Friday, 31 July 2009

A MEME award and a meme

The lovely Emily, at Maternal Tales from the South Coast, has kindly bestowed upon me this MEME award.

Rules of the award need me to list 7 personality traits and pass it on to 7 other wonderful blogs.


  1. Mild OCD. Is that a personality trait? Of course, most people will say you can’t have mild OCD, you either have it or not, but this is the only way to describe it. It’s not debilitating in any way, just odd! Examples of some of my symptoms, include a need for symmetry and a dislike of anything matching. These both lead me to be rather fussy in how mugs are hung up – no two matching cups should ever be put next to each other; the pattern should be symmetrical. When I put Rosemary’s alphabet blocks away, they have to be in rainbow order. To the point where, if one of them is missing I cannot properly relax until it’s found. I will almost never where matching pyjamas – different bottom and tops are required (though the colours do need to match in certain ways!). I have veered towards this non-matching pyjama thing with Rosemary, though can just about cope if someone else puts matching ones on her.
  2. Problems delegating. I find it very difficult to admit that anyone could possibly do anything as well as (or, God forbid, better than) me. In the work situation, this means that it takes me a long time before I will ‘let’ Chris do a certain type of project. I have to write up ridiculously complicated instructions on how to do it and then, once I have let it go, I will get very annoyed if it’s not done in exactly the way I would do it – even if the end result is the same. This is why I could probably never be a good manager. In family life, this attitude follows through to having to do too much housework, because I can’t let someone else do it. I am getting better at this, at least for the moment, because growing a baby is pretty hard work and if the washing up isn’t done exactly the ‘right way’, it won’t really hurt anyone. Not really. Much.
  3. Difficulties with small talk. I’m pretty rubbish at making comments about new haircuts or looking thinner. I’m not very good about asking about people’s holidays and what they’re up to at work. I can answer these questions myself, but forget to reciprocate. And I have difficulty following a conversation if there are lots of them going on – e.g. in a pub, at mother and baby group. I tend to miss words and sometimes fill them in incorrectly, which can lead to confusion and embarrassment. There is no way I could be a hair dresser. And this trait probably leads to my difficulties in making new friends.
  4. Good listener. Oddly, despite No. 3, I can be a good listener. But it does have to be in a one-on-one situation. Problems with your husband? Problems at work? Problems with your flatmates? Problems with your teenage offspring? Problems with your menopause? Problems with your health? Settle down, have a cup of tea and tell me all about it.
  5. Messy and disorganised. Yeah. I don’t care too much about tidiness and housework. If you’re coming to visit me, don’t expect sparkling, dust-free surfaces or even an obstacle-free floor. I like to kid myself that, once I win the lottery and buy that 7-bedroom, 5-reception-room house with 10 times the storage we actually need, I will suddenly turn into a tidy and organised person. But, really, it probably would make no difference. My desk is usually covered in piles of stuff, with a small space to type and move the mouse around. If Chris ever has to work at my computer, it really gets on his nerves. I’ll clean and tidy the desk maybe once a month. The rest of the time, I’m quite happy with it like that and know where (almost) everything is. I am happier in an environment where flat surfaces are piled up with things and where you have to move things out of the way to sit down for dinner, or unpack shopping. Unfortunately, Chris is happier in an environment with clear flat surfaces (especially when they are dining tables!), which leads to a certain amount of conflict/compromise.
  6. Information devourer. In the past, whenever embarking on a new endeavour – setting up my business, being pregnant, learning something (a language, a programming language, a piece of software), getting a dog – I would go to a bookstore (or more often to Amazon) and buy at least three books on the subject, often five or six. It is still my first instinct to do so, but I have managed to curb my desires somewhat and will do an Internet trawl instead, and maybe borrow something from the library. I have a ridiculous number of seriously outdated computer books sitting on my desk, as well as more general tomes about UI design and managing software development. A good few hundred pounds’ worth, at least, though none of it worth much now.
  7. I would be an early adopter, but am fortunate (at least in financial terms) to be married to someone who can hum and ha about a new gadget for so long, it’s no longer new, but cheap. But, you know, if I won the lottery, I would have all the latest gadgets, as soon as they became available, not two years down the road. (And a big house to keep them all in, of course!)

