An elephant and an award


This is my sister on a baby elephant at London Zoo, taken when I was just about a week old! I have a feeling, considering the date, that my mother must have asked dad to take her out for the day so that she could have a bit of peace with the baby – though ‘peace’ and ‘baby’ don’t entirely go together, do they?

This is a photo I coloured a few years ago, but have done a little bit of extra work on it since then. It’s also been online before as I had a blog some years ago and I posted it in that, so if it looks familiar and you followed my older blog, that may be why.

My colouring on this is far from perfect. The original had a grey elephant and it’s so long since I saw one in real life that I’d forgotten their colour so had to check it online and, of course, there are a lot of different tonalities, some greyish, some brownish, and even a few pinkish ones. So, I’ve just gone on instinct and have stuck with a basic tint rather than much variation in the different parts of the animal.

Likewise, I’ve played safe with the other colours though, out of all of them, the one that bothers me most is the rope!

I’m not a fan of zoos and wouldn’t like you to think that I ‘approve’ of putting a child on an elephant, or having that elephant contained, or anything else to do with it, but… this is a vintage photo (well, it is now, anyway) and as photo-memories go, it’s a good one. It’s one that sort of ‘pops out’ of the photo album whereas a lot of others are forgotten once the cover is closed.

Aside from this photo and colouring, I’d like to tell you about something that happened recently – a blogging ‘something’.

Recently I was given a blog award. If you don’t know what a blog award is, its a way of finding new readers for your blog and introducing your current readers to new blogs. It’s a sound idea, only problem for me (and many others) is it can take a heck of a lot of time and energy neither of which I have much of, and for a blog with a specific theme, like mine, it’s very difficult to fit in one of these.   My old blogs had lots of these awards and eventually I stopped accepting them. If I get more for this one, that may happen again, but for now… well…

Sarah of By Sarah blog, gave me the Liebster Award. (Thank you, Sarah!)


These things come with rules, most of which I usually break, but that’s okay. Here are the rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
Nominate 5-11 people (comment on their blog to let them know).
Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions.
List these rules in your post.
And most importantly…HAVE FUN!

Okay, well… I’m gonna start by breaking the first rule. I’m going to answer seven of the questions, only. (You’ll find the full set that Sarah asked me on the post I linked to on her blog.)

Why did you start blogging? Originally as a birthday present to myself! This time round, to show my photocolouring work which was an ambition I’d had since I first began doing it many years ago. Why I’d never got around to it til now, I don’t know!

How long have you been blogging? I had my first blog in 2004 and have blogged, on and off, since then. Even though I’m an experienced blogger, I began my current blog in May 2017, so it’s actually still fairly new.

What is your favourite post and why? Include a link.
This is probably Elf Children. Mostly because I astonished myself with the work I did on the photo in it and people’s responses to it (not just here, but on Facebook too) also astonished me!

What is your favourite colour and why?
You know the old saying “when I am old I shall wear purple”? I didn’t bother to wait. I’m known to friends and family for wearing purple (and shades thereof).  But actually my fave colour is a kind of gradient of lilacs and magentas… As to why… it’s mostly to do with pleasant childhood memories of these colour shades.  They are kind of  ‘comfort colours’ for me, like other people have ‘comfort foods’.

Toilet paper – folded over or under?
Folded? Isn’t it on a roll? 😉
Got to be over. Under and it grazes the wall. The wall doesn’t need to have its bum wiped. Does the wall even have a bum?

What song title would describe your life and why?
Learning to Fly. Because I always am. Not flying as in a plane, but flying as in always having to push myself to leave the ground and go higher. Many people who know me, know I love birds. It’s not just because of their beauty and their song, it’s because they can fly and what that means symbolically.

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Three rice cakes with cream cheese, followed by a few fresh dates. And a mug of decaff tea.

Next is the hard part: nominating bloggers. It’s difficult for two reasons. One is that there are so many blogs I read and enjoy that I find it difficult to exclude the ones that I can’t mention, and the other is because nearly all the bloggers I would like to nominate don’t like or don’t accept blog awards!!

So, instead of nominating them, I’m just going to link to a few blogs this time and I’ll try to mention some more in later posts, over a period of time. (Probably a large period of time as I won’t be doing it in each post.)

First, a shout-out to one blogger who kindly gave a link to my blog and my previous post, in his current one, and that is Greg, from Feline Cafe.

Next, to Victo Dolore (not her real name) for Behind The White Coat. A blog written by a woman doctor that is about as human as a blog gets. This is one of my very favourite blogs.

Ellen Hawley of Notes from the UK an irreverent look at Britain from the viewpoint of an ex-pat American living in Cornwall, England.

Aunt Beulah written by Janet Sheridan, a thoughtful blog about her family and childhood, as well as other themes such as health and wellbeing.

No Facilities written by Dan Antion on his thoughts and interests. I love his rather rambling style and his galleries of photos in each post.

Seasonings by Betty Hayes Albright, in which she posts her beauitufl poetry.

Up State & Away by Robert Parker Teel, with his stunning photos and his thoughts on, as he puts it ‘Old New York, and the World’.

And I’m going to leave it at that for now. No ‘nominees’ as such so none of the bloggers I’ve linked to need to accept or decline the award. But just know that I enjoy these blogs and their contents.

