It's All About Me!

It all seemed so easy when I started, but the whole project is an unwieldy beast. It grows and grows and I can never keep on top of it. Each idea seems to trounce its predecessor - and then do the links work? Who knows!

The problem with starting to record my life (even if it is for my own benefit) is that it all seemed so easy at first - and then my grasshopper mind came into play. I touch on one memory and it triggers another. If I do ever return to my original thought, am I endlessly repeating myself on different pages? Sir's head appears to work like a relational database, but mine does not. Stories and speeches are supposed to have a beginning, a middle, an end, but life isn't like that, is it? Don't we all go off on wild tangents, sometimes never to return even if we know the returning point is there somewhere? How do people write autobiographies?  Can I explain to myself the me-ness of me? Certainly not without a bewildering series of hyperlinks on every page - which I have employed to a degree - but I was hoping to create a memory of me for a time when perhaps my brain is filled with amyloid plaques and some kind soul might steer me this way - though what can I say other than that I was clever, kind, meant well, and didn't actually achieve very much in the great scheme of things? And, by the time I might need to read this, I won't have been in a position to keep up my website subscription - and the computer I created it on will be in a landfill site. On the plus side - maybe not! Surely the CIA exists for some good purpose.

A Brief Picture

Psychologically-speaking, I believe myself to be a confident introvert, though having my own website (with a page called It's All About Me!) would indicate I'm a tad ego-driven. A few of my past and present hobbies and interests might lead anyone to the same conclusion: bellydancing, public-speaking, am-dram not exactly indicative of your average shrinking violet, though...

Reindeer Face...I hate having my photograph taken. Either I'm not photogenic, or I don't look the way I think I do and my ego isn't up to my facing the hideous truth. I'm sure I don't look so dreadful in mirrors - well, apart from the mirrors in all hairdressing salons where I look like a swollen, lumpy hag and the hairdresser still looks cute! I've always hated being photographed because I'm always disappointed with the result, yet I find myself looking back at photographs taken a few years ago and thinking I looked okay compared with how I think I look now. Never satisfied!

I'm 5' 5" (slightly less as I progressively age) and have green-grey eyes. I'm a born-blonde, which means that as soon as I reached fifteen I had to hit the bottle to keep it that way. No doubt I'm going very grey, but I'm not intending to find out the extent any time soon - though a few coarse resistance fighters break through to remind me what lies beneath.

I'm currently failry slim as I follow a low-carb diet, cycle everywhere, and spend a ludicrous amount of time at the gym. I'm still heavier than I want to be, but I'm working on it. Having spent most of my life nice and slim, my thyroid packed up when I reached forty and I piled on four stone in two years. Yuck! Thyroxine stops you piling on more, but it is still necessary to diet and exercise off the accumulated mass, but at least I'm not four stone overweight anymore! One Christmas afternoon someone asked Sir what he'd do in the light of an impending cataclysmic event (oh, party games in our family are such fun!) and he said he'd dash off to all the local pharmacies and loot all the thyroxine stocks because he's not spending the rest of his life carting me around in a supermarket trolley. On the plus side, he didn't say he'd leave me in a trolley.

I've been mildly short-sighted since I was sixteen, and now I'm developing presbyopia, so I have to take my glasses off to read or look at a computer screen   whoopee, the joys of middle-age!

I'm very fair-skinned and burn easily in the sun. I also have rosacea, which is mostly under control these days. At one stage, my face was covered in spider capillaries which made me look permanently drunk – and it's astonishing how many people judge you on that basis alone. I had most of the capillaries zapped out and now look suitably sober.

All blood-sucking, itch-inducing insects are irresistibly drawn to me and I spend more time on antihistamines than should be considered acceptable. I hate earwigs, fleas and mosquitoes in possibly that order. Why? Well, let me tell you:

When I was seven, I awoke screaming hysterically as an earwig had crawled up my nose. Apparently, I'd grabbed it in its progress and twisted it in half, so no (non-psychological) damage done.

My eyeMy usual reaction to being bitten (this one on the eyelid) to whatever blood-sucking insect fancies a piece of me.

Only I could be bitten in my own bed in January by an American venomous spider and be wasted for months.

I'm a bit of a control freak. Actually, I'm quite a control freak. Do things my way; you know it will work out better that way.