Hmmm. Who shall I pass it on to? Have no idea who’s had it already, except of course Maternal Tales because she gave it to me – so can’t give it to her. …

  1. geekymummy, because she likes gadgets too (even if they sometimes come from Apple)
  2. More than just a mother, because she is finally back online, needs some distraction, and should clearly spend more time answering silly/funny questions about herself, rather than writing beautiful prose. (Feel free to ignore!)
  3. Jo Beaufoix, because she is very cool and funny and popular (number 4 on the Tots100!)and we should all be given the opportunity to find out more about the cool and the funny.
  4. Platespinner, because she lives sort of up the road.
  5. Musical Mummy, because you have a blog now, so you need to fill it with stuff – and one of these is an easy way to start (you can ignore the pass it on bit, if you like).
  6. Zooarchaeologist, because isn’t archaeology everyone’s dream job? Or is that just me? And hopefully she’ll write something about it, so I can feel more knowledgeable about it and realise it’s not all Lara Croft and Indiana Jones (unless it is?).
  7. Dancinfairy, just in case Squiggler is staying put and you are bored, or Sguiggler has come out and is going against the tide of new babyhood and sleeping through the night and leaving you twiddling your thumbs. (Or, you know, feel free to ignore it!).

And now for the extraordinarily fun Blame Tara Meme, which Tara of Sticky Fingers has been tracking all over the place. I have been waiting and waiting to do this one, so thank you Clareybabbling, for the opportunity.

  1. Who is the hottest movie star?
    I’m not hugely into ogling movie stars, but… John Cusack. And from TV… David Boreanaz, George Clooney (when he was in ER).
  2. Apart from your house and your car, what's the most expensive item you've ever bought?
    I was going to say my wedding dress, which is most definitely the most expensive piece of clothing I have bought, but then I realised our sofa cost £200 more than it. Then… I was reading someone else’s answers and realised that, of course, it would have to be a computer. Most of our computers cost more than the sofa (except this dinky little netbook, which was less than £300).
  3. What's your most treasured memory?
    Only one? Well, because he’s no longer here, I really treasure the memory (and photos and video) of Papa walking me down the aisle. And am very sad that my sister won’t get to experience that. I’m also quite fond of the rest of that day! And walking through town from Stroud Maternity, bringing Rosemary home, is a lovely memory. There’s a whole bunch more, too, though and choosing one is just not possible.
  4. What was the best gift you ever received as a child?
    I remember being very excited when I got my rollerskates. We were living in Spain and having Christmas at a friend’s villa in the country – freshly picked and squeezed orange juice for Christmas breakfast was a bit weird. But she had this big carport thing underneath the villa, where I could skate for hours. The skates were just the ones that you strap onto your normal shoes, but I loved them.
  5. What's the biggest mistake you've made?
    Well, that would have to be being talked into having an abortion when I was 15 (well, probably getting pregnant in the first place was pretty stupid, now I think about it!). The trouble is, with regrets like this, if you could take it back you would change your whole life. I probably wouldn’t have met Chris and wouldn’t have Rosemary, now. Who knows what would have happened. But I should have stood up for myself.
  6. 4 words to describe yourself. 
    Inquisitive, quiet, content, hard-working.
  7. What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?
    Highlight = my sister moving round the corner. Lowlight = Realising we were spending too much money.
  8. Favourite film?
    Just one? Die Hard. When Harry Met Sally. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Grosse Pointe Blank. Nope, can’t do just one.
  9. Tell me one thing I don't know about you.
    I lived in a caravan for the first year of my life.
  10. If you were a comic book/strip or cartoon character, who would you be?
    Well, my form tutor in the first year nicknamed me Gnasher. Thanks Mr…. can’t remember his name! Um… Willow Rosenberg – What? There are comic books of BtVS!

I’m supposed to pass this on to people I want to know more about. Well, that would be everyone over there on the right. See that blogroll? If you’re on it, I’m passing this on to you. (Sorry, I’m tired. I should never try to do two of these in one post, as I always get lazy at the end.)


  1. I'm rubbish at small talk too ;-)

  2. Great post. I think having a cleaner helps you be more relaxed about housework. If I try to do it all myself I get annoyed that I've not got time to do it perfect, yet if someone else does it I don't care how its done.
    I don't like making small talk or hanging around with people that gossip and have often put my foot it it by saying something wrong. I just keep trying and making an effort to speak to people. I've got better at it as I've got older and more confident. I'm confident talking about work or the children, but crap at other small talk.

  3. #5. Messy and disorganized - I totally relate. My husband is an engineer who cannot work unless all surfaces are clear of clutter. He can't stand to work at my computer. Loved your comment about Chris needing dining tables cleared - he and my husband would get along well!

  4. Thanks for the meme!
    I am trying to figure out how you can be both 1 and 5. I'm imagining your house pleasingly disorganized apart from the alphabet blocks in rainbow order!

  5. Oops, I'm a bit behind on my Google Reader. I've just tagged you at mine, but I see you've already done it. I blame that Tara! I enjoyed reading your answers. John Cusack - me too! Your treasured memory is lovely. I could have used your number nine for mine too. For me it was 9 months! x

  6. I can never do small talk!! If there is ever another bloggy meet up, I'll be the one in the corner hoping noone notices me!!!