Questions I’ve Been Asked Today


It’s been an interesting and enjoyable day mainly for the fact that I have had some opportunity to observe students as they complete their work, which something that I rarely get to do. I’ve been covering an outstanding teacher who is away on jury duty, and the classes have been an absolute dream to work with – silently getting stuck into every task with enthusiasm, asking intelligent questions and reflecting what they have learnt at the end without any prompt. If I’m being honest, it’s one of the best working days I’ve ever had, and if every day could be like this I wouldn’t have quit in the first place!

However, the kiddies still like to keep me on my toes, particularly as I’m walking past them in the corridor, by asking me a whole host of random questions… I thought it might be a fun idea to keep a note of them.

Here’s just a sample…

What’s a cobbler?
How do you spell raisins?
Is Scotland in Jamaica?
Do you like Justin Bieber?
So, if you paid into a pension and the company went bankrupt, would you get your money back? (I was quite impressed with that one)
How much do you get paid?
Are you wearing eyeliner?
Are you going out with Mr…?
Do you like my shoes?
Have you heard of MAC?
Are you teaching us today? (I always have to bite my tongue and stop myself from answering this with ‘No, I just thought I’d come and stand outside your classroom for the fun of it…’)
Why can’t we do cooking today? (We were in a history room).
What did you get for Christmas?
Have you got a hamster?
Who’s David Bowie?
What’s an exhibition? (I’d told students I’d been to the Bowie Exhibition in 2014)
(All by one student) How many years are in a century? So, does that mean we’re in the 21st Century or the 22nd Century? How old am I going to be in the 23rd Century?(My response to the last question was simply ‘dead.’)

What about you guys? Been asked any random questions that have made you smile today?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page, my Pinterest page and my Instagram page

Never Have I Ever…

Never have I ever ideas

My favourite drinking game when I was a student was ‘Never Have I Ever,’ although we simply referred to it as ‘I Have Never’ instead. The concept is simple, involving a group of people sitting in a circle with alcoholic drinks or shots in front of them. The first player makes a statement starting with ‘never have I ever,’ and the participants who have done what the first player hasn’t take a drink. It often starts quite slowly, with the questions being rather tame, but often after a few rounds it descends into debauchery with rather disgusting statements being thrown around the table and the more promiscuous (or biggest liars) of the group get rather drunk very quickly.

I was in the pub a little while ago, and the table next to me were filled with students who were participating in their own version of the game. Believe me when I say that I learned things about them that I certainly wouldn’t ever wish to know about another human being. However, in my own little random world, I started to think of things that I honestly haven’t ever actually done, and thought it might be fun to play a little blogging ice-breaker game with you, particularly as I have gained a number of new readers recently.

Before my regular readers start freaking out, this is a family friendly blog, so these are all things that can be kept within the PG rating, I promise.

Never Have I Ever:

1. Watched Back to the Future. It may have been Back to the Future Day last week, being the exact date that Marty McFly went to in the film, but that still doesn’t mean that I have any interest in watching it.

2. Been to a rave.

3. Deliberately stolen from a store. I accidentally walked out once without paying for a CD years ago but went back. I could have got away with it too – no alarms had gone off and nobody had noticed.

4. Played Call of Duty

5. Eaten a S’More.

6. Changed a lightbulb.

7. Travelled in a limousine.

8. Ridden in a gondola.

9. Blogged when drunk.

10. Done a bungee jump.

11. Dressed up as a Jedi, gone to my local supermarket and ‘used the force’ to open the automatic doors. (Random and pointless, but I saw this suggestion on Facebook and loved the idea)

12. Been to a festival. I’m a musician who has never been to a festival.

13. Read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

14. Snorkelled, surfed or dived. I’m a good swimmer, but avoid going in the sea at all costs – I don’t like the idea of swimming around with things that could bite or sting, and sewage. Bleurgh.

