Tag Archives: People

What a lovely award!

One Lovely Blog award

First of all, a long overdue thank-you to Subhan Zein, who nominated me for this award last month. Subhan is an exceptionally gifted writer, which is all the more amazing given the fact that English is not his first language. If you have time, do pop over to Subhan’s blog and read some of his inspiring words.

Right, as always with these things, there are some ‘rules.’ I am supposed to:

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated me (check)
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on my blog and link back (check)
  3. Share seven random things about myself (see below)
  4. Nominate seven or more blogs and notify them on their blogs (um..)
  5. Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere (It’s in this post)

Ok. I posted seven random things about myself not so long ago when I accepted the Very Inspiring Blogger award, so I will just add three more to that (if you read the last seven, the numbers will make sense!), making up to a nice round ten. I will try to be more revealing this time:

  1. I still feel like I’m ‘playing’ at being grown-up. I take comfort from the fact that several people tell me they feel the same way (please don’t burst this bubble for me!)
  2.  I have a birthmark right under my right eye – where I used to put eyeliner back in the 80s (on the inside). It looks like the liner slipped. You’d have to look real close to see it though, I didn’t notice it myself until I started wearing make-up
  3.  I have three business ideas that I have so far been too cautious to do anything about. I don’t know what I’m afraid of – failure..? Or freedom?

Now, as for nominating seven blogs…. I’m not going to follow that rule this time. I go for quality over quantity in my blog reading so don’t have hundreds to choose from, and I want to make sure that a) I don’t nominate the same people all the time, which leads to b) I want these awards to mean something when I give them! Also, as the name of the award is ‘One lovely blog,’ I think I should nominate just that… So…

The One Lovely Blog I would like to nominate for this award is…

Alice Fenner

Alice doesn’t blog very often but I think that illustrates my earlier comment about preferring quality over quantity. She may not write much, but when she does it’s well worth the wait! If you would like to find out more about Alice, you could pop back to 2010, when I interviewed Alice for my Ordinary People series.* Do take a look at Alice’s stories and poems and if you like what you read, I urge you to subscribe by email to make sure you don’t miss a rare treat in your reader!

Alice – There’s no obligation to accept and if you do, feel free to interpret the ‘rules’ as loosely as I did – or even ignore them altogether! Congratulations!

*I will be running a series of ‘Ordinary People’ interviews again this year. If you would like to feature (or nominate someone to feature), please get in touch!

Ten people, ten questions – The results!

First of all, I’d like to say a massive Thank You to everyone who took part. Whether you completed the survey yourself, passed it on to friends, tweeted about it or offered a suggestion for one of the questions – I couldn’t have done this without you!

So, who were the ten who took part…? No-one gave their age or location in the end (well, it was optional… Perhaps I’ll include some demographic questions next time) but I did receive seven images! I had asked for ‘something that represents you, but is not of you.’ I was not disappointed. Here they are (mine is among them. See if you can guess which it is)

And now…. The results!

About You

The first question was: ‘If you were paid a comfortable amount to do whatever you wanted, what would you do with your life?’

30%  said that they are already doing what they want for a living. The rest believe it will be possible to do they want at some point in the future.

Writing was a popular choice – perhaps not surprising, as at least half of those who responded write in some form or another. Doing anything that allows for more time – to travel and spend time with family – also rated highly. One person said, ‘Collect original works of art, especially sculpture.’ I’d love to know who that was!

I found these results massively reassuring – if three in ten people from a (fairly) random sample are doing what they want already, then there is hope for the rest of us! Um, I think I’ve just given away my answer there…


Although 30% of those who responded said they were Jewish, one person pointed out, ‘It’s more in the sense of identity rather than religion.’

When asked how they felt about religion, half of those who took part ticked the ‘I’m not sure’ option. While the overall feel was that it’s a good thing, two of those who responded feel that it is ‘a tool to control societies‘ and one said ‘It separates us as human beings living on one planet.’


This question gave the option of placing yourself on a scale from right to left. 40% described themselves as liberal, with the 50% placed themselves on the left – to varying degrees and just one person placed themselves *just* right of centre.


Two people admitted to not using their vote
– One because  they ‘don’t see the point’ and the other feels
guilty about it. There was just one comment left in this section:

‘I just think it’s a massive privilege and I wouldn’t dream of not voting no matter who the candidates were.’ 

Everyone else used their vote – most of the time
(40% always vote, 40% only sometimes)

Death penalty

A question about the death penalty saw an evenly split response, with 60% saying they do not beleive in it. Comments varied massively with many saying that they would be afraid of a miscarriage of justice. However, the comment I found the most interesting came from someone based in a country that does have the death penalty. This person said:‘There is a death penalty here and it’s been used just once. I think that’s about right.’

People and animals

How do you feel about animal testing?

A fairly mixed response to this question but the comments proved more revealing, with one person pointing out that ‘its more about how the animals are treated than the testing itself.’ Only one person said that they didn’t care about the animals.

Despite this, if it came down to the choice of killing an animal to save a loved one – 100% of those who took part said they would do so.

