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Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Sunday Roast

Let's Meet Single Mom Debbie In Her Complicated World

This week's interview is with Debbie who writes the blog,
A single MOM in a complicated World .

Thank you Debbie

A very warm welcome to you and to your followers

Rogue' s Gallery - lovely family, Debbie

What a good looking lot we have here! . . . and also the 'piccie' at the bottom of your blog.

Here is the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

My blog is literally my journal. I did not know much about blogging when I started. I decided I would be raw and open and use my blog as my therapy; my healing. IT was only after I started and people commented on how ‘brave’ I was to bare it all, I realized that not everyone uses their blog as a window to their soul. For me, that’s who I am. I have always been an open book; I have always shared too much. Why stop now? Three years ago, my life went in a direction I never expected or saw coming. My heart was broken and everything I had ever put stock in was turned upside down. In the aftermath of the heartbreak I made a choice that led to even more hurt and destruction. I knew I was not alone, that there were others hurting and trying to find their way in a life that no longer looked liked it used to. I also knew that holding my feelings in was not the way to healing. There is no doubt that as I have journaled , the very act of putting my journey into words has taken the power out of the circumstances and instead transferred that power into the healing, strength and resolve that written words can bring.

What's the story behind your blog name?

Reality! I am a single mom and I must say I think the world has become WAY more complicated since the last time I was single. Admittedly I was 18. Now I am, well, NOT 18. But, facing life single again (and again..*sigh* ) with three kids is complicated beyond description. Then you add in the ex, and his girlfriend! (I try to pretend the second ex never happened, so far that’s working out for me!!Unless you count the fact that I BLOG about it openly and honestly for the world to see, it’s the perfect secret!!LOL!) Then throw in shared holidays, different parenting styles, full time work, and the lack of a dating life (but the threat that it might become an issue one day), and you have one VERY complicated situation. Did I mention I have 2 preteens and a diva?? But, I won’t even go there…that’s another blog in its self I am sure!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

For me the best part is the therapeutic side effect of baring my heart. I love the people I have met. But, I would blog even if no-one read it. I also love that I can look back on my blog and see how far I come. Sometimes I go back to the first several months of my blog. My brokenness is so evident; it hurts my heart to read it. But, I see now how much I have grown. How much I have learnt and I have faith based on the lessons learnt and chronicled, that a future without destructive choices is within my grasp.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I would suggest that a newbie be honest BUT cautious. Do not hurt another or say things you would not want the world to know. It is not an anonymous form of communication.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Another tough one. I do not believe I can choose on this, because all of the blogs I read are significant in their own way. My time is so limited as a single mom of three. The blogs I read and comment on are blogs that reach me in some form.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Sunday, February 15, 2009
Don't make any sudden moves!!!!!
To be honest most, if not all, of my posts are significant to my journey. I have held nothing back as I have overcome two heartbreaks and the journey from broken-ness to wholeness. This post is one in which I began to understand why I made some of the choices I did and verbally took the stand needed not to end up there again.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

I will suggest my favorite two blogs to read. BOTH are strong women. And both are very funny. They always lift my spirits and make my heart smile.
Diane's Addled Ramblings
Matter of Fact

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

My family, my bible , coffee

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Way to HOT of a question even if this a roast, so I shall pass. (Unless you know Denzel Washington’s favorite ice-cream flavor??? OK pretend I did not say that!! ;)!)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

A day in the mountains, with a cup of coffee, my children and a great book.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I would LOVE to choose Pat Conroy. I find his books so honest and open. BUT, I do not have his flair for description. So, I will go with Jodi Picoult. Her books are lighter and yet her topics deep and raw.

And finally if you have answered all five questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

-I only answered 4 but here's a question just in case.

(Oh that's ok! - you passed on the movie question but ask away - golly what a searching question though!)

What one character trait would you change about yourself if you could?

I am sometimes a little impulsive and I regret on just one or two ocassions not giving sufficient thought to the consequences of my actions, even though at the time they were well intentioned.

Thank you Debbie for a most enjoyable interview.


Today's Sunday Roast with Debbie is the 105th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ______________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour for all
published Roasts. To view press
HERE ______________________________________________

Next week, Sanna at Violet Sky

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Sunday Roast

Oscar Was 'Wildely' Wrong To Call This 'Fhina' Lady 'A Woman Of No Importance'

Love the photoshop touches, Fhina

An MGM Production too, I notice - Come on give us a roar!!
Ahhh! That's better!

