This being the time for reflection on the year past, I recoiled somewhat when I began to reflect on some of the crap we’ve had to deal with over the previous 12 months. Maybe one day, when I’m rich and famous and write my autobiography, you can find out all the things I haven’t blogged about this year. But not today.
Today, instead, I have decided to honour those bloggers who I feel have gone above and beyond the call of duty in brightening up these Ramblings, or causing me to reflect in ways that caught me by surprise.
So without further ado, in a moment of ego and self-indulgence (and what is a blog, if it isn’t a massive dose of ego and self-indulgence?) I am handing out the 2007 Rambling Beard Awards.
Recipients, please place this banner on your site with pride and feel free to link it back to this post. If you have any problems with it, don't hesitate to send me an email and I'll send you instructions
Well I have to start with the Doc, or he’ll sulk, or write a story with me wearing some ridiculous costume or some such thing. But that’s why he’s so deserving of this award – he stops me from taking myself too seriously. When I blog about feeling tired, exhausted and low, he’s the only one who tells me no one cares, or just to shut up and drink my Ovaltine. But before he begins to get smug, I’ll just remind him he owes me a lunch.
Sam, Problem Child Bride
Sam is mad. She’s madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of this year's Mr Madman competition (to paraphrase Blackadder). Well she is on her own blog, with writings that draw you into a world that kicks the legs of expectation off the stool of conventionality. But over on this blog, nothing but her deep warmth and understanding flows through her comments. No matter where my unpredictable emotions take me, with Sam I always get the feeling, she’s been there, done that, and made a seagull trap out of the t-shirt.
Tom was one of the great finds for me in the 2nd half of this year. I was directed to his site by a fellow blogger who told me Tom had recently become a father to a baby with Down’s Syndrome and might appreciate a bit of support from dads who would understand. But quite apart from finding a guy whose son has an extra chromosome, what I discovered is someone a similar age as me with a background in philosophy, is self employed, has an understanding of what happens when depression hits and is very open in expressing how life impacts on him. In short, it’s great having someone I can share notes so closely with.
Jeff doesn’t write huge amounts but he has a presence like an older brother watching out for me: ready to give me a bear hug, ruffle my hair and scare off the bullies in the playground. And although he lives thousands of miles away, so can’t actually do any of these things, he still lends me that sense of reassurance.
I’ve handed out awards to Restaurant Gal before now for the quality of her writing, but as this one is about contributions to me and this blog, RG was my first guest blogger on this site, back in May. She was also the first blogger to allow me to guest post on another site, so a nice bit of mutual backslapping there. In addition to her blogside warmth, I also want to thank RG for her supportive emails behind the scenes.
Mary only began her blog back in January, but it’s been wonderful to see her growing in confidence and readership. But over and above her damn fine writing, I’ve gotten to meet Mary and her family in person several times this year, and she has fuelled me up with coffee on more than one occasion as I’ve been heading home from the Central Belt of Scotland.
Another philosopher with a fondness for Nietzsche, Eryl is also the cofounder of The Storytellers Blog. We met at a Storytelling workshop just over a year ago and have been busy commenting and encouraging each other since.
When Carole first started commenting on my blog, she didn’t just leave one or two on the latest posts, rather she went back through the archives and started leaving comments all over the place - sometimes challenging; always interesting. I was delighted when Carole started her own blog and have been an avid reader ever since. The highlight has to be, however, when she mentioned she could stand on her head and I made a comment that she should prove it by posting a photo – and she did :)
When I came across Kanani, I had the distinct impression that I was in the presence of a real writer, who knew other real writers and for a brief moment I felt slightly intimidated by that. But then I got over it and she never made me feel in any way patronised or inferior. In fact she even awarded me a Quality Time Wasting Prolific Blogger Award, so it would be seriously remiss of me not to return the favour with an award of my own.
Pat would deserve an award for brightening up this place, if for no other reason than she is my most prolific commenter. But far more than that, there is a constant empathy, warmth and twinkle in her eye. And she flirts so subtly she always makes me grin broadly. When I re-shuffled my side bar, I had to create a new category especially for Pat. She is indeed like a luxury hot chocolate, to be savoured and enjoyed.
An Irish-American male to female transsexual who, as of yesterday is now an ex-cop. Every time I try and think about what she has had to go through to get as far as she has my brain climbs out my ears, plugs itself into the electric socket, bungee jumps into a vat of vodka then climbs back in through my nose. Hers is not a decision you take on a whim, and it makes any life changes that I’ve had to make pale into insignificance. My respect for Devin cannot be overstated.
Fat Lazy Guy
He’s young, artistic, a talented guitarist, a superb cook and an excellent communicator. He’s also a little over 480lbs, and one of the few cross-posters from my other blog, Losing a Hundredweight
Janine doesn’t post on her site that often, but she keeps me in a steady supply of jokes. I was also delighted when, after I’d expressed a slight scepticism about her ability to perform cartwheels, she got her husband to film her doing one and uploaded it to her blog. Like Carole’s headstand, it had me grinning for hours.
He spends much of his time posting about archivist things and sports, which are largely an unknown language to me, however Brave Astronaut blew me away when he conspired with a couple of friends to send me some Peanut Butter M&Ms from the States before Christmas, after I’d made a passing comment about how much I’d enjoyed them when I was in Canada, but couldn’t buy them in the UK.
Did I mention I love the new Aston Martin DBS... just in passing, you know, in case anyone is looking to spend a few dollars they have lying around not doing much?
And last, but by no means least, I also want to hand this award to Savannah. Every time she comments and calls me sugar, I’m washed over with a warmth and friendliness that makes me feel I’ve just been cooked pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast
With thanks to everyone who has visited, commented and even lurked across 2007. I wish you all the very best for 2008.
OK, ok, I should have included Charlie.
I've known Charlie for a couple of years and through at least a couple of blogging incarnations. Although I've never met him in person, my image of him is a wild haired, unshaven guy wearing an old dressing gown, sitting on a doorstep smoking a fag while winking at any women walking past. Periodically the resident of the house, a tall man in a black cloak carrying a scythe, stops to ask if he's ready to come in yet. Charlie thinks for a moment, glances through the door then says, "Maybe in a minute," before lighting another fag off the stub of the one he's just finishing.
While he only occasionally posts comments here, and in fact only occassionally posts entries on his own blog, in email exchanges behind the scenes he's been an incredible counsellor in times of extreme... er, extremeness I haven't blogged about.
However, he despises sentimentality, so I wasn't going to mention anything. But now the bastard has given me an award that I have to write a post about, so f*** him - he gets a Rambling Beard Award whether he wants it or not.