One Lovely Blog

I don’t often do tags as I often find that they’re very restrictive and just a bit of blog filler really, but when Suze from Luxury Columnist got in touch to ask whether I’d previously been nominated to take part in the One Lovely Blog Award tag I was excited because I think it’s a lovely tag and a great way to get to know the bloggers behind blogs in a slightly more personal way. I met Suze back in August on the Best LDN Walks Naughty London blogger tour and was so impressed that she had only started her blog a few weeks before that and yet it was so polished and so professional, I was very impressed,  plus she was lovely to boot. So thank you for the nomination Suze (you can see Suze’s One Lovely Blog Award post here)!

The rules of the award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog 
2. List the rules 
3. Add 7 facts about yourself 
4. Nominate some other deserving bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated 
5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you. 

So, here are seven facts about me:

1. I am pretty much accent deaf. I can tell that people have accents but I am woefully bad at identifying what the accent is. You might think that I mean subtle accents, but I really don’t, I mean Geordie, Scottish and Irish. I’ve been getting slightly better since I started with my current employer as there’s a whole range of accents and so now when I meet someone with an accent, they often sound like someone I know. I still worry though that people think I’m taking the mick when I ask them where they’re from.

2. I lived in Hamburg for four months about eight years ago and I love the city and now revisit it every few years. It’s not somewhere that I think that people would necessarily think of for a city break as they generally head to Berlin if they’re going to Germany but Hamburg, as Germany’s second largest city is definitely worth a visit. Located on the banks of the Elbe, it’s a port city and with a huge lake in the middle of the city and canals running through it, water is very much at its heart.

I remember arriving into Hamburg at night and being completely apprehensive about the fact that this new city was going to be my home for four months and as I sat in the taxi as we zipped through the dark streets I remember getting a good feeling about the place, a feeling which turned out to be very well founded. As John Lennon put it “I grew up in Hamburg”.

And if you go, go at Christmas – it’s magical.

3. I don’t want children (and no, I won’t change my mind when I get older) but I do want a guinea pig. I had a very vivid dream a few months ago where I had a guinea pig and I woke up desperately sad that I didn’t have one. There’s a quote by J. K. Rowling which is something to the effect of the fact that Harry Potter came to her fully formed, that’s how I feel about my guinea pig. His name was Scott Bains (similar to Sat Bains the chef) and he was a fluffy (I’m not sure if there is a proper name for being fluffier than normal) tortoiseshell. Unfortunately my flat isn’t really big enough for Scott Bains and a friend right now, maybe one day I’ll have a bigger flat with some outside space and then I can have a guinea pig.

4. Like most children I took dancing lessons – tap and ballet until I was probably about 12 years old. I am not naturally graceful but years of lessons will instil a certain ability to follow choreography without looking like someone with two left feet. However, whilst I can follow basic steps and enjoy learning routines, I will never be a dancer, not least because I don’t possess a dancer’s body. A few years ago I took classes in burlesque with a friend and the course of lessons culminated in a showcase which involved routines performed in full on frilly knickers, corset, suspenders, etc. It’s maybe the scariest thing that I’ve ever done but I loved it. In fact the only thing that puts me off finding somewhere in London is the fact that my job often prevents me from leaving at a certain time and so it’s hard to commit to regular evening activities.

5. Before I started my current job I spent over three years working in white collar criminal defence and predictably (and annoyingly) got asked no end of times ‘but, how can you defend someone you know is guilty?’. Well, firstly I strongly believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and also that everyone accused of a crime has the right to choose and appoint their own legal representation, I believe these are both utterly fundamental to a fair and just society. Secondly, I should point out that, contrary to popular belief, lawyers are held to super strict codes of ethics and ultimately, contravention of those codes can lead to solicitors being struck off or barristers being debarred. The code of conduct for solicitors includes duties to not mislead the court and to act in the best interests of their client.

The thing is, that you only ‘know’ that a client is guilty if they tell you that they are and if a client maintains that they wish to plead not guilty (however strong the evidence against them may be), this is their right and their instructions must be followed. If they do admit their guilt then there are two options to continue to represent them; (1) they plead guilty (obviously, in which case you can still act to try and mitigate their actions and try and reduce the sentence); or (2) test the prosecution’s case. The second is maybe less obvious but the burden is on the prosecution to convince a jury to a standard that allows them to reach a guilty verdict (innocent until proven guilty, remember), if the prosecution can’t do that then a defendant should not be convicted. However, this means that the defence is limited to challenging prosecution evidence and the defendant cannot be put forward to give an untrue positive defence (as this would be allowing the court to be misled).

For the most part, at least in white collar crime, even when there is evidence which points to the defendant having done something, what has been done is rarely everything that the defendant is accused of by the prosecution and so access to legal representation is vital for justice. Needless to say, I am very against the proposed changes and cutbacks to the legal aid regime.

6. On a slightly less serious note, whilst it might not be my favourite food in the world (although it’s right up there in the top 10), if I had to pick only one food to eat for the rest of my life, pizza would be it.

