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Saturday, 26 June 2010

The Sunday Roast

Look! There's An Ocean Girl Jaywalking In The City

(I think we'd recognise you anywhere! LOL)

This week's interview is with Ocean Girl
who writes the blog,
Live High .

Drawing by Lissa at The Memory Of Rain.

Thank you for the interview

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
I have wondered about it. I am an accidental blogger. There is The Inconsequential Blogger, and there is the Accidental Blogger and that is me. "Jason Mraz has a blog, " and so in google for his blog that I came across Create A Blog, It Is Easy And It Is Free.

Why do I blog? In order to find the answer, I looked at my first post "There Is The First Time" and in it I said, " There's the first time to everything. First time for me to blog. It feels like exposing skin. Throwing myself out there into the universe. Don't want to go that far. Do want to be picked-up."

And so I believe I blog to reveal myself. I blog to be picked up.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I try to picture the man to always have an open hand
See him as a giving tree, see him as matter, matter of fact he's not a beast
No, not the devil either, always a good deed doer
Well, it's laughter that we're makin' after all

Live high, live mighty, live righteously, let's take it easy.
Those were the lyrics playing on my mind as I created the blog and that was how the blog became Live High.
My poignant desire was to Live Righteously, and Live High.

(Very noble goals)

What is the best thing about being a blogger?
I own the stage to express myself, to be creative, to tell stories, to challenge myself. I could write dramas, play poems, make slide shows, share musics, moan and groan, rant and bant, publish pictures, make comments, give critics (smiles). I could make friends, visit friends, welcome comments . . . . . . . and I could tell people I have a blog. I could declare I am a blogger.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
No advice. The learning process is the most exciting part of blogging. Exploring and trying and learning. Go ahead make mistakes, no one is going to criticize you. The first comment I received from my blog buddy Keats The Sunshine Girl in my very first post was "Do not fear! I'm also a newbie and I'm enjoying blogging. It's a friendly world out there. So go for it!"

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

There was a post by a retiring blogger that stated her reason as "there is so much living to do" and it stuck in my hair like a chewed gum. It made me wonder and question.

(I wonder who wrote that one! Anyone know?)

There are significant posts and there are significant comments and the one comment that I take as a good advise is "It is a good thing to remember the past as long as you are not yearning for the past." by Secret Agent Woman of Blogging Incognito, when I said I do not want to live in the past in my post "Fragmented Reflection".

So, want it or not, I can't resist the community of blogland and one way or another all posts I've read are significant to me because they are significant to their authors and the following words of Jason Mraz come to mind.

A squirrel in the tree is he watching me
Does he give a damn?
Does he care who I am?
I'm just a man, is that all I am
Are my manners misinterpreted words or only human?
I'm human

Only human
Made of flesh, made of sand, made of you and me
The planet's talking about a revolution
The natural laws ain't got no constitution
They've got a right to live their own life
But we keep paving over paradise

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

Each and every one of my blog post is significant to me. Each carries my thoughts and prayers. Each carries my yearning and my longing. I put effort and sweat in each post. Not a single post goes out without my worries and concerns like a mother sending off her child to college. (And today is my first son's first day in college).
Perhaps the most significant post is the one yet to come. My life is embossing.

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

Freshness Factor Five Thousand by Jason Mraz. Why? Because I would love for him to say yes.
The second recommendation would be my endless and revolving list titled "The Call Of The Wild" on my sidebar. Why? Because every blogger has their own engaging style, their knack to vivify.

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)

And here I thought I was invited to a party, didn't know I was the one being roasted.
Let's see, I am a 'yachtie' by nature and all we need is a floating boat. When we are on land, we long for the ocean. As a matter of fact, there is really not much we need and it can be quite a trial to put on clothes and wear shoes again in order to rejoin society.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?
Gilligan's Island in Blogland, The Movie
Gilligan - OneStonedCrow at OneStonedCrow, just for my wonder to see how he would be at sea.
Skipper - Dave Hambidge of Hambo Central, but he had since move house to Code Ochre; to see what can ruffle his feathers.
The Professor - none other, Lisleman at A Few Clowns Short, he is Inspector Gadget but we'll test his acting talent.
The Millionnaire - Cuban In London at Cuban In London, actually he is Professor Langdon but let's see if he can act.
Mary Ann - I can't decide between Maureen at Island Roar or Rowe at Societe Amore, both ladies are wise and witty.
Ginger - I want to be Ginger but for aesthetic reason I'll pass the role to Jill of Elemental, My Dear .
Still I have to find roles for Unknown Mami and Heather, and Sonya and wonderful Yvonne and Cloudia, The Urban Cowboy and Jai Joshi and sweet Lucy and Tina and Anita and funny-beyond-words Jeanne. Most importantly I have to find a leading role for Steven Anthony Litchford of No Excuse, No Explanation, Life In A Fish Bowl.

(Golly! That's a huge cast - I think we need Cecil B de Thrill for this one!)

Maybe I will make a second movie, Charlie's Angels In Blogland - Cruising Throttle.
(Sounds a good idea - can I be Charlie?)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?
I have to keep moving forward, I could not slack and loose focus even for a moment to wonder what if I could do this all over again. I am a widow, I hope that explains a little.

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would you prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?
My only wish is to make my mark on my children. I am sorry but I cannot even fake an answer. But but but, being Simon Cowell on American Idol looks like the funnest job on earth.

(He's funny here too! In little old UK)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?
Okay I'll fake this one. I am an ice cream cone, I don't care what flavour I am, I'll just let myself melt.

(Great answer)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

A day that has 24 hours in it.

(Yes - there NEVER seems enough time to do ANYTHING!)

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

Which fictional author surrenders to God, has a loving husband and wonderful children, that is who I would be.

(Bless you for those answers)

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I pray I am not embarrassing myself on this prestigious evening of The Sunday Roast.

I answered the questions with honesty and integrity. I am so proud and most honoured to be here and to be in the Roll Of Honour with Joanna Jenkins of The Fifty Factor, Charles Gramlich of Razored Zen, Baino of Baino's Banter and Eternally Distracted of Eternally Distracted. And recently Technobabe of Technobabe's Adventures.

And I wonder why one most amazing and unique writer is not here, I somehow feel that he had politely declined.

(And we all know who that is don't we, Brian of Waystation1. They are screaming for you, Brian. Rather like they did in the film, Gladiator, when the whole arena shouted, "Maximus, Maximus, Maximus". but in blogsville they are shouting "Roast 'im Eddie, Roast 'im Eddie, Roast 'im Eddie! LOL.
Don't worry Ocean Girl, Brian is writing it, and . . . . so is sweet Marguerite LOL.
We may be very old people when their roasts arrive but they are doing it . . . honest.)

