Saturday, December 01, 2007

Eight random facts

I was tagged a while ago by Loth of "The Gym isn't Working" for 8 random facts about myself. I apologise in advance for the mundane nature of my life – I was similarly tagged some months ago and probably have nothing interesting left to say. However, I won’t let that stop me… .

1. I really enjoy Anne Tyler’s novels – some of her earlier ones are uncomfortably dark, but I particularly love "A Patchwork Planet" and "An Amateur Marriage".

2. When I was a girl, my family had a cat called Dido. She was a stray and just moved in on us when she was maybe six months old and I was 15. She was lovely – white with a black patch between her ears. My school uniform was navy blue – and constantly covered in white fluff. She stayed on in my parents’ house when I married and moved out and lived till she was about 15.
(Why did I waste my youth worrying that I was fat? And that was really quite a short skirt, wasn't it? - but it was the fashion at the time - about 1969, I think. I was 19.)

3. Continuing the theme of being 15, I’ve kept a diary since I was 15. I don’t write in it every day by any means – sometimes several weeks pass without an entry – but it’s continuous, and thus occupies quite a lot of hardback notebooks. I have no idea why I do it but I can’t stop. I hardly ever read past volumes, though there has been the odd occasion (not for years) when I’ve read from the beginning. It’s quite salutary to see how silly I sometimes was when I was 15. I thought I was quite sensible at the time and I think others probably thought so too. As I get older, I wonder what will happen to it when I die. Sometimes I contemplate a big bonfire. It interests me to ask myself whom I think I’m writing for. In the past, I just wrote what I thought, but of recent years I’ve probably written with a bit more circumspection, since it now begins to seem possible that I might some day actually die and it might outlive me.

4. I’m very phobic about blood.

5. I’m not very keen on piercings either. Even pierced ears, if the hole is visible. Especially ears with big stretched holes and heavy earrings hanging from them. Shudder.

6. We’ve recently had our bedroom redecorated and our new bedspread is red velvet. (How odd to be telling the world this. Fortunately, not much of the world is paying attention.) I made the cushion myself… no, you spotted the lie, did you? I bought it in Marks and Spencer. But I’d like to have made it. I don't know why it looks as if our bedroom slopes. It doesn't really.

7. My grandfather was shot in the hand at Gallipoli and his right forefinger was bent down towards his palm for the rest of his life. Did I ask him what Gallipoli was like? And why not?

8. On December 18, it will be 40 years since I took Mr Life to my final year school Christmas dance (I went to a girls’ school), which was the start of our relationship. I didn’t quite realise the momentousness of this event, but it seems to have worked out well.
I know many of you have done this already but if WifeMomChocaholic of "Nearly a Normal Eater" and Beakus of "This is Me" (or anyone else) would like to pick up the baton, this would be fine.


  1. What an interesting post, Isabelle! :) I loved the cat photos-the one with the girl (is this you?) was beautiful!I enjoy reading your posts and wanted to pop on and say so! :)

  2. Don't you think these meme are such a good introduction!

  3. Congratulations on 40 years of marriage to the same man!! There aren't many like that out there!!

  4. No, no, not 40 years of marriage. Only 34 of those. 40 years since the first date (I was only 17 then.) But hey, I'll take the congratulations. Thank you.

  5. Great post Isabelle! Yes indeed, why did we think we were so fat at that young age? (Well, I did 'cause I had a little sister, but I'd sure love to be that size again LOL) Please don't bonfire your diaries. Some great grand-daughter some day will enjoy them. I'd love to be able to read my grandmothers diaries today. Just to know what their lives were like. Made me laugh out loud about the pillow -- I thought, Oh yay, you made a pillow -- until the next sentence LOL!!!

  6. It was fun to read a few random facts about you :) It really is a shame that when we're younger we don't think to ask those questions of the older generation that seem so important and interesting when we're older and it's too late (now that's a long sentence!).
    Yes, keep your diaries. They'll probably be fascinating to a young family member one of these days.
    The picture of you at 15 with the kitty is sweet. I love those old photos :)
    We are in for a snow storm tonight!! Hope it's warmer there than it is here.

  7. Love the cat photos - Dido looks a bit like my cat Frank but he doesn't have a black patch between his ears. In fact he doesn't have much between his ears! I know what you mean about not asking your grandfather about Gallipoli; I wish I'd asked my grandparents more about the Second World War and they're all dead now so it's too late. If I'm ever lucky enough to have children/grandchildren I'll force them to listen to my rather uneventful life story until they can repeat it verbatim!

  8. I love random facts. And I think in a sense, we all write for ourselves. It is an outlet for the thoughts that swirl around in our heads! 40 years..... aren't you glad you invited him to that dance???

  9. I think I am the tagger to blame - but very glad I did it! That photo alone is worth it - I have a photo of my mum wearing a maxi evening dress which I would swear is made of the same fabric!

  10. I would like to point out that you COULD have made the cushion, even though you didn't. You've made cushions in less busy periods. Even that complicated patchwork one (that thoughtless people then sat on and wore out).

    And - speaking as your daughter - you're not allowed to make a bonfire of those diaries. If you don't want people you know to read them, you can donate them to an archive, and specify a closure period. I will help you find the archive!

  11. Love the photo of 15 yr old you! I think we all thought ourselves 'fat' for some reason!
    Keep your diaries, I am sure someone will find them fascinating!

  12. Whoa, great photo of you! It just goes to show how one's self-image can be out of synch with reality. I'm sure Mr. Life was and is quite besotted.

  13. Lovely to find out more about you. I am so happy to hear that you like Anne Tyler, she is one of my favourite authors. I've got Digging to America, sitting beside my bed waiting for me to finish my present book, I love her writing. My school uniform was also navy and covered in white hair, but from a dog not a cat!
    Kim x

  14. Why DID you waste your youth worrying that you were fat?
    Especially considering that you weren't .
    And AREN'T.
    Just right, you are, in fact!!!

    And I think it wondrous that you managed to snag the perfect man and still think so. Actually, I must say, he is one of the world nicest persons, isn't he?

    all the best.

  15. Don't burn your diaries. Maybe a great-great grandchild will like to read about life in the olden days when computers weren't invented? I love your 15-year-old self, lazing with the legs and the cat.

  16. Looks like I'm paddy-last here! Lovely photo of a younger, unfat Isabelle. I also thought I was enormous as a teenager. I was tall but not fat by any means. Maybe the popularity of "Twiggy" had something to do with it!

  17. No, I'm paddy last. Always the sibling rivalry.

    Nice photo of you as a teenager.

    No wonder Mr. Life was smitten.

    How about another photo of you, now, with the new felines in your life and, maybe, Mr Life?

  18. Can I add to the chorus pleading not to burn the diaries? Such documents are an invaluable resource for future family historians...and are all too rare nowadays!

    Fascinating meme!

  19. Enjoyed reading more about you...I'm going to print this off and take in to show Helen next Wednesday. We (our group of friends) are taking in Xmas dinner for her. The hospital won't allow alcohol though, so it won't be as silly as it usually is with the four of us..

  20. Dido looks like one of my childhood cats, Pollyanna, except that he was all white (yes, poor Polly was a boy).

    Wow -- you weren't fat at all.

    I'm sure your grandchildren will greatly enjoy reading your diaries. I have one from a short period of my mom's life that I cherish -- all the more because I never really knew her. I shredded the diaries from my growing-up years, but only because they were full of self-hatred and bemoaning of my fat.

    I wrote random facts a while ago, but shall see if I can summon a few more.

  21. I'm just glad your bedroom doesn't slope.

    I'm contemplating a bonfire too.