Most Influential Blogs of 2012 Award


I feel so bad that it took me so long to post my thanks for all the wonderful awards that I was given last month that I decided to devote this weekend to completing all my award posts. Almost a month ago I was nominated for the Most Influential Blogs of 2012 by Ronnie. Thanks a lot, Ronnie. Much appreciated. Your blog influenced me a lot over the last 8 months – it’s a pity that I can’t nominate you for that award too 🙂 Check out Ronnie’s inspirational blog at

This nomination has no rules, so I would like to nominate all bloggers who posted comments to my posts. For me blogging is a conversation which would be incomplete without your voices. Thanks a lot for joining into my blogging conversation and encouraging me with your ‘Likes’. Much appreciated. 🙂

WordPress Family Award


Brand new award from Shaun @ “I am part of the WordPress Family Award”. ANYONE CAN TAKE THIS AWARD ANY TIME AND GIVE TO TEN OTHERS!!!
Thanks, Ajay, for nominating me for that award and for sharing the family warmth via your comments and likes. Glad to be part of the WordPress family 🙂

Award Description:
“This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I start this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award.” from Shaun @

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your wordpress experience and family
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

My nominees:

1.     Waywardspirit

2.     Rhubblog Administrator

3.     NissA’

4.      Marji

5.      Alastair

6.      Bastet

7.      Shellakers

8.      Cristi M.

9.      thebluepolarbear

10.  Teacher as Transformer

The most Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness!!!


To complete my awesome award month, Ajay and Michelle nominated me for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness (the most tongue-twisting award in the blogospere 🙂 ). Thanks a lot,  Ajay and Michelle. Much appreciated.  Check out Ajay’s and Michelle’s awesome blogs.

So the rules are as follows:

  • Post a picture of the award on your blog
  • Post 10 EPIC fun facts that you haven’t already told about yourself AND
  • Nominate 10 people for this EPIC award! Simple as that.

I was planning to nominate 10 bloggers, but as some of you might be too busy to participate, while others might have been nominated for that award already, I decided to leave it up to my awesome followers to self-nominate themselves. I nominate for this award the first 10 bloggers, who are keen to play by the rules outlined above.

Now 10 EPIC (whatever it might mean) facts about me:

1.I had the most epically awesome dad, who could cook an epically awesome stew that I could eat every day (true – I was actually eating it every day when I was with my dad, as that was the only thing he could cook 🙂 ).


From Dear Old Dad’s “Whew!” Stew

2. I was always epically stubborn and competitive with my older brother to the extent that once, when he suggested a competition to see who could do more sit ups, I won. However I did so many sit ups, that I could not sit up for the rest of the month. I pulled my tummy muscles so badly, that even laughing caused agonizing muscle pain. Getting off the bed was a real adventure too, as the only way I could do that was by rolling onto my tummy, sliding onto the floor, getting on all fours and slowly standing up. While I was cringing from pain, my brother was all epic smiles and giggles that month.  My brother and I retained our epically awesome relationship to this day. 🙂



3. When I was a teenager, I was fascinated with natural medicine and various ways of improving body resistance to external factors (e.g. colds, viruses etc.). My epically awesome brother particularly loved when I got into cold water resistance training. He was always more than happy to assist with pouring cold water on me. The grin on his face was particularly epic on those occasions. He was very disappointed that I never progressed to winter ice swimming with local ‘walruses’ – he wished so much he could provide ‘assistance’ with pushing me into the icy water. 🙂

Ice SwimFrom Russia Ice Swimming Pictures

4. My first epically awesome car was an old rusted white Lada. Actually, it was my friend’s car, but as we spent hours and days under it constantly fixing and replacing bits and pieces, we both got equally attached to it. Not that I could fix anything – my only ‘uses’ when it came to fixing this car were holding bits and pieces, passing the tools and keeping my friend ‘chattertained’. I think, over the years we replaced every single bit in that car. That kept our pockets drained from any money that ever appeared in there (which was not as epically often as we wished at that time).

It was a really remarkable vehicle with an opening on the roof that leaked so badly, that in the rain we were hiding under umbrella when driving around. Putting on waterproof pants before hopping onto the seats was a must after the rain. This car also constantly required push starts, which empowered me to get a driving license to avoid being on the ‘pushing’ side all the time.



5. My second epically awesome car was an old rusted Toyota Hilux that I got when I moved to my New Land. It was not as epic as my first one, though it was capable of producing all sorts of rattling and squeaking noises when it was going and its gear box liked playing Russian roulette. You never knew what you get (or whether you get anything at all) when changing gears in that vehicle. The most epic about that huge squeaky-rattling ‘tank’ was driving it on the very narrow and in some places very steep streets of my new hometown, dodging all the other traffic. I’ve discovered some really epic streets in that car, where all I could see from the driver’s seat of my huge ‘tank’ was just beautiful blue sky above, hoping that while I’m driving to the top of that street, no one will attempt to drive down into my path.