And on the Roast too I was introduced to many wonderful bloggers including my Italian tutor Lakeviewer of Sixty Five What Now (I know I had been missing classes).

And I thank you Eddie.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!
Eddie, I had been enjoying The Sunday Roast for quite some time and leaving my comments and at the same time dreaming of being on The Roll. May I know how did and what made you choose me for this Sunday? Thank you again, Eddie, from the bottom of my heart.

You see, Ocean Girl, I have a degree in ESP! LOL
No, actually I have learned to 'read' people and I somehow know when a potential 'victim' is keen to feature on the show. I must say it is a great pleasure, and it gives me a buzz, to post a roast for someone like you, who is so enthusiastic and wants to appear - so really the pleasure is all mine. I looked at your blog and liked it and noticed you had a good following, wrote interesting posts which received a good number of comments . . . . . . and thought, "That's my girl! . . . . people will find her roast interesting". So there! hope that answers your question!

Are there any others out there, dieing to appear on the roast? I am running a bit short.

There are several routes onto this column. There are those who are recommended. There are those I have visited and like their blog and I discern they will write an interesting and/or humorous roast. Also there are those who have I have got to know by their regular commented on my posts and I look them up and make a judgement, and then invite them on the show. I have found some beauties this way!


Today's Sunday Roast with Ocean Girl is the 122nd 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

Click on The Microhone Picture on My Blog to see The Roll Of Honour of all previous roasts.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Female MD Used The Allcomers Toilet!!

I think I mentioned I was a bit of a practical joker at school on one of my answers to a question on someone's Sunday Roast. My example was that I used to light a fuse in bangers and place them in the toilets, and then enjoy the resulting chaos at a safe distance, watching all the prefects and teachers scurrying to find out the culprit. The poor innocent chaps sitting there doing what comes naturally, only to be shocked and almost jump off the toilet seat.

During summer cricket matches another favourite trick was when I noticed some teachers walking round the boundary, deep in conversation. I perfected my fuse calculations so that frequently the banger exploded just as they passed by, looking round to see who had done it!! - again with me watching from a safe distance.

But today is not about my schooldays; it is during my second job as a copy editor, working in the centre of Bristol. I was about 24 I suppose and our company had just moved into new premises since we had outgrown the former offices. The building occupied three floors. I remember it well because our Chairman had just sold his Rolls Royce to a very famous Bristolian who moved to USA, Archie Leach, who became the famous film star, Carry Grant. I noticed Carry walking towards the entrance and I made a beeline for the typing pool to announce the arrival of the universal heart throb. There was a stampede of women and girls rushing out to get his autograph. He was a quiet man by nature and hated being mobbed by hordes of women and I saw him take flight and run down the street!!! No doubt he returned later when the coast was clear to see our Chairman about the car sale. His mother resided in a Nursing Home in Bristol and he used to visit her regularly.

The ladies' toilet was situated on the ground floor and at the time we had a female Managing Director, wife of the Chairman, and her office was at the top of the building on the third floor. We all knew she was a bit fed up with walking down two flights of stairs when she needed to powder her nose - and walking back as well. By the time she had done the round trip it was time for her to powder her nose again.

On the middle floor we had three gents toilets and we were incensed one day to notice that senior management had decreed that the best of the three was to be used by them alone. One morning we saw a notice, "For Management Use Only". Of course young Bluelight's brain swung into gear. I suggested to gleeful work colleagues producing supplementary notice to be placed beneath their notice, saying "For Big Nobs And Big Noises!" This led to a flash of inspiration to make two other notices, for the second cubicle, "Gentlemen" and for the third, "Allcomers".

The management must have seen the funny side but we were rather surprised that the notice on their cubicle was not taken down. Further, our female managing director, must have learned quickly that there was now an "Allcomers" toilet on the middle floor and she used it from that date on.

Life was like that in those days - full of fun and jesting. We started a wishing well in the Allcomers toilet and of course another notice went up, "Ye Olde Wishing Well". People were extremely generous and obviously had lots and lots of wishes because after a few days there were loads of copper coins in the bowl beneath the water. However, the management left a stern notice on the cistern, "You will desist from using this convenience for any reason other than it's intended design - the proceeds have been donated to a suitable charity." What a long winded way of saying, "No wishing wells please!"

One week the Company Secretary decided to have a cost cutting exercise aimed at saving money when using the photo-copier. A notice signed by him was placed over the Xerox saying, "In the interest of economies, please use both sides". Of course this kindled young Bluelight's humour button. I photocopied the notice and stuck it on the toilet doors. This caused a riot - everyone was laughing, including the Company Secretary, who was an ex colonial diplomat and spoke with a very posh British voice. I got him off to a tee and impersonated him often, making people fall over laughing. He found out and walked into my office one day and remarked he had heard I was the company mimic and would I speak like him. "Of course old boy!" I said in his voice, "tell me old chap, are you going to introduce any cost cutting exercises this week?" I carried on like this for a while and it was a bit exaggerated and he started laughing, remarking that he didn't think he talked quite like that. "Now listen, old chap, you do, you might think you say it this way but actually you say it that way." He collapsed laughing and of course whenever I saw him we had to have a little session.

Well that's all for now - I have loads of stories like this and then some great ones about some peculiar customers I met when I used to be a Painter and Decorator, and of course lots of Ambulance stories. All I need is some time to write the stories and with the workload Mrs Bluelights is throwing at me I am surprised I have written this.

Do you know, we are actually stuck for a colour to paint our new kitchen wallpaper? It was first to be Blush Stone but this was rejected when we tried a sample. Then Soft Peach - we actually bought 5 litres. It looked awful on the bit of wall we painted. So back to the shop for the third time when we bought Soft Caramel - Ugggh! It was dreadful. Then we saw some paint Vinyl Silk Emulsion Buttermilk we actually had in the garage - MUCH BETTER but not quite dark enough, decreed Mrs Bluelights. We are going back to the shop for the fifth time tomorrow - wish us luck!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Sunday Roast

The Fragrant Scent of a Woman: Who IS Fragrant Liar?

This week's interview is with Kimber, blogger of Fragrant Liar,
Home of the Reluctant Midlifer.

Her catchy tagline is "A grin cheese on wry with a side of ROFLMAO" which she translates to “toasted, tasteless, and dry, but if you roll on the floor laughing, it will all go down a lot smoother.” It's all clear now, isn't it?

And here is her little graphic, familiar to many

Thank you for the interview, Kimber.

A very warm welcome to you and your followers.