This week's interview is with Fhina
who writes the blog, A Woman Of No Importance

Thank you Fhina

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I started as a virgin blogger here: Memoirs of a Virgin Blogger - Prologue in January 2009 after leaving comments on favourite blogs for months... Blogging gets right under your skin, and I found myself beginning to think a lot about the people whose words I'd had the pleasure of reading, that is when I wasn't actually sitting right at home, blogging like a loon myself... Blogging, for me, has been such a journey. It's taken me to visit some incredible corners of the world when I was confined to the sofa for almost six months recovering from disk injuries, and I have got to know some fantastically talented writers and wonderful friends, and they are firm friends. I feel very honoured to be a part of such a fabulous writing community, many of whom have yet to even trouble publishers' doorsteps... Given all the carp that's out there these days, I think I've found treasure in 'Blogworld'.

What's the story behind your blog name?

When I first started out in Blogworld, I wrote this:

"I am A Woman Of No Importance, or maybe some days I'm just feeling sorry for myself! You know, when you look around you and find you've aged inexorably, the body isn't what it was, the face is showing signs of needing serious attention, and you haven't seen your 'Hairdresser To The Stars,' (well that's what it said on his DUI rap sheet!), in oh, too long?"

I have always adored the writings of dear Oscar Wilde, so A Woman Of No Importance, one of his less well-known plays, seemed like the right monicker for me, as I was in a pretty low spot at that time. I began by reading blogs and commenting, and ended by starting my own - And all the attention and lovely thoughts, words and wishes received from other, more experienced and talented, bloggers make me stick to the genre like a fly to paper! Oh, and if anyone's interested, I found a fab new hairdresser in the end! I had to to look so good for my photo opportunity with Edward Cullen!

Well Fhina, it's all about "The Importance Of Being Earnest", when I say you are far from being "A Woman Of No Importance".

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The people... I think we always find ourselves saying this, yet it's so true. I have made true friends via Blogworld both in the UK and the US and beyond, who have lifted me out of myself and made me into a better, more thoughtful, person. They make me laugh with their wry humour, cry about their beautiful words, deeds and life-stories, and you get to know one another so well in such detail via blogs, it's easy to get to appreciate, love and support people... I am ever effuse with my air-kisses and 'Mwahs!,' but they mean the world to me, these fair folks, and I love them all, bloggy dahlinks... Other bloggers are the best thing about being a blogger... That, and the revenue you get from advertising! (Only kidding, but ask Chairman Bill if you want to know about that!)

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Start! Seriously, be true to yourself and don't be intimidated. When I began, I looked up to people like Saz at (so not) Fat, Frumpy & Fifty (now Fat, Feisty & Fifty) and wanted to be as creative and as colourful as she is. Auntie Gwen at auntiegwensdiary made me envy her fun, rock-chic lifestyle and her Beautiful Children. I wanted to be as worthy as Diane at Diane's Addled Ramblings, who has aspirations to be a newspaper columnist. Diane's home-spun slices of American small-town life and wisdom just blow me away. And my darling Blognut at More Mindless Rambling is sooooooooo funny, I wish I could summon up a jot of her wit and intelligence...I was in awe of gorgeous Braja at Lost and Found in India, and was gob-struck reading Vodkamom, who is an enormously talented teacher, earth-angel and scream... And then these stars and talents of 'Blogworld' start to talk to you and leave witty, pithy, funny comments when you blog, and you get to hang on to their shirt-tails and whoosh along with them through the bloggy firmament. It's wonderful. Join us!I would also say read a lot, make masses of comments and get to know other bloggers, but find your own style. Bloggeros and bloggeristas are very caring, sharing and generous people... Do read and listen to their words. Writing is an enormous discipline and practice is everything... And don't take yourself too seriously.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Good Lord, this is not easy to answer, and I'm reluctant to go on and on like Gwynnie in her Oscar acceptance speech, but there's every risk of it! Just about everything I've ever read is never less than significant and full of meaning and I choose the blogs I read carefully... I am in awe of all those in my blog reader list, or whatever it's called - I'm not that techie a person! Lakeviewer and Jinksy... Saz sometimes makes me cry with her words, and Suldog and Scriptor are bold, wise, funny men. And you've already featured Meredith Teagarden. Heart-stoppingly beautiful writing, all...

