LIEBSTER AWARD: A blessed gift from Ann Friend

Vijay Shah

The August award season here at the Half-Eaten Mind seems to be going into full swing, as the news blog with the green-and-brown owl mascot becomes the recipient of a blogging award kindly offered by one of the newest members of the HEM Community, the coolest collective of bloggers to ever sail the gentle waves of the blogosphere.

This week we have been awarded the Liebster Award by new blogging buddy Ann Friend. Ann is the queen of theological writings at her site “A Friend of Jesus 2013 Blog“, which offers a Christian blogging perspective and encouragement for these challenging times. Her blog specialises in offering Biblical advice based on the Christian holy scriptures, and is a place where people can find out about the Word of God, plus a starting-point for followers to develop a deeper and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A Friend of Jesus also distributes encouragement for when life itself starts handing out lemons.

Ann’s award is a graphically different version of the Liebster Award previously received from Jill London in mid-May of this year, which you can see at this link:- MORE AWARDS!!: The Half-Eaten Mind receives big batch of gongs. This time the award’s design incorporates a simple but very appropriate rosette, illustrating perfectly just how the Liebster helps us discover new blogs and in turn, new experiences.

The Liebster Award, which exists in several different pictorial versions, is traditionally gifted to bloggers with less than 200 followers. The name of the award comes from the German noun “liebe”, which means “love”, and a Liebster therefore is someone who is sweet, kind, nice, pleasant, valued and a whole host of other charming qualities in the eyes of their fellow companions on the Great Blogging Trail. Back to our Teutonic friends, the word “liebster” literally means “dearest”- which shows how as bloggers, we have become very much a close-knit family. The origins of the award are lost in the misty binary-code lined depths of medieval blogging history, but according to teenage blogger Sopphey Vance, the first mention of the award was on the German-language “Bird of A Paradise” blog way back in December 2010.

Like blogging awards are wont to have, there are some rules to play by. Here they are as taken from Ann Friend’s blog:

Rules of the Inn 1786
Rules of the Inn 1786 (Photo credit: DanBrady)


– Link back the blogger that tagged you
– Nominate ten others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you
– Ask ten questions for the bloggers you nominate
– Let your nominees know of their award


Firstly, let’s answers the questions Ann has posed me. Okay here we go !!!!

1. What makes you smile?

Seeing other people happy always puts a guaranteed smile on my face. There is something about the smiles of others that is so contagious. I also like doing beneficial deeds for others, whether family, friends or total strangers and it always warms me up inside. On a less abstract level, it’s spending time with my 3-year-old niece Shaniya. She has the cutest smile herself and enjoys a good giggle. I am literally grinning from ear-to-ear every time my “Shooby” belts out one of her cutesy rhyme songs that she has picked up in her local nursery (kindergarten), while prancing gingerly around the kitchen.

2. What makes you sad?

Unfortunately I have had a difficult life, especially in my childhood. I had to deal with a lot of abuse and hatred growing up, and even though I have locked those memories away and tried to get on with my life, every now and then something uncomfortable escapes from the Pandora’s box firmly sealed up in the deepest recesses of my mind, and that is overpowering stuff. Seeing others hurt, in pain, crying and distraught also has a deeply saddening effect. I am not yet married, and sometimes the loneliness and lack of romantic companionship can really get me down, depressed even.

3. What motivates you?

The Half-Eaten Mind is a very relevant motivation for me. It keeps me going and I really enjoy it. In life generally, I have a lot of ambitions. Searching for and getting a nicely paid job, settling down and eventually dying a happy man (LOL). Right now I want to move into a studio/one-bedroom flat, which is a plan I will kick into touch about December this year. Fingers crossed. Ultimately, it’s the attestable fact that no matter how difficult things become, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s pure motivation.

4. How would you describe your personality?

I can be shy and withdrawn, but when I am in familiar surroundings, out comes my gregarious, jokey and laid back side, bouncing across the room like a chattering Tigger high off a combined fast release Red Bull and sugar rush. I am thoughtful and compassionate, but also a bit of a perfectionist and short-tempered at times. I think, and others have said so, that I am caring, diligent and highly respectful of people’s differences. At the end of the day, I just want to treat people the way I would want to be treated.