Here are the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I have this unquenchable need to entertain myself and feel smart, to massage and manipulate ideas into words, and throw the concoction onto a page. That need has been with me since I first learned to spin a story, undoubtedly when Mom asked who scratched the name Kimmie into my headboard with a bobby pin, and I blamed it on the cat—whose name was Herman. Dead giveaway, right? I mean, obviously, Herman wouldn't scratch my name now, would she? Fortunately, blogging combines my desire to write and be read, not necessarily to take responsibility for it. Mostly I entertain myself, but sometimes somebody gets a chuckle, and I know I’ve done my job.

When I was thinking about becoming a blogger, I knew I needed a unique platform. Fortunately, we're each unique, so problem solved! I could just be me! But I didn't want to bore anybody, so I decided my focus would be busting the stereotypes around what it means to be me, a, um, uh, midlifer. There, I said it. But wait! Don't judge me for my mileage! I've still got the same chassis I've always had, even though the paint job has lost some luster. See, I'm not your traditional older woman. I am in fact an older woman/mom/nana, but I'm also so much more. Times have changed since the days of our grandmas. Older women are more vibrant, vivacious, and savvy than ever before. I refuse to be marginalized because I am no longer the target market for Tampax. I want my blog to reflect that.

(Looks as though you are still the lassie with the classy chasis, Kimber, LOL)

What's the story behind your blog name?

"Fragrant lie" was a slip of the tongue I made while attempting to call someone out for lying. My first husband, as I recall—or maybe my second. Those days are all a blur. The bungling made me laugh, though, and whenever I heard the expression “flagrant lie” I was reminded of my gaffe. Twenty-five years later, I sat with my hands poised over the keyboard anticipating that some fabulous blog name would hit my frontal lobe and pour out my fingers. I knew I wanted something unique to me, that captured my personality, that allowed me the freedom to write with my authentic voice—irreverent and uncensored—to the degree that I wouldn't need a content warning (sometimes a point of debate). The first thing that popped into my head was Fragrant Liar, and I said, "Oh hell yeah. That's it." Who knew that a goofy gaffe from decades past would come back to immortalize me, eh? Heh. I don't think much happens by accident, so I typed it in and made my first post, and the rest is another chapter in my history.

(Interesting history, Kimber, and the blog name works very well)

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

There's not just one best thing, but many:

1) Being my own boss. I'm my own creative director, writer, and publisher with full editorial control. I choose what I say, how I say it, and when I want to say it. Heh, I always wanted to be a loose cannon . . .
2) Relationships. Do you know how many cool people I've met over the last 16 months? I don't either, but it's a lot. The people I visit and who visit me have become my ‘hood. We could totally share sugar and eggs.
3) Comments. I admit, I am a comment slut. I can’t help it really. The witty feedback people give is like peanut butter crackies—too hard to resist. And what an endorphin surge!

(Just had th chuckle at this. Yes, I agree it is great to receive lots of comments)

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

For personal blogs like mine, I'd say write what matters to you—what says something about you. Then trust that it will mean something to readers. If you're boring yourself to yawning, maybe you oughta rethink hitting that POST button (I beg you). Reveal about yourself only what you feel comfortable with the world knowing in perpetuity. That said, take some risks. Break out of your square box. Tear open the envelope. Embrace your unique voice. Make no apologies for who you are and what you believe. Besides, we all have far more in common than not; and chances are that revealing you got caught with your hand down your pants picking your wedgie is an experience millions of people can identify with, even if they won't admit it!

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

There are brilliant bloggers out there. It would be hard to pick just one significant post above all others. Plus, I'm kind of a shameless promoter, and would only end up linking you back to my own blog. Ha! Ever read Fragrant Liar?

Oh, alright. I am consistently blown away by Jimmy Bastard. This post in particular really captured my heart: Behind the Cloak. Such writing this man generates, and he always, always rocks me. Alas, he's a married man and lives across the pond.

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

As a humor blogger, I’m going to translate “significant” to mean which posts topped my “Greatest Hits” in the context of what my blog is all about. Since that’s a two-way tie, I’ll go with these:

This Number Doesn’t Fit, how I feel about getting older.
All By Myself, the changes I’m facing in my life RIGHT NOW.
And for sheer fun, The Morning After, since it's often a metaphor for my life.

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

The bloggers that make me laugh, open my eyes, or resonate in a big way are my go-to blogs. With so many incredible blogs out there, I couldn't pick just two. Really. So here are four:

Julie at Midlife Jobhunter, Always honest, poignant writing from a good friend (who'd rather be floating on Lake LBJ than just about anything else).
Foxy at The Fox Den, My sassy Hoo-Ha sister who accepts me as I am and always gives me a chuckle.
Jayne at InJaynesWorld, Cuz nothing is sacred over there, and Jayne says what I think. Plus if she lived closer, I'd be over at her place all the time.
"Irish" at Irish Gumbo. Hey, I needed a token tripod. Plus, his posts are honest and pure and affecting and wonderful.

(Thanks for these, Kimber, I will write to them but I am very pleased to have met Irish Gumbo, who was roasted last week)

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 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).

I actually would like to know what it's like to roast on a spit—without being impaled, I mean, and without the fire. Everybody would be stare and salivate while their stomachs growled. Cool as that might be, I'd worry I'd be too tough to chew without a stout beer chaser.

Actually I can't imagine life would have ANY meaning without my family and a home overflowing with love and laughter. So I'll give you three other things:

1) Sinfully rich, hot, and chewy peanut butter crackies. With a frigid glass of milk. (You totally knew that was coming, didn't you?)
2) My muse. She's kind of sinful too—and totally unreliable—but I'm keeping her. (Plus she knows all my secrets.)
3) A positive outlook and a good sense of humor. (They're like boobs; they travel in pairs).
4) Cats. (Lap warmers, company keepers, poop outsiders.)
5) Pork chops. Thick. Grilled. Juicy. (Followed by peanut butter crackies and milk.)

Dude, you KNOW what happens when you give me finite numbers. One word: I rebel! (See, not so good with numbers.)

(Hey Kimber! 3 does not equal 5! Or maybe it does in your case! LOL, but it's all interesting reading)

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

Invasion of the Blogger Snatchers. SYNOPSIS: When every man, woman, and child on Earth becomes a blogger, their lives are slowly sucked into their laptops as they adopt personas that look like them but are not precisely them—if they could just step away from their screens, escape their iPods and WAKE UP, humanity might have a chance! But no, for the alien iPad has landed.

Cast: Fragrant Liar played by Miz Attitude Holly Hunter. Sidekicks include ALL OF YOU. Sorry, you succumb in the end, and all is lost.

(Gee! I just love a happy ending!!)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Honestly, I would be me. I like me. Besides, who else would torture my family if I wasn’t around to do it? I would do a few things differently, but I'd still be a writer. Of the paths I'd take, knowing now what I didn't know then, I'd move some priorities to the forefront. Like spending more time with my baby sister, who passed 18 months ago. I’d see more of the world—much more—and write about it.

