Monday, February 12, 2007


In one way, this post has nothing to do with my life here in Sicily. In another, it has everything to do with it, for it is in Sicily that I began blogging, learnt that it can be a lifeline to an ex-pat and joined Blogpower, which has been so good for me and my blog; through this I have “met” so many people who have a daily impact on my life .

Blogpower is the brainchild of James and he explains its purpose here so much better than I can. We are, basically, a group of bloggers who wish to support each other and ensure that the blogosphere will always have space for those of us who do not have “monolithic” blogs. We differ widely in our political views, subject matter and approach to blogging but hey! - Isn’t that what makes blogging so great?

So here, better late then never, are my 10 testimonials of fellow-Blogpower members.

To begin with two fellow-Celts:

Finding Life Hard? Liz from Swansea brightens my life. She blogs about her family - in which I include her wonderful dog, Harvey, as she would want me to - her reading, her prison visiting and her surroundings. For me, a visit to Liz is like a visit “home” every day. Liz posts lovely photos, too, and, when she feels it is appropriate, reflects upon religion and politics for us. I feel she has little confidence regarding the latter but her views are always refreshing and endowed with a common sense which many of our leaders could do worse than to emulate. Why aren’t you in politics, Liz?

Adelaide Green Porride Café is another blog to which I turn for a dose of daily cheer. “Transplanted Scot” Colin Campbell treats us to his insight on life in Oz, and includes items of news from there which we would not find anywhere else. A gentle humour pervades his writing and he has even made cricket interesting to a non-sports fan like me! Colin also peppers his blog with some fun quizzes and polls.

There was a time, in Sicily, when I missed the UK Sunday and other newspaper supplements. Now, however, even though I can access these online, I seldom bother; I find much more information and entertainment in reading the following serendipitous blogs:

Nourishing Obscurity: Everything is here, from international politics to seemingly trivial, but always entertaining, snippets of news from around the world, together with James’s always original take on it all. Recently he posted a brave and thought-provoking series of articles on rape and an interesting debate among his commenters ensued. He has also posted a series on House of Lords reform and, whether you agree with James or not, his posts are so readable that you will almost always find yourself reassessing your own views. In addition, should you wish to test your general knowledge or find a Shakespearian insult, James is your man! James is also the inspiration behind Blogpower and I don’t know how he finds time to visit all our blogs and keep us in order!

A Corporate Presenter: Here Jeremy Jacobs delivers his entertaining and insightful views on everything from politics to incompetent drivers with razor-sharp wit. But there is a serious side: Jeremy is a “doer” and this week he embarks on a Masaai Trek to raise money for the Breast Cancer Campaign. Jeremy lost his sister to the disease and has written movingly about this. I am full of admiration for someone who gets up and does something for a cause close to his heart and I’m sure we all wish Jeremy luck.

The tin drummer can also make cricket interesting to me, no mean feat as I’ve said. On this blog you will find clear political analysis, beautiful descriptive writing and some self-deprecating humour as well. I love his recent posts on why he has been driven to swear online! All posts are delivered in an excellent and riveting prose style. The tin drummer has a great flair for post titles, too!

Shades of grey[s] – ian, karen and david: Ian Grey regales us with tales of his moments with celebrities, his family and pets as well as posting his thoughts on concerts and other events he has attended. From Ian I learn of new bands [well, new to me, anyway] and get ideas for new places to visit next time I’m in the UK. Ian is involved in a scheme for bringing the arts to primary school children in a way that is accessible to them and he writes enthusiastically about this.

Now to mostly political blogs:

A Young Conservative: 17-year-old Will B. has a witty and effervescent prose style which acts like a tonic on me on a Monday [or any other] morning. He blogs about UK and international politics in a way that could reawaken your interest even if you had given up on politicians and he is forthright about his views. Watch out, Dave Cameron, I say!

The Cityunslicker: Just as Colin Campbell and the tin drummer can get me to read whole posts about cricket, so the cityunslicker can hold my attention with regard to city and financial news; in fact, he makes me feel that I understand it! He writes in a strong, punchy style and I would rather read this blog than any business section -and you will find reviews of the British papers’ business sections on his blog. Here is another blogger who makes no bones about his views and who delivers them in a direct and witty way. He gives me a daily take on UK news which I have not found anywhere else. Cityunslicker manages to see behind the headlines and analyse what developments in politics and high finance mean for us all.

