Awards/Notifications: 2,000 Followers

Just a quick note to say I’ve passed 2,000 followers. I wanted to thank you all for your continued support. You really do help make this blog what it is. Reading your comments, following your own blogs and being part of the WordPress community has been a delight.




Awards: Three of a different kind

It’s awards time again. I know they’re not for everyone, but I can see the benefits. They give you a chance to find out about the people who you regularly read, give you a chance to thank them and sometimes find other cool bloggers through them. There’s no pressure for any of them to accept though, but hopefully they’ll still see it as a compliment.

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Awards: Very Inspiring Blogger

I haven’t been too up to date with accepting awards, but receiving two on the same day is impossible to say no to and I am honoured to accept.

My thanks to Cathy at 746 Books and Anastasia at Read and Survive for their recognition. Cathy has a wonderful site where her passion and enthusiasm for literature is inspiring. Even if you don’t think your interest in books is that strong, her site may well persuade you of the great joy to be had as you read her very cool reviews. Anastasia’s huge interest in books (and how best to read them) is a joy, and she has a neat range. Definitely worth popping over.

Very inspiring blogger

7 facts about me

Gambit is my favourite of the X-Men.

Chris Rock is my favourite comedian and I think he is the funniest person on the planet.

If I could change one thing about football it would be stoppage time substitutions. I really hate them.

This is still my favourite of my lyrical lines of the Day.

If I could have been an Olympic athlete, I would have chosen decathlon. I like the idea of the different disciplines and strategies involved.

I have never met anyone else with English as a first language called Raphael.

Miss Piggy is the most popular search engine term for my blog.

I’ve had the site 10 months so choosing 10 blogs seems a good number. In no particular order as always (and no worries if you don’t accept).

Teela Hart – Continuing to fight against domestic violence

Inside the life of Moi – For seeing the humour in everything, even the super frustrating things

Unload and Unwind – Always looking to make a difference

Aussa Lorens – No matter how serious the issue, will find the humour and moral in the story

Wide Awake and Dreaming – Always so honest about everything, including the high and low points within the writing process.

Audrey Hepburn Books – Have seen her blog from the beginning, grow to include all kinds of wonderful development both in the site and her personal life.

I didn’t have my glasses on – Very cool posts, and always inspirational quotes.

Caragale – I don’t know know how she finds the time to host so many wonderful projects and keep such a great site.

Petite Magique – Has such a wide range of poetry and always so supportive of other bloggers.

Film Grimoire – I read so many great film blogs, but her love of silent cinema and cinematography is so wonderfully detailed and infectious.

Awards: Three in One

I know they’re not for everyone and there’ll come a time when I won’t have the time to properly accept them, but I’ve always liked the awards system. You get to find out some quirky things about bloggers you read, highlight to others sites you look at regularly and the chance to find out some new sites yourself.

Liebster Award

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer

5.Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them.

Inside the life of Moi is a really amusing blogger, who delights in maverick and quirky posts, ranging from hilarious but polite rants about the annoyances of modern life to helpful hints about a whole spectrum of social and everyday issues. Unload and Unwind is a blogger who will make you smile with with her posts, and was probably a columnist in a past/future life who is well worth checking out.

Inside the Life of Moi’s questions

What/who inspired you to write your blog?
I set up a blog before, but though I liked a lot about it, it needed a few changes. My girlfriend Madeleine, who already had her own blog which she still runs, encouraged me to start again but use WordPress, interact more with other bloggers and vary my content more.

Why do you write a blog?
I have always had tried to surround myself with influences, and wanted to share that with others through my writing.

What would your first reaction be, if you woke up to find you had lost the contents of your blog?

Have you ever written anything mean about someone, on your blog?
No, and I can’t think of an occasion when I would

Would you like to be famous?
I’m not sure sure I’d be a very good celebrity ha.

If you could publish a book, what would the title be?
It would all depend what kind of book it would be. I’m not sure yet. A pun? There are so many bland titles.

What is your favourite hobby?
Playing Texas Hold’em poker

Do you ever dance like noone is watching?
That’s how you’re supposed to do it.

If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be?
Jerry Seinfeld and Kelsey Grammer. Their comedic IQs would fly through the roof.

What is your biggest achievement?
Winning a local poker tournament to qualify for a more exclusive tournament.

If you could live your life all over again, what would you do differently? (in a nutshell).
Not too much I hope. I’d have liked to have have learnt to play the guitar earlier and better though. I really like the idea of writing songs.

