Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Yoghurt and blogging are good for you

Nancy Devine has honoured me with a stylish blogger award, for which I am grateful.

Here follows my acceptance speech, which at Nancy's request includes seven things you might not yet know about me:

1. I would spend all day blogging if I could and then feel terribly guilty for it. To me it would be like spending all day long in a coffee shop chatting with like minded friends about things that are of interest to us all. The occasional tense moment might arise, but most of the time we would travel into new areas of thought and occasionally retreat back into safe and familiar territory, always with the knowledge that there is so much more to learn out there.

2. The only way I can justify the hours each week I spend on blogging is to convince myself I do it for the writing practice. This then is an insult to my blogger friends, as if I do not appreciate our time together. Nothing could be further from the truth.

3. When I was little I wanted to have nine children just like my mother and at the same time, despite my reservations about the man who was my father, even then, I imagined I wanted to marry a man just like my father: a tall Dutchman with blue eyes and blond hair and a deep gravelly voice.

4. I have achieved none of these things. My husband is neither tall nor blond. He is fifth generation Australian and descended from convict stock and my children number four.

5. Over the past several months, in fact since I broke my leg last September, I have undertaken to eat a tub of yoghurt a day. I understand yoghurt is good for you in many ways and I now have the fantasy that it might help my bones.

6. One of my great pleasures is to escape into BBC period pieces, the Jane Austen variety. Their worlds seem so much slower than ours, so much more predictable, but I despise the class divisions and the gender divide in those days appalls me. I would not want to live in such an era. So why escape into it? I keep asking myself this question.

7. Despite my best efforts to be generous to others, I fear I have a jealous disposition. I am inclined to resent those who do better than me, particularly when it comes to writing. I suffer such pangs often within the blogosphere where there are so many wonderful writers.

I think it comes as a function of being sixth in line in a family of nine and always looking up to my smart brothers and sisters ahead of me. I could never imagine that I might be as smart as them. No amount of education, psychoanalysis or life experience seems to shake that view completely. I admire intellects that are accessible on the one hand and on the other I wish they were mine.

As for the bloggers to whom I would like to offer this stylish blogger award there are too many to list. Also, I’m aware that many who receive such awards find them onerous.

So I offer this reward as a mark of respect, not as a requirement that you follow through on any of the tasks assigned, the stuff about linking back to the award giver and listing seven things about yourself and passing the award onto five other bloggers.

All these things to me should be voluntary and no one should feel pressure to oblige. Nor should any of my blogger friends feel aggrieved to not be included here. I’d list you all if I could.

That said, I’d like to make the first two awards to Rumi and Rilke who cannot speak for themselves but can only respond via Ruth at Synch-ron-izing and Lorenzo at The Alchemist's Pillow.

Thereafter I’d like to mention Christina Houen’s relatively new blog. Christina is a wonderful writer who presents views of life in Australia that to me represent something of the essence of being here in this country.

I suspect he would not want an award for all the usual requirements but I cannot go without mentioning the remarkable, Jim Murdoch of The Truth about Lies. His blog is a font of information for all people who read and write. His blog tends to be a series of reviews on a vast array of books.

Jim is a poet who writes beautifully about other people’s writing and occasionally talks about his own writing process.

And finally, though there are so many more I could list here, so many wonderful bloggers whom I have met over the past few years since I took up blogging more seriously, I’d like to mention both Blackland’s Angela Simeone, a young artist whose work, both in her art and her writing is haunting and powerful.

And secondly Lynn Behrendt who strikes me as a brilliant poet and a modest artist whose wonderful work deserves the highest praise and recognition.

Visit these people and you will come to find our more of what I blog for: intelligence, aesthetics, deep sensitivity and a light touch of humour.

These bloggers are all artists and wordsmiths in their own right, and I value the fresh insights they offer on life’s journey.

Finally, and I should not for I have already exceeded my quota, I mention Kass of The K.... is no longer silent, another poet and a wise and generous woman that many of you will already know.

