Liebster Award for Blogging

First, I want to thank Riley Banks for ‘nominating’ me for a Liebster Award. I don’t know where this blog chain started, but here are the requirements: I have to list 11 random facts about me, then answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me (that would be Riley). I then nominate 11 bloggers to follow on from me and come up with 11 new questions (cannot use the same ones I was asked or the ones I asked). I post the award on my blog and it goes on – hopefully bringing new readers to our blogs. So, let’s get started:

Eleven facts about me

1) I’m a qualified aircraft engineer, but that was a long time ago, and I have now forgotten most of what I was taught.

2) I’m in a writing minority - I’m left-hand. Well, I write with my left hand, but play sport, like tennis, with my right hand. (You work it out - I can’t.)

3) I love driving fast cars, and always have the biggest smile on track days. (The picture opposite is of me driving a Formula Renault around a very wet track at Thruxton, UK)

4) When not writing, I love trying to be creative with my camera.

5) During the last 12 years, I’ve visited over 30 countries in my ‘day job’ as a freelance trainer (business courses).

6) In 2005, I visited Peru to trek across the Andes, following the Inca trail to Machu Piccu. It took four days, with day time temperatures around 30c, and sub-zero at night, whilst sleeping under canvas.

7) According to a Mensa test I did, about 25 years ago, I have an IQ of 152; But what do they know?!

8) A few years ago, my wife and I were on holiday in the Caribbean, and we hired two wet-bikes. We were supposed to stay in the nearby bay, but decided it would be more fun to race them around the local harbour.

9) Like my character Ben, in The Pyramid Legacy, I have a huge fear of heights, although I did go parasailing once, and had an amazing time.

10) On a business trip to Nigeria a few years ago I had to be escorted around the country by an armed police officer. And when I say armed, we’re not talking about a pistol. This guy had an assault rifle.

11) I was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire - just a few miles from Stonehenge; the subject of my current work in progress, Operation Stonehenge. On training courses, when the participants are introducing themselves, they must answer the question, ‘What are your personal objectives in attending this course?’ If they just give the lame answer of ‘To learn something new’, I just tell them Salisbury Cathedral has the tallest spire in the UK, at 404 feet high. Mission accomplished.

Now to answer Riley’s 11 questions:

1) If a genie offered you the chance to switch places with a fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?  James Bond. Purely so I could drive that wonderful Aston Martin DB5, which he used, abused, in the film ‘Goldfinger’.

2) If you could travel back in time to any period in history, when would it be and why? So easy - watching the Pyramids of Giza being built, so I could answer the question - ‘Who did build the Pyramids of Giza’?’

3) Where do you find your ideas for your blogs/books/writing? My ever curious mind, which won’t stop asking questions.

4) Of the seven deadly sins, what is your biggest vice? (Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride) When I watch Formula One I just so want to drive one of the cars - so it would be a toss up between lust (wanting to drive the car) and envy (watching those who do drive them).

5) What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? Telling the pilot of a Vulcan bomber that it was clear to close the bomb-doors, without checking. The bomb doors chewed up a step-ladder, which another engineer should have removed, and the aircraft was grounded for several weeks undergoing repairs.

6) Who is your favourite person on earth and why do you choose that person? My wife, Judy. Meeting her was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

7) Name three things on your bucket list. A large red bucket, a medium blue bucket and a small green bucke . . . Oh, that ‘bucket’ list’. 1) See all my future grand-childen. 2) Drive a Formula One car. 3) Visit the Iguazú Falls, on the border between Brazil and Argentina.

8) If you could choose any celebrity/famous person to do the foreword for your book, who would it be and why? Erich von Däniken. His book, Chariots of the Gods is a must read for any truly open-minded person.

9) Your book reaches the top spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list, netting you a cool million in book sales. What is the first thing you buy with your million dollars? At today’s exchange rate, £636,699.35. I suppose I could blow the 35p on something.

10) What is your favourite sport to watch on television? If you’ve been following my answers, then you tell me . . .  ;-) (Hint: questions four and seven)

11) Favourite holiday destination? I’ve been fortunate to visit many exotic places in my life, but my favourite holiday was a week in a modest cottage in the Cairngorm Mountains, in Scotland. Just my wife and me, relaxing without a phone signal, walking for miles without seeing another person, and stunning scenery.

My eleven nominations for the Liebster Award for blogging:

Rachel Amphlett - @RachelAmphlett

Kathy Logan - @KathyLLogan

David Cotton - @DavidCottonUK

Melissa McPhail - @MelissaGMcPhail

Jan Romes - @JanRomes

CR Haitt - @McSwainandBeck

Kathy Lynn Hall - @RedMojoMama

Jill Edmondson - @JillEdmondson

Micheal Rivers - @Micheal_Rivers

Eryn LaPlant - @erynalicia

Lynne Constantine - @LynneConstantin

My questions for the nominees

1) Let’s start with an easy music question. What is your favourite all time album, and why?

2) You have a hot-air balloon with ten famous people in it (all currently living). The balloon is rapidly heading towards the entrance of a volcano - which would result in death for all on-board. With just nine on-board, the balloon would head to safety. Which famous person would you sacrifice, and which famous person would you save above all others, and WHY?

3) Marmite, Love or Hate? (If you don’t know what Marmite is, then visit -

4) You are invited to a hypothetical dinner party with three other guests (dead or alive) -  Who would you choose, and why?

5) If you could change one thing about this World, what would it be?

6) Do you believe intelligent life exist beyond this planet? Please explain the reason behind your answer, whether it be yes, or no.

7) You could be given the answer to one question, yet unanswered by mankind, what would that question be?

8) If a famous author said they wanted to use, on the front cover of their book, a quote from you about one of their books - Who would be the author, which book would you review, and what would be your one line quote?

9) Your favourite musician/band has agreed to play three songs to you and a small group of friends. Who would you choose, and what three songs would you want them to play?

10) You’ve been offered a VIP package to a sporting event. Which famous sporting event would you most like to see, and who would you want to see win it.

11) Which book do you wish you had written, and why?


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