Monday, June 28, 2010

50 Things About Me, That May (or May Not) Surprise You

Change of pace, folks...

I'm taking a small mini-break from saving the world, and attacking huge chemical companies, like an Erin Brokovich wannabe, to take part in the Blog This Challenge. (I'm still working on Part 2, I promise.) I know you are all waiting with baited breath ;-)

So, the Blog This challenge is to list 50 things....whatever you want, really. So, just for fun, here's 50 things about Yours Truly, that may surprise you...Or may not.

1. I used to be a bouncer. Yes, really! No, I'm not big and butch. No, I'm not a black belt, although people assumed I was. I did not correct their assumptions. Naturally!! I survived for 2 years, in one of the roughest areas of NSW (according to the crime stats), and only got punched in the face once, by accident. But after two years, I was pretty much over dealing with drunk people, and dropkicks trying to hit on me at 4am in the morning.

2. I am multi-lingual. Alright, maybe I'm stretching it a teensy little bit. I figure multi-lingual is way more impressive than saying "I can speak basic Spanish, and conversational Tongan".

3. My birthday is on New Years Eve. It's not as glamourous as it sounds.

4. As a child, I lived in a tin shed. Yep. Really. A true-blue, fair dinkum Aussie tin shed, with curtains for doors, and a cement floor. In the beginning we had no power, no telephone, and no hot water. But before you start feeling sorry for me, what I remember about that tin shed, is how cosy and warm it was in Winter with a wood fireplace. How the rain sounded on the roof. How my mum used to warm up the water in the old copper for our bath. And the time my Nanna came to visit and almost died with fright when she discovered a mouse in her bed.

5. When I was small, I was a tomboy. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm still a tomboy. I would much rather scream myself hoarse at the football, then giggle over coffee.

6. I come from convict stock. There are a couple in the family tree, but the one I know most about - John Tough Finch, was in the English army. His wife was having their first baby, and the army wouldn't let him have leave to go to her, so he ran away. They charged him with stealing an army uniform.

He never got to see his wife or the baby son again. After he earned his freedom in Australia, he eventually re-married, and had several children.

No-one has ever been able to find out what happened to the wife, or the baby boy that was left behind.

7. As a kid, my ambition was to be a waitress. I cannot think why. I found out it wasn't that much fun after all, when I was getting paid $5 an hour, complained at by cranky customers, and being lectured to, in Greek, by my boss.

8. I am a thief. When I was in Year 3, I stole this purple and pink heart-shaped eraser from the girl that was sitting next to me in class. I had coveted that eraser for ages. I still have it. And I still feel bad about it.

9. I play the piano by ear. I can read music, but my best music comes when I just make it up as I go along.

10. I absolutely, completely, unreservedly detest peas. My mum tried in vain to make me like them. When I was visiting other people's houses I flicked them under the table when no-one was looking. But my mum was onto me. I couldn't do that at home. I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I ate them. Sometimes I sat there all afternoon, trying various methods, like putting them inside bread, or mashing them into my potato, to make them edible.

It goes without saying that peas are not allowed in my home.

11. I got my first marriage proposal (of sorts) when I was 16. It didn't live up to my girlhood fantasies. The proposer was an Iraqi guy, in his early 30's, that worked in the kitchen of the takeaway shop, where I also worked. I may have flirted with him, on occasion, because I was sixteen and stupid...

It went something like this:

Him: I go and talk to your father.

Me: Why?

Him: I tell your father we get married.

Me (in shock): What?!?!?!?!

Him: Yes, we get married.

Me: Noooooooo. I'm only 16!!

Him: No matter. My sister back home is same age. She already married with two babies.

Me (starting to panic): But...I can't. My dad won't let me...

Him: It's alright. I talk to your dad.

Me (panicking even more. All I could think about was that I'd be in trouble off my dad): No! Don't talk to my dad! Please!

I thought it was my fault, because I had flirted with him, so I was too scared to tell anyone.

What I know now, that I didn't back then, is that my dad is a wise man, and would have quickly put that whippersnapper in his place.

Nevertheless, I lived in terror, until the day, my boss sacked him, when he found out he'd been harrassing me.

12. I have been chased by an emu. Twice actually. It sounds funny, but it's not. They have big, beady eyes, and sharp beaks, and they make this angry drumming noise in the back of their throat. I have never run/ridden my bike, so fast in all my life.

13. My brother is a paraplegic. He was an adventurous spirit. Travelled the Simpson Desert. Rode the top end on a motorbike, and worked as a wild bull-catcher in the Kimberleys. But it wasn't until he came home to the farm, that he had a motorbike accident, in which he broke his back, and had to be airlifted to Sydney. I'll never forget that time. He spent months and months in physiotherapy learning how to do things that you and I take for granted.

He had just turned 22. That was nearly 9 years ago, and he is just as humorous and get-up-and-go as he's always been. He invented a device so he could drive the tractor with his hands, built a lifter so he could get up into the tractor, bought his own farm, got married, and now has a little boy. I love him to bits.

14. My first crush was on a boy called Brook. It lasted about 3 years (What can I say? I'm stubborn. I don't give up easily.) At the time, I analysed every glance, and every movement. But looking back, I'm pretty sure he was blissfully unaware of my very existence. He still is.

15. I can sing harmonies.

16. I personally know the Princess of Tonga. True story! Her husband is next in line to the throne. This is my one claim to fame. Unless you count the fact that I have met Adam Brand. And Wendell Sailor. Do they count???

17. I never played with dolls. Except for when my cousin came to visit. She always wanted to play "Mothers and Fathers". I had to be the father, because I was taller. (Naturally.)

18. I ran away when I was 16. (This was some time before the marriage proposal incident). I met a boy. I fell in love. Madly, madly head over heels in love. I could not be without him. When he moved away to start a new job, I went too.