I must stop now because a flood of associations leads me on to other names and other folks. I have met so many wonderful bloggers through my travels. How rich and wonderful is the blogosphere.

Thanks Nancy for prompting these thoughts and enabling me to introduce and boast about some of my blogger friends.


Elephant's Child said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. And entirely deserved. I am always thrilled to find a new posting from you and love the elegance of your prose. Thank you. said...

You deserve recognition for your writing. You are an inspiration, to me. As for the seven things...I knew at least two of them, by being a follower of your work. You are a generous writer. You share yourself, and your vulnerability.
As for the yogurt, a classic source of calcium, I applaud you. I have been tempted to try the Greek variety, which is all the rage, here.
I believe your daughter may owe you an apology. Smiles....

Elizabeth said...

Well, congrats on your well-deserved award and I look forward to exploring the many links you have provided!

I do love coming here each time you post and seeing what you've spun in words.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I'm always up for recommendations on new places to go. I'll check out the links.

I don't think one needs much psychologizing to find the source of jealousy, or any of the many other quite basic emotions we share. Austen seems to be a common escape these days, the latter day wannabe Austen sequels and devotions are beginning to crowd the shelves. The TV (& book) versions are thankfully free of the smells. I find I like the taste of whole milk yogurt, but can't stand the lowfat stuff. It's got calcium in it; good for bones, isn't it?

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Good for you, Elisabeth, and good for us too! As for Jane's comment on Greek yogurt, good for her too--although the "real" Greek yogurt can only be found in Hellas!

Elisabeth said...

I blush, Elephant's Child, at such praise, but enjoy it nevertheless. Thanks.

Elisabeth said...

I blush, Elephant's Child, at such praise, but enjoy it nevertheless. Thanks.

Elisabeth said...

Greek yoghurt is terrific, Jane, the more authentic the better. I suppose the same could be said of writing.

I;m flattered at the idea that I might be an inspiration to you. A lovely compliment.


Elisabeth said...

I enjoy your visits here, Elizabeth, as I enjoy my trips over to your place.

I never cease to be amazed at your capacity both as a writer but also as a mother who works under enormous constraints honestly, lovingly and thoughtfully.


Elisabeth said...

Calcium is good for bones, Glenn, but also for stomachs - like probiotics - as I understand, even the lowfat stuff.

Like you though, I prefer the richer varieties. We have a brand here called Vaalia that's particularly good, even its low fat version.

Enjoy following those links.
Thanks. Glenn.

Antares Cryptos said...

Yogurt and blogging, healthy and cathartic ;).
Thank you for offering an insight into "sixth in line".
A writing exercise? That excuse works for me too.

Antares Cryptos said...

P.S. Once again I hit submit before I was done, but I'll have a look at your recommendations.

Elisabeth said...

I would like to be in Hellas, Vassilis for the real Greek yoghurt. You never know, one day perhaps, but in the meantime I will travel there in my imagination.

Your blog helps in this regard. It offers a taste of Greece through your exquisite English poetry and prose.


Elisabeth said...

I would like to be in Hellas, Vassilis for the real Greek yoghurt. You never know, one day perhaps, but in the meantime I will travel there in my imagination.

Your blog helps in this regard. It offers a taste of Greece through your exquisite English poetry and prose.


Elisabeth said...

Please, if you have the time take a look at these links, Antares. You might enjoy them.

Consider it an exercise in reading, the flip side of writing, both are essential.

I'm sixth in line. Now you know, Antares. To my mind it almost accounts for it all.


Laoch of Chicago said...

Lysine and Vitamins C, D, and K are important for bone healing along with calcium.

Jim Murdoch said...

You are quite right, Lis, I no longer put up these little awards icons but that doesn’t mean I’m not appreciative of being nominated; that means a lot to me and so thank you for that and for your kind words. I know my blogs been a bit book review heavy this year but come next week I’ll be back to mixing up reviews with literary articles. I’ve been a busy boy since I finished Left and I’ve now got my stockpile of articles back to where it was when I stopped writing at the end of November. I have made the decision, however, not to try to post two blogs a week from now on though. To try to maintain quality I’m going to publish every five days giving me more time to focus on offline writing projects, submissions and promotion.