15. Been skydiving.

16. Shot a gun. In fact, I’ve never even seen a real gun up close.

17. Drawn graffiti on a wall.

18. Skinny dipped. (Trust me, nobody needs to see that…)

19. Been fired from a job.

20. Got a tattoo. (I’d like one, but hate needles)

21. Taken Class A drugs.

22. Got a piercing that can’t be seen in the winter.

23. Deliberately eaten an insect.

24. Run from the police.

25. Toilet papered someone’s house. I have, however, toilet papered a person. Long story.

Here’s where you guys get to join in! How drunk would you be from responding to my questions? Have you got any Never Have I Evers to add?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page, my Pinterest page and my Instagram page

Me, Myself and I #6


As a further opportunity to share a little about yourself and find out about your fellow bloggers, here is the sixth installment of ‘Me, Myself and I,’ a weekly collaboration I have started with the lovely Sare over at Diary of a Teachaholic. For further information about the link up, simply click here.

It’s Sare’s turn to ask the questions this week… Continue reading

Me, Myself and I #2


As a further opportunity to share a little about yourself and find out about your fellow bloggers, here is the second installment of ‘Me, Myself and I,’ a weekly collaboration I have started with the lovely Sare over at Diary of a Teachaholic. For further information about the link up, simply click here.

It is Sare’s turn to ask the questions this week…

1. Why did you start blogging?

I was experiencing a difficult time in my personal life. As I had always enjoyed writing, The Bloke suggested that I start a blog, and the rest is history really. It’s a very addictive hobby with a wonderful network of support, and it has been the best form of therapy I have ever had! Continue reading

Me, Myself and I

imageI’ve been in a bit of a blogging funk recently and admittedly quickly running out of ideas. However, I saw this great post by the lovely Sare over at Diary of a Teacherholic, and despite the fact that it is supposed to be part of a tagged post, I thought I would join in and answer the same questions myself… After all, who doesn’t enjoy talking about themselves first thing in the morning?

1. If you could go back in time and change one decision you’ve made, what would it be?

There are lots of decisions I wish I could go back and change, but all of those decisions have led to this point in my life, which I am happy with, so given the opportunity I would probably do everything in the same way. However, the decision to start smoking is one I have always regretted – I’ve wasted thousands of pounds and now have the lung capacity of a small asthmatic child. Continue reading

The WordPress Community Experiment: The Answers!

In August I decided to do a little experiment involving members of the WordPress community. I asked a series of seven questions and invited anyone and everyone to respond, regardless of whether they followed Suzie81 Speaks or not. I had done a similar experiment the year before with great success, and as my community has grown since then I thought it would be an interesting way to get to know fellow bloggers. While I expected some sort of a response, I didn’t expect the enormity of the amount of answers I received, generating HUNDREDS of individual answers to my questions. In order for me to be able to include everyone, I have had to limit it to just one answer per blogger. I haven’t compiled it in order of preference, but I have tried to include an interesting answer from each person, complete with a link to their blog if it is still available. I think you’ll agree that the responses I received are emotive, witty and offer a small insight to the variety of bloggers that exist within the WordPress world.

It’s a lot of reading, but here is a pre-made blog party for you where you can go and check out all the blogs that participated.

Editors note: If I have accidentally missed you out, please let me know and I’ll link you asap!

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

I thought of two iconic things from where I come from and where I live now ie Scotland and New Zealand, hence Thistles and Kiwis (Thistles and Kiwis)

The DMB song “Grey Street” described my life spectacularly at the time. (Georgia Mom)

It was the name of the website that I created during my Ph.D. (which I have quit since then). Originally it was Science Fiction, Media and Fandom, but evolved into Science Fiction, Transmedia and Fandom as I did more research work. Save for gender studies, it reflects my main fields of work as an independent researcher, writer and public speaker (Natacha Guyot)

It seems like everything I say is part of a bad conversation. So every post is Another Bad Conversation. (Another Bad Conversation)

Telling the Truth. It describes in three words what I’m doing in the blog. I’m telling the truth (for the first time) about how I was groomed to be a victim, how that affected me as a child, young adult, wife/mother and professional, and what it took to survive and thrive. (Telling the Truth)

