About this blog

My photo
Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Ten things about me

Louisa at The Really Good Life has given me an award.

Thanks, Louisa :-)

This one involves telling you ten random things about myself and passing it on to ten some other bloggers. I won't tell you ten random things. I will tell you ten things, but they won't be random (see Thing 1).

I'll pass it on to three blogs who probably won't join in the game because they're not that sort of blog, but you, dear reader, get to share my appreciation of all the lovely pictures. The first is Page Created A Photo a Day - the clue's in the name. The second is Coffee Slut, who does include some words with her photos, but I mainly love this blog for the beautiful pictures. Finally, my blog reader gets clogged up with posts from So give me your hand and let's jump out the window, which is just full of beautiful images, and some words too.

So, ten things about me:
  1. I get annoyed about misuse of the word “random.” I spent much of my working life teaching statistics and I know the definition of “random.” It does not mean, “haphazard,” “slightly odd,” or, as in this case, “carefully chosen.”
  2. I have the worst sense of direction of almost anyone I know, but if you want to manoeuvre a large wardrobe up a twisted flight of stairs, I'm your woman. From this I conclude that spatial awareness is not a unitary ability, contrary to current psychological theories. I've never got round to doing the research to test this hypothesis, though.
  3. I notice and care about things like the shocking transformation from “conclusion” to “hypothesis” in the last point. As I wrote that there was a little voice in my head shouting, “That's wrong! You can't say that!” I wrote it anyway, though, because I think the sentences look better like that.
  4. I am a hoarder, which is probably not news to you. I can't stand throwing things away. Whenever I overcome this and force myself to accept the conventional wisdom that too much clutter is A Bad Thing, I always regret it when I need whatever-it-was just a few weeks after throwing it away.
  5. Pop music is, and always has been, an alien world to me. At my current stage of life, this is not in the least bit troubling, but when I was a teenager it left me shut off from my peers. I lived in fear of the question, “What kind of music do you like?” because I had NO IDEA! I'll stop here before I start reliving the horrors of being a teenager.
  6. I learnt hairdressing at the BBC. In my last job I was occasionally called on to do TV interviews. This was very exciting, but meant that I had to learn about hair and make-up, which I'd successfully avoided until then. I discovered that a blow-dry is not simply a means of drying hair, but the hairdresser spent hours using this method to get some life into my hair. In the Green Room at Shepherds Bush studios, I observed a BBC hairdresser get the same effect more quickly using a “hot brush” - a method I could manage myself. Since then, I have discovered that avoiding shampoo has much the same result.
  7. I was married by twenty and divorced by thirty. I learnt that eternal love is not something you can promise someone. When Ian and I got married, we chose our wedding vows carefully, promising trust, respect and friendship for “as long as love shall last.”
  8. My mother died when I was thirteen. I'll never know what my relationship with her would have been like as an adult, but knowing what her relationship was like with her mother, perhaps that's just as well. I get to remember her as a wonderful person and choose to ignore her faults and weaknesses.
  9. I love folk dancing. One of the best things about living in Cambridgeshire was joining The Round, a folk dance club. As the excitement of our new life is wearing off, I'm starting to miss that. I hope I'll find a group to join in this part of the world.
  10. Another good thing about living in Cambridgeshire was that I got to fulfil a childhood dream of ice-skating outdoors.


  1. That was touching to read, I remember your mum and liked her for being individual and not a follower, a no nonsence person and as I prefer people to do thier own thing in life, I consider that to be one of her strengths that I also see in you. Amandas a bit like that too...but I guess some people have no idea what they want anyway.

  2. I love the fact that you included a trivial and amusing insight into how to use a hot brush into this beautifully personal piece. Well done, gold star

  3. Nice post. I get annoyed when people use the word "deplane". If you can call that a word

  4. Thanks for your words about my mum, Sandra. It's always nice to hear other people's memories of her, especially when they're good memories!

    Amanda, thanks :-)

    J.N., I haven't heard 'deplane' and have no idea what it means. I think I'll keep it that way ;-)

  5. Oops, sorry if I enraged you with the use of the word "random" ;) I see exactly what you mean so will try harder to avoid it in the future :)

    Your ten things are very interesting - I love the wedding vows you picked and that skating spot looks beautiful :)

    By the way, I nominated your blog because I love the range of topics you cover on it and how creative you are, both in initial ideas for making things and for substituting ingredients etc. This is one of my very favourite blogs to read :)

  6. So, you're uber smart, crafty, talented, resilient, self-sufficient and can ice skate?

    I'm jealous. But thanks for sharing! And please always pardon my misuse of words.

  7. You are too kind, both of you :-)

    I always forgive misuse of words (it's only a few that bug me), and most of the time I resist correcting them. The exception is when I'm teaching. Then correcting misuse of technical terms is considered acceptable behaviour.

  8. I use random wrongly too. It's a bad habit I picked up at university (it's their fault). I'm very sorry ;-).

    And ha ha at the what kind of music do you like question. That actually means, are you cool enough for me to want to know you. I still have NO IDEA. Current song playing right now on Itunes is I've Never Been To Me, that means I'm not cool enough for anyone to want to know me, never mind ;-).

  9. Universities have a lot to answer for!

    I never was cool enough... and I'm not now. The difference is, I don't care any more. A great revelation struck me when I was about 17: All those people who didn't want to know me - I didn't like them either! These days I just avoid them, and I'm lucky enough to know people I do want to spend time with.

  10. Aw, we miss you too! Glad to see you're settling in well in Wales - loving to read all about it - and I hope you find some more dancing soon. You'll need it as a change from the gardening! :)


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