I wonder what tells you most about a person: the things they do like, or the things they don't? Until July 2007, I would have said I loathe the music of Leonard Cohen (never having actually listened to any of it, believing it to be music for the suicidal), and then I heard Closing Time on YouTube, followed by Everybody Knows, followed by... What a revelation! All those wasted yea5rs. I should have realised ― there was a time I loathed olives, avocados and yoghourt. What next: a burgeoning appreciation of Morris dancing?

Callum sobbingHead cheese: bits of bath sponge suspended in gelatineIn many ways, I've probably been a better than average mum, but the jury is out. Click on the pic of my sobbing son for my shameful guide to the Art of Bad Parenting. Oh dear, even this link can be massively expanded upon.


Much as I love food and cooking, I don't think I'll be enjoying Polish food anytime soon.


The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli

I often have lucid dreams. They are not at all like the usual run-of-the-mill dreams and they are often terrifying. Worse yet, these terrifying dreams are often accompanied by sleep paralysis. I wouldn't wish this affliction on my worst enemy, and my poor daughter suffers them too.

I accidentally found a way of escaping from sleep paralysis one night when the dream was so frightening that I actually fainted in the dream. Now I find that if, instead of fighting to wake up, I feign a faint, so to speak, I wake up normally. So, if you have these dreams, don't fight it! Force yourself to relax. Admittedly, it takes practice, but it will work eventually. And don't sleep on your back!

On the other hand, some lucid dreams can be astonishingly wonderful - flying dreams, for example. I barely remember most of my lucid dreams, but I can still feel the flying dreams (and I can honestly say I've never knowingly taken any hallucinogenic drug).

I have an appalling memory. It's like having a chunk of Emmental on the top of my neck. So that my whole life doesn't disappear and leave me with no memories to look back on in my dotage, I've started "Back Tracking". At this stage it is not much more than a catalogue of events/anniversaries and a few trigger songs from each year of my life, and I attack it in fits and starts. Of course, another problem is that reminiscences just make me reminisce - and that can suck up a lot of unproductive time.

I have a somewhat eclectic taste in music. I've not liked the majority of noise that has been in the pop charts throughout my life, especially the number one hits of the years. I suppose these have mainly reflected the garbage that is released around Christmas.

Even though I am not much of a Country & Western fan, of all the music in all the world I've never tired of Marty Robbins' voice (and I truly regret watching the Steve Martin spoof of El Paso, even though just thinking about it makes me laugh).

Particular loves are: Carlos Santana, Kirsty McColl, JS Bach, Mozart. Having said that, Sir and I last saw Carlos Santana in concert at the O2 in 2008 and we left before the end. The early train homeward was full of sad-faced people clutching Santana programmes. We were not alone.

I like many different types, styles, genres, artists. I like choral, garage, middle-eastern, Motown, metal, gothic, hip-hop. I like...

... it's easier to say what I don't like:

I do not appreciate opera. There are a few pieces I like but, generally speaking, opera is not my thing. I understand it is, like oysters and caviar, an acquired taste, but isn't life too short to acquire the taste for any of these three?

I just can't listen to the likes of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and their ilk. All those vocal gymnastics really get on my pip. Compare them with the Platters and the Temptations, for example: fantastic range, but not all squeezed into a single two-minute song. Less is more.

And I can't stand that droning, circular, crap that passes for RnB these days. You know, Craig David and all that noise that sounds like it's circling a drain.

I loathe the majority of boy bands, with Boyzone and Westlife causing a particularly overwhelming nausea. A wee anecdote: Rhiannon was quite fond of Boyzone when she was too young to know better and, with her at my side, we searched the internet for their website. I typed in .com instead of and showed my lovely daughter what an enormous erect male member looked like. Oops.

I prefer Madonna to Kylie. I can happily listen to a whole Madonna album in one sitting, but one Kylie track is enough, surely. Rhiannon and I went to a Kylie concert at the beginning of 2007 and, though it was great fun, I couldn't help feeling sorry for her amazing dancers having to rehearse for hours beyond mention to that reedy little voice.

I think the Beatles are vastly over-rated and I'm not sure I could listen to much of the Rolling Stones repertoire. Paint It Black is fantastic, though. And with that thought in mind, for a cheery soul, I like an awful lot of very dark music.

And the problem with listing things I don't like is that I come across as hateful ― and I'm not.