Phew, we are now on Day #4 of Alex Beadon’s Feel Good Blogging Challenge. I would like to take a quick moment to thank all of you lovely readers and fellow bloggers who have taken the time to read my posts and support my blog. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! Make sure you check out Day #1, Day #2 and Day #3 of this challenge.
Today’s challenge (posted a little late as I currently don’t have reliable wifi!) is to write 10 random facts about me. Let’s get straight into things:
1. I used to take ballet classes until the age of 16. I was also super passionate about acting and musical theatre. I flirted with the idea of treading the boards and embarking on a career in the arts (my older brother is actually a professional ballet dancer.) However, there came a point when I became more interested in politics and current affairs. So instead of taking more theatre arts classes, I worked on my academic pursuits and went on to study Political Science at university.
2. I cycled to France with my family when I was seven years old. When I was a kid, my parents couldn’t really afford a car so my dad came up with the genius idea of buying us all bikes. Yup, that’s right, my dad, mum, brother and I would cycle to school and go on family bike rides every weekend, rain or shine. I even had a bright pink bike helmet that my brother fondly named Netty. Eventually we took the plunge and cycled to France.
My poor brother was only 10 at the time, but he was carrying two side panniers on his bike and a ridiculously heavy steel-poled tent. I carried a tiny pink backpack containing only my clothes and the apples for our snack break. My brother was not happy.
3. I used to write in my journal and draft poems during lessons at school. I was a bit of a nerd at school. I spent most of my free time studying and I loved getting good grades. However, the one thing that I had a tendency to do was to practice my writing when I should have been paying attention in class. You can find half of my French GCSE class notes in my journal rather than in my exercise book. Rebel, I know.
4. Every Sunday, I used to make pancakes and watch Mean Girls after I had done my homework. And I used to revise for my exams with Sex And The City, My Super Sweet 16, or Made in the background.
5. I had my ears pinned back when I was about age 13 or 14. I was quite badly bullied at school for having big ears. Bus rides home involved a lot of being called “Dumbo” and having paper aeroplanes emblazoned with “Dumbo Airways” flown at my head. Eventually I couldn’t stand my ears any longer, and I took the plunge and got them surgically reshaped and pinned back.
6. I’m terrified of water/swimming. Jumping on stepping stones across water only an inch deep sends me into quivers of fear, swimming out of my depth makes me break out in a sweat, and snowboarding across frozen water causes me to hyperventilate. Water just freaks me out, OK?
7. I hate clothes shopping. I do not understand the concept of “retail therapy” – clothes shopping is an endless cycle of stress to me. Everything from standing naked in front of an unflattering changing room mirror to trying on a million different sizes of the same item trying to decide which looks best, I just really don’t like the process. However, I do quite like stationary shopping and perusing home décor aisles.
8. If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in either New York City or London. I love the diversity and multi-cultural nature of these cities; their loudness and randomness; their jazz bars and musical buskers; their cocktails and beers; their creativity and colour.
9. Before this trip I had never been outside of Europe and I had never travelled alone. I went to Milan when I was 18 and Rome when I was 22 but both of those vacations were with friends and a far-cry from backpacking (I was carrying heels in my suitcase, for f**k’s sake.)
10. I am obsessed with cats. When I think of home, it’s the memory of my cats that causes my heart to physically ache. You would think it would be my family, but I talk to them on Facebook and Skype relatively frequently. However, my two cats – Merry and Pippin (they’re named after The Lord of the Rings characters) – somehow cause me to fall into pools of tears as I stare at their beautiful portraits on my phone screen. When I heard that my cat was sick, I started looking at flights home, though apparently not even my parents’ most heartfelt tears could persuade me to even look at a flight. Sorry, Mum, but it will be the cats who drag me home.