Friday, 29 August 2014

One Lovely Blog

Normally I don't do this sort of thing. But, in this instance, I shall make an exception. There's a blog hop thing happening called "One Lovely Blog" where one gets nominated by a blogger and the idea is you share seven things about yourself and link to fifteen other blogs and the one that nominated you. I'm not sure I read fifteen other blogs, but I thought I'd try. It goes without saying that I get so little traffic that I'm sure the blogs I recommend won't even notice that I linked them, but should they do so, they ought to feel zero compunction to join in. I suspect I am the blog sharing equivalent of a dead end to be honest.

If this isn't your bag, there's my usual line break coming up. Before that, I was nominated by Willow C Winsham over at Latimer's Library, which is lovely. I think. Now, if you do not wish to know anything about the person that reviews beers and things (and God knows, they will tell you more than you probably wanted to know about me anyway) you can forget you saw this and move on. At least check out the linked blog though.

Still here? Okay then, don't say that you weren't warned.

1. I'm am anarcho-Feminist

I like labels. I like labelling myself most of all. And I reckon it's important to know what ideological blinkers one wears and to tell readers. Because that way you can assess what I'm writing and my approach more easily, as well as spot any blindspots that I may have that prevent me making connections or whatever. Also, the more I hang around on the internets the more I see some pretty worrisome things about social attitudes and the habits of the privileged (in which I count myself). I like government action, by the by (yay NHS), but ultimately I find anarchism more appealing than statism and Feminism absolutely necessary. Wow, start boring!

Also, some blogs that, if you've read this far, may be of interest are The Bloggess, whom you probably know as amusing, insane and all round good egginess and The Vagenda, whose link on the side of the blog here seems not to be updating properly. Both of these are amusing and have varying degrees of political musings at any given time. There's also If You Tolerate This... which is more serious and hard-hitting, but still a good read if you haven't seen it before.

2. I'm a teacher

This is a contentious one. I arrived in the profession by accident, I believe by the meddling of my favourite invisible friend who created the Universe, and I enjoy what I do. I take my job very seriously and thus have a habit of taking the successes and mistakes of my students quite personally, moreso than I would like to admit, and feel it incredibly important to discuss and learn with them. I'm also a bit strange, apparently, in the teaching profession. I teach History and Sociology at the moment, but have taught Politics too for a long time, so that probably explains a lot. Including the first point.

For reasons that are not immediately apparent, this leads me to recommend the following blogs as being of interest: this one just makes me laugh most of the time, in a good way, and thus is worth mentioning here. The other probably fits better in a later point, but there are links here, so, go on, unleash your inner Pablo.

3. I'm married

To Anna. She gets mentioned on here now and again. I love her and thing she looks and is wonderful. Luckily we co-habit and she is cleverer than me so we get proper discussions with political and historical disagreements. I love that about our relationship. She challenges me and I, I hope, her. It's good. Why, then, is this number three? Well, rhetorical questioner, it's mainly because I'm not sure how revealing I should be on here, it is a public space and my students have previously found this place (and will no doubt do so again) so I reckon burying it here will likely prevent the less nice students from using this information. Happy now? I thought you would be, rhetorical device, I thought you would be.

Again, a kangaroo jump is required to make this link, and I'm leaving it like that because I like to think I'm clever, but it means that I recommend this blog by That Rambling Woman as a good place to go. Sadly abandoned these days, what with having full time employment on the go and all, but still a good archive of thoughts and ideas. I should also link to Anna's blog too, which is a good one (and better than mine), not sure if it's still active though.

4. I really like Chinese food

No, not real Chinese food, the kind you get in takeaways in Britain. Of course, being an inherent snob about things, I love the stuff I used to get in Carlisle the most because that's what I grew up with and there was a surprisingly large ethnic Chinese community there. Some of the stuff where I used to live for a decade was passable and I got used to it, I suppose, but I'm still struggling to get into the stuff where we live now. It's not bad, it's just not what I'm used to and I'm not good with change. Anyway, on the off chance anyone meets me in real life and wants to curry favour with a Chinese (see what I did there?) you can buy me hot and spicy soup and either special chow mein or Singapore-style vermicelli. It's unlikely to work, but it's worth a try.

Oddly, I don't follow any food-related blogs.

5. I'm a beer snob

One of the corollaries of trying to keep this blog going by reviewing my weekly ales (well, twice weekly lately) has been that I've got pretty used to tasting new brews and trying to find out what I like and dislike about them. It means that I tend to be pretty sniffy when there's an ale I dislike or when people conflate lager and ales. I am developing a beer gut (it looks a little like I'm a pregnant stick insect when viewed from the side and I've had to buy bigger trousers - students, you can have that one for free) and I am a bit of a beer bore - which you can probably tell if you read any of the other posts lurking around on here.

I really like the style of The Beer Bunker and their reviews. There was a post they did about making a huge Risk table that was just awesome. I may be slightly jealous of their location, the fact they go to plenty of beer festivals and the fact that they get free samples from breweries but I'm Stout rather than Bitter. Ahem. Also, less regularly updated, there is The Beer Beauty and then, most recently, I found Beef's Brewery - which is a really nice set of very well organised and almost scientific reviews. Mine are more melange-y.

6. I like games

Mainly board games apparently, though I always preferred the more egotistical and grandiose sounding term of strategy gaming. Basically, it's games where chance and dice tend not to rule the roost (though may play a part) and where there's some challenge in learning how others work. I'm not very good at them at all (though I can manage to beat Anna at chess) but I do enjoy playing them. I'm working on being less competitive, a bad habit my upbringing failed to remove and largely maintained, and being less of a bad loser. I can be a bad loser. I guess that's part of the reason I don't get to play them very often.

If you like fun and games and things, then you could do worse than check out Books, Gaming & More by an old friend of mine from University. He's not old, we've just known each other longer than a decade and so he counts as one of the friends I've had for the longest. He's also a more successful writer than I, having written and published more than zero books, which is what I have managed.

7. I have 5h1tty wr1ttins

I have pretensions of being a writer. I delude myself. I have yet to finish anything or edit anything to turn the screed that pours out into something people will read. I am a little intense and soulless when it comes to writing styles and have yet to create a convincing character or plot. Doesn't stop me dabbling now and again. Maybe it should.

If, however, you can actually write and are interested in writing then Chris Brecheen's Writing About Writing is a good place to start. You can also do worse than checking out Karen Woodward's little writing haven, that explains the mechanics of real writing very well indeed. And I think she writes a lot too.

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