(Now this is most interesting. Nearly every person I ask this question is satisfied with being themselves with perhaps a couple of mods - this is great)

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. Which would you prefer to be: a bestselling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, or anything else you choose, and why?

Eddie, I'm going with all of the above. I’m all about over-indulgence and, well, why not?

(Why not indeed! If you're gonna hit the big time, do it big! See you in Who's Who!)

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

Duh! Peanut butter! As for the lickery, I'd probably pull out all the stops for Josh Lucas, or the love of my life, whoever gets to me first.

(I am saying nothing! except I love peanut butter! I have it on toast every morning, that or Marmite!)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

After I wake from a good night's sleep, still nestled in McCreamy’s arms, I rise to sip a steaming cup of cinnamon hazelnut coffee, followed by a relaxing walk on the sandy beach just out my back steps, where the warm sun and a clean, gentle breeze caresses my skin; after which I return to a hot breakfast prepped just the way I like it by McCreamy; where after, I retreat to my cozy study to write for a few hours; where after, McCreamy and I shop and lunch in the nearby village before returning home to the inviting ambiance of our cottage; where after, the kiddos all come over for a grilled feast, made by McCreamy; and when I'm done with all that I go in and put on some clothes.

I did it! One sentence! Woot-woot!

(Congratulations! That's the longest sentence we have had so far and I've just submitted it to The Guinness Book Of Records)

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

In addition to being a blogger, I am a fiction writer, but mostly the dream of being a NYT bestseller is a figment of my imagination. Therefore, I'm going with me, yet again, Eddie. I am totally fictional. However, one day SOON, I will be an authentic published author. I have three novels in progress, three more plotted out, at least two memoirs, and a whole lot more stuff in the queue. But who has the time!? If anyone would like to publish me for reals, don't hesitate to look me up, eh?

(Gosh what talent and there's more to you than meets the eye! Good luck and best wishes for your novels and writing - hope you are famous one day - remember little old me, won't you!)

And finally, since you answered all those questions, I invite you to ask me one in return—it's the least I can do. Okay, fire away! Anything you like! (Jeepers, what have I done?)

Eddie, I appreciate that this wasn't like a Comedy Central roast, where I’d have my ass handed to me on a microphone by 100 of my best friends who couldn't wait to skewer me. However, it's my turn now.

What is the one question you are dying to ask your interviewees but wouldn't dare?

Now that has put me on the spot which I am sure will amuse a few of my reader friends LOL

Out of this question came a question I have subsequently adopted on all roasts, What was your most embarrassing moment? Folks I emailed Kimber with this question and this is what she said. "HA! It's YOUR turn! I have MANY embarrassing moments. But that's probably not the question you are dying to ask but don't dare. Is it? Cuz you dared."


LOL Gosh this lady is a cool customer, isn't she? or as they say across the pond, "She's a real sharp cookie!"

Immediately I thought of another question but made the big mistake of not writing it down - so I have completely forgotten what it was. Some of you will remember my thinking cap - just put it on . . . . . . yes, got it! Here it is and Kimber you must answer it on a comment attached to this post! . . . . . and that includes everyone reading this roast! EVERYONE!! LOL

Kimber, if you woke up tomorrow morning a man, what would be the first thing you would do? . . . . and then what would be the second thing you would do?

There, a real 'snorter' for you - and answer it please!!!! LOL

Oh! I suppose you all want to see what I would write if I awoke and found myself a woman (after coming to terms with the shock!!) First thing I'd do - START TALKING. Second thing - PICK UP THE PHONE! LOL


Just heard from Kimber and here is her answer to my question which was the answer to her question. Getting dizzy here! I copied from her comment - really Kimber!!! I am utterly shocked!!

Eddie, in answer to your question, if I woke up a man, the first thing I'd do is check out the new equipment and immediately start comparing myself to others. I would then immediately start filling up my new little black book. For research purposes, natch. I am a writer, after all.

Thank you Kimber. btw it is Sunday now in Australia in answer to your question about time zones.

Thanks again Kimber for your great interview.
Folks she has just been on Haitus but now is back in Blogsville.

Today's Sunday Roast with Fragrant Liar is the 121st 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's roast is that great detective, Secret Agent Woman

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Sunday Roast

Irish Gumbo? Are You Kidding?! Here’s Hoping It Tastes Better Than It Looks!

(Folks - his words not mine! LOL)

The face behind the hilarious 'motif'; his familiar calling card.
Thanks TechnoBabe 'graphic' is a much better word.

(Love it)

This week's interview is with Kevin
who writes the blog,
Irish Gumbo .

Thank you for the interview, Kevin

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here are the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Because I must. It was Lord Byron who said “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.” I discovered this about myself a few years ago, but never fully comprehended it until October 2008 when I started blogging as an outlet for all that pent-up nonsense and rubbish that was clogging my brain.

(It is a great escape from reality isn't it? I find I can 'switch off' from normal life very easily)

What's the story behind your blog name?

Ha! The second post I ever wrote, Irish Gumbo, Explained, addresses that very topic. As usual, I took a simple concept and made it much more complicated than necessary. It has to do with my ancestry, thinking too much, making gumbo…oh, and beer was probably involved. The short version is that good gumbo can be made in an infinite number of ways, and sometimes you never know what you are going to get when you stick that spoon in the bowl…which describes me quite well. But that uncertainty doesn’t matter as long as the end result tastes good!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The fame, adulation, beautiful women…wait, hold up, that’s the fantasy version. In reality, I have found the best thing to be more than one best thing. Creative outlet, cheap therapy, communication of ideas, making friends (even if only digitally in most cases) and a sense of community I never knew I lacked until I started.

(Yes - there are some great people in BlogLand and it is fun getting to know them through blogging)

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Be honest. Be brave. Do it out of love, not obligation.

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

Oh, my. I read a lot, always have, and blogging has only increased my information overload. I honestly couldn’t recall specific posts by name, but I can offer up a short sampling of blogs that have consistently made me think, cry, and/or laugh (all important things to do), in no particular order:

Rene at Not The Rockefellers

Braja at Lost and Found In India

Captain Dumbass at Us and Them

Greenfingers at A Gardener’s Life In Motion - Idiot’s Stew (Sorry URL appears not to work - does anyone know the correct URL?)

I had to stop there because I realized there are a lot of folks to whom I am indebted for so much. Perhaps the easier way to do it would be to check out my blogrolls.

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

Blood Of My Blood, written in January 2009 and inspired by a conversation with my beautiful daughter. Other posts I have written (in particular, this one) may have garnered more comments, but that true story that still amazes me to this day.

