Friday, July 17, 2015

My nominations for the Creative Blogging Award

AC kindly nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you Anna.

This type of award process was common in the earlier days of blogging. It was a way of encouraging fellow bloggers at a time when blogging was still new. The process died away, so I became curious about the starting point this time. I searched back through almost 100 Google pages. I didn't find the starting point, but I can tell you that it appears to date back to at least early May, that there have been several minor rule changes, as well as several different badges for people to include on their sites.

It was quite an interesting journey taking me through multiple tropes or recurrent themes. At one stage, I found myself learning more about make-up or female fashion than I, as a mere male, would normally want to know. Still, there was some nice gear there.

AC advises that there are rules to accepting the Creative Blogger Award:
  1. Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
  3. Nominate 10-20 blogs and notify them.Pass on the rules.

I am not sure about those five facts. What can I say that is either not too revealing or that has not already been revealed?

1. I have always been an insatiably curious if somewhat dreamy individual. I guess that I still am!
2. I absolutely love Yum Cha. Big table, lots of chatter, swinging the rotating serving tray in the middle of the table around to dig in with chopsticks, drinking lots of green tea and some wine.
3. I have wanted to be a writer since at least secondary school, although that vision was always somewhat unfocused because I wanted to be many other things as well. It's a vision that I am still working through.
4. I am naturally shy and somewhat introspective, traits that were accentuated by a bad and very lonely period at school that lasted several years. As part of the solution, I had to teach myself how perform in public.

5. I can be quite stubborn and persistent where I consider something to be important, sometimes to my own detriment. 

 Now turning to the blogs. Here I don't feel bound by the rules, but will share with you some blogs that I value and why. You will already know some of them. To the bloggers nominated, don't feel that you need to participate nor comply by the rules. It's just my pleasure to nominate you. 

Camille de Fleurville's Sketches and vignettes from la Dordogne is a new blog, started in April this year. Camille  lives in a village with her "Little Family". She describes her position in this way: 
Now, you must know something about the Little Family. They are two ladies of nearly 56 and nearly 20 (next week) who are my wards as they are "affected" by Down Syndrome and have no parents left. I am their closest next of kin. We live together sometimes happily, sometimes more "stormily" with flashes and thunder but everything must be forgiven and forgotten when they go to bed. They are my reason for living in the country and in this house. I take care of them and, in a way, they take care of me. 
I came in contact with Camille through the D E Stevenson discussion group where (unlike me now: I lurk because of time constraints) she is a regular contributor. Her blog is a gentle blog, stories of local life in an interesting region of France with anecdotes of family life. In some ways, it has a flavour similar to AC's blog and is all the better for that. She is trying to involve her Little Family in the process. Maybe you could drop in from time to time?

I hadn't quite intended to create this theme, but I now want to turn to the Hollands. Rod Holland's brother used to work for me in Armidale as an industry and policy analyst. Rod found me partly through that, more because we shared common interests.

Rod's  blog, Northern Rivers Geology, has just been selected as worthy of permanent retention in the Australian National Library's Pandora electronic archive. 

Before going on, this photo from the Northern Star shows two members of the Lismore Lions Club with members of the Holland family following purchase of the new wheel chair funded by the Lions Club plus a member of our little village that I won't name. I got into trouble for mentioning him in an email! 

I knew from snippets on Rod's blog that there were problems, but I didn't know the details. You can follow the story on Becky's blog, My Faith or on the new Facebook page for those who are members of Facebook. 

In her blog, Becky says "You are welcome to our little space!"  This is a similar theme to Camille's blog. The world's problems are too big for any of us to handle. We can only deal with them in our individual space.  Meantime, Rod, activate that geology blog. We want you!

Staying with a contribution theme, I want to pick up one of our old favourites, Neil Whitfield's Commonplace Book.It may sound odd to nominate such a familiar blog, Neil is a very long standing blogger. We used to joke a little about his varying blogs and his dreaded template instability, but he has certainly been a creative blogger and continues to have interesting material.

My next blog is an academic one, John Hawke's weblog, subtitled paleoanthropology, genetics and evolution. This is a truly serious blog, but a very good one. It keeps me in touch with fields such as the results of DNA analysis of prehistoric peoples. Don't be put off. Try some searches. The search facility is a little unclear, but if you click on the icon at the top left in the header, it will take you to the search menu.
Recent discoveries on the world of ancient hominids have almost totally reshaped our views of the human past. Among other things, it has become clear that homo sapiens and other human species are far more interconnected than we realised!

My next blogs are again ones I have mentioned before.

The first is the Lowy Institute blog, The Interpreter.This is a truly interesting blog for those interested in international relations and Australia's place in the world. It is one of my constant must reads.At one stage in my past, I had access to all the international cable traffic coming into my then Department. The cable folder was delivered by hand on a daily basis. I had to read it and then hand return it. Among other things, it gave me access to most (not all: some were just too sensitive to include but had to be seen on an eyes only basis) of the political  and economic reports from Australian posts around the globe.

Most of those with access just browsed. I read the stuff in detail because I found the reports absolutely fascinating, an education in international economics and politics. I probably wouldn't have that type of access today. There are so many more rules.

Security then was actually quite tight. The end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, were still in the future. Ronald Reagan had just become President of the United States, There were very tight rules, but there was neither the obsessive desire to control nor the weaknesses that were to come with centralised electronic systems. Nor, come to think of it, was there a serious problem with information overload bringing with it the constant need to sort the wheat from the chaff. Less information, more time to think.

I have digressed! Now I use the Lowy blog in the same way I used to use those cables. It keeps me in touch in a way that I simply cannot achieve from the main stream media.

Finishing quickly now with two final blogs.

As with the Lowy Institute blog, I have referred to Professor Martin Lewis's Geocurrents blog many times before. As a geographer, Martin is into maps, fascinated by maps and patterns. He explores patterns and issues in different parts of the world - the political geography of Poland, the history of the Arabian Peninsular, the changing distribution of and history of particular languages, social and political trends within California. They are are all grist to his mill so long as they can be expressed via a map!

My last blog is The Resident Judge of Port Phillip, a history blog. Like me, Janine Rizzetti is interested in Australian history. I enjoy and gain value from her pieces.                     .



Neil said...

Congratulations, Jim, and thanks for the nomination -- but I think I'll pass.

Jim Belshaw said...

That's fine, Neil. I more or less expected you too. Still, it gave me a chance to recognise some blogs while shamelessly engaging in personal reminiscences!