Unload and Unwind’s questions

Do you drink?What is your alcohol preference?
Most things apart from Guinness. Green Beaver and White Russian are right up there as my favourites.

If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why?
I wouldn’t know how to answer that, so I’ll just say a Family Tree.

What is your favorite thing to find – be it in a store, on the street, in the woods, etc
A book of very carefully chosen short stories.

Do you have houseplants? Why? Why not?
No. I would probably forget to water them.

What was the last major goal you met?
I don’t set goals as such. The last target I set myself recently, was to read more.

Do you consider yourself environmentally conscious? If so, what measures do you take?
Recycle, not wasting electricity and not littering.

Why do you blog?
I like to write and talk about my influences.

What’s the most interesting place you have visited?
New York. It has pretty much everything.

Given the opportunity, would you travel to space?
No, I’d rather go deep sea diving.

If you could make a documentary about one topic, what would it be?
Explorers or short story writers.

Do you plan on making contributions to change the world? How?
Maybe when I’m a bit more responsible.

My nominees

Digital Shortbread
Eye of Lynx
Film Grimoire
JJames Reviews
Laura Macky
Living with Shadows
Petite Magique
The Reading Girl
Wide Awake but Dreaming

And some questions I’ve come up with

1. What’s the first film you remember seeing? Would you want to watch it again?
2. Which TV character would you most like to hang out with?
3. What’s the next book you intend to read?
4. Which TV show would you most want to be brought back?
5. Have you ever been on holiday and hated it?
6. Did you have a soft toy growing up and do you still have it?
7. What magazines/newspapers do you read?
8. What’s been your proudest moment with the blog?
9. Did you ever have any targets when setting up your blog?
10. How would you describe your blog to someone who hasn’t read it?
11. What’s one surprising thing about yourself most people don’t know?

Light of the World

“I’m creating this Award to celebrate all those wonderful people in the World who spread Light, and Love and Hope and Peace in the name of All.  These bloggers should consistently promote these qualities and work to be a force for peace and light in the world.”

I’m honoured to accept the award. If I wasn’t accepting the award from Petite Magique she is totally the kind of person who I would give this to. She is creative, supportive of other bloggers and even has her own book coming out soon. Below are sites I think stand for the spirit of the award.

Ajaytao 2010
Little Write Lies
Living with Shadows
Square One Notes
Teela Hart
Versatile Blogger

These be the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Include a link to their blog

3. Select 15 bloggers you follow and want to pass the award onto.

4. Nominate the 15 bloggers and inform them of it.

5. Finally, list seven interesting facts about yourself.

My thanks to Flashback/Backslide for the nomination, a devoted film fan with a great set of articles on all kinds of aspects of the industry as well as reviews.

Ajaytao 2010
Blogged Artistry
The Flim Culb
Gill McGrath
Imagery of Light
Inside the Life of Moi
Jimmy Photos
Melissa Janda
Mr Marakai
Robbin’s Realm
The Reading Girl
Vinnie H
where the Wild Things Are

And rather than 7 random facts, I thought I’d put links to the last 7 songs I listened to.

The Rolling Stones – Sympathy with the Devil
Roxy Music – Jealous Guy
The 1975 – Chocolate
Swim – Let it Go
Dog is Dead – Do the Right Thing
Aphex Twin – X-tal
Heat closing theme

Awards: Dragon Loyalty

It’s always nice to know that my blog is read by others and if inspires any sort of positive influence on any of my readers all the better. My thanks to Living with Shadows for the award. She is reflective, honest, creative and caring and writes in an engaging tone, so do check her out.

Dragon Loyalty Award

1. Display the Award on your Blog.

2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.

3. Write seven interesting things about you

4. Present 15 deserving Bloggers with the Award

5. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded.

7 Things

1. The last book I read was The Fault in our Stars by John Green.
2. My favourite cartoon growing up was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Visionaries, which was about a group of knights with magical powers.
3. I never wear a watch.
4. I’ve not been regularly in years but I will miss the Trocadero, especially for my air hockey fix.
5. My favourite non-superhero comic book character is Roger the Dodger.
6. I was a Cub Scout and went on several retreats, and as part of it became quite good at rock climbing, orienteering and abseiling.
7. When I play Mario Kart I always go as Yoshi.

15 Blogs

Audrey Hepburn Books

Blogged by Anna


Eye of Lynx

Film Grimoire

Gill McGrath

J James Reviews


Miss Four Eyes

Petite Magique

Square One Notes

Verbal Spew

Vinnie H

Where the Wild Things Are


Awards: Sunshine Award


It’s always a great feeling to be highly thought of by other bloggers, and to be put up for awards. There really are so many exciting, enriching and entertaining blogs, and it’s been really fun setting this up and maintaining it.