I came up with the name while talking with people at work. They kept calling me Bitter Ben because of all the complaining I would do at work. They said I should start a blog about all things I was bitter about. The natural extension Ben’s Bitter Blog. (Ben’s Bitter Blog)

It’s based on a old episode of M*A*S*H (Apple Pie and Napalm)

Special Needs children are referred to as Exceptional, and I live in Delaware, so my blog is for all the Exceptional people in Delaware, children, teens and adults! (Exceptional Delaware)

My ex was stalking me on here.  I needed to come up with a name he wouldn’t associate with Kate.  My 11 year old son came up with the name FlippyZipFlop, and I decided to keep it.  Professional looking?  Absolutely not.  However, it makes him a part of my daily writing, so I’ll continue to keep it. (FlippyZipFlop)


2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

Pace yourself in blogging. Set a schedule. You can write as much as you like, but you don’t have to post it all as you complete it unless it is a time sensitive subject. I border on burnout daily, hourly. (Ronovan Writes)

You won’t get 100,000 views on your first blog post. You will start off small, but regular, interesting posts, full of passion will generate traffic. You will meet other incredible bloggers too, there to support you and provide you with advice. (A Reflective Student)

Once you figure out what your theme is, you have to remember it each and every time you post. I can’t write about fashion and celebrity in my blog unless I can find a creative way to bring it back to health and Dr. Oz’s advice. (The “Whiz-ard” That is Dr. Oz)

Participate, participate, participate. In whatever you like and where your preferences go, from Weekly Photo Challenges, Daily ones, Writing ones, all sorts of challenges other bloggers do… You will find benefits are triple, you craft your talent and things you are passionate about, you meet other people who are interested in same stuff and others see your work. (Ivy Mosquito)

My advice would be to write with passion. Write about your passions, because if you’re not having fun writing, then you will feel burnt out quickly. Also, make sure to read as many blogs as possible. This will help you meet other bloggers and help you become a better blogger (Humyn)

Be true to yourself and don’t try to cater to others. (Richard Ankers  The Writings)

Blogging is about community, about sharing, and about learning. Enjoy the process and making new friends! (Writing Rachael Ritchley)

Just be yourself and don’t worry so much about the naysayers… If you put out genuine posts then stand behind them. (Valley Girl Gone Country)

Get a thick skin. In the infidelity blogs it’s dangerous. You show your pain and hurt and you get people who did the same things to other people, be they cheating spouses or their third parties, who come in and insult you or patronise you and try to make you feel you caused it, or you should do (insert self serving course that let’s them off the hook). Well, screw that. You have to be strong enough to stick to your voice and not be hurt by them. I’m sure trolls hurt bloggers even on less sensitive topics, so the thick skin is my best advice. (Writes Itself)


3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

Working at in Int’l border crossing and a naked man walked in and asked my supervisor for a cigarette and a light, then walked back out into the rain… We all just stared as each of us was speechless. (Annette Rochelle Aben)

When I worked in another city, I found out my “twin” (the one they say you always have) worked in the same building. For a year, we had fun taunting and fooling those who knew us. (Mary J. Melange)

Strange doesn’t really happen to me…stupid, yes, all the time, but not strange so much. The strangest thing that’s happened might be my mother picking out my husband nearly a decade before we got married. (Somber Scribbler)

Being knocked out by an electric potato peeler and waking up thinking I was in heaven because this beautiful lady was looking down at me. (Hugh’s Views and News)

The day my Father in Law asked me to do him a manicure and pedicure. He had never had one and saw me doing my own. It felt a bit odd and it did take me aback when he asked. He passed away that night, a heart attack in his sleep. I always wondered if he ‘knew’… (CeeJayKayFit)

During the last month of my pregnancy I was on full bedrest due to concerns about pre-eclempsia and it was the height of summer in the DC Metro area so the windows were shut tight with the AC on full blast.  During that last month periodically I would start to smell my grandmothers Snickerdoodles (which she made me every year for my birthday) or her perfume (Heaven Scent) – my grandmother had passed away a few years earlier.  My son, The Boy of Terror (BoT) talks about her now and about her snickerdoodles (Masala and Blarney)