ToyotaFrom RCSparks

6. I was lucky to get epically awesome  education without an epic student debt. I’ve spent 5 years in a kindergarten, 10 years at school and over 10 years at different Universities – most of them at the time and in the place where it was still possible to get free University education. It did require getting through a tough competition and entry tests with often 15-20 people competing for each student place at the University, however it was still FREE!!!

student-debt-teaching-english-abroad-optionsFrom Teach Travel Explore

7. I live in one of the most epically awesome countries and I love it with all my heart.

New ZealandFrom HARMONART

8. I love children and have a few cheeky rascals at home who can brighten even the gloomiest day in my life. They are truly epically awesome!!!

CartoonKidsFrom Tazzymania

9. I always try to keep the most epically awesome smile on my face. Hope it will brighten your day 🙂



10. I met the most epically awesome people in the blogosphere. Thanks to all of you for visiting my blog and commenting on my
posts 🙂


From Rodney Burns Blog


Sunshine award from the award bouquet


My dear friend-blogger Ajay kindly nominated me for the whole bouquet of awards that included the Sunshine Award. Thanks a lot, Ajay. Much appreciated. Check out Ajay’s inspirational blog with lots of wise quotes and beautiful images.

So, what is the Sunshine Award?

“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!”

What inspired you to start blogging?
I started my blog as an online collection of sayings, images, stories, poetry and songs that I like. Initially it was like an online treasure box for me that I could refer to whenever required. Over time however I discovered the pleasure of interacting with other bloggers so now blogging for me is more about exchanging ideas and experiences with other bloggers in the blogosphere – a long online conversation with amazing people from all over the world.

How did you come up with the name to your blog?
Otrazhenie means reflection in Russian language. That is the essence of my blog, which is a reflection of everything I see, feel or read.

Otrazhenie/Reflection also reflects my multicultural experience. I was lucky to live in different cultural environments and be part of a multicultural family. That allowed me to overcome some prejudices and stereotypes and get a deeper understanding of the values and beliefs that form the basis of those cultures. I learned to appreciate cultural differences as well as discovered some common core values that gave me the feeling of ‘oneness’. I realised that the core values in all cultures are very similar, as they underpin the survival of humans and ability to function in a group (e.g. family values – taking care of your family and children), while cultural differences can usually be explained by the environmental factors that shaped those cultures.

All cultures develop over time to match changing environment and people like me, who are living in multicultural families, have a unique opportunity to critically examine those cultures and preserve the best values and beliefs from each of them for future generations, while living behind all outdated cultural practices, which are irrelevant in the current environment.

What is your favorite blog you like to read?
Very hard to choose as I like a lot of other blogs. At first, I tried to follow all the blogs I like, which started getting a bit overwhelming, as I like so many of them. A few days I got an idea from Alistair of starting a new page with a list of blogs I like. I’ll set it up once I get a bit more time.

Tell about your dream job.
Blogging in the comfort of my warm and cosy bed would be my dream winter job, while tramping and sailing – my dream summer jobs. Unfortunately, none of these pleasurable activities brought me any income yet, so I’ll need to keep dragging myself out of the house every morning to a less-inspirational job to feed my family. I don’t mind it much however as without  a real job and interactions with real people I would probably lose my inspiration very quickly. I feel very lucky to have a dream work-family-fun-inspiration balance in my life. Hope to be able to keep it that way.

Is your glass half empty or half full?
Half-full so I could keep adding to it. And it is bottomless as well so I’ll never run out of space. 🙂

If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?
I would not go anywhere as I’m already here. I’ll just keep exploring my wonder land New Zealand. Don’t want to go anywhere else yet.

What food can you absolutely not eat?
Raw oysters, frog legs, snakes, caterpillars and any of those crunchy, slimy and squishy stuff consumed by Bear Grylls in his ‘survival kitchen’. If I ever get lost while tramping, don’t add insult to injury by sending this guy to my rescue.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Dark with lots of nuts – you can have the chocolate back once I pick out all the nuts 🙂

How much time do you spend blogging?
Less than I would, more than I should 🙂

Do you watch TV, and if so, what are some of your favorite shows?
Very rarely. I mostly watch documentaries. I like ‘survival in the wilderness’ shows like ‘I should not be alive’ or Bear Grylls’ adventures. I like a practical side of those films – how to avoid getting into a tricky situation in the wilderness and what to do if you got into one. Talking about a ‘practical’ side, I even got a flint after one of Bear Grylls’ shows and tried to make a fire with it for cooking dinner during one of our tramping trips. An hour of sparks and finally – whoosh, I got the fire going. I was very impressed. Unfortunately, my hungry family was not. Have not seen my flint since that dinner, cheeky rascals. 🙂

My nominations:
I was planning to nominate 10 bloggers, but as some of you might be too busy to participate, while others might have been nominated for that award already, I decided to leave it up to my awesome followers to self-nominate themselves. I nominate for this award the first 10 of my followers, who are keen to play by the rules outlined above.