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

On Wednesday 29 April 2009 I wrote, Let me sign... about the myth that surrounds those with great talent - The suspicion that many have brokered a deal with the devil while standing at the crossroads on the dark side of town. I was awarded Post of the Day by dear David McMahon and, although Fhina's flippancy is writ large through it, it must have been one of my most respected pieces of froth to win a much-coveted award...For me, the paeon that I wrote to my dad, was very significant. I've sort of avoided writing about my parents because my feelings on their passings are still very raw and not yet worked through... I will get there some day, I swear, but My father and me on Thursday 25 June 2009 was a start...

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Eddie, you and David have already had many of my favourite writers on the spit on Sunday, but I think I will plump for these fellas - (I see you've already featured John, who goes by the name of Scriptor Senex, is a sweet and brave knowledgeable writer whose daily ramblings put so many of us in the shade) and the ascerbic wit and frightening intelligence of Chairman Bill at The Thoughts Of Chairman Bill , (ask him to tell you about how he started his blog via an e-bay classified ad for his Dutch Barge! Inspirational and argumentative, he is!). Julie, or French Fancy, currently in Brittany, is a wonderful raconteur. I just wish she'd tell more of her theatre and film stories! If you want to skate Over The Pond, Eddie, my dahlink Diane at Diane's Addled Ramblings and Bloggus Nuttus at More Mindless Ramblings are both incredibly bright and hard-working writers and mums and VodkaMom is a riot, so is Auntie Gwen at auntiegwensdiary and I really love Derrick at Melrose Musings, as well.

(Fhina, that is a feast of recommendations - thank you)

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down while I roast you!)

1. A scintillation of happiness on the horizon.
2. Holidays in Europe - I feel far more like the real me whenever I'm in Europe. My clothes fit better, I exercise more because the weather is usually better than it is my remote northern corner of the UK... I enjoy a little sunshine and greater warmth and I feel that people are a little more open and 'out there' than the British can sometimes be... Dare I say that I feel I can be a little madcap and crazy in Europe, and I don't stand out as much as I do on our bejewelled isle... I don't think that makes sense, but then I rarely do!
3. The love of my husband and son. I'm an adult orphan with no siblings, and that I feel very strongly. My tiny, nuclear, family unit means a lot to me at this point in my life. Hey, we're not perfect, but we're all that we've got! I'd include mes bloggy friends in that one too!

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

It would have to be Jane Eyre, my favourite ever. I'd have to cast you. Eddie, or Grumpy Old Ken as Mr Rochester, Sazzie as Jane, the heroine (although she'd have to dull down a lot to be taken as "poor, plain and Quakerish!"), and I'd be the Madwoman In The Attic, of course! I'd need no make-up or clothes, but hair extensions would probably be nice! Suldog could be the big scary-friendly dog, Pilot, and Derrick of Melrose Musings could be the lovely vicar, (as long as he didn't mind), and the rest of Blogworld would all find a place in the multi-faceted plot, I'm sure!

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Ooh, you are saucy, Eddie, but I like you! Round these parts, ice cream cornets that come from ice-cream vans are served with a crimson, raspberry sort of sauce, which they call 'Monkey's Blood'. I can't quite get over that gothic horror! On high days and holidays, come rain or come shine, I love our local take-away Doddington Dairy ice-cream with Newcastle Brown Ale (what else!) fudge flavoured pieces - Yum... Failing that the home-made chocolate ice-cream that is purveyed at our local Morwick Dairy is the best in the world... You can even pat the cows whose milk makes the ice-cream so creamy! Dare I say, I'm a bit of an ice-cream addict??! As for a licking down, I'll quote an old favourite - "Why don't you come up and see me sometime, big boy!"

(Ok, Mae West! - it's a date but please be gentle with me because now I have an artificial hip LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

Only one sentence, Eddie, that's impossible for me!
Here goes: "Sunshine after sweet, dreamless sleep, lying in, blogging and reading a good book in bed and a lazy lunch at a country pub with my, for once, not arguing, family'.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I really like the life that real-life writer, Val McDermid has in Alnmouth, Northumberland, pottering about from her home to her desk in a converted outbuilding in her garden. Alnmouth is a very inspirational place to live, I've always thought, and I'm sure even I could become a full time writer if I lived there! Val is a crime writer and, although I have no aspirations to that genre, I think she's undeniably brave in all that she does.