The Reading Girl is a relatively new blog but her enthusiasm for literature is infectious. She’s written loads of really cool reviews and even puts up inspiring literary quotes and her own poetry.

The Rules for The Sunshine Award:

  • Display the Award on your Blog.
  • Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
  • Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award – “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”
  • Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded.
  • Write 10 interesting things about you

The Nominees (you can accept if you want to, no worries if you don’t):

Film Grimoire

Gill McGrath

Images en Blog


Miss Four Eyes

Poor But Honest

Silver Screen Serenade

Table 9 Mutant

Vinnie H

Where the Wild Things Are

10 Things

1. My favourite cocktail is between White Russian and Green Beaver.

2. I really hate seafood.

3. The worst film I have ever seen at the cinema is 2001: A Space Travesty. The worst film I’ve ever seen at home is Any Man’s Death.

4. My one food/drink vice is coke.

5. I was in the school tennis team and have seen most of the current top players live in London.

6. If I could pick one attraction to see it would be the Northern Lights.

7. I have ridden on an elephant.

8. I still have a t-shirt from when I was 10 which I’ve kept for sentimental reasons.

9.  My favourite current film director is Christopher Nolan.

10. I was hugely into Italian football as a child and hero worshipped Marco van Basten and Gabriel Batistuta





The Liebster Award

One of the many benefits of blogging is the people you run into, and when those people rate your blog as highly as you rate theirs, is an added bonus. I am honoured to accept The Liebster Award especially from such a great site. Taken by the Lapels has been running around 3 weeks which tells you just how highly her blog is rated. It’s spontaneous, fun and with a personal and engaging tone.


Here’s how the Leibster Award works. Those nominated are blogs with tons of potential, but with less than 200 followers. If you’ve been nominated, and you choose to accept here’s the scoop:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
  2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you
  3. Nominate 10 of your favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination
  4. Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • How did you pick your blog’s name?

Alex is my first name, Raphael my middle name. Raphael is my reminder of my half Latin background and my more creative side.

  • What would your Superhero name be?

Adrenalin. Though I’m quite happy to read for hours or sit and watch a film, I have bursts of energy which could be put to good use.

  • What’s your favorite TV show?

Frasier and Seinfeld. Comedy genius that will never date.

  • What are three things on your bucket list?

Finish and publish my novel, enter a high stakes poker tournament and visit more of the US.

  • Who is your favorite fictional character?

From books Sherlock Holmes. From TV Jerry Seinfeld. And from Films Ferris Bueller.

  • What is your most prized possession?

Some really striking film posters by a friend who is a graphic designer. They were never available in the shop and he know longer does them.

  • Describe yourself in three words.

Adventurous. Creative. Raconteur

  • What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Mint choc chip milkshakes from Baskin Robbins. Perfect after a film in central London. Ahhhh, who am I kidding? They’re perfect anytime.

  • What is your proudest accomplishment?

Qualifying for a local elite level poker tournament

  • What’s your favorite post that you’ve written? (Link, please!)

Gr8at – Short Story writers Short stories are a huge passion of mine and it was an early example of what I wanted the blog to be about.

In alphabetical order, a gr8at of very awesome blogs that I really recommend you look at.

Anna Grimoire

Audrey Hepburn Books


Eye of Lynx

J James Reviews


The London Scrapbook

Wide Awake But Dreaming

10 Questions

What is the nicest/most memorable thing someone has said in your blog?
How different is your blog to how you planned it?
Which literary character do you most identify with?
Which piece of art would you most like to have on your wall?
Who are you most like in your family?
Which celebrity would you most like to meet?
What is your favourite drink/cocktail?
Which sporting event would you most want VIP tickets too?
What was your favourite book as a child?
Which country which you’ve not already been to would you most like to go to?

Awards: Versatile Blogger


It’s always great to receive any nomination, so to receive two within a short space of time is doubly great. Before following the rules to accept, I want to thank both Caragale and Vinnie H. I’m always reading their blogs and leaving comments and really do recommend them both. Their love of film is extremely infectious and their perceptive analysis is a delight.

Every blog award has its own set of requirements. Here’s what needs to be done for this one:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

I’m only nominating a Gr8at suitable number rather than all 15 as hopefully you will be more likely to check them all out.

Verbal Spew
Aussa Lorens
JJames Reviews
Little Write Lies
Where the Wild Things Are
Tranquil Dreams
Miss Four Eyes
Melissa Janda

And now 7 things about me.

