Tuesday 19 October 2010


Well, here's my nice new award, courtesy of Teresa (thank you, Teresa!). I'm not exactly sure what it means*, but it's very pretty, and brightens up my blog, which needed a picture. And of course it's always good to have an award.

It's a very long time since I had one (an award, that is). In fact the last one was (I think) a medal for nursing, presented by the Queen Mother, a very long time ago. I had to learn to curtsey (harder than it looks). We all had tea with the QM afterwards, and as she only ate a tiny bite of her sandwich, I'm ashamed to say that the rest of us shared it (the sandwich) when she had gone. So eating the royal toothmarks is probably up there with having a novel published.

*Could you tell me a bit more about it please, Teresa?


  1. I have to say, Frances, I do think that being published feels like an award to me - so you've got two more awards to your name! (And a third pending...)

  2. How lovely to met the Queen Mother and to share her sandwich after she had gone!

    What amazing story!

    Thank you for your kind comment on my latest rejection.

    Best wishes to you,

  3. Congrats on the award(s).
    The one you received today is a My Sweet Friend (Happy 101) Award.I read about it somewhere but can't remember anything else about it.LOL! :O)

  4. Erm . . . you've got me there, Frances! I don't know where it started. It's nice to think someone out there is starting these things though isn't it.

    Congratulations on your award from the QM. If they'd given you enough to eat, you wouldn't have had to finish off her sandwich!!

  5. Alis - yes, I agree. Being published is one of the best prizes of all. But I think what all prizes have in common is that they represent an imprimatur; ie someone more experienced/in a position of authority has approved what one has done. But I am (on the whole) against school prizes. The focus - of course - is on the winners, but there are so many more losers than winners, and yet many of those kids have tried their best, been kind, done the right things. I remember one chid at my daughter's school who won so many prizes and trophies at prizegiving that he had to helped with them to the car afterwards. He just hapened to be extremely bright. My poor daughter, who had worked really hard all term, wept all the way home because she hadn't won anything! Prizes for trying hard, or for being kind (she did win one of those) are different. Anyone has the potential to win those, and I think they are important.

    Hi, Jamara. I'm afraid the sandwich thing was very childish, (the QM had a tiny appetite).

    Thanks, Madeleine. And Teresa, we had plenty to eat (I think). It was the royal toothmarks that appealed (how revolting!).

  6. I think it's difficult to compromise between giving children an incentive to do well but still rewarding those that have made a genuine effort. If everyone gets a prize then there are claims of encouraging mediocrity. Personally I have found that children are naturally competitive but are satisfied with the recognition rather than cups and medals. When I was a rugby coach one of my fellow coaches used to nominate a different boy each time for 'Player of the Week'. Their prize? - a blade of grass. When my son won it he insisted on taking it home!
    How brilliant to be able to say you shared a sandwich with royalty.

  7. Sharing the Queen Mum's sandwich...sounds quite posh! How amazing that you met the lady, she always looked so sweet on the TV.

  8. I agree, Keith. Recognition is the thing. But I still don't see the point in awarding all the prizes to the school genius, year after year. On the other hand, I think the (or some) modern school sports days, where no-one's allowed to win, are ridiculous.

    Akasha - I'm not sure the QM was sweet. There was something strong and steely about her (but she was nice to me, as far as I can remember). I think we discussed Cambridge. Wish I'd asked her about the abdicaton. that would have been much more interesting.

  9. At my boys' school their policy on prizes was different - they had ones for sheer academic briliance, of course, but most were given to the 'most improved' person in the subject which I thought was wonderful.

  10. Alis - I qutie agree. 'Most improved person' is excellent, and everyone can have a go. One of my small gradndaughters is mourning at the moment because she's the only triplet who hasn't excelled/been awarded prizes/been voted form captain out ot the three. Her sister went to great pains to make her a Wonderful Person trophy, but it just wasn't the same. Family, apparently, don't count (like your best friend telling you your novel is wonderful. Nice, but sadly, that doesn't count, either).