Things You Might Not know about Me and other musings!

I was reviewing my Blog posts and come across this: Things you may not know about me. Had a little laugh and decided to update. Take a peek for yourself.

1. I was born and raised in east London before moving to Kent at around 8 or 9 years of age. In London, we lived around the corner from the Ross Family. They were well known locally for being a large family of boys and one girl, and were always immaculately 'turned out,' as they say. At school, Paul Ross was a year or two ahead of me; Simon Ross was in the same class; and Jonathan Ross was the year or two below.Yes, that Jonathan Ross!

2. I started school life at Davis Lane, near Wansted Flats. In a room off the Reception classroom was a wooden dressing up box. It was full of wafty, flimsy pieces of clothing including a coveted evening dress. A beautiful black velvet strapless top, with a meringue of layer upon layer of white netting that sparkled when swishing this way and that ~ no other piece of clothing held as much magic for me (other than my mother's wedding dress). It's an early memory of the power of an item, other than books, to be able to trigger imagination and stories.

3. I read everything and anything from a really young age. Family were amazed that from about three years old, I would sit happily engrossed with a book for long periods of time. I even read newspapers as I become skilled at reading, even though I didn't necessarily understand the content.

4. I was persuaded to go into nursing at senior school, as it was a 'proper' job for someone like me (pardon)? The irony being my Family gave me six months as they thought I was too squeamish to last in nursing for a longer period of time. Best part of forty years later, I have experienced different nursing roles, worked my way 'up the ladder,' and travelled around Australia as a nurse / midwife. I succeeded in proving a point~what exactly, I'm not sure. Tenacious? Adaptable or stubborn? You choose.

5. I was a Midwife for 10 or 11 years and I've delivered more than 500 babies. I'm amazed and humbled by this fact. I once delivered a woman of her first baby in a hospital in Kent. Then a few years later, delivered the same woman of her second baby in a country hospital in Western Australia. A coincidence or what?

6. I once recognised a woman of a certain age in Canterbury, who I was convinced was a friend of my mothers. I was mystified that this woman had ignored me as I tried to pass the time of day. I wondered why she hadn't remembered that I was 'Barbara's daughter' (I was always 'Barbara's daughter' to my mothers circle of friends and acquaintances. So much so that I'm sure people didn't know my real name). Later that day I realised I had tried to accost Virginia Wade, the retired Wimbledon Champion.

7. As a health visitor, I've twice visited a family as they were raided by the police. Both times the family had left the front door open thereby making it easier for the police to enter, as they shouted, "Police! Stay where you are!" Quite scary I recall ~ the police definitely meant business, and I wouldn't have chanced my luck with a police dog either. For the record, I was asked in no uncertain terms to leave the house, once I proved who I was.

I've also visited a home when the Bailiff's came to call. What else can you do but hide behind the sofa with mum, her three kids and a rather large dog that kept slapping my face with his tail? The Bailiff's, to my relief, finally got bored of banging on the front door and shouting through the letterbox. This anecdote found its way into an early scene in The Longing ( yes I'm still waiting for an Agent ~ patience and all that).

8. In the Kimberly region of Western Australia, I was once shown by a handsome man how to use a shotgun, so I could be on 'croc watch' during fishing trips, or other excursions near rivers. The aim being to fire in the air or towards the creature NOT to actually kill it. God only knows what I would have done if a croc had actually put in an appearance, as I'm certain out of sheer fright I wouldn't have been able to pull the trigger. Although, there was one occasion (I'm sure wine was involved), where I really did have too close an encounter with a 22 foot croc nicknamed Fergie ~ a close shave ~ but that's another story.

9. I can trace my family tree, on my fathers side, to 1600 ~ the time of Queen Elizabeth 1.

10. As a teenager I desperately wanted an old english sheep dog because Paul McCartney owned one. This while secretly lusting after David Bowie.

11. Some of my friends I've known for more than forty years ~ how the heck did that happen? I mean, we met as young adults, not children. I can't be that old. No, not old, older ~ there's a difference. Other friends I've known for maybe 10 years and it feels so much longer ~ in a good way. Many more friends for the years in between. For all of this I'm truly grateful.

12. My teenage nephews tell me that, "You're not as old as we think!" Meaning, "that you laugh a lot and can be silly, and old people don't do that, do they?" The moral of the story is...

13. Follow your passion, it's never too late. Haven't got a passion? Find one, you'll be a happier person for it. Trust me, I know.

14. I've found that widening your social circle and the things that you choose to join in with can at times be the scariest thing in the world. I'm learning to do it anyway. Also included in this is not to turn down invitations. Unless it involves sky diving. I'm not doing that. Nor going down pot holes ~ I found out the hard way I'm a wee bit claustrophobic.

15. I like going to the cinema on my own. I can watch the film of my choice in peace without constant interruptions from the person with you. Strangely, I prefer going to the theatre with others as it makes it more of an 'event.' Though if I really want to go and see a production that no-one else wants to, I will go on my own. I've found it's not the end of the world to be seen on your own and no-one else cares any way. In fact you're more likely to strike up a conversation with someone if you are toute serle!

16. I'm now wondering why I didn't keep up those french lessons.

17. I long to get a tattoo ~ mostly because my family hates them. I need to mark being thirty again in June. Release that inner rebel, eh?

18. When I was young I wanted to be left handed. Seemed so exotic somehow. Different. Paul McCartney was (is) left-handed. There's a theme developing here methinks.

19. I learnt to drive in the Australian outback.

20. Decided I'm morphing into a colourful, bonkers, midlife woman, and long may it last. Who cares what other people think, as the alternative doesn't bear thinking about. I've discovered over the years that people want to put you into a box ~ their box and their definition of what life should be. To hell with that.


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