5. What do you least enjoy doing in life?

Getting out of bed at stupid o’clock in the morning for work has got to be in the Top 5 somewhere. 

6. What is your favorite song?

It’s hard to say. I listen to many different genres and it’s a Herculean task just picking my five most ‘all-time’ faves. But one song I am particularly keen on at the moment is “Bater Bis“. It’s a sega song from Mauritius. I don’t know the name of the artist, and my Mauritian Creole is derisory but how this tune makes me want to shake my, er… booty even when I’m lying in bed. You can see it below. Dance around your living room if you have to. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone!.

7. What is your favorite quote and why?

I don’t really have a favourite quote, but try this on for size.

“Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some others, you’re the statue” – unknown.

A perfect antidote for the ups-and-downs of life.

8. How do you relax?

When at home, I am usually “chillaxin'” in front of the laptop, mainly on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but I may do some research via search engines for queries that are bugging me, or simply for leisure. I am a big fan of the games Candy Crush and Criminal Case, or watching television. Otherwise it’s special time with family. One thing I haven’t done in a while is smoke shisha (hookah) with mates. I miss that.

9. What is your favorite bible verse?

Another tough question for me, as I am Hindu, but one Biblical verse that is oft-repeated here in the United Kingdom is “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. I guess it’s a Biblical way of saying that what goes around comes around. If you like, it’s the perfect justice. Pity the British legal system doesn’t always co-exist well with this particular theological concept.

10. Why do you blog?

I set up HEM for two main reasons. Firstly to develop and derive satisfaction from my writing skills. I always have had a knack for writing articles and short stories since my primary school days. I was a voracious reader to boot. Writing and posting for this blog has helped keep those skills nourished and extant. Remember, skills can have a use-by-date. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Secondly, I wish to break into the world of news reporting, also known as journalism. I already have the academic clout, in the form of a degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Westminster, but alas, it’s a tough career to gain entry into, and experience is key. There’s no way I could do an unpaid six-month internship at a magazine or news offices. I have bills and stuff to pay. So the blog is the next best thing. I enjoy being my own editor, sourcing my own news stories, writing my own articles, and being in charge of everything from A to Z, plus all the punctuation marks and special characters. I enjoy the independence and camaderie being a blogger rewards me with. Besides, it’s bloody jolly good fun. I love sharing my work with the world, and informing/educating/entertaining my readers. I also find blogging somewhat therapeutic and relaxing, although fighting with the settings and typos on the WordPress brand HTML reader can admittedly grind my gears!.

Here are my TEN LIEBSTER AWARD nominees who have made an impression on me in the past three-odd months:

1. Superduque

2. Ron Scubadiver

3. Clouds & Cups

4. Talking Experience

5. The Nomadic Soliloquist

6. Petite Magique

7. Ajaytao2010

8. Live2EatEat2Live

9. PiczLoad

10. Adeena

…and here are my own TEN LIEBSTER QUESTIONS :-

1. What is your favourite possession that you can’t be without?

2. Who is your role model?

3. What is the earliest memory you have?

4. What is your number 1 holiday destination?

5. If you were president/king/queen/emir/maharaja/sheikh or UN secretary-general for a week, what would be your first law?

6. What is your favourite food?

7. Name a special or unique talent you have?

8. What is the stupidest thing you have ever done (as opposed to witnessed)?

9. How many languages do you speak?

10. What was your first job?

I would like to finally thank Ann Friend for thinking of me when choosing her nominees and hope God blesses her a million times as he has already blessed her with a kind and friendly heart.


“I’ve Been Nominated: The Liebster Award” – Ann “AFriendForever54” Friend, afriendofJESUS2013Blog (20 August 2013) LINK
“About this blog” – Ann “AFriendForever54” Friend, afriendofJESUS2013Blog LINK
“we loved here. | The Liebster Award” – Ashley & Jason, We Loved Here (31 July 2012) LINK
“Liebster Blog Award Origins” – Sopphey Vance, Sopphey Says (9 May 2012) LINK
“Thanks” – Trinh Hai Phuong, My Opera LINK
“Emoticons: Question face” – nicubunu, (17 March 2009) LINK

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