And finally I invite you to ask me one question - it's the least I can do after all this.
How would you describe your motto in life? What words do you live by? (I think that's two questions, but I am greedy - All that talk of ice-cream - The freezer is making its siren song to me just now! The motto I always try to live by is, 'Je ne regrette rien'). Take care, much love - Mwah!

Oh that Mwah! was very nice and I like your question, Fhina! I always think of my dear grandmother when I am asked a question like this. She had a series of phrases which contain a wealth of advice and I regard them as a blueprint for life. I am greedy too so I shall recite three which I remember from my childhood (a long time ago!):

Be the matter what it may, always speak the truth.

Do unto others as you would be done by.

Never borrow, never lend - then you'll never lose a friend.

All are impossible to follow to the letter, of course, but they help.

Thank you Fhina for this highly informative and enjoyable interview. What a great way to get to know people - I am indeed very privileged.


Today's Sunday Roast with Fhina is the 104th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _____________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE

Next week, Debbie at A Single MOM in a complicated world

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hard To Say I'm Sorry - my version!

By the time you read this I will have had my operation and hopefully will be home within a few days with a new hip. Hip Hip Hooray!

My sister, Maggie at Nuts in May, will have kept you informed about how the surgery went on Saturday 13th.

Now, for your amusement I found this YouTube of a favourite song, "Hard to say I'm Sorry" which I modified to tell you all about the correspondence from the hospital before the operation after my long wait. I found a very funny non vocal version of a very focused Saxophonist with his marvellous rendition.

If you have been watching my Freddie Bluelights series you can see this player is brimming over with testosterone making him the leader of the pack and strut around the restaurant.
Also you will see the lady introducing the act with about 10% of her daily word allocation of 20,000 words. Very sorry for the delay with the music - anyway here it is.

Hope it works out - just sing along to the music with these lines.

Had a letter from the ward today.

They wrote to say, "At last, my brother,

Come to and so us Saturday

Your hip to discover.

Hold on now - it's hard for us to say we're sorry.

We just wanted to say,

After all that you've been through, we will make it up to you. I promise you,

And after the surgery is done, your hip is part of you and won't let go.

We know you couldn't stand another day, in that way, with your body

Hurting night and day, as you lay in every way, in the bed you love

Hold on now. It's hard for us to say we're sorry, but we wanted to know,

Hold on now. We really want to tell you we're sorry and may never let you go!

After all that you've been through, We will make it up to you - we promise you

And after all that's been said and done and when your ready we'll let you go.

After all that you've been through, we will make it up to you - we promise to

You're gonna be the lucky one."

I said I'd pack a suitcase right away

for my stay" - oh brother!

"For a four or five day holiday, from my son's mother.

"Hold on now. It's hard for me to say I'm sorry. I just want you to say.

"After all you've been through, we will make it up to you - we promise to.

And after all your hip job is done, and your fit we'll let you go.

Couldn't stand to be kept away just for the day from my body.

Wouldn't wanna be swept away, far away from the one that I love.

Hold me now. It's hard for me to say I'm sorry. I just want you to know.

Hold me now. We really want to tell you we are sorry and we will let you go.

After all that you've been through, we will make it up to you. We promise to.

And when your hip job is done, and part of you just walk and go.

After all that you've been through, we will make it up to you. We promise to.

You're gonna be the lucky one.

Well that was fun! Do you want to hear the Chicago version?

Oh go on then!!


The nurses must have got fed up with my jokes.
When I had my temperature taken I asked a sister, "What is the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?"
She was scratching her head and asked me for the answer, "The taste!" She was highly amused.
I managed to capture this post before it scheduled so I can give you the latest.
Feeling much better already. The pain is negligible compared to the arthritic hip and I have started my physiotherapy exercises.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Sunday Roast

Surely, Michelle Is A Writer With Surly Humour!

This week's interview is with Michelle Hickman
who writes the blog,
The Surly Writer .

Her other blog, Michelle Hickman,
is sub-titled, A glimpse at the imagination of a writer

Thank you Michelle

A very warm welcome to you and to your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

To improve on my writing and connect with people. I find the Blogger format a relaxing environment where I can talk about anything I want, experiment on new topics, and bring a few smiles to my readers. And really, ever since I started to blog, I’ve become amazed at how much better my abilities are. I look back at a few of my older written pieces, in print in my local newspaper, and I wince at the lackadaisical style. Ugh. Where’s my time machine? I’ve got to get rid of the incriminating evidence...