All writing is practice in just the same way as all piano-playing and lawyer-ing is practice. The day I can sit down and write a novel from beginning to end without having to make a single correction then I might get cocky. At the moment I’m lucky if I can write a single sentence without wanting to go back and tweak something.

I never wanted to have more than one child. I was not close to my siblings and never saw the need for them. I also only wanted a daughter. I had no choice in the matter and would have said that I would have been happy with anything as long as it was healthy but at the moment my wife was giving that last push I suddenly realised I was thinking: Please let it be a girl. At school I was friends with boys but once I left school I found myself drawn to women as friends and that’s still the case. My daughter’s partner is into motorbikes and the outdoor life and I never know what to talk about with him when he comes over; my wife, on the other hand, gets on with him like a house on fire.

Carrie and I eat yoghurt regularly but for quite a while now we’ve been taking yoghurt drinks after our tea every day. I have no idea what good they do. I just eat (and drink) what’s put in front of me.

We also watch all the BBC period dramas. The latest is an adaptation of South Riding but I would also recommend Downton Abbey which will air on the Seven Network in Australia later this year. It’s not a BBC production but the writer is Julian Fellowes (who wrote Gosford Park) and the acting is first class especially Maggie Smith who steals every scene she’s in.

erin said...

Wonderful resources, Elizabeth. I'll follow through for inspiration. Anyone you would recommend I trust will be inspiring.

Heh. Yogurt and bones. Sure. Why not? Keep eating.


Kass said...

Elisabeth - Thanks for the mention. I admire your revenge in writing project so much and your style of writing. I've had to cut down my blog reading to get things done lately, but have not been able to tear myself away from certain, blogs: yours, Jim's, Leslie's, to name a few..

I'm an ardent admirer.

Even though, I too, am hesitant to post and further awards, it is nice to get to know more things about my favorite bloggers. I have a jealous streak too. I can hardly enjoy certain stage productions because I wish I were up on stage more than I am grateful to be in the audience.

Your blogging obsession is appreciated.

melissashook said...

I loved your list...and will check out the blogs...
thank you...
I've found so little time to blog over the last five or six months that I feel embarrassed... it's good to know how much time it takes you. I'll try to find more time...

Anonymous said...

Much enjoyed food for thought.

Please have a good Thursday. Thank you for your visit. Hope to see you soon again.

daily athens

Ann ODyne said...

Congrats on the award Elisabeth. I like Kass's blog too.
And I love Greek yogurt too much. Calcium is rich in almonds and almond meal so you can knock back those macaroons guilt free.
How does calcium get from our blood into our bones? BY EXERCISE - the muscles activity makes the transfer.
Here is another writer you can be envious of:
'Elisabeth Holdsworth's debut novel Those who come after (Picador, due April). Set in the Netherlands and Australia, it's an engrossing tale. Elisabeth lives in Goulburn"

angryparsnip said...

Seems like your feeling much better... Yogurt and blogging sounds really good to me.

As I understand the carbonation in sodas and fizzy water is bad for the bones so be careful drinking that.

Enjoyed your seven thing.
I did one similar to yours and it was really interesting to really think about the answers.

Take care and keep eating that yogurt !

cheers, parsnip

Elisabeth said...

I take a multi vitamin, Laoch, along with the calcium of the yoghurt. My bone has healed. The thing that takes time - the surgeon reckons between eight months and a year - is the residual damage to tissue and the ecosystem in the area of the break.

Thanks, Laoch.

Elisabeth said...

I can't imagine how you manage to put up a post more than once a week, Jim. I couldn't, not as a rule. Once a week is enough for me,. not so much the post itself, I find that fairly easy, it's the response to commenters that takes up most of the time for me. I have wanted to streamline my responses but I resist. It seems important to me to allow for a conversation of sorts.

