you so much for your nomination. I am truly honoured, so I’m going to get busy on my next post after I’ve thought of seven things about myself (that’s a tough one).
    Your recommendation to visit Dr Brown’s and Hilary Melton-Butcher’s blogs were well worth a visit.
    Thanks again Deborah.

  • screenscribbler

    How could I forget to mention I have visited your daughter Zoe’s website and blog. You must be so proud of her achievements. A young person with true values of the countryside reflected in through her art which has led to a successful business is rare to find these days.

  • Hilary

    Hi Debbie .. many thanks for the thumbs up – really kind of you .. and I am positively hopeless with awards … You certainly seem to have accomplished your dream .. a large family home with the family and four-legged friends every present … it sounds lovely .. especially as it’s in rambling beautiful Devon ..

    Cheers Hilary

    • Deborah Barker

      You are welcome Hilary. I am in Hampshire by the way, our holiday home is in Cornwall but both are beautiful in their own way. Yes, my dream has been accomplished, or is still being accomplished I should say – as the family grows… 🙂

      • Hilary

        Oh oh .. I thought you were in Devon .. oh well – as you say Hampshire has some lovely spots .. and Zoe’s designs are great – a brilliantly talented daughter. Cheers Hilary

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