I travelled 700 kms before my parents managed to track me down, and take me home. It was a traumatic and life-changing experience for me, and it broke my heart. It broke my mum and dad's hearts, too.

19. I have never had a bleeding nose. Not even a trickle.

20. It has taken me 28 years to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

21. I cannot stand snakes. They petrify me. I regularly have nightmares, mostly involving a snake chasing me, or a pit of writhing snakes surrounding my bed. Ugggghhhhh.

22. I used to play rugby. I know. You totally think I'm big and butch. I'm totally not. But I can run fast. I played winger and blind-side flanker, and loved it. I hope to play again when my boys get a bit older.

I was lucky enough to have a fantastic coach, that taught all of us women how to tackle so you'll bring down even the biggest of opponents. I'm pleased to say that I can tackle as well as any bloke. I could teach some of these young whippersnappers a thing or two...

23. I think too much. It's a blessing and it's a curse. I always have lots of ideas. Some great. Some not so much. I often have trouble sleeping because I'm busy thinking about stuff. Sometimes it would be nice to flip the "Off" switch.

24. I was Dux of Year 12. I trust that you are all suitably impressed.

25. I want to be a healer. I dream of studying herbalism, homeopathy, kinesiology, and naturopathy, so I can heal people. I realise this means I will probably spend the rest of my life studying, but that's ok, because I love learning things. (I have an over-active brain, remember...)

26. I learnt to drive when I was about 10 years old. ( I lived on a farm remember. Farm kids practically start driving when they get out of nappies.) I learnt in an old bomb of a ute, with a sticky clutch and and a clunky gearbox. My dad - smart man that he is - told me that if I learnt to drive on that old ute, I'd be able to drive anything.

27. I hope I grow old like my Nanna. She's 82 years young, and still going strong. And my Grandad, whose also 82, refuses to retire from farming. Bless their cotton socks.

28. My first car was a 1976 Chrysler Galant. My friends promptly nicknamed her Poo, but I always maintain that she was bronze. She had real style, that girl. Wish I'd kept her...

29. I have not the slightest interest, whatsoever, in A.) golf   B.) the fantasy or horror genres  C.) designer fashion - I'm an op-shop kind of girl.  D.)  the technical side of computers.

30. My favourite colours are green and blue. Together.

31. I've had a vast amount of pets in my lifetime. They include: cats, dogs, fish, birds, kangaroos, pigs, a horse, lambs, calves, guinea pigs, and a mouse whose time on earth was rather shortlived, due to the aforementioned cats.

32. I hardly ever drink alcohol. Even when I was young and cutting up the dancefloors, I rarely drank. It's just not something I've ever been into. And even less so, now that I've become more health-conscious.

33. I hardly ever watch TV. I don't have time.

34. Being late makes me feel stressed. When I'm stressed I start to raise my voice.

35. I run my own small house and office cleaning business. It used to be a full-time business with 2 employees, but since I've had my youngest son, I've cut it waaaaaay back. I have learnt SO many things by going into business for myself.

36. I have a little crush on Denzel Washington. My favourite-est actor ever. Married (to the same woman!!) for 27 years....some kind of Hollywood record, maybe?? Son of a preacher man, to boot. Mind you, I felt slightly weird, when I realised recently, that he is old enough to be my father....but that quickly passed. Now I'm back to thinking....there's just something so spunky about him.

The only spunkier person is my husband. Of course :-)

37. As a child, I dreamed of adopting children, or fostering them. I still dream of doing just that.

38. I have been to Tonga four times. It is the most relaxing place on earth, and I adore it, and I adore the Tongan people.

39. I have struggled with depression. Especially in my late teens. I do not know where I would be, if I did not have writing, and two good friends who would not allow me to shut myself completely off from life.

40. I am a Christian. I was, and then I wasn't. But now I am. And I aint never going back. Because life without God in it, is not something I want to experience ever again. A life without faith, is unfinished.

41. I never drink coffee. And I rarely drink tea or hot chocolate.

42. I am a stepmother. I have 4 stepchildren, aged 17, 13, 12 and 10. And yes, I'm wicked. I make them eat broccoli, and take pocket money off them when they fight. I have found step-motherhood extremely challenging, and I have wrote about my experiences here.

43. I am an introvert. I do have my moments where I am loudmouthed and sociable, especially when in the presence of my family, but on the whole, I keep to myself. Mostly, I like my own company better than anyone elses. I like me!

44. I am naturally disorganised. I have great intentions, but my organising efforts always seem to go by the wayside after a while, and things end up all over the house. I blame my kids...

45. I once walked into a pole while checking out a cute guy in high school. My friends thought it was hilarious.

46. I am good at being creative, and coming up with ideas. I am not good at being organised. I am not good at working in a team - I like to get in and get things done, and I don't like having to rely on others. I am not good with fiddly, time-consuming jobs - they peeve me off, no end.

47. I was a nerd in high school. My mum made my clothes, and she made my pleated uniform skirt to finish just below the knee, when everyone elses finished above the knee. This was soon remedied by rolling the waistband up a couple of times.

48. I am a Sunday School teacher. I don't really feel this is my "calling", but I do the best I can.

49. I believe in spirits. I am convinced that I can feel the presence of my son Isaac, and my grandmother, sometimes.

The night I brought baby Judah home from hospital, the wind-chime thingy that hangs above his cot, was tinkling for about an hour. I thought it was strange, as the room was closed up and no air was circulating. In the morning, my four year old said that he had seen a ghost during the night. I asked him where, and he pointed to the wind-chime.

I like to think it was my first son Isaac, watching down over his new baby brother.

50. My commerce teacher was convinced that I would be Australia's first female PM. Sigh. Julia's beaten me to it.

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