Oh and the questions for my ‘nominees’? Well, I’m going to cheat a bit here and ask everyone who comments on this post – whether I’ve linked to your blog or not – to give the title and a link to your favourite post in your own blog.

Finally – a word about my own blog, here. I’m going to turn off post Likes for a while as very few people are commenting and, while I know clicking Like is a sign of appreciation often from someone short on time, this blog will be a whole lot better for me and for my other readers, if there is more engagement.


18 thoughts on “An elephant and an award

  1. I don’t think anyone will be riding elephants here in the US these days! I have a photo of my brother riding the back of a giant tortoise. It was at a Florida alligator farm. I don’t think that is happening any more either. I do like zoos though as I think they are necessary. Thanks for the award, but no one seems to see my please no awards sign! I appreciate the sentiment. I never would know who to nominate either. I have turned comments off and left likes on, but never the other way! Hope it works for you. Defying all “statistics” my favorite blog is

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm, a lot of things have (thankfully) changed. I was looking earlier on today at another London Zoo photo that I’ve had since I was a small kid, of a chimpanzee being fed by its keeper (not in a cage, but on the keeper’s arm). It’s a very sweet photo and I think I may scan and colour it in due course – something I’ve never thought of doing – but I still dislike zoos. Some are necessary, up to a point, but I don’t think they all are.

      No, I thought you were one of the people who didn’t accept awards but, as I said, this isn’t so much an award as a shout-out and some friendly links. I did, at first, put the award logo in my post but then removed it as an afterthought, I just don’t think it belongs here. The sentiment is nice – (good to be thought of) – though, as you say.

      I keep comments on, on everything (unless I’ve not had them turned on in the first place) except my pages which I prefer to leave as info without comments distracting from the content. I love receiving comments, providing they’re not from spammers or narcissists just out to get attention to their blogs for the sake of it, and I particularly like them on old posts – which is why I use the ‘related posts’ widget. But turning off post Likes, is one of the best ways of increasing engagement, as is commenting on other people’s posts and replying to comments. I think, by the look of it, that you’re an old hand at this, too!

      Thanks for the link to your post. I must admit that I like the last pic most, the one where Scooby is curled up without his extra clothing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to receive recognition – and as one who remembers your earlier blogs (and in particular the ones with lots of humour) I’m glad that you’re continuing to produce them. And the elves are fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice photo of your sis. I don’t approve of elephants in zoos or the circus. Ringling Bros. was closed because of perceived animal abuse of the big cats. elephants and other animals. The elephants all went to one or more sanctuaries in southern US, I think.


  4. Val, I’m with you on elephants and any other animal that’s exploited and contained. Going back to age 5 when we bought our first t.v. the first show on was of a circus. I hated it – the way they were treating the lions and elephants. It’s good to know that circuses are being shut down and zoos are at least making the effort to improve conditions.

    Thanks so much for the mention, btw! I don’t accept awards but am honored you like my poetry. 😊

    I always enjoy your blog as well. Fascinating to see the old photos and the difference it makes when you color them. Thanks, Val, for being there. So glad we’ve met here on WP.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad we’ve met here, too. (And I thought you didn’t accept awards, that’s okay.)
      I was taken to a circus when I was a very small child and detested all of it except the acrobats. The animals – well, I think I cried for them.
      Thanks, Betty.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Val – a great job with the elephant. As it happens, my favorite animal.
    I also wanted to thank you very much for mentioning my blog. It isn’t false modesty, to say that my photos are very amateurish, but I’m having fun fooling with them, and very glad if people see something they enjoy. It’s been a very pleasant two years for me, sometimes trying to be a better writer, and learning a little photography as I go, and sometimes just posting thoughts without a lot of finesse or polish, to just find out what other people think about things.
    I’m enjoying your blog very much, and appreciate exchanging thoughts with you.
    They do have some elephants at a “safari park” in Ontario, Canada. They are living in captivity, its true, but they are able to wander around the fields without getting shot, and there’s a little river, where they can swim, which they obviously love to do, even going completely underwater.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robert.

      Your photography is much better than you think it is, as is your writing. And what I love most of all is that you like to engage with people, a lot of bloggers don’t (they are simply ‘people who blog’ not bloggers, imo.)

      There’s a famous open-air zoo in England, called Whipsnade, that has that sort of environment. I’m not too unhappy about those but don’t like it when animals are kept in cages in an environment with has the wrong climate for their natural needs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s non-scientific, but the animals that have always bothered me the most, when I see them in zoos, are the bears. They look unhappy being confined, maybe “stir crazy” and frantic, trapped-looking. Whereas the peccaries and boars, as long as they have a little patch of land to burrow in, look pretty content and bask in the sun together.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for your responses to my questions – I appreciate your time to do this. It’s always interesting finding out more about the person behind the blog 😃

    I too, am a huge fan of purple and wear it often. I think it’s one of those colours that suits everyone. I was astounded by your restoration and recolouring of elf children. Abolsutely exquisite and I can see why it’s a favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah. I enjoyed the little part of the award thingy that I did, though I suspect I might not do any or many more if I get them. They take way too much energy that I mostly don’t have (I have health issues).
      Elf Children popped up on someone else site (as a share) recently and I thought “that’s good, I wonder who did… oh, it was me!” 🙂


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