Who remembers Blogging Awards?

Blogging has changed quite a bit since I started years ago, and blogging awards are among the things which have fallen by the wayside as the blogging world has fragmented into blogging, vlogging, and whatever the generic term is for instagram, pixelfed and the like. However, just in the last couple of weeks, an Outstanding Blogger has been circulating, and Alex from UnderATopazSky nominated me among others. So, on to the questions!


What would my perfect holiday be?
Our family isn’t good at holidays. I recall a week’s holiday on Anglesey in my teens during which we came home in the middle so my Dad could make a phone call, and I never took to the idea of working on a tan. Resorts, beaches – definitely not. However, Mam and I have been on a couple of painting holidays, which have involved painting tuition and lots of lovely food, and we have both been rather taken with them.

But then again, I’ve been rereading “The King In The North” by Max Adams, and thinking that pony trekking the trail from Bamburgh to Yeavering in the company of an archaeologist or a historian of fourth to eighth century Northumbria might be a really fascinating way to spend a day or so…

Where is my favourite place to walk?
To be honest, it’s the company that makes the walk, as far as I’m concerned. Although, now I think about it: Paris. I spent a year there when I was an undergraduate, and it feels almost as much home as home does (if you follow me). My second favourite is Lisbon, which has a very ordinary cafe which sells the best hot chocolate that I’ve ever had, and beside that – pastel de nata. If you’ve not had a pastel de nata, you don’t know what you’re missing!

The Lady's Head
The Lady’s Head

What inspired me to start a blog?
I thought it might provide a sort of accountability and help me to keep at my embroidery. I already knew that I loved embroidery and that it helped me keep on an even keel, but I’d also noticed that I tended to do it after everything else, and consequently it wasn’t getting done. I thought that if I had a blog to feed (as it were), there would be an added reason to embroider. That was certainly true, but the other thing that happened was that I found there were other embroiderers out there. Before I started blogging, the only people I knew who embroidered or were interested in embroidery were all related to me. That’s not true any more!

What did I miss most during lockdown?
Concerts. I’ve enjoyed several online ones, but it just isn’t the same, especially in the case of ensembles I’ve known for years and who know me. I grew up going to concerts, in fact I’ve been going to concerts of the Allegri String Quartet since I was eleven (my Dad was particularly fond of Beethoven and Schubert), and I know that being an audience member isn’t an idle thing, it is something which contributes to the success of a concert almost as much as the musicians. I’ve missed being an active audience member, holding one end of the golden cord of concentration that stretches between musician and listener. And I’ve been worrying about my musician friends, deprived at once of livelihood and soul-comforting passion.

What was the last book I read?
I read and reread constantly, so by the time you read this I’ll be on to something else. One bonus of last year was two of the best books I’ve read in the last several years – “Reynard the Fox” by Anne Louise Avery and “Kindred” by Rebecca Wragg Sykes. I mentioned them both in passing on SlowTV Stitchery episodes while I was reading them.

Cover for the book "Nefertiti Lived Here", by Mary Chubb

Another one – which I have also mentioned – is the Georgette Heyer ReadAlong on Twitter. We’re on “The Tollgate” at the moment, and discussions have included some fairly serious social history, a comparison of pikelets and muffins, and the Heyer/Pratchett crossover moment none of us saw coming..

But I couldn’t fail to remind you of “Neferiti Lived Here”, could I – the book that launched a decade of embroidery projects!

And now on to the nominations:
Queenie’s Needlework

An Elbow’s Length of Thread

Addison Embroidery At The Vicarage

Only if you want to, of course!

And now: Slow TV Stitchery Episode 61 is live, in which I continue to make progress on Tynemouth Priory, while musing on Oswald of Northumbria and his times..


  1. Alex Hall says:

    I’d join you and the archaeologist or a specialist in fourth to eighth century history on that pony trek from Bamburgh to Yeavering like a shot!!

  2. Lovely little snap shot of your life Rachel. Painting and eating holidays, and pony trekking with historians breaks are certainly the best as far as I’m concerned too

  3. Lady Fi says:

    Lovely to get to know you a bit better.

  4. Mam says:

    Bamburgh trek – set it up for 2022. You already have two companions!

  5. Jen Mullen says:

    Love the comment from your Mom! Go, Girl!

  6. Sheryl says:

    Oh yes, definitely a painting holiday with good food to enjoy, When on holiday with my parents as a child, my mum would stop when something interested her, take out her sketchbook and oblivious to everyone, sit down and start drawing. The trekking would be great too.

  7. Sue Jones says:

    Congratulations on your nomination. I admire your tenacity in keeping up the blogging, the videos and (needless to say) the stitching that they talk about. It’s a lot easier to put a quick note and a photo on Facebook, but that has sunk out of reach in a few days, and it doesn’t give you much room to spread out your ideas.
    Interesting questions. I have missed being able to travel around – just the odd day trip would have helped. I don’t get on with horses, and long walks are out, but a holiday with talks, visits and history lectures sounds very enjoyable. I also miss concerts. And the sea.
    I have got to know a lot of friends much better during lockdown. People I might see once or twice a year, but now meet regularly on Zoom or Facebook or wherever. Including new friends with common interests, as well. That has been one of the pleasant surprises.
    Like you, I read and re-read my favourite books. The good ones are those that provide some new food for thought each time, depending on the angle at which I approach them. Others may be a good read once, but the best stick around for the long haul. As do good friends.

  8. What a lovely interesting post, and thank you for the nomination, questions duly answered. I could have added that I have King in the North in my virtual pile of books to read on the Kindle app. I’m sure I will enjoy it as much as I did Kindred. Off to listen to episode 61 now, after a bite of lunch

  9. Susan says:

    I do remember those! I always find them interesting, and these were good questions, indeed.

  10. THANK YOU for the nomination! I am honoured and most surprised!
    Some bloggers write very openly about their personal life, add photos of themselves and family, others are much more focused on the blog theme, like a hobby for example.
    It was nice to learn a bit more about you.
    Many thanks for the interesting blogposts you always provide, with reflections on your work. I have learned so much I didn’t know.
    Keep up the good work!