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No, well, the Oscar doesn’t go to me, nor does the BAFTAEmmy or any other performing arts award. When I was young, I’d written that Oscar speech before I’d even been to the audition.  As yer do.

I wouldn’t cry, unless I could manufacture one delicate teardrop down my right cheek. I wouldn’t thank everyone by name, thereby boring everyone knicker-rigid, and I certainly wouldn’t go on at length, ad infinitum, till the cows came home. As Groucho once said, I’d rather stay with the cows till you came home.

The speech would be short and simple, and discussed endlessly. I’d be in the media for a goodly time for the exquisite gown I would have worn. Probably something like this—but in black and with a scattering of tiny, real diamonds—none of yer paste jewellery, thank you very much.


Ok, so that’s not going to happen. In any case, why should I care when I have, in the last year, received so many blogging awards? I’ve not had time to do anything about them, hence this post, which is to explain that finding the time to do all that’s required of an award is always going to be beyond me.

And I also feel rather as Phil Taylor does:

Let’s get this one right out of the way now. It’s not an award if it requires you to do anything you normally wouldn’t,  like turn around and give it to fifteen other people.  There’s no other awards in life that require you to do work. “And the Oscar for Best Actress in a Drama goes to Meryl Streep, but only if she can name fifteen other actors that deserve it!”

This post is my apology and thank you to the lovely fellow bloggers who have showered me with all manner of trophies from the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, the Influential Blogger Award, and One Lovely Blog Award to the Inspiring Blogger Award, the Versatile Blogger Award, the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, and the Liebster Award. (That’s quite a mouthful—I’m not sure that even with my diction (exquisite, darlings) I’d not stumble over them in a public speech.

This a long-winded way of saying, as you may have noticed from the image in the sidebar, that I have become an award-free blog. My special thanks are to the following beautiful bloggers for giving me such delight. In no particular order, I give you:

The Crazy Bag Lady
Moorezart (two awards!)
Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons
Los caprichos de Julie Delpy
Magpie Creative Writing Services
Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life
Writer’s Notebook
The Linden Chronicles
Andrés Cifuentes
Rebecca Bond – Classic Re-tellings of Modern Tales
Alex Raphael
Yesterday After
Kyrosmagica (again!)
Charles French Words Reading and Writing (for one of my other blogs, First Night History)
Gringa of the Barrio
Cooking with Reena
Wild Star Landing

I do hope I haven’t forgotten anybody. If I have, let me know!

For anyone who doesn’t see the Award-Free logo and nominates me, I will do the next best thing by adding a link to your blog by updating this post.

Take care and keep laughing!


My computer and I have been reunited! Here is a post from my theatre site, Rogues & Vagabonds.

Rogues & Vagabonds

2014 Theatre Book Prize reception


The Society for Theatre Research


Short List

for books published in 2013 (in alphabetical order)

The National Theatre Story by Daniel Rosenthal (Oberon)

The Other National Theatre: 350 Years of Shows in Drury Lane  by Robert Whelan (Jacob Tonson)

Speaking the Speech  by Giles Block (Nick Hern Books)

Stage Blood by Michael Blakemore (Faber & Faber)

Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’sTrees by Vin Nardizzi

(University of Toronto Press)

The winner of the Theatre Book Prize will be announced on Friday 9th May at 2.30 pm at a reception in the Val Parnell Suite at the London Palladium when the judges will speak about the year’s theatre books and Maureen Lipman CBE will present the prize.


The Theatre Book Prize is an annual award first presented in to mark the Jubilee…

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A Girl Called Jack

Jack Monroe with her son

I first came across Jack Monroe last summer and was drawn to her no-nonsense and humorous approach to life and survival in the face of overwhelming odds, not least those created by a government hell-bent on demonising single mothers, the poor, the unemployed and the most vulnerable, at the same time as cutting  benefits to a level that makes survival all but impossible.

Jack’s fame began to spread through the excellence of her blog and the help her budget recipes were providing for so many. In May 2013, she won the judges’ choice award at the Fortnum & Mason food awards. One of the reasons they gave was that her recipes are “so nutritious and thrifty that they are being handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing”.

In July, she was interviewed by The Guardian, which is probably the point at which I discovered her: ‘Poverty, almost paradoxically, gave her a voice,’ writes Patrick Butler. Soon after, she and her recipes became the target of Richard Littlejohn’s venom. The unscrupulous journalist (yes, the Daily Wail is his employer) described her as the Left’s ‘poverty poster girl’ and disparaged her use of dried pasta and kale in cooking as though she were a fraud because “those whom the Guardianistas disdain as ‘ordinary people’ don’t eat pasta – they eat spaghetti out of tins. Most of them will have never heard of kale, let alone eaten it”. Please! Jack wrote a spirited riposte which was published in The Guardian, for whom she now writes  a food column, and deservedly so.

If Jack’s face is familiar on a national scale today, it is because she is part of Sainsburys’ 2014 television campaign.  All power to her elbow. I, for one, salute her.  Her first cookery book is being published next month by Michael Joseph: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes.

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: Honey roasted ham with veg, £1.53
First published in the Guardian and G2 magazine: Jack Monroe’s budget Christmas.  As always, all prices based on Sainsburys and Sainsburys Basics range where available. Similar products available at most leading supermarkets.

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: My £2.25 Christmas dinner on the One Show!

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: Mince pie crumble, 31p

Take care and keep laughing!


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