some things about me

I don’t usually join in with this type of thing, but the lovely Robyn asked ever so nicely, so while I was on the train today I thought of a few things to tell you.
Here are the rules:
  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you
  • list 11 questions for the folk you are going to tag, and they should have fewer than 200 followers if possible
  • don’t back-tag
Eleven things about me
(1) I’m a voracious reader. I’d quite happily spend entire days reading, and often have done. I once fell down the stairs because I had my nose buried in a book. I’m not particularly discerning – I’ll read the small print on leaflets, the back of cereal packets, and will often read the same things over and over again.(2) I love trains. I get excited just being at the station. I love settling into my seat, watching the world go by through the window, listening to other people’s conversations. I travel quite a bit for work sometimes, and it always feels like an adventure. I once drove a train, and often meet a friend for tea in the cafe on the bridge at York station so we can watch the freight trains. Train enthusiasm is a good combination with (1).
(3) I absolutely cannot make a decent loaf of bread. I might have managed one or two (by accident), and can make a decent loaf of soda bread, but anything that requires patience and warmth seems beyond me. I refuse to be beaten however, and will devote next year to learning to make the perfect loaf.
(4) I have an incredibly sweet tooth. At university I used to sit with a spoon in a tin of golden syrup. I still would if I wasn’t afraid of my teeth disintegrating.

(5) I met Peter in his kitchen (which is now my kitchen too).I’d gone to a ceilidh with some friends, and he was playing in the band. Someone I was with knew him, and we all went back to his house for a drink. Everyone was sat around the kitchen, and nobody had put the kettle on, so I did. Peter caught me rummaging through his cupboards for the teabags. Six weeks later (after much protesting of the ‘we’re just friends!’ sort) we got together, and I’ve been here ever since. That was seven years ago this weekend.

(6) I’m incredibly patient and understanding with other people and their troubles, but will not tolerate drama queen-ness from myself at all. I can only have a crisis for approximately 20 minutes before I get bored and tell myself to get over it and find something more interesting or useful to do. Someone once told me I could only do this because I didn’t feel as much as other people. I’m inclined to believe she was justifying her own drama queen-ness, and chose to ignore her.

(7) I love local newspapers and magazines of small societies. I’ve written about this before. We joined the local natural history society, and I eagerly await their monthly newsletter. This month there is a mystery – something has been eating the sunflower seeds from the bottom of a ‘tulip’ style bird feeder, then lining the bowl with leaves. The person in question suggests a mouse or a shrew, but is perplexed at why they would be nesting outdoors at this time of year. Tune in next month to find out if anyone else knows…

(8) My standards of hygiene are rather low. I shower every day, but somehow still manage to have mud under my fingernails. I’ll happily eat things I’ve dropped on the floor. The kitchen surfaces are (relatively) clean, but I’ve never cleaned the grill pan or under the cooker. I probably never will.

(9) I love my job. I spend all day every day reading and writing and thinking and talking about interesting and important things. I work with a lovely bunch of (mostly) women (as in most of them are women – all of them are lovely). We have free tea, a communal biscuit tin, and we all stop for a half hour coffee break at 11 every morning.

(10) I once dyed my hair blue. I was 16, and had visions of midnight blue locks cascading down my back. Sadly, it was more a combination of turquoise and grey. I was sitting on a friend’s kitchen floor one night, and realised the dye had come off all over the radiator. It took a long time and a lot of elbow grease to get it off before his mum got back.

(11) I love libraries. Partly because I love reading, but I also love the sense of possibility that you get in a library. I often just walk around with no preconceptions, seeing what jumps off the shelf at me. Today it was hot and stuffy in my office, and my work was difficult, so I sneaked off to the university library for half an hour. I came out refreshed, with an armful of books about writing, and the rest of the day was much easier.

And my questions from Robyn…

(1) Marmite – yes or no? yes yes YES! Preferably on toasted cheap white sliced bread with plenty of butter. I’m not a stickler for brands, and once bought some marmite equivalent from a whole food shop. It was called ‘community yeast extract’ and stayed in the cupboard for about five years until I stopped laughing for long enough to eat it.

(2) If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you choose? I’m pretty happy right here, curled up on the sofa actually. Although I wouldn’t say no to having a fire and a cheery dog here too. I’ve never been much of a jet setter.

(3) Dogs or cats? And why? Either, or neither. We had both growing up, and I don’t have either now. We do have rather a soft spot for this particular dog though, and I did make a replica of him for Peter last Christmas (Peedie 2). I’d love to have a cheerful little buttling dog like Peedie, but we’ve got no garden to speak of, and I work full time, so for now it’s out of the question.

(4) What is, in your opinion, the best sort of cheese? I love goats cheese. And white stilton. And anything with herbs in. And brie. And strong cheddar. And any kind of cheese on a cocktail stick with a pineapple chunk.

