I’m special. Just like everyone else

Thanks to Claudette, the Writer of Words, etc for nominating me for a special blogger award.

Here’s how it works

Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you (as above )
  2. Answer the questions you are asked (if you’re comfortable doing so!)
  3. Create 10 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated.
  4. Nominate at least 3 bloggers for the Special Blogger Award.
  5. Comment on your nominees most recent blog post to let them know you’ve nominated them.
  6. Have fun!

So here are Claudette’s questions and my answers

Name the book you’re currently reading.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. This was recommended to me by my eldest son and it’s proving to be really, really good.

What is the best/favorite time of day to write your blog posts?

Either first thing in the morning (before anyone is awake) or last thing at night (once all the boys are in bed).

If money and time was no object, where you would you like to go on your next vacation?

When I was younger, I was very taken by the idea of great train journeys such as the Trans Siberian Express. Having checked to see if this is still a thing, I quite like the idea of taking the train from Berlin to Beijing.

They’re planning to send some people to Mars. Putting aside all the complications involved with this trip, would it interest you to be a part of that group, and if so, why or why not?

If people went to Mars, they would need to spend most of their time underground to avoid the radiation and the lower gravity makes for a high likelihood of bashing your head on the ceiling every time you move too fast. The younger me would have leapt at the opportunity but, now, I’m too old for this.

Name a TV show or movie you really didn’t like but were compelled to keep watching anyway, and explain why.

I have enough trouble finding time for TV series I do like. If anything, I am too quick to give up on a series only to discover that after a rough start it proved to be quite popular.

I have walked out of films in the past, which is particularly easy in Belgium where there is often an intermission around half way through. This is always a good opportunity to establish whether anyone actually wants to see the second half.

Describe the most challenging part of a relationship (current or past). Could be with anyone (family, friend, professional etc.)

Communication. There are many situations in which I find that I’m not making myself clear enough. This is often compounded by the fact that, in any conversation, at least one of us is speaking a second language.

Which politician today do you find most entertaining?

I’m always a but wary of describing politicians as entertaining because their actions do affect people.

On the other hand, there is Chris Grayling, the incompetent’s incompetent who, among other things, managed to give a £13m contract to a ferry company that didn’t have any ferries.

What is the most irksome thing you’ve come across in recent days?

I’m unirkable. Except when people are unable to put their mobile phones away.

If someone placed two bowls of nuts in front of you, one with shells and a nutcracker, one without shells, which bowl would you choose to eat?

Neither. I don’t like nuts.

What’s the first word that pops into your mind when you hear the word Toronto?

Bulls. Which is weird because I have no idea from where I have picked up this reference.

And now for my questions

  1. What book, or books are you reading now?
  2. Do you ever re-read books and, if so, how often?
  3. eBook or paper?
  4. Cinema or DVD?
  5. What was the last film you saw?
  6. What film have you watched more than any other?
  7. You hear that a book you like is about to be adapted into a film: Do you squee or cringe?
  8. Is there a book of film that you like, even though everyone else seems to dislike it? Or one that you dislike even though everyone else raves about how wonderful it is.
  9. If you could go and live in any fictional world, universe or location you like, which one would you choose?
  10. What is the first thing you think of when someone says “Belgium” to you?

And I’m going to nominate three people

Carissa of Rubbish Talk, an Indonesian book blogger who has recently returned from a bit of a hiatus with the wonderful concept of binge reading.

Amanda Cade of Worth It who blogs regularly and entertainingly about books, films and life.

Sophia Ismaa. Another book blogger whose insights into several popular franchises are well worth reading.

Another Five Things

It isn’t easy being a troll. Hand Me Downs is a short story by Maria Haskins.

“We Handed A Loaded Weapon To 4-Year-Olds.” Developer Chris Wetherell built Twitter’s retweet button. He tells Buzzfeed why he regrets what he did to this day.

Rosie Fletcher at Den of Geek suggests the 2 hour 45 minute running time for It Chapter Two indicates that the horror genre is moving into the mainstream. And that’s a good thing.

Over at Aeon, Matthew Stanley recounts British astronomer and physicist, Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington’s attempt to test Einstein’s theory of relativity. It’s worth reading not just for the challenges Stanley faced, but also the way in which he managed to craft the subsequent narrative into a symbol of post-war German-British solidarity.

And finally, Alastair Campbell has left the Labour Party and asked Jeremy Corbyn to seriously consider whether he’s really up to the challenges ahead.

Useless coins are useless

The 1 and 2 cent Euro coins are utterly worthless, so it’s no huge surprise that Italy has decided to stop minting them.

The move means all prices in Italy will be rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

Italians were receiving the small copper coins as change but were not spending them, claimed Sergio Boccadutri, the member of the ruling center-left Democratic Party who proposed the measure.

The coins are not accepted by parking meters, vending machines or toll booths, he told national business daily Il Sole 24 Ore. He said they were often left in drawers at home, abandoned in car doors or left at the supermarket checkouts to avoid cluttering pockets.

The Italians join Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Ireland in getting rid of this shrapnel and it’s a good thing too. These coins are utterly worthless and really ought to be scrapped across the whole of the Eurozone.