Guardian Q&A Meme

This is an exercise in trying not to be a stuck record! With thanks to SAHMLovingIt for tagging me.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

You know, honestly? My husband, Max. For many things, not least his extra-ordinary abilities with Excel, producing beautiful children, leaving work to run the business which was a massive leap of faith for someone like him, for having such a positive outlook (who else do I know who would say, on the day his only son died ‘we are so lucky’), and for having overcome so many huge losses in his life and just kept picking up and carrying on. But most of all for sticking around with someone like me, the very opposite  of him, for having the nerve to say the things that needed to be said on the very worst of days and for overcoming his natural tendencies to believe “yes, I’m fine” when I have tears pouring my face. For not putting a single foot wrong, all of this year, when he’s in uncharted and murky territory.

When were you happiest?
I’m not a very ‘happy’ person, really. I struggle with depression and life is mostly about working out how to spin it the right way. I was very happy when I was pregnant with Fran and with Freddie. I was deliriously happy when Max and I shared a house in his final uni year. I’m content now, despite everything. Content is okay. Content is less frightening that zooming from delight to despair.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Oh god. I have no idea. I mortify myself regularly. I did once wet myself on the side of the school stage through nerves and giggles when I was 17. In front of about 4 gorgeous boys. No one ever mentioned it.

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
In terms of relative wealth, my first car, which I got a loan for, luckily did full insurance and crashed after 3 months. It was Yugo, called Hugo :) In terms of ‘things of no use I just want when I can’t really afford’ a painting for £90. I don’t really spend big, I just spend a lot in small chunks 😀

What is your most treasured possession?

Now, Freddie’s blanket and memory boxes. Some element of sentimentality has broken for me over the last few years. Things I would really cry to lose… photos, my orange teddy and the ones bought for the girls, a small remaining box of baby clothes and my teen diaries.

Where would you like to live?

Devon, on a farm on Dartmoor. It’s all I really want. Preferably before I have no children left of under 18.

What’s your favourite smell?
Cut grass and coffee. Though I hate drinking coffee. And freshly washed kid hair.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Kate Winslett please. My BIL once said I looked like her. This isn’t true, but I will always slightly love him for it.

What is your favourite book?

*Brain explodes* That’s like being asked who your best friend is. Consider the Lily, by Elizabeth Buchan I think.

What is your most unappealing habit?

I’m probably the wrong person to ask. Blogging too much? Crying? Picking my nose? Go for that.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Tudor, preferably peasant :)

What is your earliest memory?
I wrote my Nano on my memories, pieced together into a story. I was really struck by how hard it is to put early memories into order, or separate them from stories and things you ‘know’ from photos. I think one of my earliest memories is a doctor looking at my ear with my toy doctor set, in a lounge of a house I half remember that we left before I was 5. I was most shocked that I have no memories at all of my sister as a toddler, even though I was almost 5 then. I seem to have utterly blocked her out and I have no idea why. (She’s nice!)

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I think my whole life is one. I really have a very nice life. It’s great. I work when I want to, stay home when I want to, get cooked great meals. Probably that I have a cleaner, even though I really shouldn’t do any more. It’s complicated, in that we can’t quite stop having one, but it is the bad-dest thing about me.

What do you owe your parents?

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Too the people who should be in our family and aren’t. For my part in that. No amount of sorry would ever be enough. Yadda, yadda.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Max. But with grateful thanks to S, M, J and T, without whom I might not have learned how.

What does love feel like?
Like a hand on my back, all the time, never wavering, never gone. When i thought I had lost that, the world might as well have ended.

What was the best kiss of your life?
One interrupted by someone’s mother.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
In a minute… let me just… if…

What is the worst job you’ve done?
Sorting cheques into alphabetical order for a bank. NEVER work for a bank as a grunt. You had to do it for 6 months before you moved on; I was employed as a crack sales persona and then made to sort cheques. It was soul-destroying.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

Oh god. Too easy to say so many things. I might change one thing, but then we’d not have had Freddie, might have lost a child then, might have broken up, would never have had PlayMerrily as it is now, or lived here and the girls would have gone to school. I might choose a c/s for Freddie and never have even had those 11 days or lived all this year with a healthy boy but trauma and regrets.

I might, if I could, go back and apply to do acting instead of stage management just to know if I might have got in doing that. I could say I wish I had stuck it out at drama school, but I wouldn’t have met Max. Maybe I should have accepted the place at LAMDA instead and asked my parents to support me instead of never asking.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Having Josie. It was terrifying and I never wanted to go through that again. It was enough to risk a VBA3C without much of a second thought. It was so scary, that even now, after Freddie, I’ll still have to have more than one good reason to have an elective section if I ever get pregnant. One good reason being ‘a baby that breathes please’. That bad. Really.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
PlayMerrily and home educating along side that. Trying to keep a toy and craft site running now, when there is so much competition, is a major challenge. I’m so proud of us for that and also for learning to work together.

When did you last cry, an why?
I cry every day. I always will. I cry if I have a day when I don’t cry.

How do you relax?
I knit, I read, I sit close to dh. Oddly enough lately, I run. I cycle. I blog. I make dragons. Love seeing those sell.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
It would be easy to say a baby, but it won’t. Nothing really. We have a nice life. It can’t be made better. If someone would promise me all my kids will grow up healthy and well and I will never watch another one die, that would help. Not even £1million can do that though.

Stuck record.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That you cannot control what happens. Life is a bugger. The universe has a very odd sense of humour.

I’ll tag you if you’d like me to :)

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  1. Debbie Ellard says

    When were you happiest?
    I’m not a very ‘happy’ person, really. I struggle with depression and life is mostly about working out how to spin it the right way. I’m content now, despite everything. Content is okay. Content is less frightening that zooming from delight to despair.

    This describes me to a tee. I am always trying to stay in the middle. Now I pray for ‘no dramas’. I am not looking for wealth, fame or anything else, just no dramas.

    Interesting Q&A

    • says

      lol, well, NOW, I think yes, I’d quite like it. But at 20, ready to be stretched and do well, it was awful and very insulting to be made to ignore the skills I’d been employed for because the ‘rules of the bank’ are that everyone works from the bottom up.

  2. says

    Ok, strange comment coming up re the Kate Winslet thing, cos I can see that you do indeed look a little like her, and I’ve had the same said about me (can’t see it myself), but it reminded me that Deb (not sheep) once commented on a photo of me that she thought I looked like you…ok told you it was a weird comment!

  3. says

    Thanks for joining in Merry – really enjoyed reading that, even though it made me feel sad again for what you’ve been through/are going through.

    Mothers must interrupt all the best kisses…I’ve had a few like that over the years 😉

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