I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of an award, thanks to Ruth. I am most grateful, and especially so to receive it from Ruth. Hers is one of my favourite blogs and if you've never visited it before I particularly recommend you do. Look out for her wonderful Dog Parables which are in a convenient list at the left hand side of the page.
It is suggested that the awardee awards some others. I've thought hard and I can't do it. I really love so many of the blogs I read. And I get different things out of them depending on my mood or the kind of day I've had.
For example, I was so tired as I dragged myself out of bed this morning, having had a difficult first week back at work. I logged on briefly before leaving the house and I read this on Mr Nighttime's blog. It put everything back in proportion and I went off to work with a better attitude and of course had a much better day.
Often I get great pleasure from looking at Just Another Day On The Prairie and Kids' Cattle Blog because the photos are just so lovely and transport me to a world so different from my own. Same with the Antarctic Blog.
Sorry, I'm abandoning the linky bit now as Blue Eyed Boy is waiting to get onto the computer - he's not enjoying "Hairspray" on DVD as much as his sisters apparently - who'd a thunk it?
Reading police blogs like Inspector Gadget's, Nightjack's, Noddy's and others is really good for me and helps me a lot. Both the police and myself work on a daily basis with offenders. However, they often see them in the midst of, or the immediate aftermath, of their crime. And they also spend time with the victims/victims' families. I see the offender cleaned up, sober, in the structured routine of prison and I don't get to meet the victims/victims' families. Many offenders are much "nicer" people in this environment and as I get involved in trying to help them I want to empathise and understand but never to condone or to lose sight of the impact of their crimes on their victims. So it's good for me to read the police blogs and I appreciate them a lot.
I also hugely appreciate Coffee With Louis, From The Inside, On the Brink of Eternity and Finding Grace Within, as they're all written by prison chaplains. The first two are from this side of the Atlantic, the latter two from t'other side. As I work in a very small team (until my colleague gets back from holiday it's a team of one!) it's great to remember there are lots of us out there doing our thing!
And, I like lots of others too of course. The above are just ones that fit into obvious categories.
Do you know what? I could never be a judge on X Factor. I'd never get the numbers narrowed down and there would be thousands of acts in the final. And of course there's always the fact that I'm tone deaf.
Imagine - By Shaun Weldon
16 hours ago