My girlfriend got me into The Great British Bake Off. It’s a great show where I learn loads, get inspired with different recipes and can use plenty of food related puns.

If I had a superpower it would be time travel. If I could improve one current ability it would be drawing.

I play poker regularly. It’s a wonderful (and occasionally a little expensive) hobby that I have won small cash prizes in.

Magic has always fascinated me.

My favourite feel-good film is Planes, Trains and Automobiles while my favourite Christmas film is While you were Sleeping / Die Hard.

If I was to be a new Mr Man character I would probably be Mr Chatty.

I have three personally signed books by Nick Hornby.






Awards: WordPress Family Award

Wordpress Family Award

I only set up this blog in September, so it’s great to receive a Silver Screen Serenade nomination and Verbal Spew nomination. I’m very flattered.

Silver Screen Serenade is a fantastic blogger who I would really like to write a guest post for in the future. Describing herself as “One avid movie fan’s opinions on what’s playing at your theater and on your television”, she is much, much more. Do check her out. Verbal Spew is equally as awesome, with innovative reviews, round-up news and personal anecdotes on all kinds of entertainment topics. One of the most fun people you’ll find online.

According to the rules I must now choose six bloggers who make you feel like part of the family, and as ever, in NO particular order. All are already on my blogroll, but here’s a bit more about them.

Aussa Lorens – Every family needs that someone who has that madcap anecdote that can hold everyone’s attention. Reading her stuff is like going to watch a good comedian. Part of you wants to be near the front to be part of the story, but not close enough that you end up being the story!

Vinnie H – Someone with great taste who would be undoubtedly cool company at a gig or film viewing. With such a wide range of film reviews of different eras, reading his site is like discovering a previously hidden box with loads of cool toys inside.

Where the Wild Things Are – Recently added to my Twitter. Her impressive is a reminder of the open page attitude you can when posting, from the analytical to the creative.

Little Write Lies – Being inspired to write can take many forms. This website is most definitively one of them. A favourite part is the Micro Fiction section where her imagination and humour is most seen, ‘Bartending in Hell’ being my absolute favourite.

The London Scrapbook – The last page of the scrapbook may have turned, but the book cover has not yet been closed. being a Londonder myself, it’s always great to see someone else’s idea of the city. Even though I’ve been a few times

Emily’s Poetry Blog – Though not as prolific as others on this list, anyone with even a passing interest in poetry should check out her blog. She not only mentions a carefully chosen poem, but provides her own detailed insight into what the writer is aiming for. A great distraction.

Awards: Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

Yay! Another award. I want to thank Little Write Lies for the nomination. It’s definitely worth checking out her blog. She has a love for writing which is infectious and shines throughout her whole site. Really glad I discovered her work.

To accept the award, I must list 10 things about myself and then nominate 10 other bloggers for the award.

Purple is my favourite colour.

Clerks is my favourite comedy. The Naked Gun Trilogy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Withnail and I and Airplane are up there too.

Growing up Gladiators was my favourite TV Show. How can anyone not get pumped up by this theme tune? ­­KAPOW!

I have a fantasy football team which I’ve been doing for the past few years, mostly pretty successful. The one exception was Einstein FC.

The first book I remember leaving a strong impression was The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. It’s a great war story, and I would recommend it even now.

I have several books personally signed by Nick Hornby, including High Fidelity.

My favourite dessert is chocolate éclairs.

I’ve never been to Ireland but am hoping to go next year. Croatia and Greece are on my list too.

My favourite painters are Cezanne and J M W Turner

The first band I saw live was Duran Duran. Since then I have seen groups including Depeche Mode, Godhead, U2, White Lies, Girls Aloud, Coldplay and Jay-Z. I’m seeing Godspeed this week too.

And for the second part I thought I’d be a bit different and limit each one to a five word summary/description. In NO particular order.

1. Verbal Spew – Always check out her site

2. Silver Screen Serenade – Knowledgeable, thoughtful, engaging film/TV fan.

3. Marina Kanavaki – Very talented and creative painter.

4. Happiness Secrets – Full of symbolic, meaningful poetry.

5. Michael Piggott – Filled with quality entertainment articles.

6. Leman Shots – Photographer with distinct, creative style.

7. Retiree Diary – A photographer who ‘gets’ nature.

8. Global Girl’s Blog – Food lover; her passion infectious.

9. I See Beauty All Around – Just discovered, big fan already.

10. Tails From Paris – Cartoons. Wonderfully different to others.