7. I have one sibling, a sister who is 18 months younger than me and despite our closeness in age, we could not be more different. We look different, we have different builds, she’s always wanting to do something active whereas I am more content curling up in a corner with a book, she’s more creative and arty whereas I’m more wordy and academic (although we do both have a nice balance of both traits), she’s a lark, I’m an owl and the TV programmes she loves are those I hate and vice versa. It’s funny that two people who grew up together and are so close in age could be so different, but it’s sort of nice that we’re not trying to do the same things in life, that would be unbearable.

With those little facts about me, it’s time to nominate some other bloggers:

Tamsin from A Certain Adventure – Londoner, recent Cambridge graduate and book and dinosaur lover, her blog is one of my latest obsessions.

Lucy from La Lingua – recently returned from a year living in Milan, her exploits frequently make me jealous of the fun she’s been having and the food she’s been eating!

Chloe from New Girl in Toon – ex-Londoner and now Newcastle resident, she grabs life by both hands and inspires me to do the same.

I don’t want them to feel obliged to do this tag but I wanted to show some love to them, please go and check out their blogs.

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  • Thanks for the kind words lovely 🙂
    Chloe x

  • Lisa, that’s really kind! I love your new blog look. That’s interesting about accents – the ones I tend to get wrong are Australian and New Zealand, I always seem to mix them up!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • Hamburg at Christmas is lovely, isn’t it? How wonderful to have lived there for 8 months.
    Claire xx

  • Hi Lisa,

    I love this tag (I nominated Suze!) and it’s great to find out more about the blogger’s background. It was really interesting what you said about your sister. My sister and I are the same as your and yours, we also have an 18 month age gap (she’s older). We are completely different builds too, and have completely different interests. She’s always been into theatre, drama and dancing, whereas, like you, I was the academic one who would rather be reading a book. She always wanted to be an actress and eventually trained as personal trainer whereas my career has always involved a computer and a desk. We also have completely different taste in men…I like intelligent, academic men and she likes beefcakes!!

    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  • I love your Christmas market picture and I’m happy to join you in eating Pizza for the rest of our lives x

  • Recently found your blog via Tamsin. A lovely read and this was a great first post to get to know you. I especially loved the bits about Hamburg. I used to visit a lot when I lived in southern Germany and it is such a special city – love the Alster and its hint of old glamour. x

  • Really loved reading this such great answers. I normally shy away from tags but this is a great one. Hamburg looks beautiful so this is now on the list to visit. I couldn’t agree more with the babies response I have lots of friends who don’t want children and the constant you will one day you might change your mind cheeses them off. It must be nice having a sister only 18 months apart and liking different things keeps life interesting. Look forward to readings Chloe’s and Lucy’s. Have a good week Lucy x

  • Congrats on the blog award! Just flicked through some posts, & I can’t wait to read more! xx

  • I’m bizarrely accent deaf – if I hear a Kiwi, I can’t tell that they are from NZ as their accent falls into a weird black hole in my brain. I do wonder if it’s because that’s the accent I am autotuned to?
    Loving your facts!

  • Lisa, you’re so lovely to nominate me for this! 🙂 I really love reading slightly more personal posts like this and, though I already knew that you lived in Hamburg, it’s lovely to see your photos and read your thoughts on first arriving in the city. I’d love to visit! Extremely intrigued to read about your role as a lawyer and thoughts on guilt and legal ethics, too. xx

  • Absolutely not a problem, love your blog.

  • Thank you. Australian and New Zealand accents are impossible for me to tell apart, I don’t even stand a chance!

  • I love German Christmas markets so much, the English versions just aren’t the same, however good they are.

  • It’s such a good tag for finding out more about bloggers. That’s so interesting that you and your sister are a similar age difference and also completely different! I’m always interested in how people can be raised in the same way and just naturally be complete opposites!

  • Yes, pizza eating forever.

  • Thank you, I agree entirely, Hamburg is such a special city, although I’m sure the same applies for so much of Germany and I have so many places in Germany that I have yet to visit and discover.

  • Thank you. I can definitely recommend Hamburg as a place to visit! Oh gosh, the not wanting children thing annoys me so much, the questions people ask me and comments people make would be so rude if I turned them around on the people who ask them to me who do want children. When someone says they wants kids or that they are pregnant, I’d never dream of asking them ‘but, what if you change your mind?’.

    I hope you’ve had a good week!

  • Thank you.

  • How bizarre, maybe it is because it is the accent you’re used to! I love that it’s not just me that’s a bit accent deaf though!

  • Hey Lisa, this is my first time on your blog and I have to say that I love the concept of getting off the sofa. I also lived in Hamburg for some months and I totally loved it there. Hamburg in summer is perfect. As I said in a post I wrote a couple of days ago, I love how full of life it is, and I also love its decadence. Hamburg is always a good destination, both for arty types and for party animals. Besides, if Hamburg isn’t enough a daytrip to Bremen is always an option! I will be reading you 🙂

  • Thanks for stopping by. Aww, I’m excited that you lived in Hamburg and loved it too. It’s somewhere that very few people seem to know much about, let alone have visited, so I love it when I find another Hamburg lover. I was there from the end of August until December so only caught the end of summer, but winter there that won me over, there was nothing better than heading for a gluehwein at the end of a day of lectures.

  • Ahhh glühwein! See, my year abroad was in Munich, so although I’ve visited Hamburg in December too, my winter wonderland is Bavaria <3