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.