(Thanks, Gumbo, I'll read this tonight)

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

Captain Dumbass at the aforementioned Us and Them
Ron at Clark Kent’s Lunchbox
Why? Because they both make me realize I am not as incompetent as I think I am when it comes to being a father and a writer. Wait, that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, does it? I hasten to add that they both are fine fellows and accomplished writers/bloggers in their own rights!

(I'll write to these gents asap)

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):

Writing. Photography. My daughter. Okay, technically, my daughter isn’t a “thing” (unless she is misbehaving), but I cannot imagine my life without her presence.

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

I’d probably make a terrible casting agent, but maybe thinking of it in terms of a mash-up of movies would explain it. Put the following in a digital blender:

Apocalypse Now

Any of the “Pink Panther” series

Cool Hand Luke

2001: A Space Odyssey

Pulp Fiction

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Cold Mountain

Risky Business

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Whizz for a bit, pour into your eyes and enjoy!

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Myself, but only because next time, I swear, I’ll get it right. Failing that, I’d say Thierry Henry or Paolo Maldini…because just once, I’d love to be that good at football, and still have some class!

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

Writer/photographer, because I could love what I do, and do what I love.

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

Sorry to be boring, but chocolate it is. Oh, and a gentleman never gets licked and tells, does he? (grin)

(As a perfect gentleman I never tell also, but sometimes I grin LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

Wake up when I’m ready, feeling rested and relaxed so that I could write another chapter in my next best book, spend time and break bread with family and friends, and then fall asleep knowing that I am loved.

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

Gene Wolfe. I still have a paperback copy of his “The Shadow of The Torturer” which I purchased nearly 30 years ago. He may be classified as science fiction/fantasy, but to me his work is just plain great storytelling. The richness and detail of his writing leaves me awestruck.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I can only pick one?

(Off to the confessional my boy! quick!)

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

Do you believe everyone is beautiful when they smile?

Yes actually I do. We were meant to smile, and it is more natural to smile. I read somewhere that when we smile we use fewer facial muscles than when we scowl. So being a lazy 'so and so' I decided quite early to smile. Also I harken to my grandmother's words which still ring true today:
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you - weep and you weep alone!"

She also used to say this to us when we were kids, "May you have miles and miles of smiles."

Well that was great fun Kevin, thanks for the interview - let's have a quick look at your blog screensave. Crumbs! it looks as though you are already being roasted!!


Today's Sunday Roast with Kevin at Irish Gumbo is the 120th 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's interview is Fragrant Liar just back
and refreshed from her hiatus.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fond Memories Of A Dear Patient

Some of you have requested I post the story about the dear lady I mentioned in my previous post when answering the question about my most poignant moment. This was my first ever post which I am amending to fully remove the identity of the lady and the hospital involved. When time permits I shall be writing a series of stories about my Ambulance Service days. Some are touching and some are hilarious. This story is true, but I am making it entirely anonymous, like I should have done at the outset. So here it is - get a box of tissues ready because it is very sad.

The sun had set upon the life of a dear lady. Tears welled inside me as I put pen to paper to write a sympathy card for the family. This is so silly of me acting this way, I thought. It goes against all our basic training, “Be kind but don’t get too involved with them!” Anyway, this dear lady was no relative of mine, nor friend of particularly long standing, yet in a way I think I had grown to love her. She had become so dependant on me, and she was so demanding. Love often stems from total dependency.

At the end of her life she became remarkably awkward – she did everything the wrong way round. I offered her the left arm of her coat first when helping her into it, but she gave me her right hand and consequently so often she ended up wearing her coat the wrong way round. She always reprimanded me for 'getting it wrong'. I asked her quite frequently if she was dyslectic or if she had been a breech baby. Certainly, she was so impatient she must have been a premature baby – never could she have lasted the full nine months! She kept us all on our toes constantly!

But she was so nice and so generous with her sweets and chocolates and kind words, and she had an infectious smile and charm, all of her own. I remembered on one occasion arriving at the hospital pushing this lady in her wheelchair. There was a real commotion when she stood up, veering sharply to the left with me trying to hold her upright, whilst trying to take off her coat as well - what a struggle! "What are you trying to do to me, strangle me?"

"Don't tempt me!" was my reply. Even she saw the funny side and one of the nurses nearly fell off her chair laughing. It was the highlight of the morning us arriving, or should I say, this lady arriving at the Dialysis Unit - what a personality she was.

Another time she was carrying a zimmer frame whilst I pushed her in the wheelchair. "Watch out folks a Dalek is coming!" I laughed, and she joined in the fun shouting, "Exterminate them! Exterminate them!" We enjoyed sharing the fun with the nurses. The number of times I nearly broke my neck tripping over on her wretched zimmer frame - it was always in the way, with nowhere to put it in the ambulance except on my front passenger seat. There was usually an amusing incident or two because she was a great character. How I miss those humorous times with her.

With fond memories like this, I returned to the task of writing the sympathy card in my best handwriting, choosing my words carefully. After all, this very special lady was 93 years young, a renal patient whom I had been taking back and forth to the Dialysis Unit three days a week for well over two years.

I was so pleased she was a committed Christian. I had no worries whatsoever about her salvation. We had talked about such things many times and I told her that one day, in the next life, we would both be young again and we would have a race and she would win. "You bet I will", she said, "can't wait to lick you!" She was a very competitive type. During an earlier conversation she had told me that after the death of her daughter, taken from her at an early age, she felt a very strong presence and saw a face of a young girl in the clouds smiling at her lovingly, as though the girl intended to convey to her, "It's alright Mum, I'm OK, don't worry." She told me that after that experience she felt much better.

I began to write:
Safe in the loving arms of Jesus.With fondest memories of a very kind and wonderful lady who I shall miss, more than words can say. I consider myself extremely privileged that our paths crossed and I was so pleased to have been able to help your mother, albeit in a small way.

Throughout her suffering there was only a good word for others, a lovely smile on her face and she possessed a great sense of humour - my we had some fun together.
All my colleagues at the Ambulance Service are saddened at her passing - she was highly regarded and loved by all.

She is now reunited with her husband and daughter - taken away so cruelly when so young.

I know I have a friend in Heaven and I know that Earth's loss is Heaven's gain.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time.

God Bless you all.
I folded the card and placed it inside the envelope and thought back to happier times just three months before. There were three patients in the ambulance en route to the Dialysis Unit. This lady was seated in her usual place with a blanket of course, just passing through her home village, on our way to collect another patient at a town near the sea.

This second lady was another special lady, whom I shalll call Pearl. I fondly remember the look on her face when I handed her Christmas card with the words inside, "To Pearl, the nicest little gem in the whole jewel box".

"I shall always keep this", she smiled.

