The Inquisition
03/07/2010

Oh no, not the cushions!  Or was it soft cushions?  All those old enough to remember the Monty Python sketch about the Spanish Inguisition will no doubt be quoting it word for word now!  Anyway,  I’ve been tagged ‘for the very first time’  (thanks ‘him up north!) so I’ll just get on with answering the questions.

1. Which (in)famous person (alive or dead) would you like to take out to dinner, where would you go and what would you like to talk about?
This is really difficult, but I think it would have to be Stephen Fry, I would take him to The Lavender House, in Norfolk, he’d love the food. Then I would talk about his love of the area, his passion for music and the experience of tracing his family tree so far back.

2. What is the best gift someone could give you (tangible please)
I would love a horse!  When I was young, I asked for a pony every Christmas and birthdayand every time was disappointed.  I was unaware of how every year my parents tried to think of possible ways of acheivng this, but it was completely out of their reach.  I had lessons, they bought me the kit, I read about ponies, drew ponies and wrote stories about them.  It is many years since I have been riding seriously, but it is still my ultimate dream to own a horse.

3. Where in the world would you most like to live?
I have always felt an affinity with the Yorkshire moors and Cornwall,  There is someting about the moors, the bleak yet romantic landscape ( though that could owe a lot to Wuthering Heights!)  Yet Cornwall, though it has Bodmin Moor, also has more beaches and coves and I would love to live by the sea, so I think Cornwall wins this one.

4. What do you most enjoy cooking?
I LOVE cooking anything and everything!  I even managed to get on Masterchef, but got knocked out in the first round as I was SO nervous.  I loved helping with cookery club at school and find it exciting getting childlren interested in ‘proper’ food.  Not organic, or fancy, just making sinple, straightforward stuff that they want to eat.

5. What is your favourite novel?
Well the first novel I read on my own was Black Beauty – I was about seven. Iit was borrowed from a neighbour and wrapped in paper as it was a prized possession.  There were no illustrations, but I loved it, perhaps this is where my love of horses began?!   My favourite novel that I have recently read has to be ‘Cloud Atlas’, it was not a book I would have chosen myself, but it was featured on a book club review and I’m so glad I tried it – it was fantastic.

6. You have your own personal Tardis, where do you go first?
I would llike to go back to my wedding day.  My dad was so nervous about doing his speech and  I wish that during it I’d reached out and held his hand. He died suddenly a few years later aged 48 .

7. How old is the inner you?
The inner me is about 14.  I never wanted to grow up and have to learn all those boring things that grown ups have to do, and I don’t like doing them now. I try and keep as physically young as I can through exercise and keeping in touch with the children.  However, I can feel myself turning into a ‘grumpy old woman’ and coming out with comments that make me cringe.  Still as they say it’s better than the alernative!

8. Theatre or Cinema?
Don’t go much to either. I think in the last 30 years I’ve been about a dozen times to each – and that includes pantomimes! It was difficult to get a babvsitter for four children, and expensive, then on top of the the cost of the thatre or cinema.  (They don’t have either where we live and it would entail a costly trip and possibly overnight stay in London). The last thing we went to was ‘We Will Rock You’ at the theatre and it was great, though that was over a year ago.  We WILL go more often!

9. Would you be famous, with all that means?
If I became famous because of some skill, or gift, that was helpful to others, then I might.  But the chances of that, especially at my age – are pretty dim! Although I did go on Masterchef, it wasn’t to ‘be famous’ I hated that it was on tv, I wanted the competition.  I would never want to be known for going on ‘reality tv’,  isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

10. You are able to learn anything at all, a skill, a language, whatever, what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to sing, or play a musical instrument really well, or even at all!  Or for painting or writing to just flow effortlessly out of me – I suppose I’d better get practising then.

And now for my five ‘victims’ if you’ve done this one before just ignore it!

Victoria at http://www.itsasmallworldafterallfamily.wordpress.com

Clare at   http://clareybabble.blogspot.com

http://yummymummyno1.wordpress.com

  Emily at http://www.pantswithnames.com

Rachael at www.marathonmummy.com

Average
22/06/2010

I wish I had a gift.  You know like those people who can paint, sing, play beautiful music or even do the splits.  I’d just like to have one thing I could do better than anyone else.  I suppose the people that go on the X Factor, or BGT think they have a special something – even if it’s only knitting.  I can’t think of anything I could say was a unique skill.

I am just average.  I loved art at school, I really enjoyed it and thought I was quite good, my paintings got put up on the wall at primary school. When I went to senior school there were loads of girls who were far better at it than me, who were really gifted at it. I just managed an average ‘O’ level.  Even though I went to grammar school, I just scraped through and so always felt I had to try and keep up with those who had passed their 11+ with flying colours. 

I loved writing and spent hours as a child writing and illustrating my own ‘books’. Then as an adult writing short stories and articles and papering the downstairs loo with the resulting rejection slips.

Another of the things I like to do is cooking, I’ve catered for events for friends and family and even our town’s mayor making ceremony and I’ve made birthday cakes for lots of people.  Then I look at other peoples’ that they post on their blogs and mine look pathetic.

Perhaps I would have had a gift for skiing, if I’d had the opportunity to do it as a child?  I thought I might have been a gifted rider, enjoying my weekly hour at the local riding stables, but my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a pony so I never really got the chance. I could have been a good actress, I loved being in plays and joined our local amateur dramatic and operatic groups, but there were no local drama schools near us and there was no way Mum & Dad could send me away to one.

This is why I think it’s so important to give our children as many opportunities as we can and encourage them where they show any skill or aptitude at something.  Too often though, it comes down to cost. When you have four children, there is a limit on your finances, as well as time, to let them all try something that they decide they hate after two weeks, or  after you’ve just bought the necessary kit.

I am very good at remembering phone numbers, I know all the ones we’ve ever had as well as all those of friends and family.  I don’t need them stored in the phone.  I can also recite all the registration plates of the cars we had , both my dad’s when I was a child and my husband’s since I got married. 

Even now, I still know all the words to songs that I sang at school including; “There was a man who had a wife, nickety nackety noo, noo, noo, She couldna’ bake and she couldna’ brew, nickety nackety noo, noo, noo!”   Perhaps that is my ‘gift’?!