Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I would like to thank the Academy...

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Thrilling, slightly unbelievable news comes from the blogosphere. Despite being very new to all this, and, I sometimes fear, faintly amateurish (although never forget that the word amateur is derived from the Latin for love), Sarah and I have been given a special AWARD. The lovely Mrs Trefusis has named Backwards in High Heels as one of her top five blogs. Since Mrs Trefusis is a woman of exceptional grace and poise, and writes like an angel, this is a high honour. I accept it in a spirit of true humility and actually slightly outlandish excitement.
The prize comes with a set of rules (as there are rights so there are responsibilities) as follows:


1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.

2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.

Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” widget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here are my five fabulous blogs:

The majestic LibertyLondonGirl, Queen of bloggers, who knows about everything from fashion to books to architecture, and is currently delighting us with despatches from her intrepid travels through the wilds of California.

The enchanting So Lovely, who sends out charming and sometimes faintly whimsical posts from sunny Los Angeles, and can actually make her own hot cross buns.

The outrageously funny Belgian Waffle, who makes me laugh so hard it startles my dogs. I don't know how she does it, day after day, with the funniness. She should get a government grant, in these Troubled Times.

Also exceptionally funny - the clever and eclectic Lucy Fishwife, who knows that literature and strong cocktails go together like carriages and horses (although how many people do you see riding around in a carriage, nowadays, apart from the Queen?).

And the incomparable Cassandra Castle, who never fails to make me smile and does lovely and often surprising things with words. It was because of her that I started this blog, and she was the first to welcome me to the blogosphere and make me realise that it was not the terrifying place I had feared.

I know it's only supposed to be five, but I can't go without also bigging up the fabulous La Beet, whose enquiring mind never fails to stimulate.

These are not the only blogs I adore - go to the blog roll of honour for the others that I love and follow - but they were the first ones I discovered when I started all this. The writers are not only startlingly good, but they were unbelievably kind and supportive to a new girl, and they hold a special place in my heart.

Now for my five addictions:

My dogs. Can't help it. I'm not going to go into it now, because I think very soon it will be time to give the glorious creatures an entire post of their very own. With pictures. I'm warning you.

Books, obviously. When I was a little girl I would read so hard that I did not used to notice the light was failing. 'You'll ruin your eyes,' everyone said. I am the only one of my brothers and sisters who has to wear strong corrective spectacles, so this was clearly true. But it was worth it. Highest obsessive rating: Mrs Woolf, Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Mrs Parker, TS Eliot, Jane Austen, and Nancy Mitford. I also love Helen Simpson, Lorrie Moore, Terence Blacker, Cynthia Heimel, Brian Greene, Justin Cartwright and Martin Amis. I think Midnight's Children deserved every inch of its Booker of Bookers and get very grumpy when people get cheap laughs on Radio Four by saying that Salman Rushdie is unreadable (politicians especially do this, as if it is a badge of honour when it's just stupid and wrong).

American politics and MSNBC. My absolute secret vice is an excessively geekish fascination with the American politicial system. Whenever I have a free moment I race to my computer and watch Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. I even know arcane House and Senate rules; I can explain the intricacies of the filibuster or the reconciliation process, should you ask, which I recommend you do not. During the Obama campaign, I stayed up all night every Tuesday that there was a primary on, to get the results. When he won, I cried actual tears of joy, and I love him still. This addiction also gets fed by medicinal doses of The West Wing.

The Big Life Questions. There is absolutely no excuse for this. Most people would think it pretentious and pointless. But I really want to know why we are here, what we all think we are doing, and what is the answer to the Universal Why. I want to understand the brain, unravel the nature nurture debate, map the development of language, and know where all the taxis go the moment it starts to rain. I want someone to tell me exactly what it is about women that is so scary that for thousands of years we were not allowed to vote or have opinions or enjoy sex.

Radio Four. I adore and worship it, even when it is going through a slightly dull patch, which it is at the moment. Melvyn Bragg and In Our Time is worth the licence fee alone. It makes me feel both interested and safe, which is a charming combination.