(Sadly she has died as well - in fact most of my patients have but I heard the other day two of the younger men have had successful kidney transplants. I heard this great news six months after my retirement. I jumped for joy. There was a time I lost so many patients I was given the nickname, The Terminator.)

The journey's silence was broken when my first lady saw the village cross mounted on some steps, situated in the Town's square, where she grew up. "I was born here, you know - see that cross with the steps? I used to jump off that when I was a little girl." I pulled over and stopped the ambulance. "Are you going to show us how you did it?"

She retorted in words she often used to me when I teased her. "Don't be such a silly ass!", she said, laughing, and we proceeded on our way. A few miles on she said, "See that house? My dad was born there". I could not help thinking that it was as though she realised that she would not see these things many more times. Earlier, I had picked her up from her bungalow. I knew the key password and let myself in. There was just time to feed the cat and get her ready. She needed her boots on so I bent down on one knee and helped her put them on. She used to enjoy a little bit of jesting so I said, "Darling, will you marry me? Look I'm on my knees!"

"Then you'd better say your prayers, you silly ass!" was the reply. I helped her to her feet. She was nowhere near as able to walk as she had been even recently with her zimmer frame. I was becoming very worried about her - I almost had to carry her once or twice and I found her lying on the floor one morning. I had to report the incident, of course but she was very worried what the authorities would do. She always wanted to die at home and she was very concerned that she might be 'put away' in a nursing home. There was nobody else there during the day because her son was at work. Of course the home help carers came twice a day but that was not enough. Her condition deteriorated rapidly until she could not walk at all and I used to wheel a wheelchair in through the back door and out to the ambulance.

The nurses at the Dialysis Unit and I worked together to make her life as comfortable as possible - we all knew she was slowly dying, and so did she. One Friday was the last time I took her in for treatment. I remember very well on that evening, after treatment, assisting a nurse with her onto the scales, into her coat and into her wheelchair. The nurse talked comfortingly to her, saying she would soon be home. That was the last time they saw her.

Next Monday morning I arrived at her house and sensed that was all different - that it would never be the same again. She was not ready - she was in bed. She smiled at me as I entered her room – I shall never forget it. She said, "I'm not going to go for dialysis any more. I'm so tired and unwell, and I want to end it all now – I have decided that it is time for me to see my husband and my daughter again, and Jesus."

She kissed me on the cheek affectionately and thanked me for all I had done for her, and for my kindness. In a way I think she loved me too. She was so sincere. It was genuine gratitude which was very touching. For the last few weeks I had been intending to get a photograph of us together but kept forgetting my camera – now there was no chance of this, regrettably. I tried hard to persuade her to continue with dialysis - I knew that without it her body would be poisoned and she could not last much more than a week. I gave her six chances to change her mind over the next few days by which time her relatives were there at the bungalow. This wonderful lady was resolute and we all respected her wishes - it was indeed time for her to go, it was her decision and she had made it.

The funeral service at her local Church was very uplifting. She had organised it all a long time ago. She had chosen her favourite hymns including, "Rock of Ages" and "Abide with me". I was very touched when the Vicar, noticing me in uniform seated at the back of the church, said, "I see this lady's Ambulance Man is here". I nodded. "Wonderful", he said.

Goodbye, dearest friend
God Bless and RIP
I told you you would need a box of tissues
I am highly honoured to recieve Post Of The Week for this post which means a lot to me: the post and the award. Thank you Hilary of The Smitten Image, 9th June 2010
If you enjoy a nice cry and have the tissues with you then you might like to read
Funeral For A Wonderful Lady

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Life Is Good Award

Firstly, I congratulate you, TechnoBabe, on your award and I loved your answers (and your questions).

I am highly honoured to receive this reward - many thanks my new 'bloggy' friend whom I am very pleased to have met recently. I agree that this is a great way of getting to know bloggers and what makes them tick.

I am going to enjoy answering some questions for a change - I normally ask questions on my Sunday Roast column, as you well know, 'Teccie'. And I will have to dream up 10 new questions for my chosen Life Is Good Academy Award choices. And you inquistive lot will wonder, who will they be? No cheating and sneaking and looking at the bottom of my post just yet!! Curb your curiosity! You'll have to wait until I answer all the questions! LOL

(Nice little award - like the rainbow - and it makes you feel good just looking at it)

I am privileged to share this award with all these beautiful people who I do not know at present and whom I shall be visiting when time permits. So I hereby accept gratefully one sixth of the award which will clone itself into a complete picture and be nailed ceremoniously to my sidebar, with great pride.

Award Recipients:
Eddie Bluelights at Clouds and Silver Linings
Mami at
Unknown Mami
Gappy at
Single Parenthood
lisleman at
A Few Clowns Short
Jeanie at
Living Consciously . . . . . . andSassy Pants Freckle Face

Notice how graciously I accept awards compared to my arch rival and friendly adversary, Jim Suldog. He really puts us through it when we give him awards so send him one if you dare!! I will, as you will see! LOL.

I am sure this award has a great pedigree stretching all the way back to 1485. I know a lass called Sarah, at Cottage Garden Studios presented it to TechnoBabe recently but I have not researched it's genealogy much further back.

Right!! TechnoBabe, you asked me some questions so here are my answers.

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I decided to blog anonymously right from the start. When I began blogging I was active in the ambulance service and I immediately thought of the name Eddie Bluelights. One or two people actually thought this was my real name because I am always referring to Mrs Bluelights. My very closest friends know my real name but I do think we all have to be careful regarding hiding our identities on line. There are some awful people out there. I decided quite early to gradually introduce my photographs which I think is quite safe to do. Did you know I have a blogging sister? She is also anonymous and calls herself Maggie May of Nuts In May.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
It was Mrs Bluelights and my first serious argument, about 3 years into our marriage (now 37 years, crumbs is it that long?). I do not know what it was about! Something stupid I expect. I stormed out of the house and walked and walked. Problem was it started raining and I did not take a coat with me, nor an umbrella. I got absolutely soaked and got furious!! Being a young buck I had not yet learned the art of 'suffering in silence!" LOL I arrived back, drenched and was greeted by gales of laughter! I had to smile and I started laughing too - we ended up in hysterics. Since then I do what it says in the Bible. "Let not the sun go down on your anger", meaning always make up before you go to bed . . . . and it works!

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the face in the mirror?I am never good in the mornings - it takes me until 10am for me to get into second gear! First thing in the morning I see a bleary eyed figure with loads of stubble on his face, staring at me, saying "God did I really grow all that last night?" The figure glares at me in disbelief sometimes; he is wise old sod but he is probably hoping there is an imperfection in the mirror because surely he is much, much younger than this! I sometimes look and ask myself, "Where has my youth gone - I feel exactly the same as I did 30 years ago except I creak at the joints a bit more!" All the ladies look young! All the men look young! Woe is me! As the day progresses I come slowly alive and my reflection improves a bit. In winter my reflection and I both consider it is much safer to hibernate!