I notice that you've been busy on Face Book. All those fascinating links. I can't see myself getting into this activity. I tend to stick to the writing. It's enough for me, but I love to check out these links that you and others provide. It's a fascinating world in which we live.

Thanks Jim. I'm glad you're not bothered with the award. It was intended as a compliment and a mark of my appreciation.

Elisabeth said...

There are so many inspiring blogs to follow, Erin. I too enjoy a little direction from time to time from those I follow. Our tastes are often similar, including our dislikes and prejudices. Mine paradoxically is a plea for open mindedness when it comes to new ideas.

Thanks, Erin

Elisabeth said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in my jealousies, Kass. It's something I once found hard to admit to, but less so these days.

I wonder should I take you literally here, this wish to be on stage or re you referring to a metaphorical stage?

In any case, I suspect we all want to e up there on centre stage from time to time just as we might at other times relish hiding in the wings. For me whatever it is it needs to be meaningful.

Thanks, Kass.

Elisabeth said...

Don't worry about finding time to bog, Meissa. Like all of us, you do what you can.

There are weeks when I find I have less time to blog and so it falls away and other times when I have more time.

Blogging's great in that sense. It's always there to come back home to.

Thanks, Melissa.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for visiting again Robert. we are like ships in the night. It's good to pass and greet one another from time to time, and lovely to see you here.

Elisabeth said...

Elisabeth Holdsworth is one of whom I'm jealous, AnnO Dyne. I'm reading her book at the moment. She won the first Calibre prize and I've only been short listed once. I am jealous indeed. Jealous, I say, not envious.

To me envy is the more insidious feeling. Envy denies the thing you admire. Whereas when we're jealous we can usually admit to it if only to ourselves and by and large we don't discount the qualities of the one of whom we're jealous. At least that's my take on it.

I love EH's writing, and I am completely jealous of her writing success, in part because of the obvious connections in our histories, but there are many dissimilarities too.

Thanks, AnnODyne

Elisabeth said...

I'll try to keep off the fizzy drinks, Parsnip, though I'm partial to the odd glass of champagne. I wonder whether those bubbles count.

Thanks for the good wishes.

angela simione said...

your husband being of "convict stock" put such a huge smile on my face and across my heart. :D

i love the list. i love that you got this award. every time i read here i feel completely blown away. i leave with so many things to think about, turn over, look inside of. your blog is a treasure. truly. and i don't see your blog as practice at all, i see it as the Real Deal. it is real writing that you do here and i am so grateful for it. i feel sheepish that you've extended recognition in my direction. little me! yay!!!! (((blushing)))


jabblog said...

It's always so interesting to learn a little more about fellow bloggers - it appeals to the voyeur in me!!

tattytiara said...

You write so beautifully of your blogging friends I don't think you could ever risk insulting them just because you acknowledge that communicating with people who write well teaches us to write well! I often wonder how much writing ability I'd have if it weren't for the regular practice of writing through blogs. It really is valuable!

Elisabeth said...

Coming from convict stock used to provide quite a stigma in years gone by, Angela, but these days it's like a badge of honour. This goes to show how much attitudes change.

I'm glad you enjoyed the award, Angela. You are not so little in my mind. In my mind you are a vast talent on the brink of certain discovery.

Elisabeth said...

I'm something of a voyeur too, Janice. I suspect most bloggers are, otherwise why blog?

Thanks, Jabblog.

Elisabeth said...

As you say it helps your writing to blog regularly, tattytiara. And I'm relieved that none of the recipients of my award were offended, at least not so far.

People can be sensitive souls though, so you never can be sure.

Thanks, tattytiara.

Zuzana said...

Congratulations on your award - well deserved.;)
I so agree with you on many points, particularly that about blogging.;) I never wanted to have nine kids, just one would be sufficient.;)
Sorry it took me while to come around to visit.;)

Elisabeth said...

