I was tagged a few days ago by @Scottish-mum on Twitter. Basically, I have to answer a list of questions and the pass the baton on to other bloggers to answer the same ones. In theory, by the end of this, you should know me a bit better. Read on at your peril!
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I admire one of my friends who I am now back in touch with after many years apart. She did not receive the support she was entitled to as a child and teenager. I won't reveal details but family members and the wider community could have done better. She fell in love but that was threatened too in a devestating way. She struggled to become a mum but is now a fantastic one. She learned to love again. She reached out to me too which she did not need to do and by doing so, she has added loads to my life.
When were you happiest?
I have had lots of happy times. The ultimate highlight is probably holding my first son in my arms and realising this was the first blood relative that I had ever known.
My wedding day was perfect and a celebration of ten years together and a wonderful family. I loved getting into my college and 3 years that I remember as full of sunshine and friendship.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Going to see a friend's family for the first time and sitting on a toilet which instantly collapsed under me.
Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
Probably dogs for myself and a car for my partner.
What is your most treasured possession?
This question made me realise just how unmaterialistic I am. I treasure my charity shop and car boot finds for their diversity and quirkiness. I treasure things that people make for me. When I was little, it would have been my golliwog, my doll's house and my Christmas stocking.
Where would you like to live?
I would like to live by the sea. I am happy enough in England and love where I live now but other countries that appeal include Ireland, France and New Zealand.
What’s your favourite smell?
Poison perfume as reminds me of my youthful days and plans of a cunning nature.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
What is your favourite book?
The Hobbit is what turned me onto books in the first place so remains special to me. I like Jane Austen and hate the Brontes. There are lots of books in my house so very hard to pin it down to one favourite. I have lots of fiction and also lots of books on how to be the person I aspire to me.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Mood swings and biting my nails.
What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
What is your earliest memory?
Again, it is hard to work out which came first. I remember wetting myself in a newsagent shop, throwing a bucket of water over my brother on the beach and my nursery teacher Miss Bun.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Blogging and Baileys.
What do you owe your parents?
I owe my adoptive parents loads for taking me on in the first place. They had two grown up sons so could have chilled but decided on me and a rollercoaster ride instead.
I owe them for teaching me a love of learning that remains with me always. I owe them for encouraging me when Oxbridge became possible. I owe them for looking after my children. I owe them for showing me the funny side of things, for physical affection, for always knowing home was there, for great conversation and company.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To my step-daughters for not knowing how to help them and for not being mature enough know how to handle their, erm, challenges.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What - writing, reading, music and history
Who - my children massively followed by Him Indoors (and the, erm, others who shall not be named).
What does love feel like?
Scary, all-encompassing, wonderful.
What was the best kiss of your life?
Hard to say. First serious one was pretty good as I remember and such a shame I had to get the bus back from Blackpool thus curtailing such a beautiful "relationship" lol!
In romantic situations, I kiss last not first like most people. And then, all kisses from my children are special.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
How many times do I have to tell you.....?
I am a bad person/I am not a bad person
Everybody hates me
You are doing my head in
What is the worst job you’ve done?
The last one where unrealistic targets were set and then I got fired through no fault of mine. Motherhood on some days where it is all noise, mess and challenges with no promotion prospects, annual appraisals or staff meetings.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I should have followed my heart when I was very young.
I should have had more faith in myself and my abilities.
I would learn to drive at 17.
I would have my birth mother love me.
On balance, I would not have got involved with my ex although there were good times too.
I would have worked on my friendships more to ensure I did not lose them along the way.
I would be a better partner, mum and step-mum.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Apparently, my Auntie once dropped me off Edinburgh Castle walls and I was saved by my knicker elastic. On the same day, she gave me a toffee and I nearly choked. Do you think she had it in for me?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being a Mum and sticking with it when it is difficult. Getting into Cambridge after being adopted and not educated in a posh school.
When did you last cry, and why?
Last night when watching Alfie and Kat being reunited with Tommy in EastEnders. Also sobbed throughout most of those Neil Morrissey documentaries on children in care.
How do you relax?
Blogging, writing, reading, tweeting, emailing across the universe cooking, walking, playing with animals, chilling with the children. On the odd event (once a decade) when I have a babysitter, dining out, quiz nights, theatre, cinema and driving for hours with no particular place to go and music blaring.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That every individual has a story to tell and thoughts and feelings. They should never be written off and you should always question your assumptions about others.
I am going to tag a few bloggers but need to have a think who so I will be back with an edited post soon.