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

I read somewhere that on very hot summer days somehow it is much more cooling to drink HOT drinks, would you believe. The article went on to discuss that Indian folk like hot curry and this actually cools them in hot weather. But to answer your question, cool Cranberry Juice - wonderful stuff.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
I have not had a lot of time for myself recently with all this work Mrs Bluelights is giving me on her endless 'do lists' LOL. However, when time permits I love to play the piano. Now I am retired I aim to re-learn all my previous party pieces, Scott Joplin to classical composers.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

Golly! It's a bit late to tell you I want to be a brain surgeon! However, I would like to enter a healing ministry to lay hands on the sick and make them well for the great creator in the sky. Just imagine the pleasure anyone would have making people well again and actually helping people to overcome cancer even.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the class shy person, or always ditching school? Describe who you were if not one of these.

None of these! I was the practical joker! I lit fireworks which went bang - we call them bangers!! I used to put string fuses in them and place them in the toilets next to some poor innocent doing what comes naturally. The bang put the fear of God in him (them) and usually a master sprinted towards to toilets trying to catch the culprit, but I was outside, safe and watching and laughing. What a naughty boy I was!

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what do you see?
By poignant I take it to mean sharply moving. It was in the Ambulance Service and an elderly renal patient decided to stop her kidney dialysis. She was a wonderful person, so kind and loving. I had been taking her, and others, in iand out of hospital for about three years and we became very close. I tried to persuade her to continue with dialysis. I tried 6 times! But she decided she had had enough and wanted to see her husband again and her daughter, who had both passed on years ago. She died after a week and I went to her funeral in my ambulance uniform. Before she died she thanked me for looking after her and she kissed me goodbye. I guess in a way I loved her and I am sure I shall meet her again one day elsewhere, and she will be young again. I have republished this post by popular request and it follows in my next post, titled Fond Memories Of A Dear Patient.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
It is very easy to be myself in my posts when I am relating actual events, like that recalled in the previous question. I did a post on it, my first ever, but I need to rewrite it because I have left the ambulance service and I have to make it more fictional. However, most of my writing is humorous and I just love to make people laugh.

10. If you had the choice to sit and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

I would read, every time, or blog if I have time. Although I agree the phone is a very useful means of communication I do not like to 'gabble' for hours and hours, making small talk like some do! If I have something to say I will gladly ring someone but I would prefer to correspond by email. In reality recently I do not have a lot of time for anything other than getting the house straight after a major kitchen refurb. The worst is over I am pleased to say.

"Oh! Eddie, you do rabbit on, don't you? Have you got verbal diarrhoea again?" . . . . some will be wondering!
So there you have it. Great fun and bang goes my early night! All your fault TechnoBabe! I shall be bleary eyed again when I look in the mirror tomorrow morning.
Now it gives me great pleasure to announce six bloggy buddy brilliants to whom I wish to pass on this highly prestigeous award, the LIFE IS GOOD AWARD. And, yes, life is good, isn't it?

Marguerite at Cajun Delights

Ethel Mae Potter at The adventures Of fred And Ethel
SueAnn at SueAnne's Journey
Joanna Jenkins at The Fifty Factor
Eva at
Wrestling With Retirement

"To Whom It May Concern" (LOL) at Eternally Distracted
and I am adding a brave 7th for none other than:
Jim Suldog at Suldog(Golly, what have I done? LOL)
Oh! and I must include the lovely Alix at Casa Hice (lovely lass who told me once she loved me! swoon)
And of course there are others I would love to add but I know they are very busy right now - but another time perhaps!
Now would the nominees answer my ten questions please to fulfill the contractual obligations hereto and to have a good laugh to boot, to get to know each other and smile and have a glass of wine and have witty fellowship with one another? Here are my questions:

1. Do you write blog posts to please yourself or to please your audience?

2. How do you make people visit your blogs and to elicit nice comments on your handy work? Do you employ the heavy mob to bully your readers or do you use your gentle wit, charm and good nature. Seriously, what do you consider the best way to interact with your fellow bloggers?

3. If you were starting your blog again would you do something radically different?

4. What is the most significant event in your life to date?

5. Would any of you like to appear on The Sunday Roast programme? TechnoBabe will tell you it is quite painless. If you would like to be interviewed please email me at

6. What do you like to do in your free time? And will the pretty ladies have dinner with me tonight?

7. If you could go back in time which event would be of interest to you most, and why?

8. Are you addicted to blogging? Do you think it is addictive? or can you take it or leave it?

9. Which person on planet Earth, past or present, do you admire most, and why?

10. When this life is over do you think it is curtains or do you think there is an after life?

There that is it - thank you again TechnoBabe - it was great fun.
To conclude I am posting a photo I took today that my then six year old daughter drew on the wall before I hung some wallpaper 22 years ago. The cheeky little mite! She reckons I was 93 then which makes me 115. Or perhaps I was 43 years old then!! That's it - it is a four and not a nine. All is forgiven, my dear!

She gave me a heart though and enormous shoulders but a skinny neck and a bust! A bit like the reflection I get from the mirror I was talking about earlier on. LOL

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Sunday Roast

Is Alyson Really Calling People Names Or Is She Another Wordly One?

Well, just look at this!! I would be frightened to use these urinals in case
I got bitten after a night on the tiles!

Now let's see who's responsible for this toilet humour?

Now there's a mischievous expression if ever I saw one! LOL
What's cooking inside that 'noddle', I wonder?

This week's interview is with Alyson
who writes the blog,
Calling People Names

Thank you for the interview Alyson

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

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

It started because a friend of mine shared his blog with me. It was just a way to pass the time and to communicate with him. My first few posts had no substance what-so-ever, but I’d always enjoyed writing in general and it filled my less than full work day.

In the beginning it was quantity over quality. I posted so often for the first two years that I got burned out. I ended up disappearing for months and when I finally came back, things were different.

Blogging ceased being a time filler and became an obsession. I needed to write and every comment I received fueled the fire. I started to see blogging not only as a cathartic pastime, but as a way for me to gain experience and feedback while doing what I love to do most.

A lot of people say you should write for yourself. I’ve even used that phrase before. But just this past year I realized that writing for a responsive audience is so much more fulfilling. I write for my followers and I write for validation, but probably the biggest reason is because I just love words.

For me, putting together a perfectly worded sentence is the equivalent to an art enthusiast staring at their favorite painting or a stand up comedian listening to an auditorium full of uncontrollable laughter. It makes me happy.