Thanks again Zuzana. Nine children is too many, at least by today's standards. I wish for you there had at least been one. I admire your honesty here.

Thanks, Zuzana.

Unknown said...

Dear Lis

I've no idea what the stylish blogger award is, as I am a selfish blogger, giving it little time, and rarely follow other people's blogs. I guess my life has been lived that way. I'm not a group-joiner, but I admire people who are. Anyway, having read a few of your prolific and eloquent, moving blogs, I'm sure the award is most apt. Congratulations!

And thank you for mentioning me, a blogger still in nappies. I've no idea what I'm doing, but I do find it a lovely way of releasing some of my joys, fears and griefs, encapsulating some of my experiences, and if others get pleasure from it, I am delighted.

I wish you and all your many fellow bloggers a long, joyful blogging life.


Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Hi, Elisabeth. I am playing catch up these days and have just now visited this post. If I may be so bold as to speak "for" Rilke, let me thank you for your nod in his direction. We are both 'honored'. ;) Though delighted to be mentioned here, and in such fine company, I probably will not pass on the distinction or do the tasks. Please forgive me, but I have been woefully short on time of late and, also, there is something odd to me about these initiatives that involve each recipient passing something on to several others. It is the same idea as a pyramid scheme or chain letter. I guess it is the mathematician in me, but multiplying by 5 quickly grows to unmanageable and meaninglessly large numbers ... 5, 25, 125, 625, 3125, 15625 ... and so on.

So please let me greet you with a big 'thank you' for your kind word and a big virtual "high-5" here in the comment box instead.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Recognition well-deserved, congratulations on your award. Whatever we need to tell ourselves that allows us to keep writing...your posts are not practice for anything. I agree with Angela, they are fine, finished work, thoroughly realized, complete. Thank you for the introduction to Christina. I will visit the other awardees as soon as I can.

christina Houen said...

And I'm happy to be back again. I feared that my last comment had not been posted. I get confused by the intricacies of leaving comments and subscribing on google sites. My daughter and son-in-law gave me a .com website, which I haven't used yet. I've been practising on the wordpress one, but I'm thinking of branching out soon. Thanks again, Lis, for encouraging me to start and for your kind words!

Elisabeth said...

I did not imagine that you or any one else I nominated here - least of all Rilke and Rumi - to list seven aspects about themselves. I agree such awards can become like endless chain letters. The award is honorary and in recognition of your blog work. for me it does not seek to add to that work.

Thanks Lorenzo for your understanding.

Elisabeth said...

I'm glad you've met Christina, Marylinn. You have much in common you two as far as both being fine writers is concerned.


Elisabeth said...

I'm glad you feel encouraged, Christina about this blogging life. i enjoy it immensely as much as it can sometimes feel onerous. Most of the time, it's about playfulness and companionship. May you too make many new friends along the way.

By the way, when I try to open Farthest North I get a closed profile. You might want to alter that.

Thanks, Christina.

Ruth said...

Elisabeth, I don't know how I missed this! But I did, and thanks to Lorenzo for making sure I didn't any longer. Thank you in Rumi's name for the honor you bestow on him and my blog that houses his words. By the way, I am sorry to say, tomorrow will be the last post there, as I have now completed an entire year of posts from the readings book. Of course readers can continue to read them, search poems and words, and look for specific dates in the search function. So your honor is just in the nick of time! :-)

I have appreciated your many responses there over the months. I always read them and feel moved, but I rarely respond to you. I think of that place as rather a quiet sanctuary of ancient wisdom that is as real and ordinary and cataclysmic now as ever, and I like readers to feel that quietude. Please do continue to read as you can even though there won't be new posts after tomorrow.

Thanks so much for your recognition.

I feel the same about blogging, and I use the same writing excuse. :-)

Elisabeth said...

Hi Ruth, I'm very late responding to your comment here. Rumi has moved on and now we enjoy Rilke. Thanks for your encouragement, too. I value both your input and your unique contributions.