Saturday 5 January 2013

Who am I really?

Just when I was wondering what to write for my first post of 2013, I've been tagged by Fiona over at Bike Lights in the Fruit Bowl to take part in a meme. Hers is a lovely blog about trying to live a green life in the city with her family, so do go and have a look. Here's what I have to do:
  • Post 5 random facts about myself
  • Choose 5 other deserving blogs with less than 200 subscribers to nominate and link their blogs in my post
  • Tell my nominees I have chosen them for this award by leaving a comment on their blogs
  • Answer the 5 questions the tagger has asked me and ask my own 5 questions to the people I nominate
  • No tag backs

5 random facts about me:
1. I can ride a bike with no hands. I am inordinately proud of this fact. My lovely old flatmate taught me how to do it in London Fields.
2. I had dinner with a real, actual Moody Blue this summer in a moated castle in France. My 5 year-old son found a machine that made fart noises in the breakfast room and set it off as Mr Moody Blue sat down for his breakfast the next morning. How we laughed.
3. I can sing 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' in Latin. Of all the things that I learned in O level Latin, this is the one I've retained. The single most useless skill I possess.
4. I don't drink. It's not a decision I consciously made to give up alcohol, no dry January or anything and I cook with it, and have the occasional scoosh, but I now suffer from such dreadful hangovers that the painful combination of hangover + small boys is really not worth the pleasure gained, so it's just kind of slipped out of my life. I sort of miss it.
5. Coriander used to be my most loathed food, but I now love it with a passion. It was like an epiphany - an overnight conversion, as if some sort of switch had been turned on. I'm still waiting for the chocolate 'off' switch to kick in.

Fiona's questions:

1. What excites you most about the world your child(ren) is/are growing up in?
When I look at my blog stats, I'm thrilled to see that in the short time it's been active I've had readers from all over the world. I love the fact that my children are growing up in a world where global communication is so simple. My working life has been pretty much all about communication of one sort or another, and I've been lucky enought to work with people from all over the world, from Tibet to Kenya, from Seoul to Buenos Aires, and during the course of my career, it's become so much easier to talk to those people in real time. I hope that this means that for my children it will be completely normal to have friends from different cultures and other parts of the world, and that life will be much more like the 'global village' that hippies used to dream about.

2. What scares you most when you think about the future your child(ren) will grow up into?
Ah, where to start with this one? I suppose the thing that gives me most pause for thought is the prospect of how the world they grow up into will cope with increasing competition for dwindling resources: water, fossil fuels, land. They all seem like potential areas of conflict for future generations, and it seems to me that it's up to us to find alternatives before we get to that stage, and to begin to find ways of living that leave less of a footprint on the planet. So whether it's governments addressing energy security and alternatives to fossil fuels, or individuals using their cars less and shopping locally, we all have a role to play in making things better for the next people to pass this way.

3. And...what's your favourite way to relax? I need ideas!!
I am frankly surprised it took me so long to start a blog, because I must be the very archetype of a 'mummy blogger' <shudder> : I cook, I garden, I craft a bit. But at the moment, it's upholstery. I used to go to a class before I had children, and I've recently gone back to it, and am loving being back in the workshop. My day job involves staring at a screen, so the three hours a week I spend using my hands to make things beautiful again are very precious. I'm reupholstering my very saggy kitchen chairs. They started life in a lawyers' office, before my cousin acquired them and used them as her three boys were growing up. She then passed them on to me, so after many lawyers' bottoms, five wild boys and a few cats, they have most definitely seen better days. I've nearly finished the first one, and it's looking rather fabulous in its new purple leather coat. I have already made it known that nobody except me will be allowed to sit on it, and that it must not come within spraying distance of wet weetabix, on pain of severe and unusual punishment. One of my classmates is insisting that I recycle the old green leather that I've taken off, and I've just spent this afternoon looking at patterns with a view to perhaps making some bags or wallets with it. If I manage that I'll be even more pleased, verging on smug, but it'll probably just sit in a cupboard for a year or two. Anyway, I highly recommend upholstery - upcycling, with the added benefit of power tools (I just love those compressed air staplers...).

So, to my nominees. I haven't been on the blogging circuit for long so I don't have very many people to choose from, but I'm tagging the following people because I'd like to know a bit more about them and because I'd like you to have a look at their lovely blogs.
1. Alison's Garden - it's like it says on the tin, with added cocktails.
2. Beta Mother - she follows me, and I am grateful. And her blog is lovely.
3. Reflections in Raindrops - this is a blogger who lives near me (although I don't know her) and whose posts are funny and thought-provoking in equal measure.
4. The farm at the back of beyond - I'll nominate her because her blog is beautifully written and passionate. She lives on a farm in rural Scotland and has an incredibly hard life, for reasons that will become all too painfully clear if you read her blog. And yet she manages to write with such grace and gentle good humour. If more people knew about the situation of farmers in highland Scotland, something might be done to help them, so I hope you'll go and have a look. I don't know if she'll have time to answer the questions, but I hope so.
5. For the girl - this is a newish blog that has made me roar with laughter. Especially the one where they go to Santa's grotto.

And my five questions (Fiona only asked 3, which is why I only answered 3, but I've got 5):
1. What do you like best about the place where you live?
2. If you could change one thing about that place, what would it be?
3. What are you hoping for from 2013?
4. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast? (I had to ask that one really)
5. Who is your ideal breakfast companion (partners and family aside) and why?

Next time, I'll get back to breakfasts. Honest. I sniff Seville oranges and new season rhubarb in the air...


  1. Lovely to hear a bit more about you! And thanks for laughing at my jokes!
    I can't see how to visibly 'follow' your blog. Is it best to just subscribe by email?

    1. Oh I don't know. I think everything is enabled, but I'm a bit useless, so it's quite possible that it's not. I usually add blogs to my reading list on the stats overview page (the button that says 'add'), and it asks me if I want to 'follow publicly as breakfastlady' or something. Does that work?