And just so you don't think I'm a complete sap, I should say that writing is also a good way to let off sexual frustration, because my therapist says that hitting people is not an acceptable form of tension release. Some people are into that sort of thing, though.

(Now you wouldn't hit me would you? Very interesting answer and I like your sense of humour)

What's the story behind your blog name?

My blog was originally called “A Woman in Search of”. I didn’t really know where it was going, so that was appropriate.

In 2008 I changed it to “Calling People Names”. I wish I could say there was this long thought process or profound reason, but the truth is I simply had a random epiphany. It fits better with my personality. My writing is usually geared more toward the humorous and the risqué, so if nothing else it serves as a warning.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Naturally my first response would be the same as everyone else’s: other bloggers. Meeting and interacting with people that enjoy this just as much, if not more, as I do was something I never considered, yet deeply appreciate.

One of the best moments for me was getting a comment from a blogger that I’d been reading for a while who I thought didn’t even know I existed. You know how it is? You get enamored with some of these writers that have tons of followers and all you want to do is tell them how much you love their blog, but you feel like a drop in the bucket. To have a person whose writing affected me so much respond in kind was an awesome feeling. (That would be the wonderful Mr. London Street, in case you’re wondering.)

And, of course, there’s the little fact that I can be as obnoxious as I want and no one can bitch slap me for it.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Don’t be afraid to write what you want. The most controversial topics are often the ones that inspire the best posts. You can’t please everyone.

Do not click on comments with foreign symbols: you will see vagina. And not good vagina, more like embalm that shit and bury it vagina.

Interact with the other bloggers and try to stay away from generic comments. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. Sometimes you don’t know what to say except “great post”, but that’s the exception not the rule. Tell them a story you have that relates to their post or comment, or the one part that struck a chord with you the most.

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

The blog post I’m about to share with you is relatively new. I think you’ll find that something spectacular comes across your screen far more often than expected. I find myself thinking, surely there’s nothing better than this. And yet, the next time I check my reader, I’m dazzled by something new that touches me on a deeper level, that makes me laugh that much harder, and that begs the spotlight away from previous favorites.

The post I chose is called Happy Pills, written by a recent Sunday Roast victim, Mr. London Street. He even briefly mentioned it here, but I just couldn’t pick another. This post is raw feeling put into words at its finest and is perhaps the best description of that particular topic I’ve ever read. Certainly the most relateable description. I’m not usually a crier, but I was blubbering by the third paragraph. And then, true to MLS form, I was smiling...then blubbering again. The man is, simply put, a phenomenal writer.

(Agreed, he is a great writer and has a huge following.)

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

That would have to be ‘If there was an Oscar for best performance by a fat kid, I’d win’. There are times when I agonize over a post, wondering if people will hate it. It didn’t even cross my mind with this one. It’s different. While humor is the main theme, all of the stories referenced are significant events from my childhood. There’s a vulnerability in that post, and a few others, that I’m just not capable of in person.

The only problem with writing something you’re enormously proud of is that you’re constantly trying to make it back, to get that feeling again. Whether I’ll make it or not remains to be seen.

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

First, it would have to be Sally-Sal from You, Me, No Adult Supervision. Her blog is one of the first I ever read and I still can’t get enough of it years later. She’s hilarious, wonderfully insightful, and she recently started this foray into fictional stories that has me on the edge of my seat.

Secondly, Ally from today is my birthday!. She’s witty, occasionally outlandish (in a good way), and pretty random. Her stories about working for her newspaper’s classified section (I suppose that’s the best way to describe it) never fail to make me laugh. She also has a weekly series called Wieners of the Week that’s comedic gold (all located on her sidebar). I just hope you hate John Mayer.

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)

1) My contacts. I like my glasses alright, don’t get me wrong. But do you know how dangerous it is to have sexy time when you can’t see what you’re doing? No? Is it just me? Ok, what I meant to say was: Glasses can fall off your face or get fogged up at inopportune times and of course I’m referring to driving.

2) Books. I read incessantly.

3) Breasts. Laugh now, but if you don’t have them you wouldn’t understand the perks. Or maybe you would...

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

A bestselling novelist, of course. Because I get such pleasure out of writing and having people enjoy what I write. And maybe because I’d love to travel the globe, do lovely book tours, and meet some luscious foreign men.

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

Though I love ice cream, I’m not a big fan of licking in general. Past experience scarring and all that jazz. I’d rather be birthday cake flavored ice cream in the form of a shake or in a cup. And as for who...let’s go with Gerard Butler. He looks like he’d like a few sprinkles and I bet he’d be a great spooner.

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

I’m lounging in the sun, alone on a dock at the lake with a Jack Daniels and coke in one hand, a book in the other, and there are no pressing issues to attend to.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

There are certain types of people that go through life being perpetually embarrassed. I would be their queen. I've been seen running naked across a lawn by a senior citizen UPS delivery man. I've turned up in an airport drunker than 40 hells, minus my luggage, my wallet, and my front of my 70 something grandmother. I was a fat kid and I wore spandex and lots of NEON, ok. Embarrassment is my forte; I've come to embrace it. The only problem with finally embracing your inner spandex wearing fat kid, is that a lot of things that faze other people and should faze you as well...don't. For instance, I should probably be horribly embarrassed that I spent my last two hour meeting with a booger hanging out of my nose. Nope. Totally funny. I've changed the spelling of embarrassment to 'B-L-O-G W-O-R-T-H-Y' and so far it's working out just fine.

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

Which previous roast victim would you most like to have dinner with and why?

Well that is a very difficult one, Alyson. I know a lot of bloggers and I have roasted about 30 people since I took over The Sunday Roast in October 2009. There are some great bloggers featured on the show and more great ones in the pipeline. I would be proud to have dinner with any of them, but you did ask me to single out just one.

I am greedy - may I first have dinner with someone who has not been roasted . . . . YET! She has escaped the hook on loads of occasions . . . but one day I shall reel her in . . . I promise! She is a great friend and I would love to dine with Janine at Sniffles and Smiles. She is enormously popular and a multi-talented genius! She is the first person I 'met' in BlogLand.

As for someone who has been roasted by me I would choose David McMahon who wrote his blog Authorblog, sadly now on hold. David is enormously popular and he featured in the 100th Special Sunday Roast. I respect and admire David and I owe him a lot for his encouragement when I first started blogging. Dining with him may become a reality one day when he visits a scheduled nearby city in England.

But there are so many great friends with whom I would want to share dinner, so perhaps we should all have a gigantic party together. Fancy organising it, Alyson?

Thanks again Alyson for your interview - great fun!


Today's Sunday Roast with Alyson is the 119th 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's roast is Irish Gumbo