What's the story behind your blog name?

It’s a misnomer, as most people find out when visiting the site. Basically, it’s a disturbing inside joke. I’m a very quiet and shy person. At one point in my life, I received a lot of flack from a few people who assumed I was “surly” because of my quietness. I thought it would be cool to use this name to show just because someone is pegged with a certain moniker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the truth about this person.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

It’s finding those surprising similarities with other bloggers. You can visit someone’s site for a few years only to discover, with one new post, something the person likes or has done in their life that mirrors a similar instance in your own. That brief moment of connection, of saying, “Wow, I feel the same way/done the same thing too,” is a thrill every time.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Beware Blogger “Burnout.” I’ve seen people kill off their blogs because they put out so much stuff at a rapid-fire pace at first that they don’t know what else to post about later on. Also, keep blogging fun and entertaining for yourself.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Theresa from “An Officer and a Garbage Can” made a heartbreaking post discussing her job as a code enforcement officer. She talked about listening to her police scanner radio, hearing those high speed chases and accidents, and how such news can affect a person when not at the scene.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

A Question and a Story.” It was a dual-posting I made with my dear friend Jim (Suldog) who did the post, “Juneteenth.” We both wrote about certain racial episodes during our childhoods and directed our readers to each other’s sites on the same day. It was an enjoyable experience and I hope I’ll have the pleasure of doing it again with him.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

I would have to say Hilary’s, The Smitten Image. Most of the people here already know she took over David McMahon’s “Post of the Day” and now does a “Post of the Week.” But there’s much more to her blog. Her photography is phenomenal, and her writing is without compare when combined with her photos. My other choice would be the humorist Knucklehead. He has recently come into the blogging community, and his posts will make you laugh every time.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

A cute firefighter to hose me off. HA! I got around your little roasting spit. Take that! Anyway, I would have to say my heart, since obviously I would be dead without it - so that’s a must to have. And I would say there are several dear blogging friends who’ve made a great impact on my life. I would list names, but it seems I’ve already mentioned them in other questions. Well, that was easy.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I would love to do a campy remake named, Eddie Bluelights the Spam Comment Slayer. You can go after those annoying anonymous commentors who dump numerous links for men’s enhancement products on people’s blogs. You’ll take sharpened keyboards and pound them like wooden stakes into those people’s chests. You can even have Suldog as an annoying sidekick to crack jokes. I think both of you would look good in miniskirts.
Well we do look good in miniskirts, don't we, and what nice legs we have? Guess who is Jim and who is Eddie?
Brilliant concept, Michelle. I don't think Jim or I require the services of these 'Philistines' but can you imagine Jim Suldog and Eddie Bluelights brandishing their keyboard stakes and fighting for the same cause against all the Vampire Spammers in Transylvania. Jim would say, "Stakes eh! Well er my steak on my roast, no 69 is much better than your steak on your roast, no 82, Eddie! Mine is well done and your's is just medium rare!" I would reply harshly,"Of course mine is rare! It's got more blood in it to tempt these vampires into the open so we could stake them with our keyboard stakes. Come on, let's get 'em! Now quick tell them a joke and take a photo of us in our miniskirts for our readers! Oh Jim! You've chopped off our heads!!!

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Heh-heh-heh! You dirty Englishman! You act all innocent at first, putting my guard down with those normal questions, and then you throw this out thinking I’ll just go along with the flow. Well, it worked. I would be any flavor that would offer the most licks, and the lickee would be... oops. I believe my answer got lost when emailing you my roast answers. Darn. How did that happen?

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

Sleeping and eating and writing and more sleeping and one day visiting my favorite blog people then afterward I would have to take a nap.

(Sounds like my day)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I’m not really sure. One of my on-line friends once said I reminded him of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) since I’m so prolific with my writing. On a good day, I might do 3000 words, or one novel chapter.

And finally I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

Okay! I’ll make things *snicker* easy and give you multiple choice.

If there was a worldwide ban on putting an extra “u” after the “o” in words like humor and flavor (since we Americans know how it’s supposed to be spelled - dagnabit), what would be your reaction?

