IMG_1995 One of my favourite bloggers is a diplomat’s wife, who writes hilarious posts about her family’s life in Switzerland (https://eikaitaas.wordpress.com/). Recently, she sent me a list of questions and a request that (a) I would respond to those questions in my blog and (b) pass those or new questions on to one of my blogger friends.

Answering her questions was no problem (and I was chuffed that someone considered me as their blogger friend so much so as to send me some questions), but the second half of the instructions passing the questions onto my blogger friend was a problem. You see, the diplomat’s wife is my only blogger friend.

If this was high school, I would be the awkward girl having her school dinner in the corner of the canteen, alone – or perhaps on a good day with her cool friend who is dating the student representative.

The punch line is that I don’t think I am the most popular person in the blogging world. Perhaps there aren’t enough diplomats or diplomats’ wives/husbands out there to be friends with. Just in case you are wondering, I myself am not a diplomat or a diplomat’s wife, nor am I getting paid for promoting diplomats or their wives! But any advice or suggestions (other than perhaps a personality transplant or lobotomy) as to how to make one or two new blogging friends would be greatly appreciated.

In any case, here are this wallflower’s answers to the diplomat’s wife’s questions.


Question 1: What do you see in front of you right now?

Due to their line of work, diplomats are very good at conversational strategies and discourse tactics – they have to be, to outwit their colleagues from, say, North Korea or the Vatican. So, I’m wondering whether the diplomat has trained his wife for interrogation tactics as well? I mean, what’s the catch here? Right now, I can see in front of me the question ‘What do you see in front of you right now?’.


Question 2: Your favourite place in the city you live in?

Harukas – a 300m tall skyscraper, the tallest residential building in Japan.

I wasn’t particularly fond of heights before we moved to Japan (I wouldn’t say that I had a phobia or a severe fear of the heights either, but I certainly didn’t love tall buildings). Two months in Japan cured any issues that I had with heights. After all, our flat is on the 24th floor.

Going to Harukas is not only a great day out with the kids, but me willingly going and standing on a glass floor 300m above street level reminds me that (at least some) fears can be overcome.









Question 3: A book that shouldn’t be in your bookcase but most definitely is?

We don’t have a ‘bookcase’ in Japan. Our ‘bookcase’ over here is more like a miniature ‘bookshelf’ in the corner of our living room.

I am not sure if there are any books that shouldn’t be there. However, I can tell you that what shouldn’t be there are my children’s DIY maracas (plastic bottles filled with pistachio shells).
Question 4: Was your youth a comedy or a drama?

Some might describe my youth as a comedy, some as a drama. I’ll leave you to figure out the rest.


Question 5: Three things that can be found in your fridge at any given time

Our 3-year old daughter has type 1 diabetes, and therefore we always have her ‘medicine’ i.e. (1) insulin and (2) emergency glucogen injections in the fridge. The third thing you are also likely to find in our fridge is my medicine: white wine.


Question 6: The best photo you’ve taken this year

I am not a photographer, nor do I have eye for composition or artistic layout. So, I am going for a sweet instead of ‘high quality’ photo. The photo (below) depicts my son and my daughter casually hugging each other while walking down the road. The message of this photo to me is that even if you steal your siblings’ toys, eat your siblings’ sweets, and argue and fight like cats and dogs, ultimately, underneath all that, your siblings are some of the most important people in your life.


Question 7: Where do you see yourself living in five years’ time?

Probably back in the UK, but you never know.


Question 8: Parenthood related expectation proved unrealistic by parenthood (if any)?

Before kids I imagined myself as this wonderful mother who would always find the time and energy to entertain her children. Since then, I’ve come to accept that TV is a useful and important piece of equipment needed in families in which the parents want to occasionally sleep beyond 6.30am.


Question 9: Hide and seek or arts and crafts?

I am as talented in holding a felt tip pen, a permanent marker, a paint brush or a pair of scissors as a sushi chef is at making pizza. I hate, I really hate, the art projects primary school teachers tend to force upon helpless parents – even upon those who have no inclination or desire to engage in creating anything from toilet rolls, old cereal packaging or ice-cream sticks.

‘It’s fancy dress tomorrow! Come to school dressed as an octopus! No buying of outfits allowed! Be creative and have fun!

I will most certainly not have fun when I rush to the shop to buy an octopus outfit. But I will have to be creative to make it look like it wasn’t bought in a shop.

If you didn’t guess my answer already, I’d choose hide and seek (or even six months married to a Finnish man) over arts and crafts.