And since I allowed myself six favourite blogs, I am going to permit one more addiction, which is writing, naturally. I love everything about it, even when I find it so hard that it makes my eyes ache. I love the nature of words and what they can do. I love punctuation, especially the semi-colon, my favourite punctuation mark. I love the rules of grammar, and sometimes breaking them. I even love the tap tap tap of my fingers on my computer keyboard. I love the fact I can touch type, and still feel bizarrely proud of it after twenty five years. I love being able to say, when asked what I do: I'm a writer.


  1. oooohhhhh. An award from you? Blimey, am honoured as BIHH is one of my first-thing-in-the-morning essential reads. Thank you sweetpea, it'd just lovely to be appreciated by people one admires wholeheartedly.

    I'm a bit behind on my blogosphere admin, but I promise I will do this Award (which Red Shoes gave me too) when I get to somewhere with proper internet access - ass opposed to Sausalito library , but it may be a while! LLGxx

  2. LLG - Much more importantly, I see you are on the list of the 100 TOP BLOOGERS IN THE WORLD. This is huge. Am incredibly impressed. Are you feeling a bit swishy and la di dah? I expect full diva affect from now on.

    Ah, Sauselito. I spent a very happy six weeks there about twelve years ago. I loved taking that groovy ferry into the city. But the thing I loved almost more than anything else were the tomatoes. I remember going to one restaurant where they brought a special tomato trolley, with twenty different heritage varieties, and then you chose, and they sliced them up and anointed them with a little salt and olive oil and it was the most delicious thing I ever ate. Tx

  3. Well deserved - always a joy to read, particularly the range. Thinking AND laughing, that is what life is for.

  4. Aren't you lovely. I am so honoured; my little blog is a crazy one. It sometimes is the rantings and ravings of a madwoman. I do try and contain myself - maybe its the end results of my career. I will do you proud (hopefully) with my Award - and polish it everyday.
    BTW - book STILL hasn't already. Goodness me!

  5. Hi! Posted my congratulations for the fantastic award at the end of your previous post.

    Such a joy to read. Take a bow!

    Looking forward to more of the same,


  6. Thank you so much! I still can't get over the fact that I'm doing something I enjoy this much and it's neither taxable nor fattening. The amount of time I spend on it when I should be working is another question entirely...!!

  7. You are all so lovely. Am lying ill in bed feeling doleful and sorry for myself but now am cheered by all the delightful comments. Who knew the blogosphere would turn out to be such a place of kindness and goodness.

    Resting now. xx

  8. Thank you so much. The blogosphere is way better than many kinds of therapy, isn't it?

    I for one, look forward a great deal to a long, photo heavy dog post, and I know LLG does too. Yes please!

  9. Tania, my internet connection here beside the seaside is just awful. I wrote a long comment which vanished into blogspace. Proper feedback to follow once I'm home from the hols. In the meantime - thank you so much and YES, Helen Simpson!!!! I ADORE her. Cx

  10. P.S. Hope that you are feeling better.

  11. Sorry you are not well, hope recovering swiftly with the aid of R4 and a good book or 2 - special patented cure chez TR

  12. Endorse most heartily cure recommended above by the esteemed Titian Red. When absolute peace in the office is required chez nous (our desks are adjacent), P often finds himself sent off with a good book or four...

    Get well soon!


  13. All better now - a thousand thanks for get better good wishes. Just a little stomach virus. Bovril, books and the kindness of the blogosphere perfect cure-all. xx

  14. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  15. Noah- Just found yr very sweet comment. Come back often please. The thing that makes me happiest is loyal readers.

  16. OMG! I've only just read this! Thank you, sweet Tania, I'm most honoured. You know how I came across it? I made a search for "Titianred on the Plinth" and your post came up as no. 20 or something thereabouts.

    Miss you on Twitter btw.

    My post today is about the Twitterladies.

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