Saturday, February 03, 2007


Weeks ago, I was tagged by Aunty Evil of Evil Manor (what fun!) and through a combination of not being at home enough (it's a long one) and absentmindedness, never got around to doing it. Here it is. Sorry about the ramblingness of my answers.

I'm fascinated, by the way, by her spelling of MeMe. I had never realised that it was called a meme because it's about Me! Me!

Anyway, this post is long enough already, so...

A - Available/Single? – Can hardly remember what single was like. I fell for my (now) husband when I was sixteen and even though he took a year to get the hint, that was over 39 years ago. He’s a nice chap – I still think so.

B - Best Friend? – That’s a trickier one. I think of my friend Pam as my best friend, since this was definitely the case from the age of ten and all through university. But when we were 23, she moved away down to London and we don’t meet very often, though when we do, it’s just the same. We were part of a group of four girls and I still see another of them, Beryl, a lot, so maybe her. And I have other very good friends. Pathetically, though, a part of me would still like a “best” – I think this might be because I don’t have a sister and would always have liked one. But I have two daughters, who are sister-equivalents. And a son. And my husband. All very good.

C - Cake or Pie? – Alas, I do like a nice piece of cake, yes, though because of constantly trying not to get any fatter, don’t eat it much. Chocolate cake is best, though fruit is good too. Pie – not so tempting.

D - Drink Of Choice? Tea or coffee, depending on the time of day. I’m not much of a one for alcohol. If I’m going to consume empty calories, then I’d go for cake or chocolate.

E – Essential Item You Use Everyday? – My computer (though ideally not the very very s-l-o-w one I’m using now). Never thought a few years ago that I’d be a computer fan. I love writing, even if it’s just notes for students. And it’s so much more fun answering emails than actually doing any work.

F - Favourite Colour? – Probably blue. But I really hate orange and don’t like purple much either. I won’t even have orange flowers in the garden, though quite like purple ones, in moderation. (I make an exception for orange oranges, by the way.) I like all other colours, depending on context.

G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? – I think I quite like Gummy Bears if they’re those little chewy sweets, though probably wouldn’t bother with them as against nice dark chocolate. WORMS??? Baffled here.

H - Hometown? – Edinburgh, Scotland

I – Indulgence – Time to myself. Doesn’t happen much.

J - January Or February? Well, neither, particularly, since they’re both winter here. Certainly not January, which is cold, dark, usually wet and a long time till the next college holidays.

K - Kids & Their Names? Three, but I haven’t quite reached the stage of feeling able to blog their names. Daughter 1’s name is quite Scottish, Daughter 2’s isn’t particularly and Son’s name is the same as my brother’s. None are cutely original. Don’t like cutely original names. I think you have to call your children names that are ok for 85-year-olds in due course. “I'll put you
on the commode now, Rainbow.” Not good.

L - Life Is Incomplete Without? It’s got to be my lovely family, but a garden comes a close second. And singing. And music in general. And friends. And books. And my computer, or at least some means of writing. And things made out of coloured glass. I’m really not a minimalist.

M - Marriage date? 1973. I didn’t really enjoy my own wedding because I was quite shy, but I loved Daughter 1’s, last year.

N - Number Of Siblings? One brother. We get on fine, but we’re very different. I always wanted a sister (see above). I do have a sister-in-law, and again, we get on very well but aren’t soulmates.

O - Oranges Or Apples? Both are nice, though I can’t be bothered with proper oranges that take 20 minutes to peel. Satsumas and the like are fine.

P - Phobias/Fears – Blood. I know this is entirely ridiculous, since we’re all full of it, but I am so phobic that I once not only passed out, but had an actual fit, when I was having blood taken. In fact, just thinking about it now….

Q - Favourite Quote? – What a hard question! My mind is full of quotes. But maybe, from “Cliff top, East coast” by my favourite poet, Norman MacCaig,

I’ll write you a poem
that praises you so well
It’ll glow in the dark.”

My husband is splendid but not poetic. If he has a fault, that might be it. On the other hand, he removes dead birds from the garden, unblocks toilets and so on. Who needs a poet in the house?

R - Reason to Smile? Again, my lovely family. Of course, they worry me sometimes, as I’ve recently blogged, but oh! the fun, the cuddles, the love.

S - Season? – Summer. I love herbaceous borders in June or July, but of course as a British teacher, I don’t have to work in July, so – no contest!

T - Tag people? Molly. I don’t know how to do that underlining thing but her blog is The Molly Bawn Chronicles.It's wonderful.

U - Unknown Fact About Me? I had a children’s novel published when I was in my twenties. Then our children came along, combined with work, and the years whizzed by, and somehow I haven’t quite got around to writing another one. Yet.

V - Vegetable you don’t like? Turnip. I’m a vegetarian, so there’s not much future in disliking vegetables.

W - Worst Habit? My husband has just walked in so I asked him. He said, “You don’t have any.” (You can see why I’ve stayed married to him for 33 years.) But maybe… I have a tendency to read the instructions on things only as a last resort. Not really very sensible.