A: You’d want to be roasted over an open fire and be fed to vegetarian cannibals.
2: You’d form a splinter cell group devoted to asking ladies what type of ice cream they’d be.
Cinco: You’d roll your eyes and cuss at those darn Yankees messing with the Queen’s language.

At first glance this looks to be a snorter of a question.
I shall examine each one of your possible answers in turn to this most serious of questions.
1. How the heck could I be roasted and fed to vegetarian canibals? If they ate me they would be carnivores and not vegetarians, dummy! - unless I was a cabbage! What kind of a trick question is that? Although this is probably the correct answer I shall reject it out of hand.
2. My reputation seems to indicate that I would form a splinter group to offer young ladies ice cream of a flavour of their choice. Well why not? Let the ladies have their ice cream! But wait! This has nothing to do with your inability across the pond to adhere to the finer points of Queen's English, so I am leaning towards the final choice, yes . . . this is my answer:
3. "Damned Yankees messing with the Queen's Language. Now look, as I explained once at great length to Mr Suldog in a heated discussion, I know it is not entirely your fault since you don't know the whole truth. I blame John Cabot and The Pilgrim Fathers because when they set sail from your glorious motherland they took an erroneous dictionary with them. So when they colonised America this is all they had and you have all inherited a grave error of vastly understating the letter 'u'. Consequently people cannot spell and manufacturers of your keyboards make them without a 'u' so it is impossible to type 'colour', 'armour', 'flavour', etc, correctly.

Thank you Michelle for this enjoyable interview

Today's Sunday Roast with Michelle is the 103rd in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE __________________________________________________

Next week, A Woman Of No Importance

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Why Can Men Run Faster Than Women

Freddie 'Blue Eyes' Bluelights explains why men run faster than women.

First, Ive just heard from the hospital that my total hip replacement operation will be on Saturday 13th February. I shall be in hospital from 3-7 days depending upon how well I recover. Always the optimist I intend to make it 3 days so hopefully I will see you on Wednesday (fleetingly). I shall keep the roasts going by automatic scheduling just in case and look forward to seeing you when I return. I do apologise I have not visited many of you recently - I have felt dreadfully dragged down with this painful hip.

Now to Freddie - notice his blue eyes are beginning to sparkle. This follows on from Freddie's previous lecture entitled, "Why women can multi-task and men can't." If you missed it press HERE.
Last time I ended up by asking, "Why can men run faster than women?"
Was it so he can chase one of these?
Or to run away from one of these?
Or maybe running like hell from one of these? Imagine one of these charging at you from the forest!!Or perhaps fleeing from his mother-in-law? HELP!
The question is divided into two halves. 'How?' and 'Why?' As usual the scientists tackle the 'How' part and totally ignore the 'Why' because they just will not speculate but deal only in fact.

OK let's play along with them and the examine the 'How' part and clear the way for 'Why'.

Now is Freddie the ultimate running machine? Not necessarily but he might be if he were to become super fit, slim and trim, train, have the best coaching, and have a good cardio-vascular system. Clearly our Freddie Bluelights isn't a natural athlete but he is highly knowledgeable on the subject, having a degree at Bedrock University on Behavioural Studies of Men and Women.

In terms of the animal kingdom is any human the ultimate running machine? Evidence shouts a resounding "No!" Leaving aside the Cheetah, even a 3 ton Hippo can beat the current world record 100 metres champion over a short distance, and the 10,000 metres world record holder is utterly hopeless against wild dogs who could easily run him down.

Today in his second talk Freddie examines some recent research on this subject - some true and some wildly inaccurate. As Freddie explains, the main point to remember is a top quality woman athlete can beat 99% of all men across all distances, simply because most men are not athletes. However no woman can beat any male athlete over any distance - yet! Freddie says, yet, because some years ago a theory was put forward that women had made much greater advances than men in terms of reducing times for all events across the entire range of track and field. At the same time men were making only modest improvements because they were already near their optimum potential. Scientists supporting this idea made a fundamental error, assuming that this rapid improvement in women would continue at the same rate. So by the year 2050 women it was put about within scientific circles women would actually beat men in every event, claiming world records by the score. Freddie will explain how silly this argument is.

