Profoundly. Lovely. Blog party

Put your feet up, I'm going to
Speak My Branes
Lovely Marija of Purple Pinky Honey nominated me for the Profoundly. Lovely. Blog party. I don't often do this sort of thing, but beauty and confidence are two things I think a lot about...

1. Tell me about something you love and why?
I suppose I should mention Mr Robot here, though he's not a thing, and anyway the 'why' would take forever to list.

I love travelling. Finding somewhere new, with fascinating things to see and smell and eat – and finding out that people are generally lovely wherever you go. Travel doesn't just broaden the mind, it opens the heart. Of course, you have to travel in the expectation of finding something new; if you journey far away and expect the same food you always eat and the language you always here, you'd be better off saving your money and locking yourself in your house for a week or two.

A bicycle is pointless out on the lake...
 When we went to Myanmar, one day our guide at Inle Lake took us for a bicycle ride round Nyaung Shwe. Now, I have no road sense and have never learned to drive a car – in fact, I was the only person in my year at school to fail the cycling proficiency test - and my first bike ride for the first time in 20 years was on a rickety thing with no brakes on roads with no markings (and occasionally no road surface). I was terrified. For large parts of the journey I was telling myself, 'If I have an accident I'll have to be med-evacced to Thailand, and I do not want to go to Thailand on this holiday, so I am not going to have an accident!' I managed the ride, and saw amazing historic monasteries, met lovely people and got some wonderful memories, and it made me realise I can do more than I think, if only I have some faith in myself. That's the beauty of travelling.

2. What is one thing you do that makes you feel like "I could do this forever"?
Walking in the countryside on a warm, sunny day, when you can smell the hedgerows and hear the birds and bees. Mr Robot says I'm basically a Hobbit (albeit one of those disreputable ones who likes to go off adventuring), and I guess that's as close as I can get to The Shire.

3. What do you love about yourself?
Errrrr... I don't know if I love anything, but I accept myself. And that's a pretty big thing.

4. What advice would you give to someone who doesn't believe he/she is beautiful?
I would ask what it is that makes them feel not beautiful. It will almost certainly be an external thing, very few people think they are ugly on the inside. And then I would tell them to get a Pinterest board and pin lots of people who are that thing and look great. I am much heavier than I used to be, and I'm middle-aged, but collecting photos of older people looking cool and having fun, and fatshionistas and plus-size burlesque stars looking rounded and still having fun and being fabulous, helped me readjust my attitude towards my own size and age. (Doing burlesque has really helped with that too.)

That said, life isn't just for people who meet a certain beauty standard. One of the reasons I put photos of myself on my blog, even when I think I look terrible, is because I want to show that even if you aren't beautiful you can still enjoy yourself and have fun with clothes. The people around you would rather be having a great time in your company than looking at a photo of a model. As a blogger I sometimes feel there's pressure to present onesself in the most accepted-as-attractive way possible, and putting up shots of myself in unflattering outfits is one way to stick two fingers up at that.
Looking awful does not stop you having fun!
So if after you've made your Pinterest board and seen other people like yourself looking great you still feel ugly, well, so what? You still deserve nice things and you can still go out and have fun and the people who really matter will still want to be with you. Beauty is nice, but it's not actually that important.

5. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received about confidence?
Be Freddie Mercury!

In burlesque class we had to do a lip-synching session, to do with presenting to an audience and making them belive you're something you might not be. We had to lip-synch along to Freddie Mercury. Freddie made himself fabulous, and we can all do that.

6. If you were your own daughter/son, what important things would you tell yourself/them?
Be kind. And be generous with things, time and love, because it all comes back in the end when you need it.

7. A verse, poem, sonnet, ancient-old proverb that inspires you to love yourself and others?
As a kid I had a poster saying 'LOVE: it grows when you give it away'. True, that.

And now I have to nominate someone, so I shall nominate Gisela of Miss Magpie's Musings, because I suspect her of wisdom and would like to hear her answers to the questions!


  1. No pressure then!

    Leave it with me, I'll give much thought but not whilst Poldark is on :-)

  2. If I did Pinterest I would pin the hell out of you lady-because I just adore you! And I don't think you look awful in that dress, though the sleeves are a fright.

    1. Ha! My frump brings all the boys to the yard...

      I think the angle of the photo was unfortunate, to be honest - my husband took it from lower down, which is the worst possible angle to shoot a large lady from, unless 'Willendorf Venus' is the desired effect. The dress is actually pretty nice.

  3. What an interesting read.
    Travel is the thing I love, too and like you, have no road sense whatsoever. I can't drive and risk death every time I attempt to cross a road.
    Awful photo? I think not! That picture of you is just lovely.
    Self acceptance. Not beating yourself up about things you can't change and making the best of what you do have. It often takes a lifetime to learn that. xxx

    1. Woohoo! Another adult non-driver. My brother passed his test recently, so now I've got my family suggesting I might like to learn. No, no, no. I'd kill people.

      The self-acceptance thing was hard; I have had therapy which has made me a much more relaxed person, though prone to overanalysing things.

  4. Very interesting and profound. Oh and lovely!

    1. Hmm. I think the world will end when I'm capable of any genuine profundity. I'm of the Bill and Ted school of philosophy: be excellent to each other. That's about my level.

  5. My Dear Mim,
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving your answers - I know what it means to you (as it did to me, and every other person: giving away part of our privacy - and leaving it on the Web permanently).
    So: thanks for the bravery, for your honesty, for being so awesome!!! :)


    1. Nah, I'm always happy to tell people to stop feeling bad about themselves. I'm a dreadful old hippie, deep down.

  6. I liked reading your thoughts on these questions, Mim. And unlike Goody, I love the sleeves on that dress!
    Yes, confidence and self-esteem are thorny issues for many of us, but I'm a firm believer in faking it till you make it. By learning how to present yourself in a confident way, and having other people see you as such, you really start to feel it. Or that's been my experience anyway.
    Now let's see what Gisela has to say! xxxx

    1. Yes, that was part of being Freddie. My teacher reckoned he may not have been the best looking bloke in the world, but he presented himself like he was irresistible, and could absolutely hold an audience.

  7. You've written many true words there Mim, especially about body image - and fair play to you for being so honest with your thoughts.
    P.S. Thanks for the tip about Freddie - I'll have to remember that one!

  8. Ah, Pinterest...: ) time waster of mine!
    I can't cycle, I have all the balance of a horse on a washing line, I was taking driving lessons...very late in life...with a wonderful instructor but I hated every minute of it. Then I got sick and wouldn't have been allowed to drive anyway so gave up. I'd have been rubbish at it though, and was realising it every lesson. but it's hard not having it when you live somewhere that they don't really believe in much public transport : (
    For me confidence grew as I became older, but in all honesty I never much cared, I always waltzed to my own tune and a stuff it if you don't like it!
    Have you seen Vintage Visage and The Vintage Pattern Files?

  9. I'm so pleased to have found someone else who failed their cycling proficiency test at school!!! Ha!! Though I can drive, it's just 2 wheels and hooves that I can't handle. Really enjoyed reading all of these answers. Also, you're too tall to be a hobbit ;)

  10. Thank you for that heartfelt post Mim! I can't agree is about self-acceptance and learning how to like ourselves for being ourselves. No matter who we may be, there are bound to be aspects we don't appreciate about ourselves....but that's the beauty of being human. The ability to be vulnerable and meaningful is precious...something we all need to remember. Thank you beautiful dear Mim! x

  11. Maybe I should try channelling Freddie when I have confidence issues! Such a good tip! I enjoyed reading this, you speak a lot of sense. I can identify with the blog photos thing, trying to do more of that.


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