Sharing the love

An exciting accolade I have been unable to acknowledge properly in the last few weeks is that – I am very proud to say – I have been awarded a reader appreciation award! I am even more proud because I was nominated for this by the superb blogger, April, writer of Aventuras de Abril. I met April on my CELTA at the start of 2011. We both arrived in Ecuador looking for a skill set that would allow us to follow our noses in search of adventure, and we both found what we were looking for. I’ve followed April’s writing avidly in a blog that mixes some beautiful photography, entertaining personal experience and insightful commentary on life in a small community in Ecuador and the social complexities in the clash in viewpoint between Europe and the US and Latin America. As a woman who’s been recommended as one of the InterNations best ex-pat bloggers in Ecuador, I’d recommend her blog any day of the week. Go, read, enjoy.

Now of course, with great accolades come great responsibility, and my responsibilities as a recipient of this award are to observe the following rules.

The Rules:
1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award. – check
2. Answer 10 questions. – see below
3. Choose 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read. – Is 9 that I really like ok?
4. Provide links to these blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been chosen. – in middle of mission. If you make it here before I get in contact, please consider this award yours to take on and do with as you wish.
5. Include the award logo within your blog post. – check

The questions

Your favorite color? As a goth, it was black for a long time. Now I’m not a goth, it’s red. I could say it’s because it’s the colour of passion, love etc. but really it’s just a nice, bright colour that won’t be ignored and it comes in such a huge variety of hues that you can find a shade of red for any purpose or mood that you need.

Your favorite animal? El oso perezoso. Not only is it’s name very cool to say in Spanish, but it is my animal spirit guide. It looks weird and hangs out doing very little. It lives as if every day is Sunday, only without the Radio 4 panel shows.

Your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Tough one. Probably horchata, Mexican style.

Facebook® or Twitter®? As I’m still convinced that Facebook is a direct interface with Beelzebub (inc.), I guess it’s Twitter. Proudly Facebook free, I expect I’ll soon be winning a 21st century Luddite award.

Your favorite pattern? Curlicues and nice colours. Lots of colours.

Getting or giving presents? Giving, but it’s a close call.

Your favorite number? 21. The only time I ever played roulette I won lots of money on 21.

Your favorite day of the week? Sunday. Mostly for the radio 4 panel shows.

Your favorite flower? Gerberas. Red ones, obviously.

What is your passion? Acting and travel. And my whole adult life so far has focused on one or the other. Am I the luckiest girl in the world? Am I the poster girl for how to live your life? I don’t know, and it certainly doesn’t feel like it most of the time, but sometimes I stop and think about things and think just maybe I could be.

Odes to Joy

These are the blogs I read in any down time I get. Some are fellow travellers, some are fellow teachers, some are interesting writers or photographers. All are worth investigating whether you share their passion or just want something to fill your coffee break with. Only about three of them will have any idea who I am or that I follow them so it’s going to be awkward finding a way to fulfil rule #4! Check ’em out.

Atlas Rider

I met the author on a quiet afternoon in Guanajuato, the cultural heart of Mexico. I was travelling through Mexico and Central America, he was motorcycling from the north of the United States to Tierra del Fuego. He didn’t quite make it, but his blog of the trip made fantastic reading and he’s continued to blog on motorcycles, biking and travelling ever since. Highly, highly recommended reading.

The Daily Planet

Another travel friend, we met on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in El Salvador, and then again in one of the busiest, dirtiest cities in the world, Lima. A protester, activist and generally fascinating guy who puts his money (or often lack thereof) where his opinions are and writes about the resulting experiences. His posts are sometimes few and far between, but always worth reading or watching.

Eve Proofreads

As well as offering a valuable service (the clue is in the name) this is a great book review blog which even helped me find great Christmas gift ideas for my nearest and dearest this year. A particular favourite post for me included her ideas on which children’s fiction characters should rule the world. If you like reading, read this.

Old Spouse

This guy has an edge over many of the rest of us finding our way in the blogosphere in that he’s already a journalist and writes for a living. It shows. His weekly posts are sublime and often focus on the ridiculous. He also lives in a city that is in the top three of my ‘must go’ places. If you want to find out where that might be, you’ll have to go read his blog!

Red and Gonzo

A fellow teacher and fellow expat in Peru, this blog covers a range of experience from teaching in Peru to the national obsession with football. Always enlightening and enjoyable this is a nice blog to keep an eye on for everything from ideas for day trips to ideas for new Peruvian must-try dishes.

Those that can…

A teaching blog written by a teacher in England. Sadly her last post appeared in August and suggests she won’t be a teacher for much longer, which is a shame as her blogs are useful, entertaining and thought provoking, and I imagine her teaching is the same.

My Life in Peru

This is my local go-to when I have a question about where to go, what to see, how to get there, what to eat, how to cook it and all the multitude of questions settling in to a new country poses. A generous, interesting fount of all knowledge, this is recommended reading for anyone travelling in the region and an interesting perspective on life in Peru for anyone else.

Drive Nacho Drive

The blog of another lovely couple who have upped sticks and headed off into the wilderness just to see what’s out there. ‘Nacho’ is their trusty VW. Drive is their main activity for the next couple of years. I met them during their time in Lima and check on their progress from time to time. They have progressed far, I’m looking forward to the corresponding blog updates.

The Freckled Reader

Another book reviewer, I started following the Freckled Reader a little while ago and am always interested in the books she picks to review, especially as she ranges from Jasper Fforde to the wonder of Crepes. Her recent posts include an enthusiastic review of Michael Chabon’s, ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay’ one of the best books I’ve read this year. Although books I can read are tough to come by here, so it’s also one of the few books I’ve read this year. I should say it’s one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. And through the Freckled Reader’s blog, more such treasures can be uncovered. Go dig.

Number 10…

I’m relatively new to the WordPress family and don’t have that many blogs that I read regularly. I have to confess to being a binge-reader. I go for a while without reading any blogs other than the ones I follow, then I have a Freshly Pressed epic binge, or find a link with someone through something else and start reading their blog. As a result of this award I’ve had a two day binge read and discovered the likes of The Beard It Speaks, Three Hundred Sixty Five (this link will take you to day 120, which was Freshly Pressed because it’s truly hilarious, if you’re a cat person), as well as countless others who I’ve added to my reader and will be dropping in on from time to time. But as I’m new to all of them, I didn’t have a definitive 10th entry to nominate. There’s a lot of bloggers out there, with a lot of interesting perspectives, different interests and a lot of good cameras. If you’re still reading, welcome to my world. Now go forth and rack up your reader.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Those That Can...
    Jan 01, 2013 @ 17:26:07

    Thank you so much for this – I’m in my last term but planning on staying involved in education in the long term (after a nice break to remind myself of why I loved it to begin with) Thank you again – Esme



    • Pieces of 8
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 14:07:34

      I’m really glad to hear it. I’ve just finished my first year teaching and your blog has provided some much needed perspective in times of crisis. Whatever you do next, I hope you continue to write.



  2. The Freckled Reader
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 14:34:11

    Thank you so much for the mention. I only just came upon this today but it will definitely help send me off into a brand new (and hopefully fruitful) new year. I’ll be sure to check out the other blogs as well.



    • Pieces of 8
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 14:11:12

      I look forward to reading the fruits of your new year! And thanks to you for providing regular, interesting reviews. Living in a place where it’s hard to get books I can read, your blog stocks my ‘must find’ list for my trips home!



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