The answer to 'How' could be that male athletes are more muscular, have less fat and possess a larger heart, and whereas all these are true the main reason is simply the male sex hormone testosterone present in men and absent in women. This is the key because testosterone promotes the production of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein found inside red blood cells, and testosterone also increases the concentration of red cells in the blood. The key female sex hormone, oestrogen makes them more rounded and curvy but has no such effect. As a result, each litre of male blood contains about 150-160 grams of haemoglobin, compared to only 130-140 grams for females. The bottom line is that each litre of male blood can carry about 11 per cent more oxygen than a similar quantity of female blood. Strangely enough, male world records at distances from 800 metres all the way up to the marathon are also about 11 per cent faster than female world marks. Is that just a coincidence, or does the 11 per cent enhancement of blood oxygen in males produce the 11 per cent improvement in running speeds?

Since oxygen is needed to furnish most of the energy required for endurance running, some scientists have suspected that the 11 per cent oxygen difference is indeed the key factor behind male-female performance variation. So, Freddie, explains no matter how much women have improved in their performances this 11% difference will always hinder them from equalling, let alone surpassing, their male counterparts. Further, since women have the hormone oestrogen, they produce more fat and this can be regarded as dead weight. "Ah!" some people might say, "muscle is heavier than fat and therefore would require more oxygen to get this weight round the track than the extra fat in women."

"Rubbish!" Freddie would argue, "muscles are not dead weight because they aid propulsion."
Incidentally the female hormone oestrogen is responsible also for developing the 30% extra connections in ladies brains so they can multi-task.

So now we come to the interesting 'Why' part of the question, "Why can men run faster than women?" In other words what led to this situation in the first place causing men to secrete more testosterone and women more oestrogen?

Was it God giving Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden Of Eden. Did he say, "Now look folks, do you want a hairy chest, speak with a deep voice, do one thing only at a time but do it well, run faster, talk less, be shy and retiring? Or do you want to speak in a high voice, have a lot less hair, possess a nice curvacious body, have a multi-tasking brain plus the ability to talk the hind leg off a donkey and flutter your eye-lashes?"
Obviously they made their appropriate choices but it was developed further by macro evolution. The full answer of 'How' goes way beyond the remit of this study but it seems to centre on how Freddie's ancestors developed and perhaps females ability to multi-task and not to specialise in just one area may have led to this, causing them to have a lower oxygen uptake and run slower. They did not need to focus on just one thing, like an ape man escaping a T. Rex whilst shouting, "Run like hell chaps - it's every man for himself!"

In a prehistoric sprint race a hairy deep voiced male, oozing testosterone, would be focused on one thing only and that is crossing the finishing line first by hook or by crook. In a prehistoric ladies race the participants might not focus entirely on winning the race. They would want to talk and compare boyfriends whilst running down the track and thinking of what colour to paint their nails, what to cook for dinner, what name to call their unborn children, Nabopolassar or Merodach Baladan or Artaxerxes Longimanus, if they might be boys, or Jezebel, Delilah or Deborah, if they might be girls. Ahh!! Deborah, the Maggie Thatcher of the ancient world with her little husband Barak (or was he Dennis?).

Anyway, had these ladies been hunting rather than just running a race they might, because of their superior multi-tasking ability, incorporate a technique called group dynamics, where they could discuss, chew over and debate how to snare a marauding Big Foot instead of running like hell like the men might.

So if they saw one of these in a forest:

A whole series of these would jump out from behind a tree.
They would say, "Boo!" and scream at the poor unsuspecting Big Foot. Then another, "Boo!", moving in a slightly different direction, then another. The Big Foot would get so mad it would not know which screaming woman to chase, particularly if it was male and could not multi-task. Then all the screaming ladies would all turn round and run away with Big Foot, puffing and snorting in hot pursuit. Then more would appear and eventually they would lead the poor thing into a trap, the floor would give way and he would fall into a deep pit. Then the women would spear it to death, complaining that their husbands seemed quite incapable of working out how to do such a simple task, remarking, "Who needs testosterone when we can do it equally well with oestrogen."

The animal kingdom has latched onto group dynamics because a pride of female lions hunt in unison with several attacking potential victims like an unsuspecting buffalo, urged on by a ravenous male lion from the bushes, who never thinks of lifting a paw to help. Always a couple of lions cover the back door just in case the quarry turns tail and runs backwards, in which case they would attack and kill from the rear. Of course the male lion would then roar madly, assisted by loads of surplus testosterone. Then he would muscle in for the first feed when all the work has been done by his wives. Typical! LOL

So there you have it.

