Pondering on dates and anniversaries recently over on my Facebook page for Lou Messugo I realised I’d been running the gîte for 5 years. Which got me thinking that April has another anniversary – my blogiversary.  Three days ago, on the 18th April this blog turned 3!  I still feel like a new blogger but I guess at 3 I’m now quite mature.  I may not be as prolific as some established blogs that I enjoy but I try to be consistent and so far have not had a long period without writing in that time.  Long may it last!

Over the last year I’ve branched out and now cover a greater variety of topics including travel out of France, expat tales, personal history and multiculturalism.  So how delighted was I to be nominated for the “Versatile Blogger” award from Ersatz Expat?  Yes, you got it, very! Apparently I’m versatile, and I’m happy with that.


Ersatz Expat describes herself as a “global soul” and I feel an enormous kindred spirit with her. The more we get to know each other the more we find we have in common.  She too is a TCK, eternal expat, currently blogging about her exotic life in Malaysia, having lived all over the globe.  Do take a look at her website for fascinating stories from unusual places.

The “Versatile Blogger” award is one of those blogger appreciation virtual awards, more like a blog hop really, designed to introduce readers to a variety of new and interesting blogs. There are only 5 rules to adhere to:  I have to

– display the badge;
– write a post linking back to the nominating blogger;
– find 7 interesting things to write about myself;
– nominate other bloggers (to a maximum of 15) and say why they get my nomination;
– let the nominees know they have been nominated.

Seems do-able! So thanks again for the nomination Ersatz Expat, on to the “interesting” things about me! (That’s a subjective word, sorry if you’re disappointed.)

7 “interesting” things about me

fish factory

1. I have worked in a fish factory in Reykjavik – practically a rite of passage for women in Iceland back in the 1980s, even the then female president had done her stint.

2. I funded my university studies by working as an extra in Australian soaps such as Home and Away and the now defunct E Street.

3. I have travelled by ocean liner from Venice to Mumbai around Africa (when the Suez Canal was closed) as a means of transport, not a cruise.  It was the height of luxury with a first class cabin (and vintage deck entertainment “quoits” see photo below).  I have also taken a cargo ship from Barbados to Trinidad for carnival, staying on the ship in Port of Spain during the festivities and back again.  It was the absolute opposite of “height of luxury” with an internal cupboard of a cabin and the roughest seas the Captain had ever come across in his 20 year career!

onboard ship playing quoits in Tenerife

4. While on means of transport, I have taken a train from Hanoi to Helsinki, via Kunming, Beijing, Ulaan-Baatar, Moscow, St Petersburg and Lappeenranta.  Well, it was several trains really…but the aim of the journey was Hanoi-Helsinki.  That was in summer.  I have also taken the Trans-Siberian in winter, spending 6 days over Christmas holed up in a train cabin, chugging across Siberia in -25°c.

train Kunming Beijing

5. I have sung as a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral.

6. I come from convict stock in Australia.  My Aussie ancestor was a naughty chap sent to Australia on the second fleet.  It’s something to be proud of apparently!

7. I was in a propaganda film with Indira Gandhi in the mid 1970s.  She randomly plucked me out of a crowd to sit with her on a miniature train in Delhi, while we were on a family day out.

And my nominations for versatile blogs go to…

Oui in France – for the astute and funny observations about life in France

Turning Dutch – for the observations and explanations of life in the Netherlands

A Bavarian Sojourn – for the beautiful photos and eloquent words about life in Bavaria

Trans Siberian train

Here’s to another year of blogging and blogging friendships.  I hope you enjoy my choice of versatile bloggers and I look forward to reading their 7 interesting things (should they choose to take on the challenge).

Enjoyed this post? Please share it