Gracias por leyendo [thanks for reading]

Two awards in two days, I’m getting rather overwhelmed. I feel very lucky today, sitting in our sunny valley while the television news is full of snow drifts in the USA and flooding in the UK [below]. So that puts blogging into perspective!

[photo: Getty Images for]

[photo: Getty Images for]



Thanks to author Stephanie Thomas at SJ Thomas for nominating Notes on a Spanish Valley for the Dragon’s Loyalty award, given to loyal readers of her blog in 2013. I have my loyal readers too, so I understand the importance of acknowledging them. Muchas gracias amigosdragons-loyalty-award logo 7-1-14The rules for the Dragon Loyalty Award are:

  • Display the award certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
  • Present the award to 15 deserving bloggers.
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Visit Stephanie’s blog here, she’s a cat lover [her husband is a dog lover] so they have quite a menagerie. A trained psychologist, she write about the criminal mind wearing both her professional [psychologist] hat and her author hat.

The 15 deserving bloggers I enjoy reading, and I’d like you to visit are:-

Marianne at East of Malaga, for loving Spain as much as I do, and for organising the monthly Conejo Bunny Photo Hop through which I find more blogs to read;

Andrew Petcher at Have Bag, Will Travel. I follow his journeys around Europe with envy, he goes to places I want to go, and places I didn’t realise I wanted to go to until I read what he has to say;

Le Drake Noir, a bi-lingual blog which always makes me smile;

Like me, Fiction Fan Blog reviews every book he/she reads, from Donna Tartt to Dickens and Twain;

Christina Lamprou, a health writer who blogs in Greek and English. She makes me think twice about my health;

Julie Christine at Chalk the Sun. She’s had many of her short stories published and is writing her first novel;

Jolandi Steven at Dreaming in Arabic, one of my early followers. She blogs about life in the United Arab Emirates and posts the most amazing photographs of the desert.

Peak Perspective, her recipe for Tomato Water has to be tried to be believed.

Lachlan Payne at Lachlan and Cathy, another early follower, so thanks for that. Australians, new parents, who are living with Lachlan’s chronic illness but enjoy life every day.

Krumkaker, a beautifully stylish blog about baking. It always makes me hungry!

Debbie at Travel with Intent, who started reading about our life in the Spanish Valley in September. She has travelled around the world and is currently in Sedona, Arizona, USA.

Alistair Savage, another eclectic reviewer, recently covering The Hunger Games and Ernest Hemingway [not in the same article]. He write flash fiction too;

oneanna65 at Cancer Killing Recipe who writes about living with cancer, the ups and the downs, the diagnoses, just living day to day. She is inspiring;

Words with Nanna Prawn, who emigrated from Hull to Australia. Great photos, great writing, good sense of humour too;

Jessica at Hola Yessica, who chose the title of her blog because this is how the Spanish pronounce her name. Love it!

Finally, seven interesting things about me:-

I first started writing at the age of four, writing my own stories and making them into magazines using folded paper. I cannot draw to save my life, so the illustrations were pictures cut from magazines. So at an early age I was destined to be a magazine editor!

As a trainee journalist, I interviewed Sir Terence Conran when he bought Heals furniture store in London [below]. He tried to intimidate me, I didn’t let him;



I was once so poor that every meal I ate consisted of toast, accompanied by a variety of eggs, baked beans, or jam. The bread often had mould scraped off it before being toasted;

I remember the UK power cuts in the 1970s as an adventure. My mother cooked tea on a camping stove, we toasted teacakes on the open fire and played cards by candlelight;

I grew up in a house without central heating, only a Rayburn in the kitchen and an open fire in the front room in the evening. I got dressed in the morning under the bed clothes. I do not consider I lived in poverty;

It is quite probable that I am turning into a grumpy old woman;



I love going to the theatre in London and have been lucky enough to see some of the greats: McKellen play Lear, Spacey play Richard III, O’Toole as Jeffrey Bernard [above], Smith as The Lady in the Van, Rylance as Rooster.

5 to remember
abrumado/a – overwhelmed
con suerte – lucky
en perspectiva – in perspective
la inundación – the flooding
los ventisqueros
– the snow drifts

15 thoughts on “Gracias por leyendo [thanks for reading]

  1. Marianne

    First of all a BIG congratulations to you, Sandra, on your awards. Thoroughly well deserved.

    Thank you so much for considering me worthy of passing the Dragon’s Loyalty Award on to. It’s very easy for me to come and visit your Spanish Valley because I love the way you write, your recipes and, of course, for the Spanish lesson in every post.

    Keep up the good work, Sandra, and VERY WELL DONE!


  2. roughseasinthemed


    I remember cards and dominoes and draughts by candlelight too.

    We didn’t have central heating originally, and yes I got dressed under the bedclothes.

    But do you know how much a Rayburn cost in later years? I do, I bought one.

    O’Toole. Loved him. London theatre is almost as good as Theatre in the Round (Scarborough). Saw Michael Gambon there once – superb. But also saw Patrick Cargill at The Grand in Leeds, equally good.


  3. sandradan1 Post author

    Theatre in the Round, my local! A friend for Sixth Form College was Ayckbourn’s marketing manager for years, don’t know where she is now. He’s still in Scarborough. SD


  4. krumkaker

    Congratulations to you, that is so well deserved! I always enjoy your writing, and the new Spanish phrases to try. Gracias por la nominación, estoy abrumada! And what a lovely selection of fellow nominees to explore!


  5. EllaDee

    Congratulations… I believe awards do make the blogging world go ’round… and I’ve added a couple of your nominees to blogs you included that I already follow 🙂



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