This post went live on February 15th, 2015.
Regular reader – and contributor – Katy Scrivener, asked me to do the 7 Facts Nobody Knows About Me thing. Thanks very much.
No, really – I do love talking about myself so. Unfortunately, I rarely have anything very interesting to say – about my present life.
However, my past is another story so fasten your seat belts, dear readers – it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Well, an amusingly (hopefully) eccentric one, anyway.
1) At my third birthday party, I took it upon myself to help a conjurer – by running around the garden with his top hat, simultaneously emptying it of its contents (namely handkerchiefs) and screaming ‘magic isn’t real’ at the top of my voice.
Edward Adams cried – but we had a tea party for my dolls later and I let him use real napkins so we were cool again.
2) I am the worst bridesmaid ever. I was booked for my first gig aged 3 (not my finest year) and the bride committed suicide a week before the wedding – while she was babysitting me. Nice surprise for a pair of pissed parents returning from a party.
I told my next victim that I thought it was great that she didn’t mind her fiancé flirting with other women – and men. It turns out she did. Wedding cancelled.
The last beneficiary of my dubious ‘gift’ had a beautiful wedding. Many things about it were perfect – especially her dad giving the whole ‘if you ever hurt her, I will hunt you down with a pack of dogs and kill you slowly and painfully’ talk. Unfortunately the actual marriage lasted about 3 months in practical terms – although it limped on unhappily for a while longer.
I no longer accept invitations to be a bridesmaid. It’s best for all concerned.
3) I was expelled from my first school – aged 4 – as my swearing was so prolific that I expressed surprise at the lack of profanity in the dialogue of children’s books.
My father thought it was hilarious. My mother – correctly – guessed that he and his friends had taught me everything I know.
I would like to thank them publicly – although I suspect that they’ve all died of smoking and drinking related illnesses by now. My father would be proud to know that he was the first to go, I’d wager.
4) I can do a surprisingly large amount of things. In Jane Austen’s day I would have been considered ‘accomplished’ – but in an Elizabeth Bennet kind of way. Basically, I have a wide breadth of knowledge – but I’m not actually very good at anything in particular.
As the charming Miss Bennet observed, she should have practiced more. I definitely should have.
5) Having said that, I am very good at horse riding. Like very, very, very good. I started when I was about 5 so it’s something that just feels natural to me.
To me, there is nothing like the feeling of being an equal in a partnership that renders two beings greater than they ever could be alone.
Like Lee Majors in The 6 Million Dollar Man, you’re stronger, better and faster. And it feels great. Maybe it’s a good metaphor for friendship.
6) I used to live in France. I’m afraid to say that my French isn’t as impressive as it should be. I used my time in the pursuit of pleasure – and I don’t regret a minute.
I experienced heartbreak, hedonism and the addictive feeling of sun on your collarbones that has served as my madeleine ever since.
I used to dwell on my mistakes during that period – especially what I perceived as my massive waste of time – but, more than 20 years later, I can see that that period has given me wisdom and insight that have been great gifts in life.
7) I gave birth in 49 and 17 minutes, respectively. That sounds like a blessing but it’s the same process condensed into an insanely powerful experience. After my first child, sewing up the damage required 6 needles. And 3 midwives had to help me to shower. Nothing teaches you about the bond between women like that tenderness.
During the second birth, I managed to order myself a handbag I still use. And that time I got drugs. Really good drugs. I was absolutely charming until it became evident that the baby was stuck and in mortal danger – when a monster kicked in using the vile language I learnt as a child. Followed by ‘oh my goodness, do excuse my language’. Luckily all 12 medical professionals present seemed to find it quite amusing. And that time I was sewn up by someone whose work was like couture. I am now the gynecological equivalent of Chanel. Thank you very much, dear daughter!
At the risk of losing my entire readership to nausea, I bid you good night.