Sunday, 8 June 2008

All about me

I've been tagged ! I never have been tagged before and I thought I'd hate it but actually I'm just touched. Thanks Kristen.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was fifteen, not very happy at school, and looking forward to the end of term. This was (almost) the last summer between then and now that didn't begin with exams (I took a year out between school and my first degree, which was blissfully exam-free apart from the odd typing test, and I was part of the last year to do the old-style A levels so my summer exams two years later didn't really count for anything). I would have spent some of my summer temping as the secretary/receptionist in my dad's office while the real one went on holiday, and some more of it filing stuff in their library. Architects' libraries are funny. Apart from leaflets and catalogues, they also have bricks, blocks of flooring material, books of carpet samples, and occasionally the odd lamp or chair. Finding places to put these in a standard library set-up is more annoying than anything, so I used to spend a small portion of each day choosing exactly which type of flooring, paint and so on I would have in my dream house, to make up for it. I went on holiday to France with my parents that summer, beginning a love affair between my family and a particular town called Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, which has involved my parents going to work there for six months when I was in my second year at university, and eventually buying a house in a village nearby. At the time it had no electricity or running water, and my dad is slowing turning it into his own slap-dash Versailles. It is currently rented out, but D and I went to stay there for two wonderful weeks last summer, and thinking about it now I really miss it! Hopefully one of these days I will actually stick to my plan of not buying any more yarn until I've knit through a bit of the stash, and will be able to afford to go for a weekend. (You can get there by train, which is very lovely, but not cheap).

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
Today is a very exciting day, I'm going to meet Jelly Bean, now named Nina, for the first time! Anna and H had planned a home birth, but ended up in hospital and Anna and Nina will be there for a few days yet. I also have to iron some shirts as I'm starting a new job tomorrow, tidy my desk (which I have been putting off since getting home after my last exam), start a scarf for my dad's birthday (which is on Friday. It doesn't look good, does it?) and finish making and freeze the lasagne I started to take round to Anna's for when she gets home. I might also make a cake with the bananas which are rotting in the fridge, but then again, I may not. Oh, and I owe some brownies to the man downstairs because he let me use his internet connection when ours broke in the middle of exam season. OK that's seven, but the last three are cooking-related.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Pickles! I can eat a whole jar in one sitting. I also like hummus with celery, carrots and pitta bread, or pitta bread with peanut butter. I eat cherry tomatoes like sweets, and I love clementines in the winter, and cherries and raspberries in the summer, oh, and peaches and nectarines. I haven't had a peach this year! Must go and find one. And apricots and plums, and strawberries, although raspberries win. I don't very much like bananas, which is why I often make banana bread. I also like cheese and crackers, but I tend not to buy cheese other than for cooking with, because if I do, I often get home hungry and eat the whole lot straight out of its paper. Which is delicious, but not ideal for my pocket or my arteries. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth but I do like cake, a lot, so if there's any around, I'll eat it. Sometimes for breakfast. More than anything, though, I drink tea. Normal, dong ding oolong, assam, white dragon jasmine, darjeeling, ceylon, gunpowder green... I am usually to be found clutching a mug, and leave a little trail of nearly-finished teacups around the house.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off my student debt, pay my parents back for my education, and put enough aside to pay for the rest of it. Set up a charitable trust so that I could give money to various charities without them having to pay tax on it (currently, any donation I give to charity doesn't qualify for gift aid because as a student I don't pay tax. Although I suppose if I were a billionaire I probably would...). From it I'd give money to ChildLine, the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, Unicef, MSF, Sense, Shelter, The Samaritans and The Woodland Trust, among others. Get my sofa re-upholstered (the people up the road were throwing it away and I rescued it. It has a hardwood frame and feather-filled cushions and I love it, but it is covered in hideous fabric, fraying at the edges, and needs its springs replaced). Buy a flat over two floors (or maybe even a house!) so that I could have a garden but not sleep on the ground floor. I lived in a ground-floor flat next to a schizophrenic who stopped taking his medication in my second year at uni, and since then I've always wanted to sleep up a flight of stairs. The flat would have a little room I could use as a study, so that I didn't go to sleep looking at all the work I had to do the next day. And obviously space for a yarn and craft cupboard. Send Deri's parents on holiday. And pay someone to redo their kitchen, which they have been intending to do themselves for the last five years, but are working too hard to get round to. Buy a food processor so that I could make latkes without having to grate onions by hand, and a dishwasher. Oh and since I'd be a billionaire, maybe I'd get an ice creamer maker, too! That would be cool. And I'd pay for my mum to have anything cast that she wanted to. I would undoubtedly buy quite a lot of clothes (I love clothes) but I hope I'd do so responsibly. I'd buy Deri a new car, although he would choose it, and could spend all the time planning, and plotting, taking test drives and reading reviews, which he loves. And after that, if I had any left over, I'd put it in a savings' account, for a rainy day.

5) Places I have lived:
Tuffnell Park, north London
East Oxford
Guadalajara, Mexico
King's Cross, central London
Haggerston, east London
Oval, south London

6) Jobs I have had:
Waitress, secretary/receptionist/PA in various architects' offices and two charities, medical secretary, in many departments of many different hospitals. It was working as a secretary in the colorectal department of a north London hospital, the summer before I started my English degree, that made me start thinking about studying medicine. Funny how life turns out, isn't it?

7) Bloggers I am tagging who I will enjoy getting to know better:
I would tag Emms but she's already written one


angelarae said...

Sooo goodness, 10 yrs. ago, I had my 4th child!


Nora said...

#3 could've been written by me [aside from the pickles!!].

Anonymous said...

Thank you for my tag! I have just put up my answers.

New job! Exciting. Well done on getting it. You must let me know where it is and maybe I can come and meet you for lunch or a drink after work one day? (NB - as long as it's not the one 2 hours away?!)


Ink and Indigo said...

Ha, my boyfriend's parents have done the exact same thing, and bought a house to renovate in France: it currently has no roof, and the wall cavities aren't insulated, so an army of mice scuttle though them day and night.