25 bits of stuff you probably don’t need to know about me. It’ll give you a fairly rounded picture of what I’m like though.
1) I was born in London, but raised in Southampton, and although it’s more than 20 years since I moved to the Thames Valley, I still miss the sea.
2) I have never, not for one single second in my life, doubted that my parents love me; that’s a real gift from them to me, and one I am above all else trying to pass on to my children.
3) My children are terrific; really terrific. But I know that lots of people find it irritating when a mum talks their own children up all the time, so I try to tone it down. And then I feel sad and guilty because they are absolutely the bees-knees and I should be shouting it from the rooftops.
4) When my DH first kissed me, he was aiming for my cheek, but I was walking away, so he got the back of my neck instead. I felt like I’d been struck by lightning, and I knew my whole world was turning upside down. I sometimes wonder whether it would have been the same if he’d got my cheek.
5) I have 4 brothers and no sisters. I have never wanted a sister, but I do love my sisters-in-law and I’m so glad I have them. The boys chose wisely.
6) I think ‘beach hockey’, played on a shingle beach with an upended walking stick and an empty plastic bottle should be an olympic sport. That’d sort the men from the boys!
7) I learned to smoke in self-defence – otherwise I’d have been way too much of a ‘goody-two-shoes’ to be allowed to survive at my secondary school. When I got to 30 and realised I’d been smoking for half my life, I gave up. In 2 years time, I’ll have been an ex-smoker for as long as I was a smoker. I’m not sure what I’ll decide to do then.
8) I’m a mum to 4 children, and I have a “full time” paid job, and I’m an off-and-on part-time student, and a breastfeeding peer supporter and that’s just for starters. People often tell me how good I am at juggling. They’re wrong. I drop loads of stuff. What I’m good at is catching things again after the first bounce.
9) I am a happy person; I have an ‘even keel’; not much gets me down. I like to spread the happiness about. Here, have some ~~~~~~~>>>>>
10) My DH thinks I worry about crazy things. I call it good risk management and forward planning. However, I have learned not to do my planning out loud in the wee small hours of the morning.
11) I was a convent schoolgirl. All the jokes they tell about us are true!
12) Yoga is my ‘sport’ of choice, and I like to think I’m uncompetitive, (but you should see me play Spoons).
13) I’ve worked in the public sector for 16 years and in all that time I’ve only had two days off sick. Imagine what the average sickness absence for public servants would be if the taxpayer didn’t have me on the payroll!
14) If I could choose, I would go to bed at about 2am and get up at around 9am. But I have to get up between 6 and 7. Even so, I find it impossible to go to sleep before midnight. I am never not tired.
15) I am a feminist. I can’t understand women who say “I’m a feminist, but…..” But nothing! Get a grip! Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to build a bonfire out of all the men. (Although come to think of it, a bonfire of some of them wouldn’t be a bad thing….)
16) I used to be very good at boozing. I once drank 17 pints in a day at a beer festival and left the bar still standing. After a decade of trying for babies, and being pregnant, and breastfeeding my limit went down to about 2 pints. Probably just as well, ‘cos now I’m sober I can read the health warnings. And I can tell the difference between my liver waving and drowning. If I could, I would take entonox to parties.
17) I lost a layer of skin (figuratively) when my children were born. I can feel their pain more keenly than my own. I’m afraid of almost nothing these days, except something bad happening to any one of them.
18) I love an audience. It’s a shame I have no talent to speak of.
19) I will never be able to cook as well as my mother. I’m reconciled to that now, and I’ll settle for everyone around the table clearing their plates and saying ‘yum’. I’m not happy when dinner flops though.
20) I know a surprising amount about astrology (ha-ha), and I’m into reflexology, and various other ‘alternative’ kinds of things. None of which sits terribly well with my more hard-edged, evidence-based, analytical side. But I’m comfortable with the inconsistency.
21) My parents’ faith is impressive and humbling, but I have none of my own. I find it quite easy to believe that there may be a divine power at work in the universe, but I struggle with churches and churchiness, even though I’ve seen close up that for some it can be a wonderful thing.
22) I’m very clever, but I mostly keep it to myself. Nobody likes a smart-arse.
23) The best moments in my life were that kiss (at #4) and the births of my children. Truly.
24) If I find myself in a house with no books, it makes me twitchy and I want to leave.
25) If I could transport myself to anywhere, it would be onto a sun-warmed rock by the sea on a crisp, winter day. I’d be wrapped up warmly with the sun on my face, slightly out of the wind and with the sound of the waves in my ears. I’d be reliving my best moments (see #23) if I was feeling happy, and building a massive mental bonfire of my foes if I was feeling mad.