PS. I really envy those people who are good at creating some amazing outfits by using all sorts of stuff they find lying around. If you are one of those people, please could you do all the arts projects my son and daughter’s schools expect me to engage in, and I promise to play hide and seek with your children until they turn 18.


Question 10: The opening line of a disco song about your life

I am not sure if ‘disco song’ here means songs like Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive or Bee Gees’ Night fever, or a song that you have heard in a disco (i.e. a club to anyone younger than 50). I will assume what is meant is the latter, even though I know the diplomat’s wife is in her 30s. And before you start sending me messages pointing out that no club would play the song I mention below, think again. Finnish clubs would (and German).

I would go for ‘Say your prayers, little one’ which is the opening line of Enter Sandman by Metallica. The reason for this is that our daughter’s type 1 diabetes not only means that our insulin stores take up the top shelf of our fridge (and my white wine the bottom), it also means that my husband and I rarely have a full night sleep. The past approx. 1100 nights of waking up several times per night to check our daughter’s blood sugar level, have resulted in my sleeping habits becoming rather disturbed.



Since I don’t have good old blogger pals other than the diplomat’s wife, I will take the plunge here and send these questions, slightly amended, to one of my favourite bloggers: a kiwi blogger, who lives and writes about her experience in living in Helsinki (https://heyhelsinki.wordpress.com/).

Question 1: What do you see in front of you right now?

Question 2: Your favourite place in the city you live in?

Question 3: What do you dislike the most in the city you live in (if anything)?

Question 4: A book that shouldn’t be in your bookcase but most definitely is?

Question 5: Liquorice or Mämmi?

Question 6: If you had one wish what would you wish for?

Question 7: What is the best photo you’ve taken this year?

Question 8: Where do you see yourself living in five years’ time?

Question 9: Finnish summer or winter, and why?

Question 10: What is the opening line of a song that describes your life?


11 thoughts on “Unpopular

  1. It was fun to read, thank you. As for getting more readers to your blog, I have been told that you should write regularly, short and funny, and add tags as well as advertise in your network, just as you do. I tend to write too long stories and too rarely.

    Back to your posting this time. I have been a diplomat for 11 years, and I can tell you that the training included some (maybe max 5 hours) issues around small talk. It included more about the cultures and how to cope within different cultures. I do not know if this is the fact in the career diplomats’ training as I worked in the commercial section, so my training was more about doing business. However, I remember the meeting at the queen’s in Holland when the Finnish ambassador was introduced. He went to chat with the queen and we others were introduced with some of her staff. I was amazed how well this guy knew about my job, and how quickly he found out what I liked to talk about. A talent, and surely he had been trained for that.

    Your answers to the questions were minimalistic but on the other hand these questions certainly were not the type of questions this officer at the Duch Royal Palace asked. Anyway I just loved your answer to the 8th question – Question 8: Parenthood related expectation proved unrealistic by parenthood (if any)? I could not agree more with your reply.

    I look forward to your next posting.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, your advice and your insight into diplomats’ life. I didn’t know you are a diplomat! What an exciting job!

      I really like your blog – yes, your posts are long, but the way you write is beautiful and your photos are amazing. I also look forward to your next post 🙂

  2. Oh the first part of this broke my heart a little bit – sorry if that sounds patronising at all! I know what it feels like to believe you’re an unpopular blogger but I don’t think that’s the case at all. It’s really difficult for me to make ‘blogging friends’ as my site is a little bit less personal and more like a publication. I do, however, try to be as personal as I can during Twitter chats and stuff like that. Perhaps give some Twitter chats a go?

    The picture that goes with number 6 is absolutely adorable!

    Good luck with everything 🙂

    • Bex, thank you so much for you kind comments and advice. I’m new to twitter (and consequently still a little bit lost with it all), but I’ll try to be more active on that front. 🙂

      Many thanks!

    • Yay! I’ve got two blogger friends! Thanks Mel! 😀

      Btw, I’m so sorry, but I noticed today that the link to your blog that was in my blog post didn’t work (even though it did work when I checked it in the ‘preview’ mode). I’ve changed the link, and it should work now, but it’s really annoying that it didn’t take the readers where it should have initially. Sorry.

      I look forward to reading your answers – especially the one about Mämmi! 🙂

  3. Saako tämän haasteen viedä mukana? Minulla on pari blogi frendiä, jotka mielellään vastailevat. Kysymykset ovat todella hyviä! Sekä sinä että piriot kirjoitatte pitkiä juttuja, mutta niitä on todella mielenkiintoista lukea, aivan kuin novellia.

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