Tag! You’re it.


I have been Tagged by Ajaytao 2010. Check out Ajaytao 2010’s blog to get a glimpse into his personal world – world full of treasures and wisdom.

Thank you very much Ajaytao 2010 for tagging me. Much appreciated. Glad that we met in a blogosphere.

Rules of the game:

1. Post these rules.

2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you.

3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.

4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.

5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged.

Much love.

A photo:

With love from Otrazhenie/Reflection

Random facts about me:
When I saw Ajaytao 2010’s award post, it brought a smile on my face. Smile of recognition – like when you see yourself in a mirror. The random facts listed in his post matched me so well, that I do not see any point in reinventing the wheel and will simply repeat the once that describe me well with a few small amendments:

  • I am a very low profile person
  • I love to be silent, but in a social context can get over-chatty to cover my embarrassment or lack of social skills
  • I love the silence of the night and often blog at night time
  • I love people, but often do not know how to communicate well and often get misunderstood
  • My way of expression often comes across as weird
  • I am not a social person. I don’t like parties, crowds, noise. I see superficial social chat as a waste of time
  • I am a hard nut to crack, therefore I have only a few friends who are very precious for me.

And my questions:

  1. The most unforgettable moment of your life?
    Positive moments – realising that we started a new little life that will soon enter this world, followed by the birth of that little life. We had a few of those moments.
    Painful – learning about my partner’s cancer on our 10th wedding anniversary followed by three years of surgery, hospitals, various treatments, follow up tests, side effects and re-evaluation of what matters and what does not matter anymore, including our relationship. We never talked about that last bit, but I felt it was there. I always believed that each person has a right to write his or her life story therefore if that ‘chapter’ was over for my partner, I was fine with that. I don’t believe in ‘clinging’ to a relationship if it is not working for one or all of the parties involved. I’m OK to leave it if I’m not needed and if it does not have any negative effect on others. All positive memories will always stay with me, while negative ones – well, I’m lucky to have a very short memory for those. We battled over that Big C beast at the end – that was another unforgettably positive moment. Hope this beast will never come back to us.
  2. One fictitious character you completely relate to?
    Mr Bean – well, not completely, but I do relate to him.
  3. The best compliment you ever received? I trust you.
  4. Do you have a regret for a lifetime? None.
  5. The one thing you love about yourself? Sincerity
  6. If you had to live someone else’s life for a single day who would that be?
    I don’t want to live anyone else’s life – I prefer my own.
  7. Who is your favourite writer?
    Can’t name one. I like lots of writers – each with his or her own voice, each with his or her own perspective. For me naming a favourite writer is like naming a favourite instrument in an orchestra – I like lots of different instruments, as each of them produces unique sound and only together they can make good music.
  8. Your most favorite place in this whole world?
    New Zealand with its bush, mountains, lakes, fiords and beautiful coastline.
  9. Define love in a single word. Whisper.
  10. Do you believe in miracles and magic?
    Yes when it comes to meeting amazing people in my life. Such meetings are true miracles to me.
  11. The most unforgettable experience of a lifetime?
    Having children and getting a glimpse of the world through their eyes.

My Nominees are:

I always struggle with that bit therefore I would like to nominate all my followers. Thanks for following my blog, leaving your comments, sharing your thoughts and providing inspiration for me. I love your all. I won’t be creating any new questions for you. The ones above are perfectly fine from my perspective.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award


Another award from Maryam – a very inspiring blogger award. Thanks, Maryam. Glad that you like my blog and find it inspiring 🙂 I often get inspired by beautiful images from your blog – let’s keep this inspirational cross-infection going 🙂