Next time Freddie Bluelights considers the staggering fact that women talk three times as much as men. They say 20,000 words every day of their lives compared to only 7,000 for men. I say only 7,000 but I am very surprised it is as many as this, frankly, yet I am hardly surprised by the other statistic. LOL

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Sunday Roast

So This Is The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street!

Photo copyright Jet Fandialan

Today I am thrilled to introduce one of the nicest people in BlogLand - a gifted photographer and talented writer with her own distinctly unique poetic style. She makes us want to read and re-read her work, every post.

This week's interview is with
The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street

Thank you for appearing on the show and a very warm welcome to you and your followers.

Why do you blog?

I blog because I am a wanderlust. The world is fascinating. Human behaviour is interesting. What moves one to write and why? Concomitant to that, I happen to write, take photographs and preserve them. (I have yet to succumb to the idea of plurking and tweeting.)

What’s the story behind your blog name?

I've moved from one location to another. Home is not a place I can pinpoint all over the map. I could only share, perhaps even to the point of sensationalism, snippets of events from whatever memories I have of the only street I could remember. I have so many stories to tell about that place. Sadly, I am not a storyteller. I'm simply the girl from Cherry Blossom Street.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The unearthing of treasures and pleasures in different forms makes blogging worthwhile. This includes self-discovery.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I don’t give advice. It's not my style.

What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever read?

Polish that Silver...A Christmas Tale at My Castle In Spain.
It is about hope and kindness. Unbeknownst to Lala, her blog inspired me to create one.

What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever written?

I don't know about that. But I will say this. There is always truth to my meandering and maundering.

If you were to suggest blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?


Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

Literature, epicure, and...what else rhymes with ure?... grandeur!?

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I'd endeavor on a documentary, something like WrapUpAfrica .

It's a shame the blog has been inactive for over a year now. I would solicit help from my friend, a humanitarian, Another Lifetime. I also would like to point out how beautifully she conjures up words. What I write in a paragraph she sums up in one compelling sentence. "I will never know when something will be nevermore until it so becomes."

I would be remiss if I didn't consult with the following:

Sniffles and Smiles, who's clearly a genius. "When he turned three, I taught him to tackle the problems of the world."

She Writes radiates compassion. When love breaks, when things get broken, she remains strong for her friend, protects people she loves and stays true to herself. That is a tough job.

Unforgettable images like Sunrise by Merisi are a must! She never fails to deliver.

Windy Skies has a knack for pointing out that there are always two sides to every story.

Every human being has a story to tell. Coolbluewaters captures and conveys those stories in portraits.

Lo que trae el mar, cada dia a la playa for his remarkable photography.

We also need friends who make us winners from time to time! Isn't that right, Mr, Eddie Bluelights?

They would serve to be my mentors. We could definitely rule the world!

(Brilliant! Listen folks! This girl is a natural winner and for that she deserves a Pony and Riding Lessons! - agreed?)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Monsieur M voudrait parler avec vous.

(Gosh! I'm in big trouble now methinks. . . um . . er. . next question!)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

My perfect day starts with café noir, a book, then a long drive around an island, accompanied by Nina Simone's Wild is the Wind, my camera, and mon chéri, bien sûr!

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

If I were a poet or a writer I would be either Neruda or García Márquez. The former is known for his ambrosial words, the latter I find perspicacious.

Or Guy de Maupassant for his wit.

And finally, since you have answered all the questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away! I wonder what it will be?

What do you regret more: things you have done or things you haven't done?

Crumbs! Why couldn't you ask me something simple like Breeze, "Boxer's, Briefs or Commandos?" or "Who's my favourite blogger?" Your question reminds me a lot of church when we get it all wrong and all start praying about leaving things undone which should be done, etc! At that point I always think I ought to check my trousers! LOL. Right, my answer must be 60-40 in favour of regretting what I have not done because I know I could have made a bigger contribution to humanity. In addition I would like to be well travelled, a fantastic concert pianist and be highly successful in everything I do, but to be a nice chap as well. As for the things I have done - well in the main I have no regrets other than letting my heart rule my head once or twice . . and that is all I am saying on this subject until I reach the Pearly Gates! Do you think they will let me in?

Thank you for your delightful interview, Cherry, and I hope your life blossoms in every good way possible for you.


Today's Sunday Roast by The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street
is the 102nd in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press

Next week, Michelle Hickman