It involved a sleepless night, Apples to Apples, some lab goggles, my eventual detainment and a supposed ban from WalMart nationwide. Try not to re-live it. (Permashift)

Being surrounded by the SBI and law enforcement and soldiers and things while innocently exploring a cooling tower at a nuclear power station. It turns out that just because the front gate is open does not mean that you’re welcome to visit. (This was before 9/11 or things would have probably been even stickier than they were.) (Nerd in the Brain)

I was 16 and some random guy proposed to me at the library. He also asked me if he could meet my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I just looked him up and down and walked away. Btw he wasn’t joking … (Nuuray)

I had taken a $20 bill, in singles, and left them all in a family Dollar store as  Random Act of Kindness. About a week later, a woman handed me a $20 dollar bill in the dressing room, in my yoga studio, saying – “You must have dropped this because there was no one else there.” Astoundingly weird! (Lavender Reflections)

On my blog or in life? In life, setting the garbage truck on fire is probably the strangest that my wife will let me talk about in public. It’s a long story so you gotta find that on my blog. (Parnassus Musings)

If we’re talking about overall, probably the time I was kidnapped, robbed, molested, tied up, and left for dead by 4 Guatemalans in the jungle in Belize on the first full day of my honeymoon. I wanted to go to DisneyWorld. (O Pie-oneers!) EDITORS NOTE: WHAT!!!!



4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

My boyfriend said to me once “We will both grow old and let’s face it, not look youthful and fabulous any more. But you have wonderful personality so you will always be the most beautiful person in the world to me.” (I Follow Islands)

I had a meeting with Dr. Dre about the possibility of his buying my bank robbery script. He told me, “You are one sick mother$%^&*” and that’s the coolest compliment I’ve ever received about my writing. And it was from Dr Dre! (The Return of the Modern Philosopher)

The executive director at work (large, worldwide organization) wrote the following statement on his well-read blog last year (about me managing the internal communications blog) — and he’d never done that before or after about anyone else. “… If you ever get the chance to meet Diane XX, please thank her and give her some feedback. She is amazing and we are lucky to have someone like her as a part of our team. Her enthusiasm and desire to help is second to none.” That had to be the high point of my working life! (Thoughts, Tips and Tales)

My mum. Just a few weeks before she died. I stayed over night with her in hospital and she woke up the next morning and said: “how lovely that I open my eyes and the first thing I see is you” (Carol’s Learning Curve) EDITORS NOTE: THIS MADE ME CRY.

I once went out with my version of The World’s Most Interesting Man and he said I reminded him of Ireland. This guy absolutely loved his trips to Ireland and he has been everywhere and went on to explain how I remind him of his favorite place. It was very, very smooth of him. So, I replied with well that sucks because I’m Scottish Welsh. (Winter Bayne)

”The world needs more people like you”, (my grandfather) (A Blonde Brain)

I have a husband who says lots of wonderful things—probably far more than I deserve. I think, though, that the day a student came in and told me that she got into nursing school and thanked me for helping her with her application was one of the best moments I’ve had—it was a moment of really seeing that what I do really and truly affects other people. (Part Time Monster)

My son telling me that he was finally feeling OK, months after his depression hit its lowest point last year. Being told “I love you”,  sincerely, by someone you love is also a nice thing to hear. (Not a Punk Rocker)

This is a toughy. One time before I got married to Mrs. Fearless Leader, her daughter (now MY little girl too) came up to me while I was washing dishes and asked, “Toby? Would you be my Daddy?” It’s pretty hard to top that. (Dumbass News)

November 22nd, 2009 @ 15:41:23

5. When presented with a time machine, which one time and place would you visit?

My teenage self to warn against making major life decision based on love for the wrong me (tenderness on the block)