(5) Streetfood or posh restaurant? Cafe – always (although I had a lovely cheese and onion pancake from a stall today). Any will do, but I do have a soft spot for cafes in market halls, where tea is 80p a mug and all you can buy is chip butties and teacakes. I can’t be doing with paying £2.50 for a cup of tea (although I won’t say no to a fancy handmade cake occasionally).

(6) Who was your very first best friend, and how old were you? A girl I met on my first day at my new nursery school. We stayed ‘friends’ well into high school, and we spent a lot of time together, but we were never close, and she could be quite mean. I’ve not seen her for years.

(7) What is your idea of a perfect Sunday? A bit of a lie in, reading in bed, preferably with company and a cup of tea. A trip to a cafe, and maybe a wander round an antique shop, or spontaneously popping to a friend’s house for a while. Reading the Saturday paper. Ending the weekend on the sofa, with a glass of ginger wine and maybe an episode of Sherlock Holmes. Bit like many of these really.

(8) How many different homes have you had in the course of your life? Which was your favourite, and why? This is number 14, and is, of course, my favourite. Although I shared my last house with a lovely bunch of women, and I did rather enjoy living on a narrowboat for a while. I’ve never lived on my own. I’m not sure I’d want to.

(9) What size are your feet? Five or six. Very ordinary. Good for finding outlandishly sparkly shoes in charity shops.

(10) What was your favourite childhood book? I never had one favourite. I always had a pile by the bedside (see above).

(11) If offered the biscuit tin – what would you ideally hope to find inside? Plenty of biscuits. Fig rolls, definitely. I quite like chocolate fingers. And coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. And the Co-op do a rather tasty brazil nut biscuit. Ginger nuts, preferably with cream in the middle. Oh, and a large victoria sponge cake (I do realise that’s not a biscuit – even tins are multi purpose round here). NO pink wafers though – they’re a piece of old cardboard masquerading as a biscuit.

What about you? I’m not going to tag (this post has been waiting to be finished for over a week, don’t want to delay it any longer!), but I’d love to know eleven things about you if you’d care to share!

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10 Responses to some things about me

  1. Maria says:

    Hi Jenni. I really enjoyed this post, being a bit nosy 🙂 I too am a voracious reader, and seeing the photo of your pile, wanted to ask you about one of the books there ‘atlas of remote islands’. Is it as amazing as it sounds? I’ve had it earmarked on Amazon for a while, but it’s not cheap…
    I envy you access to a library during working hours – that sounds like bliss (though also potentially a bit dangerous for work-distraction!).

  2. Robyn says:

    Likewise here with curiosity about the Atlas of Remote Islands – sounds intriguing!

    Books, trains, Marmite and cheese – we clearly have all the important things in life in common! (and neither of us would be horrified by the other one’s kitchen, clearly!)

  3. Your first thing made me giggle – my mum once had to explain to a stranger at the next table in a restaurant that their 9-year old daughter wasn’t really studying the wine list, she just couldn’t help reading something if there was something there to be read! Not much has changed…

    I have to differ on the pink wafers though. They are happy silly biscuits, along with Party Rings 🙂

  4. Your first thing made me giggle – my mum once had to explain to a stranger at the next table in a restaurant that her 9-year old daughter (i.e. me) wasn’t really studying the wine list, she just couldn’t help reading something if there was something there to be read! Not much has changed…

    I have to differ on the pink wafers though. They are happy silly biscuits, along with Party Rings 🙂

  5. Mum says:

    Great post. I’m not going to share 11 things but just 1 thing that I didn’t even know myself until today……….. I love my car!!!!!!

  6. Heather says:

    Ahhh I remember the blue hair incident well!!!

  7. Gill says:

    Pink wafers and party rings are FUN biscuits that remind you of being a child. They are always the last ones left in the boxes that offices always seem to get at Christmas, so I feel sorry for them.

    Same goes for the red and blue wrapped sweets in the bottom of a tin of Quality Street

  8. cherisong says:

    Another one here who likes pink wafers just for the fun. I have also been described as an avid reader and yes, I do read anything and I blame Mrs Laveric for making reading fun in primary school and Mrs Tate for making stories exciting with her different accents.

  9. I see I’m outvoted on the pink wafer issue! We’ll have to agree to disagree. I concede they are cheerful, and I wouldn’t want them to be lonely at the bottom of the biscuit tin, but they just don’t count as a proper biscuit for me! Party rings *do* count though – they might not taste nice but they LOOK great!

    As for the Atlas of Remote Islands… it’s ace! I had it earmarked as a ‘dippy’ book to dip in and out of, which I had been doing, but having gone back to it again today, I think I might need to read more! Might do a bit of a post later with a few quotes… 🙂

  10. Heather says:

    Slightly bizarre coincidence – I just found out the other day that one of my work colleagues lives in the house with the blue radiator!!!! I have yet to ask him if he has spotted any strange hues on it yet!!

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