Monday, 26 April 2010

Things You May Not Know About Me

Hari at Thank you for the days has tagged me with 'I bet you didn't know..'. I need to write a list of things you may not know about me. OK, brace yourselves. Here goes...

1. I once jumped 10,000 feet out of a perfectly good Cessna with a fifteen stone man strapped to my back

2. One of the things I'm most proud of is that I started my own free festival, Come Together, in my beloved home town of Henley-on-Thames. People said it couldn't be done, so I did it with no prior experience and no cash - just a vision of providing 'fun for free' for all the different types of people in the area (rich, poor, young, old) and a willing bunch of friends who helped get it off the ground.

It ran for 5 years as a self-funded event, we didn't make any money from it (purposely) and attracted thousands of revellers - one year I even spotted
Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in the crowd.

3. I appeared on Blockbusters aged seventeen. I wore my Slayer T-shirt (thrash metal band) and had my nose pierced and my hair was dyed black. I was paired with another girl from my school who wore a jumper with a picture of a sheep on it. I would dearly love to still own a copy of that show. We must have looked a picture ;-)

4. I once saved a little boy's life. I was eight years old and noticed the boy walking down steps into a pool. I looked for his parents as I had a funny feeling that something bad was going to happen. They were canoodling in the shallow end nearby but not paying any attention. In seconds, the boy was floating towards me, unmoving, face down in the water. I picked him up, put him back on the step and patted his mum on the back and pointed at her crying son. I didn't tell anyone exactly what had happened as I was worried they wouldn't believe me and would somehow think it had been my fault.

5. I was chased by a baby giraffe and hid in someone's house to get away from it (they were out, so my mum told me off afterwards. But what was I to do?). It was terrifying. I was living on a small game reserve in Zimbabwe at the time BTW. Oh, and we didn't go to school or have any home schooling for six months. Just played and had adventures all day. It was bliss.

6. I went to boarding school from the age of ten, when I had to fly from Germany to the UK with just my little brother for company (with a bit of help from a volunteer lady who escorted minors onto planes). I LOVED boarding school.

7. When I was thirteen, I got suspended from school for a month. A week after my return, I got expelled. I wasn't sorry. It was a Roman Catholic school and we had to say 'Hail Mary' twice a day by the statue of the Virgin Mary amnd go to a full mass once a week whatever our religious beliefs or lack therof. The school was run by misogynistic jesuits. The headmaster used to be a millionaire and had given it all up to become a priest. He was an alcoholic and used to wander around the school pissed with a harris hawk on his shoulder (yes, a real live one)

8. In my twenties I achieved Size Eight status. It was marvellous and I still had boobs. ..

9. I was once hypnotised in Reading train station against my will. Really.

10. I smoked pot every day for over fifteen years. At one point I was such a pot head that I would have a spliff as soon as I'd woken up - before my morning cup of tea. Even on a working day. Actually, that's a lie - it wasn't a spliff it was a huge bong. After years of trying, I finally kicked the habit thanks to Patrick Holford's fabulous book How to Quit Without Feeling S**t which covers every addiction from sugar through to heroin.

11. I have lived, and loved, in Henley for nearly twenty years. Once, I was in my local pub with a girl friend when she asked 'Is it just me, or is this pub full of your ex-boyfriends?'. On closer inspection of the 12 or so punters, I discovered that I had indeed dated EVERYONE in the pub.

12. I have nice straight teeth. This wasn't always the case. I had years of train track braces and horrendous-looking orthodontic headgear which I only wore at night depsite my dentist's advice to the contrary. No way was I wearing that in front of boys!

13. I used to speak French quite well and could watch French films without subtitles and understand them (sadly this is no longer the case). I also used to study Latin and nearly did it for GCSE.

14. I am a course/workshop junkie. I love trying new things. Workshops/courses I have done include: djembe hand drumming, yoga, tai chi, jewellery making, salsa, ceroc, krump, bellydancing, massage, Reiki, Pranic healing, shiatsu...

15. I used to be a keen chorister at school and achieved Grade 5 RSA singing. I would have gone to Grade 8 but I couldn't get my head around music theory as I didn't play an instrument at the time. I've sung solo in front of hundreds of people.

16. I am a PADI Rescue Diver and have scuba dived with sharks (small reef ones mind you, I'm not that brave) and dived shipwrecks in UK, Wales and the Red Sea.

17. I declined my school's recommendation that I sit the Oxbridge exams (admissions for Oxford and Cambridge universities) when I found out how much work would be involved (lots. I never ended up going to university, instead choosing to be a waitress live a life of hedonism for three years (not much different from going to Uni then).

18. Before I die I would like to: go whale watching, see the Northern Lights, become a better mother, wife and friend, make a difference.


Anton said...

You make a diference every day and don't you forget it!

Kabbalah Rookie said...

Oh. My. Word.

The post just got better and better - here's to you achieving the rest of your dreams!

Hayley said...

What a wonderful life you have lead! Sounds so interesting! I'm sure you could tell many stories to your lil ones when they are older!

Anna Colette said...

You should hear the things I left out... ;-)

It was such a fun post to write. Made me grateful for this quiet patch in my life actually - I was worried I've been a little stuck in a rut these past few years but I think I'm just pausing for breath ;-)

Would love to read your lists - fancy having a go?

A Modern Mother said...

I'm sure the original meme was for seven items, but if I had this many confessions I would write them all down as well! Well done!

Hari said...

Such a naughty girl, lets see what Els and Alycia have in store for you in the future! Lovely post hon xx

Home Office Mum said...

What a fantastic sounding life you've have. Wish I'd met you when I lived just outside Henley

Sparx said...

Wow, that was totally great. Sounds a lot like you really need a pause for breath - not sure how having kids really helps mind you! I might do this one at some point - I barely have time to breathe, let alone write these days but who knows. Hope you're enjoying the long weekend!

Troutie said...

I haven't smoked a bong in years....not sure if I could find quite that many things to write about but maybe that's got something to do with the bongs?

Notes To Self Plus Two said...

Hey you, Tagged you over here -

susie @newdaynewlesson said...

Wow-what an interesting time you have had so far.