Middle Europe at the end of the last Ice Age, right after the eruption of the Laacher See
volcano (Germany) 12900 years ago. (A Neat Street)

Piazza Maggiore in Bologna on VE Day at End of World War ll. (A.K.Andrew Writer’s Notebook)

Most definitely pioneer days. I’d be on one of those Conestoga wagons heading off for new adventures out West. (misterio press)

Any time during the life of Gene Kelly or Frank Sinatra. I absolutely adore them both and would worship the group that Gene Kelly walked on if he was still alive! (New Teacher Life)

I would go back and see The Beatles in concert in 1963 or 1964. I was too young to have seen them. (Vintage Rock)

I’d travel into the future to see if we ever terraform Mars. Then start quoting Total Recall; ”Are you crazy? I don’t even know anything about Mars!” (One Man’s Adventures in the Big Wide World)

I would go to a place near Moscow (Russia) to 1974 and play badminton with my dear friend Yury (he passed away in 1976 when he was only 42 years old). (Pursuit of Happiness)

I’m more of a “never look back” person. I try to live in the moment and learn from each experience. While it is tempting to ponder time travel to an early time in my own life, and maybe tweak a few things, I would refrain. You always have to go through the dark to get to the light. If I was thinking about it from a historical perspective, there are so many times I would love to visit, mostly during the 20th century. The world went through so many dramatic changes. It would be fascinating to experience things first hand. Specifically, I would visit the 1940s. Politics, war, fashion, music. It was an important time. (Steps Times Two)


6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Well, my first name is pretty cool. If I just had to change it, I’d go with Cesare and insist on the correct pronunciation. (Sourcerer)

Duke, because of a chance encounter I had with John ‘Duke’ Wayne which ended with him asking me to wear his nickname as a thank you for a service I was able to render him. (dukea98)

I’m named for my grandfather. There isn’t another name in the world I’d like better. (Old Road Apples)

I absolutely can’t think of any other first names I’d like because I’ve taught so many girls over the past 43 years and probably have memories of all of them. (How Can I Control My Class?)

Years ago, when I was working as a psychic, I was advised to be a one-name psychic and that Jennifer is not my name. I chose Rachael. After 14 years of not using that name, I am using it again. I truly am Rachael, not Jennifer. The name never suited me. Makes me think of a leggy blonde with biceps. Rachael is the Earth Goddess.  (A Little Fluff)

I’d like to have the first name Éilís which is Irish for my real name. It rhymes with ‘I wish’ when pronounced correctly. It’s unusual and a traditional link to my heritage. (Green Lizard’s Blog)

Probably the name of some literary character given that I named my daughter after the heroine in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. (Parent Your Business)

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Maybe something like super or amazing or uncanny. Incredible, astonishing, spectacular…. well you get the point. I might even need a cool costume made of spandex. I would need to go on a workout binge first though. (JED’s Playhouse)

7. If you were a ‘B’ Movie, what would it be called?

Decent People Also Succeed. (ashokbhatia)

If it’s the 1950’s campy invader type, it’d probably be something like “Revenge of the Lab Wererat”.  If it could include late ’70s and ’80s sci-fi and comic book movies, it might be “Song of the Stars”. (the tao of jaklumen)

Close Encounters of a Would-Be Reporter! (Thoughts By Mello-Ello)

Frenzy of the Sleepless Zombie Mama vs Mutant Laundry Pile of Doom (Barb Taub)

The Day It All Went Weird. (Manchester Flick Chick)

Starship Captains Don’t Wear Dresses. When I was a kid, they said that would be the name of my biopic. (Things Matter)

Indecisive Decisiveness (though, that may run the potential of becoming an art film…) (Ecclectic Alli)

Estrogen Overload…I have four daughters who are 21, 20, 18 and 15. Good times!!! (greatsnaps, goodtimes and me)

“My Time Is Now” and its sequel “Damn, That Was Fun!” (Butterfly Sand)


EDITOR’S NOTE: A special thank you to Gene’O and his blogs, including Sourcerer Blog who posted all of the links onto a Pinterest board.

