I’ve been inspired by fellow baby loss mamas Baby Boy Blue and Expecting the Unexpected to share things about myself that are outside of my grief about Hugo.
These lovely ladies’ posts have been very resonant with me, and I’ve been toying with writing my own ’10 facts’ post for the past couple of weeks. I often have a difficult time thinking about much besides Hugo. After yesterday’s melancholy moment I thought it would be a good opportunity to think about the rest of my life – and share it with you all, too.
So, here goes, in no particular order of importance.
1. My favourite food
Ooh, where to start? I like so many kinds of food – Japanese, Thai, and Indian are particular favourites.
I was a veggiesaurus for many years. I eat some meat now, mainly white meat but I can take it or leave it.
Make me a caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart, with a side of sweet potato chips and a proper salad (by ‘proper’ I mean lots of vegetables with taste and flavour, not a bit of limp iceberg with a quarter of a watery tomato) and I will love you forever.
I’m also particularly partial to chocolate, cake and ice cream.
2. My favourite book
I love reading, and there are so many books to choose from. My favourite authors include:
Haruki Murakami – what an imagination. I love how the protagonist always seems to go ‘meh’ when all sorts of weird stuff happens. I’ve pre-ordered his next book.
Iain Banks – incredible books, such a diverse range of stories, what a storyteller.
Walter Moers – laugh-out-loud silliness. He defies the stereotype of Germans having no sense of humour.
William Gibson – I love his early cyberpunk work. His most recent books have been disappointing, though.
Hans Fallada – he was writing before and during the Second World War. His contemporary accounts of life during the Weimar Republic, hyperinflation and the struggles of ordinary Germans offer a fascinating insight in to how the Nazis were able to come to power. Alone in Berlin also describes ordinary Germans’ resistance to the dictatorship and relentless persecution.
My Kindle features in the photo – I love books and never thought I’d get on with a Kindle, as I described in this old post. Yes, I’ve donated old books to the local charity shop. I love my Kindle, because it means I can read anywhere without doing my back in carting around heavy books.
3. My favourite film
Again, so many to choose from. I can never resist watching Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, no matter how many times I have watched it. Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI too. The first three are rubbish. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new films will be like.
I also like LA Confidential, The Lives of Others, Goodbye Lenin and Proof (a small Australian film about a blind photographer, featuring a young Russell Crowe – and Hugo Weaving, before he became an elf. I guess that name had been in my subconscious for a long time).
4. Favourite TV programme
Martin and I like bingeing on box sets. There’s no way you can wait a whole week for the next episode when so many end on huge cliff hangers!
Our favourites have included The Wire, Breaking Bad and The Returned. We’re currently on series three of Parks and Recreation. Very light-hearted, funny, and clever too.
I’m also on series three of Game of Thrones. I devoured the books last summer – they’re not the best-written, but George R.R. Martin is an incredible story teller. The technique of using a different character’s point-of-view in each chapter kept me turning those pages.
Series two confused me a bit because a few of the storylines were changed – understandably so, otherwise each episode would be five hours long because of the complexities of the storylines. I do enjoy the TV series for its own sake, and it is very well cast.
4. Where have I travelled to?
Twelve years ago, Martin and I went backpacking for two years. We started with a month in Sri Lanka, followed by Singapore, Tioman Island (a little jungle island off the coast of Malaysia) and Indonesia.
We had working holiday visas for Australia and New Zealand – we spent a year in Oz and nine months in beautiful Aotearoa. I had a range of temp jobs and I worked in the Sydney Opera House, which was an incredible experience. On the way back from NZ, we had a few days in Hong Kong.
Other travels have included San Francisco and a greyhound bus trip up to Seattle; Paris, Brussels, Berlin, the French Alps, Barcelona, Malta, Majorca and Copenhagen. We like doing city breaks around Europe.
5. Any bad habits?
Hmm. I’m very untidy. I also pick my cuticles – it’s a bit of an unconscious thing.
Martin would probably say shopping. I have a penchant for pretty dresses, shoes and handbags.
I’m also a terrible grammar pedant. It’s entirely possible that I’ve corrected misspelt signs and misplaced apostrophes – I’m not telling.
I just want to shout: “Apostrophes should only ever be used to demonstrate possession or an abbreviation (such as you are – you’re). They should never be used in plurals!” and “Please learn the difference between your and you’re, as well as there, their and they’re.”
It would save me getting even more grey hair. Thank you.
6. What’s my idea of a perfect night in?
With Martin, a takeaway, a bottle of Rioja, some chocolate and a good film.
7. A strange fact about me
I have dyscalculia. At school, I was told I was stupid and clearly wasn’t working hard enough at maths – even though I got top grades in subjects like English and history.
Put simply, dyscalculia is to numbers what dyslexia is to words. Even basic mathematical methods mean little to me; I regularly transpose digits, while games involving strategy go over my head.
This archived post explains more about it.
My difficulties with numbers may go some way to explaining how anal I am about good spelling and grammar.
8. Favourite colour
My overall favourite colour is purple. I love bright colours in general though. See the photo of the dresses in my wardrobe.
9. My hobbies
Reading, watching films, drinking wine with friends, writing my blog, going for long walks, shopping for pretty dresses. Talking about Hugo!
10. What am I passionate about?
Good books, good films, good wine, good chocolate. My friends and family.
My blog. Raising awareness about things that are important to me.
Hugo, and his legacy.