These responses left me wondering if anyone made the connection between the two questions…

Friends and Family

The ten people were asked: If someone you loved was in pain and asked you to help them end their life, would you do it?

This was always going to be a tough one. 80% said ‘It depends.’ 

Comments included: ‘I don’t think you can truly answer until you’re faced with it in reality, with the person looking at you and asking….’

‘I don’t know if I’d have it in me’

‘Not just about pain but about quality of life. Indignity can be just as hard to bear. Pain can be controlled.’


When asked whether they had ‘ever done something – to another person – that they now regret, a massive 80% said ‘Yes,’ with one saying they regret that they have taken their anger out on others. Only one gave details of a painful regret that he or she still carries with them even though it wasn’t their fault. Most chose not to reveal their regrets, with one person saying, ‘Oh yes, many things… There’s no point in looking back now but if I had my time again I’d do things differently. I think I regret more the things I haven’t said/done than the things I have, though.’

Personally, I don’t mind sharing that I echo that last sentence. I am pretty sure that when my time comes, it’s the things I haven’t said or done that would haunt me, not those I have.


I found the survey results eye opening, especially as I know almost half of those who took part quite well. Some of the results were not so surprising – I expected most of those who responded to place themselves more to the left on the politics question. However, although I like to think I keep an open mind, some of the more detailed comments really made me think, and will continue to sit with me for a while no doubt. I now have more questions I want to ask so there may well be a follow up to this at some point in the future!

Ten people, ten questions… Is here!

Drumroll please…

Today’s the day! If you’re new here, you might want to catch up on this project by reading my recent update

…all caught up? Great. So here’s how it works.

  • Go answer the ten questions. If you have a look and decide not to answer them, that’s ok. But please do pass them on to anyone who you think might answer them!
  • This part is optional – When the questionnaire closes (on 20 July), email me (honestspeaks(at)yahoo(dot)com) or DM me on twitter (using the #10people10questions hashtag) with an image that you feel represents you (but is not of you) and tell me your age (if you don’t mind, to the nearest ten years – e.g. 20s, 30s, 40s etc. – will do) and where in the world you’re based (just the continent will do)
  • Come back here next month to read all about the results.

That’s it! If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, tweet me – or DM/email me if you’re feeling shy – and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully see you back here soon!

Ten people, ten questions – part 1

I recently read this article, asking ‘How well do you know the person sitting next to you?’ over at Stylist magazine, and while I didn’t dare ask some of my co-workers some of these questions outright, it did get me to thinking. How well do we know the people around us? It also made me wonder about our impressions of people we don’t know. Whether that be people in the street or people we work with on a daily basis.

A while back I wrote a series of interviews called ‘Ordinary people,’ where I interviewed some creative types about how they do what they do. This time I want to go deeper. I am interested in what really makes people tick, and I find the best way to get honest answers from people is if they are allowed to be anonymous.

So, this blog post is part of a series that I would like your help with. It’s something of an experiment as I’m not sure how well it will work but I wanted to do something different. So here it is:

  • I am going to ask ten people ten questions – some will be from Stylist magazine’s list, some will be my own, and some will be from other people
  • The ten people will include myself, one family member, one friend, a colleague, someone I will approach in the street (this is really on the edge of my comfort zone!) and the rest will be volunteers
  • Once I have the list of ten people, I will send the questions out in a survey format so that everyone remains anonymous, which I hope will encourage some very honest answers
  • I will write about the experience – about the response I get, about choosing the questions, about what it was like approaching someone on the street and then of course I will post the results. I also plan to post a follow up, but I haven’t yet decided what that will be. It depends on how this all goes.

So, what do I want from you? Well, I need six volunteers for this ‘project’ (if you will). All you need to do is answer the questions (no, I won’t be revealing these in advance) by the deadline (you will have at least a week), and then email on the deadline date to confirm you have done so (this will avoid me identifying your answers by the date/time you email me). With this email, I would ask you to attach an image that you feel best represents who you are (but that wouldn’t identify you).

If you would like to take part, please email me direct: honestspeaks(at)yahoo(dot)com by the end of June. If you would like to suggest a question to be included, please leave a comment below with your suggestion. If you are interested in the results but don’t want to take part yourself, please pass on the link – tweet it (please use the hashtag #10people10questions or #10ppl10Qs), email it to your friends, spread the word!

A warm welcome

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my blog! The poem below is one I wrote several years ago when I was really looking forward to what the future might hold. Since then, I have gone through so much, good and bad, and for a while I lost my way.

Recently, I have been working through some stuff, and I re-read this poem and for the first time ever, I think, I am really starting to believe it. This is my time, and although I know there will be ups and downs (after all, such is life), all things will pass, and I can continue to rise.

If you’re interested in writing, people, poetry, and everything in between, you may find this blog interesting. I will write as often as the fancy takes me, which I am hoping will be more and more often as times goes on!

For now, thank you for passing through, perhaps I’ll see you back here again sometime.

Til next time,

Honest. x