Westminster Wisdom: Gracchi’s political knowledge and powers of analysis are second to none in the blogosphere or msm and the historical perspective which he brings to his posts makes this blog my first port of call when I really want to understand an issue. He “talks you through” an issue or event step by step and so you never feel lost or overwhelmed by the amount of information he is offering you. But this is not wholly a political blog: for Gracchi points me to films and books that I might otherwise have missed and he researches his reviews for these as carefully as he does his political posts. Again, I feel as if I have been sitting down reading a quality Sunday review section after perusing these posts.

And finally….

Ellee Seymour: So much has, justly, been written about Ellee’s blog that I’m not sure what I can add. Yet I cannot finish this post without mentioning it as it is a daily “must” for me. Part of the charm of this blog is that you never know what the post will be about, for Ellee covers everything: politics, local issues, celebrity news, international events, the development of the blogosphere itself – it is all here. Ellee researches her posts thoroughly, too, and always provides good links so that her readers can learn more if they wish. Her writing style makes me feel I am discussing the issue with a friend. Ellee has many loyal commenters to whom she courteously responds and some lively debates take place in her comments section! I wish I had Ellee’s PR experience and genius for thinking up post titles, too: a lot of these are in question form so that you feel immediately drawn into the debate. You’ve just commented on my “gin ai mirtilli” post, Ellee, so here’s to happy blogging for a long time to come!


James Higham said...

Lovely testimonials from a great blogger. I've mentioned these on DTB just now.

Anonymous said...

I'm typing this from an internet cafe in Cambridge where I have been demonstrating blogging to a women's social club and I clicked on your site to introduce everyone to life in Sicily and was overjoyed to read this post and share with them our many friends in Blogpower who I feel privileged to part of. And thank you for your kind words too.

I remember my blogging mentor Geoff telling me that your blog should be like your living room where you openly debate issues you are interested in, I do feel that there is no distance between us sometimes - from Moscow to Mumbai, Sydney to Sicily, our affinity bridges the distance.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Thanks SS.

Liz Hinds said...

Oh, thank you, Welshcakes. That's lovely.

You're one of my favourite bloggers too. You've brought Sicily to life for me.

Lee said...

Thanks for these tips, Welsh...I'll have to start visiting. I do visit Elle's and, of course, Liz's.

Gracchi said...

Thanks so much for your lovely testimonial. Your blog is wonderful too- I really enjoy my visits here- I often think that when I write it reflects my personality and isn't it oen of the strengths of Blogpower that reading the nine other bloggers you've listed you really get a sense that these are interesting and fun people. That's something also to be said for your blog. Thank you very much- I feel honoured to be in this company.

Bill Haydon said...

Brilliant effort, WL. This is much, much more than back-scratching (as I can see the whole testimonials thing being treated in some quarters) - it is real interest, real support and _exactly_ what BP should be about. Well done and thanks a lot WL.

Kristin Granbo said...

Hi there! I am a final year journalism student at Bournemouth University who is currently writing my dissertation on blogging, its political and democratic claims. As I can see you have views on other blogs and read these daily, I was wondering if there is any chance I could have a chat with you about your blog-reading habits and what encourages your reading of one blog compared to others. I couldn't find an email address to send you a message, but I hope you can post a notice in your blog perhaps giving me an idea if you'd be interested? I would really appreciate your help! Kristin

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, James. Glad you think they're OK. Ellee, what a coincidence that I put this post up while you were demonstrating blogging! Thanks for showing the ladies my site. I , too, think that blogging bridges the miles. Jeremy, my pleasure. All good wishes again. Liz, thank you - my pleasure there too. Hi, Lee. All the blogs I've mentioned are well worth visiting. Thank you, Gracchi. I'm honoured that you read me. You, too, tin drummer. I enjoyed writing these reviews because it made me look at the blogs more closely - archives and profiles, etc. Kristin, I should be delighted to help. You can email me at and we'll take it from there.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, such flattering words. You make me blush! All these fantastic things people are saying might may make me start one of those self congratulatory widgets. Well, maybe not. I’d embarrass myself, I even cringe every time I look at my photo on my blog! Keep up your excellent posts on here. By the end of the year we’ll all be experts on life in Sicily!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It was a pleasure to do it, Will. You keep up the good work, too!

CityUnslicker said...

Thanks Welshcakes for my review. Sorry it has taken me a while to get back here but had a few days off blogging last week due to work.

your too kind by the way.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

c/u I enjoyed doing it as I enjoy your blog.


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