The Puglia Diaries

The thrills and spills of a British Council Language Assistant in Molfetta, Italy

The Liebster Award

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Who doesn’t love awards?

Yesterday, I found out that my little year abroad blog has been nominated for the Liebster award! From what I remember at school and a quick double check on the trusty online dictionary, Liebster means ‘favourite’ or ‘beloved’ in German. I’d like to thank Lorena for nominating me, it definitely put a smile on my face.


This award is designed to boost new blogs, the ones with fewer than 200 followers. I think for ‘travelling abroad’ bloggers like myself, it’s an especially good idea because you can find out about other people in your area and get ideas for making the most of your time wherever you have ended up. It makes me happy reading about the experiences of other language assistants, students, tourists or expats who have taken time to put their lives into words.

So here are the rules of the award, if you’d like to pass it on:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you.  

3. Nominate 10 of your favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination.

4. Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer (below my nominations!)

These are the questions that Lorena asked her nominees, and my answers:

  1. Why did you decide to create a blog?

I got into blogging a couple of years ago because I love writing. I always have three notebooks on the go, I keep a journal, a film and literature blog and now my year abroad blog. It seemed a natural medium to document my time in Puglia: my friends and family can access it (my Grandma says it’s like getting a weekly letter) and when my time here comes to end, I will be able to look back on all that I have seen and done.

2. If you could eat only one meal a day for the rest of your life what would it be? 

This is a sacrifice because I love breakfast. Espresso and something chocolatey is what gets me out of bed in the morning. However, I have been won over by the Italian lunch, ie. a pasta or rice dish, then vegetables/meat/cheese/frittata, then fruit, then dessert, then coffee. It would keep me more than happy for the rest of my life.

3. What’s you favourite book ?

Another head scratcher. I would say The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, because it’s brilliant and it’s remained with me a long time after reading it.

4. Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it? 

My pet peeve is people picking their fingernails and making that horrid clicking noise. It makes me skin crawl for some reason.

5. What is your favourite quote from a film and why? 

This quote is from As Good As It Gets, when Jack Nicholson’s character finally manages to give Helen Hunt a decent compliment :

I might be the only person on the face of the earth that knows you’re the greatest woman on earth. I think most people miss that about you, and I watch them, wondering how they can watch you bring their food, and clear their tables and never get that they just met the greatest woman alive’.

That’s a pretty good compliment.

6. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? 

I used to think it was cinammon but I recently tried lemon nougat and it is my new favourite. I did  try Panettone flavour in Rome though, and that was delicious. 

7.When visiting a new city, do you prefer to wander around and get lost or have a set itinerary of things to do? 

I usually plan a loose itinerary but it undergoes lots of changes as the day goes on. Wandering around is the best way to visit a new city: you need the right balance between good sense and spontaneity.

8. Do you prefer living in your home country or abroad? 

I consider both the UK and France my home countries for different reasons, and have enjoyed living in both. Having said that, at the moment, I love the adventure of living in Italy, so I would say abroad :)

9. What’s your favourite blog? 

Ahhh my indecision has got the better of me. I’d say there are some equally stellar posts on all my favourite blogs.  

10.Share one item on your bucket list and explain why it is on your list. 

An item on my bucket list is to go Island hopping in Greece. I’ve never been and I love experiencing new and beautiful places in the hot summer.

So now, my nominations in no particular order :

Do Your Thing Travel: a blog where you will find perspectives on food and travel to inspire others, including top notch posts about Bari and Lecce

Mixing Oil and Water: Frankie and Giuseppe are an Anglo-Italian couple exploring the regions of Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia.

Culture Cocktail: Annie is studying abroad in Oviedo, Spain, and making everyone jealous with her photos of sun and snow

I Tre Amigos: Three Italian friends blogging about food and reviewing pubs in the area of Naples and beyond.

Nuovastoria: a blog about moving from the US and starting a brand new life in Puglia

She Dreams of Travel: a blog by Jessica, who has ‘a serious case of wanderlust’

A Carr Journey to Florence:  Henry is a British Council Assistant too, blogging about his time in the beautiful city of Florence.

Italy: EXPLORED: Beth is a teacher living in Bari,  getting started blogging about  Southern Italy and beyond.

Foodie in Italy, about Italian food and culture

Delightfully Italy, discover how to travel Italy off the beaten track

You don’t have to take part in the award if you don’t want to: this is just my way of saying, nice work, I like your blog :)

Here are my questions, if you’d like to participate:

  1. What is your main goal for 2014?
  2. Which city do you dream of living in?
  3. If you had an unlimited travel fund, where would you visit first?
  4. What’s your favourite song?
  5. What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
  6. Which book are you reading at the moment?
  7. Favourite place you’ve ever visited?
  8. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
  9. Which historical event do you wish you had witnessed?
  10.   Do you send postcards?


That’s it! I had some delicious mushroom and salsiccia di Norcia pasta today, followed by cake so I’m off to the Palestra. Ciao ragazzi  :)


Author: Elly Cooke

Recent graduate of English Literature and Italian from the University of Leeds. Book lover and part-time Italian speaker.

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