Interested in seeing all of the answers in full? Visit the original post here and read on!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page


Image Credits

Game of Thrones: zipmeme



Polar Bear:




Say What Now?

Warning: adult content.

After twenty months of blogging and hundreds of posts that cover a whole range of topics, I have started to take great delight in the frequently obscure searches that lead to Suzie81 Speaks. While I can link some of these to things I have written, I still find some baffling and at times, hilarious. There are clearly lots of different types of people that read my blog:

1. The Apathetic Authorsimage


Thanks. It’s nice to see that my blog appears when these sentences are typed in…

2. The Aspiring DoctorimageI have no medical training whatsoever, but I can guess that the answer to this is no.

3. Animal Loversimage



I have never met anyone that has believed that they are a badger, nor have I attempted to cuddle one. However, judging from video footage of honey badgers I have seen, I would advise against it. I have also seen the baby monkey and pig video. It’s pointless and the song that goes with it is guaranteed to stick in your head for days afterwards.

4. The Aromatherapist



Old Spice for the belly button? The other fragrance manufacturers are clearly missing out on a section of the market here.

5. The Textile Enthusiastsimage


The top one is one of fourteen references I have received about panties, often accompanied by the word ‘dirty.’ However, the second one was a little more obscure – I’d love to find the person who wrote that and discover what happened afterwards…

6. The Food Loversimage


I have never tasted my own (or anybody else’s) feet, but after inspecting my gnarly toes I can’t imagine that it would be a pleasant experience for anybody.

7. The Disney Enthusiasts.image

Does anyone know what rule 34 is? I only found out today. Nice. How the heck does that lead to my blog???

8. The Wishful Thinkersimageimage

I would suggest that the collective response to both of these is Viagra… Lots of Viagra.

9. The Angry Peopleimage



Steps on how to piss somebody off? That’s a whole blog in itself!

10. The Revenge Seeker


This is one of many search terms from men that appear to want revenge on their ex-wives. It’s quite disturbing.

11. The Big Thinkersimageimage

I would love to find out how to spend the day doing nothing at work – I’m exhausted by the time I get home! And did Ray J and Justin Beaver have sex? More to the point – Justin Beaver or Justin Bieber? Is this his porn star equivalent?

12. The Randomsimageimageimage

Erm… Right.

13. The Biographerimage

Emily Dickinson may have indeed been an emo. What it has to do with anything I’ve written on my blog though, I haven’t a clue.

14. The Beauticianimage

Clearly another area where the manufacturers of beauty products are missing out.

What about you guys? What weird and wonderful search terms have led somebody to your blog?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page


Questions, Questions, Questions: The WordPress Community Experiment


Last December I asked a set of seven questions to the WordPress community and invited anyone and everyone to participate. The response that I received was incredible, and the resulting answers gave me a small insight into the blogging world and it’s members.

Since then, my following has tripled, I have received nearly A QUARTER OF A MILLION views (I still can’t believe that) and over the last eight months I have ‘met’ and formed small relationships with lots of wonderful people, so I thought it would be a nice idea to do this experiment again. It isn’t a blog party, so please don’t leave links to your general posts, but it (if enough people participate) will provide a great opportunity for bloggers to meet new people who share similar interests. You don’t have to follow this blog, or have a lot of blogging experience to participate.

Here’s how it works:

Answer the questions below, either in your own post (link it back to this one) or in the comment section below. They can be as short or as detailed as you like.

The post will remain open for the next three days, during which I will compile all the answers. Any answers you provide will be directly linked to your blog, and I will include examples of everybody’s answers in the follow up post.

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?


I’m looking forward to reading your answers! Feel free to invite your bloggy friends to participate – share, reblog, and retweet to your hearts content!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and you can also find me on Facebook




A Year of Blogging: Suzie81 Speaks



Last week marked the official anniversary of Suzie81 Speaks. Brace yourself, this is going to be a long one!!!

