I do not usually formally accept blogging “awards” I get nominated for. Firstly, because I can’t think of anything remotely witty to write as an “acceptance speech”, but I also find it difficult to pass on the “honour”. However, I’m accepting this nomination from 2Summers (see her post here) because it is different. I had been thinking of doing something similar already (i.e. picking my favourite posts from my archives and showcasing them in a post), and it is an award I feel comfortable passing on.
My picks are from both this blog and my Notes from Africa Photoblog. One of the posts I picked was written by Willie in his role as “guest blogger”. I also have to give credit to my “roving reports” who often supply the information and photographs I use to write my posts.
1. Most Beautiful Post
Earlier this year, Willie together with several family members and friends, undertook to hike the Otter Trail, one of the most challenging hiking trails in South Africa. On his return I badgered him into responding to some of the questions which my readers had asked. He not only wrote a witty, informative post, but the photographs which were taken by Wille, Theo van Zyl and Ian Bouwer showed the stunning beauty of this hiking trail along the South African Tsitsikamma coast.
2. My Most Popular Post
A post about blogging, and more specifically looking for that ultimate WordPress theme, has been hands down my most popular post. The response I got was overwhelming! Which shows that this is a topic which a lot of people are interested in, and spend a lot of time thinking and agonizing over. I was very happy to see that I’m not the only one who thinks that presentation matters. Obviously your blog content is key, but if it’s well and attractively presented, it will attract more attention.
3. My Most Controversial Post
Although I didn’t get a lot of readers disagreeing with my views on this subject, it was the most controversial topic I have ever written about. I made a conscious decision when I started this blog, to keep it light-hearted. But there are some things I cannot ignore, and given my background in ecological research, I felt it time to speak up about something that upset me deeply. Namely the wholesale slaughter of sharks for their fins alone, to supply fins to particularly East Asia for their shark fin soup.
During his trip to Pomene, Mozambique, Willie met up with a film crew making a documentary about shark fishing and finning in Mozambique.
The most controversial posts as far as my readers are concerned was a post I wrote about the indoor-outdoor cat controversy called “What Your Cat Wants You To Know – Really?” and the subsequent response post (What Your Cat Wants You to Know: An American Ex-pat Perspective) which guest blogger 2Summers wrote for my blog.
4. My Most Helpful Post
As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, our pets are very important to me. They are my constant companions, and provide me with endless hours of amusement. So it was devastating when our young cat, Lucy, got sick and started fading away before our eyes. With our vets initially struggling to make a diagnosis, she was literally starving to death. Then a breakthrough came – Lucy was diagnosed and treated for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (or IBD) – and she started to improve steadily. This is a disease that is being diagnosed more and more frequently in both cats and dogs. I hoped that by writing this post, I would save some other pet owner the heartache of watching their pet deteriorate. And to give those who have pets with IBD the hope that, although it is a condition which cannot be cured, it can be controlled successfully.
5. A Surprisingly Successful Post
I have several posts which fall into this category – mostly found by people searching for something completely different! This is the one though where people found exactly what they were looking for! Together with its companion piece Loo With A View it takes a light-hearted look at a very serious topic!
6. Most Under-rated Post
I’m sure everybody climbed trees when they were children (and cats do it all the time!). When though, as adults, do we climb trees without looking and feeling slightly ridiculous? Well, these guys do it – and they look extremely cool doing it. Plus, it looks like loads of fun!
7. Post I am most proud of
The series of post I did on our 2008 and 2009 trips to the Kalahari (see The Kalahari Series), are my personal favourites. And of those posts, the one I did of African Wild Cats is particularly special to me. Firstly because I like cats of all sizes, but it’s the Little Cats (including Caracal, African Wild Cats, and Black-footed Cats) which are the true gems. Rarely seen, I really believe they only let you see them if they want you to.
So that is my list. I now have the honour of passing on the award. For this I am picking non-South African bloggers. I love you all, but it is like choosing one’s favourite child. So here are my nominations:
1) Hey from Japan- Notes on Moving – Emily is an American living with her family in Tokyo, Japan. She writes hilarious posts about her difficulty in learning the Japanese language, her family’s daily trials in adapting to the Japanese way of life, and her travels around Japan. Emily has also been a “roving reporter” on my blog, kindly sharing a story and her photographs with me on a post about shark-fin soup called A Japanese Perspective. [See Hey from Japan's 7 links here.]
2) re-inventing the event horizon – Kathryn McCullough (known to most as “Kathy”) is a writer, whom I “met” on WordPress when she and her partner, Sara, were living in Haiti. Sara is an architect who is a specialist in rebuilding areas devastated by natural disasters. So they’ve been in some far-flung locations. Kathy has written some fascinating posts on living in Vietnam and Haiti. Kathy, in writing your post, please consider all your posts including the Vietnam stories. [See re-inventing the event horizon's 7 links here.]
3) The Unwitting Traveller – Lu is a Scottish geologist, who spends a lot of time travelling to exotic and sometimes desolate places for her work as an exploration geologist. She has several blogs on which she writes about her various hobbies and interests, but it is particularly her travel stories which I love. [See The Unwitting Traveller's 7 links here.]
4) thirdeyemom – Nicole is a stay-at-home mom from the United States, who does not always stay at home! She travels to exotic places (including Iceland, Nepal, Morocco and Peru) and writes wonderful posts about her trips. [ See thirdeyemom's 7 links here.]
5) The Wanderer – Ellen lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and hates Mondays. With such a passion she writes about hating Mondays a lot! But she also takes really cool trips to exotic places like the rain forests, salt pans and deserts in South America.
6) Bagni di Lucca and Beyond – Debra and Liz, two friends from Brisbane (Australia) write about their travels and especially their second homes in Bagni di Lucca, Italy. They and their spouses really have the best of both worlds – avoiding the intense heat of the Australian and European summers. I love both of your posts, so you can choose to do this together or separately. [See Bagni di Lucca and Beyond's 7 links here.]
I hope that all my nominees accept and write their own 7 links posts. But should you not wish to – or don’t have the time to – participate, I won’t hold it against you! Really.