the Rules

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

1. I hate being ‘labeled’ or ‘stereotyped’ (e.g. by gender, appearance, age, family status, nationality etc. etc. etc.). That’s why I like otrazhenie, which is just a reflection, that can’t be stereotyped or labeled in any way.
2. Psychology was my favourite subject at University. I was always particularly fascinated with the communication psychology and how a message, that has one meaning for its creator, can have a completely different meaning for its recipient depending on his or her experience in life. That’s why I like getting comments from my readers and followers and see, how my posts can mean different things to different people.
3. I like learning languages and learning about different cultures, as that provides an interesting insight into how different cultures can perceive life in different ways and can come up with completely different ‘cultural’ solutions to the same social problems. ‘Cultural’ experience also brings another interesting dimension to interpersonal communication, as even a simple message can be understood so differently by the creator and recipient depending on their ‘cultural’ experience.
4. Interpersonal communication is like a radio for me – sometimes I meet a person and instantly feel that we are on the same ‘wavelength’ and see things in the same way. I was lucky to meet a few such people in my life and they are very important for me. With most people however I feel that we are ‘speaking’ on a different ‘wavelength’ and no matter what we say, we get too much ‘noise’ that blocks the real ‘message’.
5. Sometimes I like provoking and challenging people’s thinking and views. Not because I agree or disagree with their views, but because I like exploring different perspectives and viewpoints on the same issue.
6. ‘Otrazhenie’ (or reflection) is my essence – I like reflecting everything I see or feel. That’s my way of making sense of reality. My reflections might be ‘contradictory’ at times, which some people might find confusing. However reality is full of contradictions and confusion. Life is not black and white and can’t be easily ‘squeezed’ into a particular paradigm or viewpoint.
7. I like inspirational people with positive attitude to life. I’m very pleased that I came across so many inspiring bloggers in the blogosphere. I tried to nominate as many inspiring bloggers as I could remember. Sorry if I have missed your blog. I find it very hard nominating bloggers for such awards – as soon as I publish my nominations, I start coming across blogs that I like a lot but forgot to include into my nominations.
I would like to nominate the following blogs for this award: 
  1. Scott Williams

Nominated For One Lovely Blog Award

Otrazhenie has been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award.

The rules of the award nomination are as follows:

  1. Thank and link back to the person that nominated you…
  2. Post the award picture in your post.
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and notify them of the nomination.

I would like to thank “R” HubBlog and Once4Always for the nomination and for following Otrazhenie. Much appreciated. 🙂

Below are 7 things about myself 🙂

  1. I don’t drink beer and don’t like strong alcohol drinks. However love Irish Cream (Baileys) and enjoy a glass of wine every now and then.
  2. I don’t smoke and hate when people are smoking close to me.
  3. I like sailing, but am not very good at it. Would make a good crew member for an experienced skipper who can provide clear instructions  without losing his/her temper in rough conditions or when things go wrong 🙂 .
  4. I love dancing when I’m alone and no one is watching me.
  5. Freedom and having my own space are very important for me. Hate crowds and noise.
  6. I enjoy blogging, reading other people’s blogs and exchanging comments. Like seeing things from different perspectives – through the eyes of my visitors, followers and other bloggers.
  7. I have a great respect for people:
  • who went through tough times but managed to get their lives into a good shape in spite of difficult circumstances.
  • who care about those who are in need and give them a helping hand.
  • who are prepared to stand up for their views and values, even under pressure.
  • who have kind forgiving heart.

The 15 bloggers that I am nominating:


Wonderful Readership Award

Thanks designer22 for nominating me for the wonderful team member readership award. Much appreciated. 🙂

The rules are outlined below:

1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.

2. Over a period of 7 days (1 week), the Nominee shall nominate a number of readers that he or she appreciates – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be all on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, as most convenient to the Nominee.

3. The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.

The questions:

1)      Why do you blog

  • to exchange thoughts and ideas,
  • build up my collection of favourite poems, prose, thoughts and images,
  • meet interesting people online,
  • get the buzz out of my head 🙂

2) If you were trapped on a desert island, what book, DVD, food, cartoon character, and childhood game would you bring?

Hm, that’s a hard one. Too many things to choose from. Let’s get started:

  • Book: Complete works of Shakespeare and Mark Twain
  • Food: fruit and berries. Love them all. 🙂
  • Game: playing cards.

3) Share a funny joke or one-liner.

I’m not good at telling a joke, but love Mark Twain’s sense of humour. So I’ll share one of Mark Twain’s jokes instead 🙂 :  “When I was fourteen years old, I was amazed at how unintelligent my father was. By the time I turned twenty-one, I was astounded how much he had learned in the last seven years.”

4) What is your favourite thing about yourself?

Patience and compassion

5) What one word best describes you?

Quiet and shy in public.

6) If you could have a lifetime supply of any candy/candy bar, what would it be?

Hm, I don’t have a sweet tooth. Would rather have a lifetime supply of fresh berries and fruit 🙂

7) What fictional character do you relate to most?

Can’t choose one – there are so many characters I relate myself to. Some of them are featured on my blog in the Prose and Poems sections. 🙂

8) If you were to write the story of your life, what would you call it?


Who I nominate: