Friday, 5 December 2014

One Lovely Blog Hop

This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side to ourselves. We've been challenged by another author/ blogger (somewhat like the 'ice bucket' challenge) to list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s/ blogger's persona we all like to project. But we want to show that behind every story is a story, our story, my story, and like everyone else I have dreams, hobbies, problems and goals. This blog hop is a way to share some of them with you, my readers.

The rules are that I share 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to at least 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog, please don’t feel any obligation to join in but, if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be D.B. Nielson), share 7 facts about yourself and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).

I was reading some of the other blogs on this tour. There are some remarkable and gifted writers here and I’m happy to be in their company. Many thanks to D.B. Nielson, author of Seed, for adding me to the blog hop! Dee is the YA/ urban fantasy author of the Keepers of Genesis series.  The first book, Seed, is scheduled a lovely review right here in the New Year.
Her blog includes Indie book updates, reviews and insight into the life of a writer.

So here are seven insights into the dull life of me:

1) I have been a professional stallion handler.  Which was an amazing job, but even more fun was trying to explain to non-horsey people what my job entitled.  It's strange to think we found it normal to discuss sticking our arms up mare's moomoos and dealing with randy stallions.
This seems like a perfect excuse to include a picture of some of the Warmbloods I worked with.

2) Not to keep it too horsey, but all horse riders have some injury or other.  I've ridden many, um -  challenging, horses.  Which means I have fallen off in the last twenty years.  A lot.  I stopped counting after I hit (literally) a hundred.
I've only hurt myself properly once.  I fell off ten years ago - it wasn't even flamboyant, I just landed wrong - which led to a cracked spine.  It means that I am in some level of pain every day, although I've learnt to deal with it; and it was fear of my back completely giving up that made me recently give up a career working directly with horses.
Hmm, that sounds too serious.  Here's a picture of another horse to make up for it.  (he might be the one I did the damage with, but it was never his fault and I still love him)

3) I grew up in Yorkshire, but spent a good chunk of my adult life living in Wales, first to attend Aberystwyth University, and then for various jobs.  I love the pace of life over there, and the people.  My friends all have a very strong Welsh identity.
I confess, I did try to learn Cymraeg, but it is not easy!  I can manage a few polite basics.  Plus I know the Welsh for crematorium.
Yes, you just read that right.
There is some logic behind it - the crematorium was on the same signpost as my university campus, I saw the word every day for three years, so it kinda got stuck.

4) I am very superstitious.
I won't walk under ladders and I annoy the hell out my friends by knocking on wood whenever they say something to jinx what we're doing.  In my defense though, they all know me well enough that they should avoid saying the jinx in the first place!
I won't walk over three grates in a row (which leads to funny looks from other pedestrians); and thanks to my Nanna, I consider it bad luck to cut my nails on a Sunday.  I don't actually know the reasoning behind the last one, but it's been drilled in from a young age, so can't be escaped!

5) I have an aversion to the colour pink.
I don't have a problem with pink itself, and on the very (very) rare occassion I will wear a little of it myself.  But I hate how it's been hijacked to represent everything girly girly.  It's bad enough when you see little girls wearing head to toe pink; but when you see grown women wearing mismatched shades of pink everything? *shudder*
Unfortunately it's started to spread to the horse world.  I'm quite traditional when it comes to riding gear; it sticks in my gut when girls and women turn up with OMG the latest diamantAYH pink Katie Price item that cost them more than (one of my) week's wages.
*deep breath*
As a horse-riding instructor, I actually made it a rule that if one of my students wore something pink, they would have to do the entire lesson without stirrups.

6) Which kinda leads on to point 6 - my nickname is Evil Kelly.  The name started when I was in Ireland, in my first teaching job; and the name stuck!
Now you might be wondering why I have earned this title - don't worry, no people or horses were harmed in the making of this reputation!
I am just a rather ruthless instructor.  If people are paying me for a lesson, they are not paying for me to coo over how they are doing so wonderfully.  A much better use of time is for them to find out what they are doing wrong and to correct it.
Away from the lessons, I might be known for throwing children in muck heaps when they annoy me; or for switching their reins when they're not looking.

7) I am a half-decent cook.  Not so much savouries, but I love baking.  I used to do crumbles and pies from scratch when I got the time.  I like to experiment with brownie recipes, and usually find willing taste-testers.

My favourite quick-and-easy recipe is for a chocolate cheesecake, I always make it for MacMillan coffee mornings, it's very popular.

I won't go into any extreme detail here. All I have to say is that those nominated below are simply great people who love to read and/or create worlds for us to enjoy! Don't believe me? Follow the links to find out more about them.

A.Z. Green - author of Beasthood
Jonel Boyko - book blogger
Olivia Mitchell - booktuber
Wilmar Luna - author of The Silver Ninja