Friday, 21 March 2008

Seven things

Zoe has tagged me to do the seven facts about myself meme. Thank you Zoe. I like reading these about other people so although I'm not sure there is anything new to say about me here goes.

My father was in the RAF. He was killed in a flying accident when I was three. My brother was just twelve months old and my mother was twenty four.

When I was eleven we emigrated to New Zealand, my mother having remarried. We stayed until I was seventeen and I would love to go back and look at it again as an adult. Although we didn't have very much money it was a great outdoor life. Sometimes I wonder if that time accounts for tendency to take my cup of tea outside, to the amusement of my family, as long as there is the slightest hint of warmth. Wrong hemisphere now perhaps.

I trained as an inspector of taxes (don't do it now, don't panic). A colleague of mine was once investigating the tax affairs of a large, aggressive Northern comedian. When he turned up at his house to interview him, the comedian opened the door dressed only in baggy underpants and a string vest and the entire interview was conducted with my firend sitting nervously on the edge of his seat and the comedian lying on the couch in his underwear smoking, drinking beer and belching noisily. I suspect the result was comedian 1, Inland Revenue 0.

I can still adopt the Lotus position but I have never been able to touch my toes.

I can do a lot of things quite badly (for example sailing , speaking French, reading music). This used to bother me but the older I have got the more I am inclined to think that my younger self's desire not to engage with anything I couldn't do well is a real mistake. If the choice is between doing something badly and not doing it at all, doing it badly can be fine. I have however accepted that there are some things I won't do now: skiing and ice skating for example. If I wanted to do them enough I would already have learnt. There is not enough of life left to spend quite so much time falling down.

I live an awful lot in my head. This is both good and bad: good because you always have something to think about and you can use your thinking to help you to find a way to deal with the rubbish life throws at you from time; bad because sometimes action and not thinking are the better ways to cope. It does however mean that you are never alone.

I love olives and lavender so how come I am living on a Welsh hillside instead of a valley in Provence?

I am supposed to tag other people but I am pretty sure that we have covered most of us by now so I would just invite anyone who would like to give this a go to consider themselves tagged.

31 comments:

  1. Wow some list. So sorry to hear that you lost your Dad at such an early age. Did you get on well with your Stepfather. How lovely to have lived in NZ.

    With you on the have a go . . and who is to judge good and bad anyway.

    Yes I get the living in the head bit - which is why it is so good to write everything down helps the thinking through process and helps to untangle the thoughts.

    Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A valley in Provence would be great, the smell of rosemary and lavender, the shade of olive trees.........

    ReplyDelete
  3. How awful to loose a husband at 24 with two infants ...I take it she was a gutsy lady ...is that where you get it from? No I dont fancy the skiing or the ice skating ...falling over ...and cold falling over at that ...yuk. With you on the lavender but I'll pass the olive dish on if you dont mind...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Northern comedian - are we allowed to guess?

    It's Bernard, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Friends tells me that NZ is the most beautiful place they've ever been. Would love to go there some time - not quite sure how I'd manage it though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How awful about your father - I dont suppose you remember him?Your poor mother, how young to be a widow, but young enough to rebuild your life I suppose. I too live in my head, love olives and lavender and can assume the lotus position BUT I can touch my toes too! very interesting, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like reading these lists about people. It's interesting the things people choose to put on the list and yours is great. I'd love to visit NZ as well. Cowgirl makes it sound idyllic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I couldn't possibly say Malc, but it's not Les Dawson.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So sorry you lost your dad when you were so young.
    I live in my head too, it can be tiring can't it?
    Ken Dodd? (Not that I think he is aggressive... No it can't be him). Jimmy Tarbuck? I only say that because when we were having some soup at lunchtime today M called JT an aggressive comedian (spooky eh?).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Moving, fascinating and funny all in one list. Would love to see NZ though not large comedians in their scanties!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good list - aprt from the father bit of course.

    I do agree about there not being enough of life left to spend so much time falling down. I might add - or doing thing we don't want or have to.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting list. Sad to hear you lost your dad at such a young age.

    You lived in NZ, that must have been wonderful adventure, I'd love to go.

    I live a lot in my head too, sometimes too much ithink!

    Olives and Lavendar perhaps you did live in Provence in an earlier life!

    Happy Easter
    Love muddie x

    ReplyDelete
  13. My mother lost her mother at the age of three. I think it's terribly hard on a person to lose a parent so young. I'm sorry for your loss.

    I spend a lot of time living in my head, too, and the older I get, the more I seem inclined to like it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very nice to get to know you a little better. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on doing things imperfectly. I understand what you mean, having also come late to the realization that it is better to jump in head first with great intent and some imperfection than to hold back out of fear of being unable to do something 100%. I missed a lot, but am making up for it now!

