OK, please accept my apologies, I've got a couple of awards that I've been tardy in acknowledging. Real Life is intruding way too much at the moment to devote this the attention it requires, but I do need at least to acknowledge the generous donors, so here goes...
First, there is the Cherry On Top award, from the delightful Lettuce Head.
Then there is the Versatile Blogger award, awarded independently both by the highly inventive Elena Solodow, and by the soft-spoken and ladylike Sam at Rot Du Jour. Please don't pepper-spray me, Sam!
So, there are a couple of rules with these awards. For the Cherry On Top award, I'm supposed to share one thing I'd change about my past.
One thing I would change is the time I wasted trying to be like other people. It took me many years to realise that other people might see me very differently from how I see myself, and with that realisation came a huge crisis of self-confidence. All of a sudden, I had no idea who "I" was any more. So, like a drowning man clutching at any flotsam that drifted by, I started rather randomly trying to emulate things that I thought were "cool" in other people.
It took me many more years to decide that it didn't matter how other people see me. I am who I am, and I have as much right to be me as anyone else. If anyone doesn't like it, they can take the proverbial long walk off a short pier.
And for the Versatile Blogger, I'm supposed to share seven things about myself.
1. See above (you can tell I'm pressed for time!)
2. I used to hate writing. How the heck I ever thought of trying to write novels I cannot now remember.
3. I used to hide behind the couch whenever the Daleks appeared on Dr Who. This was in the days when they first appeared on TV.
4. I hated all forms of physical activity when I was at school, and then promptly took up as much sport as I could cram into my life at University.
5. I have always loved drawing and painting. My mind is bursting with images that I want to share with people. I think writing is actually an extension of this, a way of pulling people even deeper into those imagined scenes than I ever could through a purely visual depiction.
6. I would love to be able to play a musical instrument.
7. I was personally invited, many years ago, by the Speaker of the House of Commons at that time to visit Westminster, see Prime Minister's Question Time, and visit him for a brief (he was a very busy man, which makes this all the more awesome) chat in his huge office overlooking the Thames.
OK, this has taken way too long. I've been really good this week at redressing the imbalance between blogging and writing, and I don't want to regress, so I'm going to cheat for the next part. I am passing on these awards to anyone out there following me who cares to comment and claim them. Because if you're following and commenting, you're awesome by definition, so choose one. Take your pick.