Blog hopping around the world!

Hoppity hop!

Hoppity hop!

It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming the blogosphere is. It’s all about community, inspiration and encouraging eachother which makes blogging a very sociable online activity! So when fellow blogger Craig at Fishink Designs asked if I’d like to take part in the “Around the World Creative Blog Hop” I jumped at the chance!!

Blog hops are basically a virtual relay race passing the baton from blogger to blogger and introducing you, our lovely readers, to new blogs and bloggers telling you a little bit about them along the way.

For starters, here’s a little of the very talented Craig’s gorgeous work to get yer peepers round –

Fishink products

You can find out more about Craig and his work via his regular blog here.

Fishink sketches

As part of the blog hop, each of us also gets to answer 4 questions on what we do to give a little insight into our reasons for blogging so here goes with my questions and answers…..

  1. What am I working on?

As of this morning I have 8 blogposts in the pipeline, some of which are partially drafted, while others are still rumbling around in my head waiting for me to start scribbling! I won’t give too many spoilers but topics will include the upcoming Venice Film Festival as I track down some interesting Italian films and actors on the Lido, wild swimming in Lake Maggiore and the most delicious chocolatier in Venice!!! Mmmm, chocolate……..!!! Anyway, moving on…..!!

71st Venice Film Festival

71st Venice Film Festival

(BTW If you have any suggestions to add to my list, feel free to comment at the end of this post as I’m always interested in getting feedback on what you’d like to see next!)

  1. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Tricky question! I’d say that I go into a bit more detail in my posts, compared with some, as it’s the little nuggets of historical trivia that I find so fascinating. For example, did you know that Venetians will rarely walk between the two columns on the waterfront of Piazzetta San Marco because that’s where executions were held and its considered, not unreasonably, bad luck! Or that Siena has an entire network of underground tunnels and aquaducts under the city! Or that Ancient Romans invented the recipe book! Is there anything that the Ancient Romans didn’t invent?!!!

Make sure to walk around, not through!

Make sure to walk around, not through!

I also try to take colourful and interesting photos without being too arty-farty as a picture can, as they say, convey a thousand words!

And ultimately I hope my posts convey a passion for Italy and all her fabulous faults and foibles with humour and helpful handy hints via the “Useful Information” section. In the end, though, only you can judge if I pull it off or not?

  1. Why do I write/create what I do?

I’ve always kept a diary/scrapbook, especially when travelling, and find the whole process of journaling adds enjoyment to a trip as I get to enjoy it five times – once in planning, once in the moment, once reviewing photos, once writing and once re-reading diaries years later! How’s that for value for money?!

Dear Diary

Dear Diary

I also find writing extremely relaxing, unless I’m up against a deadline! And I love the process of playing with words to paint a picture and craft something which conveys the atmosphere or emotion of a place. Blogging is just the next step, although going public is a little daunting! And it has created a virtuous circle as I’m starting to get some wonderful feedback and suggestions that feed into my passion and encourage me to explore more and share more! And so it goes and so it grows!

  1. How does my writing/creative process work?

As a self-confessed nerd, it won’t surprise those who know me well to find out that I keep a spreadsheet of all my blog post ideas, which, by the way, already runs through to 2017(eeek!)!! Ideas tend to come to the top of the list for a variety of reasons but mainly because they fascinate me or are topical.

When I have a blog to write I tend to have a gentle start to the day. I’ll have a potter around town first just to get going. Sometimes I have some last minute research to do or need some final photos for the post. Other times I like to think whilst walking along the waterfront or sitting in the park watching the boats go by and often come up with the opening paragraph this way. Or sometimes I just need some shopping before I can finally get down to writing later in the afternoon or evening which is when I find I work best.

My desk

DreamDiscoverItalia central!

If I’m distracted I can spend hours re-arranging the order of my next posts and colour-coding priority ideas in my spreadsheet before I ever set pen to paper on a post but usually I tend to write a plan first before I start typing.

Some posts are written in one go, straight through with multiple edits along the way to cut out the wittering. Others take a little more patience and are written in bits and pieces before being pulled together into a coherent post.

And the best advice I’ve ever had about writing was to just write. By that I mean, don’t feel like you have to write the beginning, middle and then end in that order. You might find that you have ideas for parts of the body of the article first before you have an idea how to start the post. The important thing is just to start writing, get the flow going and hopefully the rest will follow!

And so finally, its my chance to pass the baton onto some fellow bloggers! I’ve chosen to introduce you too some of the travel blogging ladies I’ve met along the way, together with a salsa instructor and a fantastic photographer based in Ireland. Its not all about Italy for once!

The first is  Nina on the Rhein who, having moved to Germany for love in 2010, now writes about exploring her new home and trips around Europe. She has a great chatty style and takes some great photos like this one in her latest blog on the RheinSteig trail! Nina will be blog hopping later this month so keep an eye on her website!!


Now that’s what I call a castle!

Next up is Susan over at who likes to find “those certain somethings that make a place special – the Best Bits. Where to escape the hot sun over Hanoi while sipping the Vietnamese version of iced cappuccino…..the out of the way ice cream that can’t be missed on those work trips to Milan…..or the drive that beats all others when heading to the Grand Canyon.” Her blog is a great resource when you’re planning a trip!

Myanmar's best bits

Myanmar’s best bits

Next is Salsa Jennifer who is a bundle of energy and loves nothing more than spreading the joy of salsa! Dance has been her passion for over 20 years and Jennifer’s salsa hips have taken her around the world. Jennifer’s blog includes some great video blogs with music that is difficult not to move to!!

Shake those hips!

Shake those hips!

And finally, take a hop over to Ed Mooney photography where Ed posts some of the most beautiful black and white images of Irish castles, monastories, stone circles and old ruins. He seems to spend most of his spare time “ruin hunting” and fuelling his interest in photography, history, folklore and mythology and produces some great atmospheric pictures along with the background history to each site. His blog is a tremendous archive of Irish historical locations and I hope he won’t mind me giving you all a little taster with one of his amazing photos of Ballyadams Castle.

Ballyadams Castle

Ballyadams Castle.

Unlike other blog hops, I’m not asking my nominees to do anything except continue being their fabulous selves as I know everyone is busy with school holidays, vacations, travel and just keeping up with their own blogging etc. But if you like their blogs, and I know you will(!), please comment, subscribe or share to pass the word on!

In the meantime, thanks again to Craig at Fishink for the invitation to blog hop, its been great to be part of the relay race around the world. And now I’m off to explore more of my beloved Venice so I can share more of it with you later! Ciao for now!!

Wandering through Venice's alleyways and underpassages

Wandering through Venice’s alleyways and underpassages

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4 Responses to Blog hopping around the world!

  1. Fishink says:

    Such a lovely post. Great for us in Old Blighty, to hear how you spend your day and lovely to see where your blogs actually get made. Knowing you (just a little as I do) I’m not in the least surprised that you’re already blogged up the the eyeballs til 2017 ! Creativity is definitely flowing. Thanks again for taking part and rising to the challenge (as I knew you would) so well.

  2. suggs69 says:

    spreadsheets :o)

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