    ReplyDelete
  15. wow, elizabeth, this didn't feel like a meme, it felt like the start of a fascinating book that i wanted to keep reading.

    what an interesting beginning--and what a wise conclusion to come to, about better to do things badly than not at all.

    i suspect that those of us who were praised highly as children for doing certain things well learned the wrong lesson--that doing things well was what counted, not just doing them.

    and so we winnowed down what we did...

    excellent post.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Some new things to learn there - very interesting. I agree with the doing many things badly. I used to be afraid to fail, but now I'd rather just have a go anyway. And the life inside one's head - as WW says, that's where the writing of it helps to untangle all the threads! Maybe that's why so many of us do this...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Enjoyed learning more about you! Was amazed that you had to visit people when you were a tax inspector!
    glad you don't do it now though!!!!!!!! Nasty people!! Only joking!
    I love you all really! I do yes I do!

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is interesting to find out how different we all are.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very interesting list.
    And
    "There is not enough of life left to spend quite so much time falling down."
    is exactly how I feel about skiing and iceskating!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You're so right about the importance of engaging with things you can't immediately do well - I made the same mistake (or rather my brother meanly used to sneer at me for working hard at anything, so I always felt I had to either pretend not to or feign disinterest in anything I wasn't immediately good at. Big mistake, which I only learned much later in life and am trying to make up for by encouraging my son to have a go at everything). Must have been a great childhood in New Zealand - such a breathtakingly beautiful country. Have a sneaking suspicion I know who the northern comedian might be!

    Very interesting list, Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was also shocked to hear of you losing your dad so young. Must have been very difficult time for your mother.

    You made me smile about being a tax inspector-people used to have same opinion of me as a bank manager!!

    Completely with you about living such a lot in your head...I hate it sometimes, but will never change me.

    Really interesting to read Elizabethm.

    Hope you and yours had a lovely Easter

    warmest wishes
    D
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Good to learn more about you, Elizabeth. Interesting life. Perhaps all bloggers live in their heads more than most.

    I'll let you know if I agree about the not learning difficult things later in life. When I asked my Mother why I never learnt to ride a bike, she said because I never asked! I'm trying now, but if there's too much falling down, may not persevere. Watch this space.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Interesting list, my Dad too was in the RAF, we travelled far and wide.

    The image of a comedian in a string vest trying to best the IR had me in fits, I shall try that next time a VAT inspector gives me 5 hours notice of inspection!

    Thanks for doing it Elizabeth, I am always unsure whether to pass tags on.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I loved your list about taking your tea outside at the first hint of warmth...having a massive catch up and read so much here: the mind boggles at your energy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love these lists.

    Would you swop your Welsh hillside for Provence?

    (also impressed at the lotus position:-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a interesting list Elisabeth. So sorry to hear about your Dad. (My Dad was in the RAF, too, but luckily survived). I know what you mean about doing things well. I have never done anything well and sometimes wish I could. Instead I do a great many things badly. I know also what you mean about living in your head, which means of course that you can bring your olives and lavender to your Welsh hillside, even when it's raining.
    Lovely post. Fxx

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am always sobered when I see how WW2 still touches lives so closely. I think sometimes that we as a world have learned very little from it.

    Re: head living. I think this is why so many of my projects stall. I get so carried away day dreaming about what could be, I neglect to actually create something that IS.

    Sometimes the dream is really better than the reality though.

    Except of course if you want to eat olives. Or chocolate.

    Thanks for coming to visit! I'm sorry our political circus is infiltrating your news over there.
    I hope it carries some good news come November.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi rtc, I'm not so old that my father died in WW2 although he was a child then and probably joined the RAF as a result.
    And yes, ww, I do get on well with my stepfather. For years I used to call him my dad, and my father, my father. About ten years ago I realised the distinction didn't matter to me. To all intents and purposes, different though he is from me, he is my father. I was lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've just come by to visit after you left the comment on my whoopie pies. :<) I went to all your blogs. I really liked your writing piece (just one, I think). And I'm stunned at your health experience. The last entry there was a while back, so that must be good news.

    I live in my head a lot, too. Maybe all bloggers /writers do? I love the description of the comedian. He sounds like the character of Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances - except not aggressive, of course. And I would take your hill in Wales over Provence any day. I long to climb those hills where there is a view from each step. I so enjoyed reading all your answers.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love this list - though felt a snag at the heart on hearing your Dad died when you were so very young. Hey, guess what, I can do the lotus too (in fact have been known to do it in totally inappropriate places - such as at weddings while wearing a skirt....sooo not a good idea...but the page boys thought it was wildly funny....
    AND I can touch my toes - but only just......
    jxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi, I've just blog hopped and I can't remember how. It's so lovely to hear stories from North Wales, I love it soo much. Don't worry about the "not speaking French thing" you don't need it unless you live here. When I was little i called the menaii bridge the runcorn / Wales bridge coz I was certain you went from the "Ford Road" to Anglsey. We were fishing as kids under the Menaii Bridge when there was a bomb scare and were taken away by police boats. Sleep well. Debs

    ReplyDelete

Comments are the best thing and the conversations they produce are the whole purpose of blogging for me. Do tell me what you think!