X - X-rays You’ve Had? – Some of these questions are hard! Teeth, certainly. I’ve had scans when pregnant for the third time and also of my gall bladder – does this count? Can’t think of any others.

Y - Your Favourite Food? – Inevitably, chocolate comes high on the list, but I’m also very fond of sweetcorn, peas and raspberries.

Z - Zodiac Sign ? - Cancer. I was born on July 4. Does this make me an honorary American?


  1. I didn't know about "tagging" but I had so much fun learning more about you! It was a very fun blog, as yours always are! :)

  2. You know that people are going to want to know about the book you wrote. Is it still in print?

    Yes yes I know Rainbow was a bad choice of name, but I was only 17, not an age exactly renowned for logical, down-to-earth thinking

  3. I've loved reading your 'MeMe'. I've always wondered how that was pronounced. Thanks for leaving me a comment at my blog..I felt I knew you..when I read it. =). I so love getting to know blogging friends..its a day-brightner for me. I just scanned a little fiction story from a 1906 Ladies' Home Jounal and am going to try posting it on my blog in installments. The old-timey writing is sweet and poetical. It speaks to me...grin. I loved your advice about names by the way. How true! Being practical makes sense in the long run. And I'll gladly pass up one of those oranges that you have to 'claw' the peeling off of. I used to hate orange as a color, but I'm getting more mellow I guess, I'm mad about orange-red. Of course I have an olive complexion so if I WERE to wear orange I would look completely yellow. One of my first paychecks yielded me a darling orange top with bright cheery yellow tiny flowers on it. I adored that blouse...having had a long line of hand-me-downs, including my Aunt's garter belt...which mortified me and I never wore it in spite of the gift. She came to visit one day and in front of my Dad, boldly pulled this dangling item out of her purse and layed it on the end table. I wished I could evaporate...I was so embarrassed at the good old age of 13...=). Getting older just gets so pleasant..know what I mean...most everything we can manage is just the way we want it to be.

  4. I did enjoy your MeMe.
    Always interesting to 'peep' into other's lives.

    Yes... the tell!

  5. Actually, Mum, it's pronounced "meem". It was invented as an analogy to "gene", and means an idea that replicates itself by having people copy it - like traditions or fads. Singing "Happy Birthday to You" is a meme. Fashions are memes. It's not just the internet quizzy things!

  6. Well, my darling daughter, I prefer the meaning I worked out! I know how it's pronounced - I just thought... oh, never mind.

    Can't say I've ever heard it in connection with fashion. Maybe I don't read the right stuff.

    No, the book isn't still in print. I think it was probably very boring, but haven't read it for years - in fact probably not since I wrote it - to shield myself from being sure it was very boring.

    If only I'd kept going like JK Rowling. I've never understood how she managed to do it and be a proper mum at the same time. It's just possible that she's rather more talented than me as well, of course.

  7. Nannies Isabelle. You can do anything if you have staff.

  8. An interesting insight into who you are - thanks for sharing

  9. Such interesting tidbits!What IS the correct pronunciation--is it meem? or me-me?[as in mimi]. So now I have to rack my brains....

  10. Yay Isabelle, I never thought I would get to read your "whatever it is called"! :)

    I enjoyed it very much, your answers were very entertaining.

    So, have you been tagged for the "6 weird things about me" one yet? :) :)

  11. I think it's definitely called a "meem" - I believe what K says. She knows about that sort of thing.

    I still like the Me!Me! idea, though. The truth isn't always as much fun as a good theory.

    Nannies, yes. But to be fair, JK R didn't have a nanny when she started. My children hardly slept during the day, though, and when awake, requested constant entertainment. I couldn't have sat in a cafe producing great works with infant beside me. Excuses, excuses...

  12. Let's just rebel and call it me-me!

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  14. Hello again Isabelle, I have enjoyed catching up with your blog, thanks for dropping by mine. It was a delight to find a new visitor! Re: best friends, I have sisters and out of all the friendships I've had with females in my life, I have to say that whatever I have with my sisters has been the most complex, frustrating, disappointing, sometimes heart breaking relationship experiences of my life. Not 100% of the time of course - but having sisters can be overrated. I have dreamt of having sisters that were like best friends as such a thing does exist! And I've pathetically chased after them for years wanting to be that best friend to them.. when it truth they have not been interested in me. Indeed my daughter is like a sister-equivalent (with reason as she is a few months off '12' and I'm a few weeks off '38'). She also has the characteristics of my bestest friend in the whole world. I do crave an adult best friend though as my girl and I are generations apart and we still must assume our roles and keep things in pecking order as far as being Mum and daughter, which is essential and healthy. It's nice to have a '3am' person in your life -though I'm always worried about what others think (and can be over considerate) - so I probably would never take advantage of a '3am person' for fear of inconveniencing them! :-P Have a good week Isabelle!

  15. Loved your answers! Molly tagged me and I've finally done it too. The domino effect in action. Thanks for stopping in and saying "hi." I stop by here from time to time via Molly and I always enjoy myself --- will try to remember to comment more often!