Words on Wednesday – 15 things

For some reason, the ‘About’ page on my blog no longer shows up, something I have tried to fix but have no luck with yet and may have to contact the ‘Happiness Engineers’. So in the meantime, here are 15 things you may…or may not…know about me.

  • I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but my mother was English and my father was Polish.
  • My husband is Swedish (which I think regular readers know anyway!).
  • I lived in Denmark for eight and a half years before moving to New Zealand in January 2013.
  • I don’t have a driving licence.
  • I prefer tea to coffee.
  • One of my favourite foods is eggs – scrambled, boiled, coddled, poached, fried, in an omelette.
  • But I don’t like beetroot!
  • I love a good scone, but don’t understand the fuss about doughnuts (or donuts if you prefer).
  • Watching dance is one of my favourite things.
  • I’m not interested in any sport, though sometimes surprise myself in quizzes by coming up with the correct answer to a sport related question.
  • Please don’t ask me to name my favourite book of all time….but if pushed perhaps Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman.
  • I still sometimes read the news in Danish.
  • I have been listening to the BBC radio soap opera The Archers nearly all my life.
  • The most beautiful place I have ever visited is Ohrid in North Macedonia. One of my favourite places to visit here is Lake Ferry in the Waiarapa, shown in the featured image at the top of the post.
  • I love dolls’ houses and miniatures.

You all know I like eating out, flowers, walking in the Botanic Gardens, reading and baking by now, and of course you have all already met Charlie, our little black cat.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. Hi, Barbara, This was a wonderful way to get to know you more. Thank you for doing this. Following suit – here are my mini answers to your questions. I was born in Canada. My mother is German, and my father French-Canadian.
    My husband is also Canadian and of German descent.
    I lived in Beijing for fourteen years.
    I do have a driving licence but did not drive when I lived in Beijing and only recently began driving again.
    I like both tea and coffee (especially if its a latte)
    I also like eggs – scrambled, boiled, poached or fried (less so to omelettes.
    I’m okay with beetroot, but it is not my fav.
    I’ve never understood scones, but my Australian friends have been changing this.
    Donuts I understand!
    I am not a dancer but should watch dance more often.
    I am also not a sports fan – but my husband and sons are HUGE fans and participants.
    I am not an Atwood fan (please do not hold this against me). I love most things that Bill Bryson writes!
    I usually avoid the news at all costs.
    I have seldom listened to BBC.
    One of the most beautiful travel experiences was hiking into Rome from Lucca.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment and such a great list. I haven’t read Bill Bryson for a while – maybe time to pick something up and add to my reading pile.


  2. Oh, you listen to the Archers. Me too, addicted for around 45 years. Is it broadcast on the BBC World Service, or do listen online? Don’t ask me what I think about Justin Elliott, as I may feel compelled to treat you to my encyclopaedic knowledge of Anglo-Saxon expletives! And I have never forgiven David Archer for shooting that badger!

    I agree about tea (under-rated) and beetroot (over-rated). I am also a big fan of cats, and Charlie looks like my sort of of cat 😺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I listen to The Archers through the podcast now. I do remember a time when my mum was living in the US and unable to listen…so each Sunday I wrote a brief synopsis in my weekly letter. One day she had given the letter to a family member to read who said ‘who is Shula?’ etc. and when my mother explained….well….you can imagine. I am so glad you like tea and cats!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Barbara — I agree with Anne: your frustration (ugh, sorry) is very much our delight! I inferred some of your bio highlights, but am thrilled to learn more: Denmark! The Archers. I’ll put The Archers on my podcast list. Thank you. And, like you, I much prefer a good scone to a good donut!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely to meet another scone lover! The Archers began in 1951 and has been going ever since other than a small hiccup during lockdown in the UK in 2020. The story lines vary a lot – not too keen on some of the current ones I admit, but I keep going! Episodes are 13 minutes long and there is an omnibus edition once a week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Barbara, for your weekend coffee share and letting us know more about you. So your stay in NZ is about the same as your stay in Denmark. I’ve been to Denmark a few times to visit my friends who live in Copenhagen and Aarhus and I took road trips all over Denmark, including beautiful Bornholm. I love eggs and good scones, too. Please don’t ask me to name my favourite book of all time or my favourite place from my travels 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We lived in Copenhagen. I never got to Bornholm but I hear it is beautiful. As for my favourite book….as soon as I wrote it I changed my mind….and couldn’t even think about a favourite piece of music. Have a wonderful weekend too Natalie!


  5. Hi Barbara – lovely to read about your interesting and diverse background (and to meet your little black cat) and now I understand the title of your blog 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Barbara, I didn’t know most of this either. I’m with you on tea over coffee, but am shocked that a foodie like like you doesn’t love – yes LOVE beets. They are powerful veggie bombs of flavor. There must be a rescue therapy that’s we can get you into. . . 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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