I’ll start with some numbers:

Followers: 5,000

Views: 192,000

Comments: 12,000

Posts: 700 (but this is now 300 as I deleted over half of everything I had written)


After years of writing in journals, I followed The Bloke’s advice and set up a WordPress account. This little blog started as simply Suzie81 – my name and the year I was born – and served as the opportunity to share the various thoughts and anxieties that had been swamping my brain for a long time. The response and support that I received was immediate and life changing, and within a year I have not only met some fantastic people (you know who you are), but I have now have the direction in life that I had been so desperately seeking before. I purchased a domain name, changing it to ‘Suzie81 Speaks,’ set up an additional Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and the most exciting thing of all is that I have been asked to write for a monthly online magazine (more on that later)…

In celebration of my year anniversary and to channel my inner narcissism, I posted a competition a few weeks ago. I invited people to ask me any question (within reason), with the winner being awarded two weeks worth of free advertising on my blog. I also promised that I would answer every question and include links to the blogs of every person who took part.

I had a brilliant response. I’ll announce the winner at the end… Here goes!

If you weren’t a teacher what might you be? (Perspiring Poet)

I would definitely be working with animals. If I knew then what I know now I would have gained qualifications in animal care.

If you were stuck on a CD for two weeks, which desert island would you be? (Steve Says)

The one owned by Richard Branson – CD or island. This was the best I could come up with – I attempted to think of a response for two weeks and my brain started to hurt.

If you were writing a novel what would your opening and closing sentences be? (Andrew Seal)

She laughed at the sheer arrogance of his words. 

Maybe next time she’ll ask for more.

How long is a short piece of string? (Fearless Leader)

Infinitely long. I think. My brain hurts.

Who in your life has influenced you the most? How did they do it? (Jolene)

My mum. Of course, it has to be my mum. I haven’t always agreed with her at the time but inevitably she’s usually been right. How did she do it? Sheer persistence, support and large bouts of nagging.

In your opinion, what do women want? (mommyx4boys)

To be happy. I think that’s all what anybody wants. Ooh, and a footrub after a long night of wearing high heels.

What do you find most rewarding about teaching? (Heron There & Everywhere)

When a student is able to do something that they didn’t think they would be initially capable of.

If you won the lottery, what three things would you do with it? (Michelle)

I’d set up a no-kill animal sanctuary for all types of animals, with a vetinary surgery attached.

I’d set up a scholarship programme for under-priveleged kids to be able to go to university without ending up in thousands of pounds worth of debt.

On a selfish note, I’d travel the world.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? (Father At 54)

The father of a girl that I knew as a teenager was in the army and had been sent away to another country. She wasn’t particularly nice to me and after months of standing nasty comments from her I told her that her dad had joined the army to get away from her. I apologised, but twenty years later, I still feel guilty for saying that.

A box of books you just packed away takes a tumble and lands directly on your big toe and you respond by saying: a) ouch! b) f*&# c) BIEBER, you bastard! d) other (please state) (Sandra)

B. Definitely B. Every time. Little Miss Potty Mouth always appears during such incidents.

What has been the best piece of advice someone has given you, and how did it impact your life? (Rebecca Meyer)

Don’t tell anyone anything that you wouldn’t want the whole world to know. There’s only a few people that I trust and I don’t tell people secrets as I’ve been hurt by others in the past.

Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Obviously you have already been born, so my question to you is have you found out why? (adropofno5)

Occasionally I’ll have glimmers of what I know I want to do, but as yet I can’t honestly say why or what my purpose in life is…

Think Dr. Who. If you were able to time travel, (without changing past, present or future) where would you go? (Biker Chick 57)

I’d travel to the Washington Mall and witness Martin Luther King Jr give his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, I’d go to the early 1960’s and watch the Beatles in concert at The Cavern in Liverpool before they became ridiculously famous, I’d go back to 1985 and attend Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, I’d go back to the early 1990’s and spend more time with my Grandfather, I’d go back to the Party in the Park concert where The Spice Girls gave their first concert and this time actually get their autographs (I couldn’t be bothered last time because I didn’t think they’d end up being more than one hit wonders – those autographs would be worth a fortune now) and I would go to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

What has been your favourite moment while working as a teacher? (A Girl With a Piano)

Honestly? There are two moments. The week of the performance of a musical that the kids gave – they were incredible, and the day I left my previous school.

