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As the title suggests my cheeks are aching today from an unending smile that would certainly be disallowed by current UK passport photo regulations, but somehow managed to transfer from the joy inside me to the honey that I squeezed onto my porridge this morning!  No honestly, seriously, I had no idea, and certainly no intention, but when I was about to tuck in to my traditional Scottish morning staple I noticed I’d created a honey sweet smiley face in my porridge, quite by ‘chance’! Check out the photo!

So, one of the reasons I was so happy was that I found out this morning I’d been nominated for a one lovely blog award by the generous (clearly) and wise (in my opinion, judging by her posts) :

 http://onestillbreathing.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/its-a-sweet-sunday/

Thank you so much ‘one still breathing’, you really helped get my day off to a beautiful start:-) So now, according to the rules, I will share 7 random things about myself:

1: I grew up by the sea on the island of Crete for the first couple of years of my life and I think that’s why I swim as if I am part dolphin. I probably swam before I walked…(note to self…ask your mother)

2: I used to want to be a painter who wore a beret and lived in Paris, when I was about 8. Then I went through actor and cross-country rider until my long nurtured and current wish to be a published writer.

3: I dream about adopting or fostering kids one day as I am not able to have children of my own.

4: I once played the Genie in Aladdin in our local panto and had to body paint myself green and wear golden shorts! (photos NOT available…)

5: I did my first one week silent retreat in June 2007, which is when I wrote the poem that my nominator liked, and this year is the first year since then that I have not yet done one…there’s still time!

6: I speak English, French, a bit of Greek and Dutch and am quite fluent in Kinyarwanda (the native language of Rwanda where I worked for three years).

7: The first meal I ever cooked from start to finish all by myself was macaroni cheese with a Greek salad on the side when I was about 12.

Enough about me, now to all those wonderful bloggers out there who I would love you to get to know too and whom I hereby nominate (I need to choose 15 according to the rules…) for this award, in no particular order…the links are to particular posts I really enjoyed…

http://mikeallegra.com/2012/09/21/here-have-a-book-excerpt/

http://hslaterblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/shifting-focus/

http://candlelightchats.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/a-beautiful-union/

http://itstartedwithaquote.wordpress.com/

http://ellisnelson.com/2012/09/20/the-story-of-christopher-robin/

http://earthlinesmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/guest-post-the-narrow-orbit-of-our-belonging-by-ian-hill/

http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/time-presentpastfuture/

http://roughwighting.net/2012/09/07/a-plant-well-loved/

http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/six-ways-to-become-a-more-productive-writer/

http://31daysofawesome.com/2012/09/11/turning-it-around/

http://blogaboutwriting.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/random-short-story-competition-shortlisted-new-writer-entries/

http://idolanuel.com/2012/09/21/happy-world-peace-day/

http://diannegray.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/there-are-creatures-and-there-are-creatures/

http://christinart.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/checkpoint-choice/

http://literacyadviser.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/the-power-of-fiction-and-the-storytelling-animal/

I’m still newish to all this so I’m aware some of these blogs may have received this award before but, if so, I hope you will be pleased to be re-nominated by me because I really do want to appreciate you all, and of course you only need to acknowledge this nomination/participate if you want to, no obligation.

Before I sign off for today I want to share a mini smile practice that I read about in a book about a Buddhist nun who lived in a cave for 12 years. In the book another woman who was a working mother and struggled to find time for regular meditation suggested holding a gentle smile (just curling your mouth up at the corners) consciously for three in breaths and three out breaths and do that six times a day. It’s amazing what something so small and simple can do…keep smiling all and spread the joy, or squeeze it onto your porridge!