What do value about being a story-teller? (makaedelee)

The opportunity to share what I think and what I believe I know. I love the process of planning what it is that I am going to write, and I love the satisfaction I get when somebody else reads it and enjoys it.

As a teacher, do you think it’s more effective to be lenient or demanding with your students? Or something in between? (Rose F)

New teachers are always told not to smile until Christmas. I think that’s bollocks. Smile, be approachable, friendly and have a good sense of humour, but the most important thing is to have clear, consistent boundaries with sanctions if they are crossed that the students know and respect. There are times when it is possible to be lenient, but I often think that leniency shows a weakness of character with some students. Being fair is more important. Don’t take any nonsense from them.

If you were chosen as leader of Planet Earth what rules or laws would you make or change to help the entire human race? (Phil)

Saying that I would ban religion is against human rights but I do think that religion and religious persecution is an enormous factor in conflicts around the world, and I would prevent religion from being used as a way to discriminate against another. I would legalise gay marriage across the entire planet. I would ban the fur and animal trade, and testing on animals. I would pay women the same as men in every profession. I would enforce fair payment of goods from around the world and make sweatshops illegal. I would have countries near the sea build wind turbines for power. I’d get rid of every countries nuclear weapons.

Oh wow, you’ve opened a can of worms on this – I’m actually going to create a post instead later…

If there was only one book you could take with you to a remote island where you would be for a couple of years and where you would have no access to other reading material of any sort, what would that one book be? (Cathi)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou. I’ve read it so many times that I had to buy another copy as I wore my first one out. Beautiful book.

Who are your favourite authors? (Tina Bakes Bread)

Maya Angelou, Bill Bryson, Primo Levi, Sue Townsend and, of course, Roald Dahl.

Would you rather travel back in time or into the future (Kim at Awkward Laughter)

I’d definitely rather travel back in time. I like not knowing the future and there are so many events that I wish that I could have experienced.

motivated Thank you so much for all your questions. And the winner?  Steve Says. I couldn’t think of a witty enough response to his question – it was awesome. So, congratulations Steve, you have won two weeks of advertising on my blog starting from the first week in May!

Thank you so much for all your support over the last year – you’ve been a wonderful group of people to meet! Here’s to another year of blogging!

Don’t forget that you can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog


Channeling My Inner Narcissism – Anniversary Competition


Unfortunately, I have to have a break from the blogging world over the next few days. I am finalising the house move, marking ridiculous amounts of coursework, still attempting to recover from the infection I had a few weeks ago and trying not to get cross at Wobbly, my 19 year old cat, as she has recently developed the rather annoying habit of waking me up at 4am.

However, I had an idea (although technically, I’ve completely stolen this idea – I will add the links to these later as my iPad won’t allow me to copy text at the minute for some reason).

In a few weeks time Suzie81 Speaks will be having it’s first year anniversary and to celebrate I am going to channel my inner narcissism, in the form of a competition that you can take part in.

For the next THREE days, I am giving you the opportunity to ask me one question in the comment section below. The question has to be appropriate (I am not answering any questions about my sex life – some of my family and friends read this), and any questions that are deemed to be racist, sexist or judgemental will be ignored and deleted.

On the anniversary of my blog I will answer every single question, along with a link to your blog.

The author of the best question that is submitted over the next three days will win TWO WEEKS of free advertising on Suzie81 Speaks, starting from the first week in May. I will create you a button, display it on my page and promote it on all my social networking sites. In order to enter you also have to be a follower of this blog.

So, lovely readers, get asking your question! Reblog, share, tweet, pin… Tell all your friends! Note: I am not going to reply to the questions now, so I’d like to thank you in advance for joining in!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog