Friday, 9 September 2005

five questions

Cheryl asked me some questions. I quite like these 'interview other bloggers' things, as if you get the questions right, they give readers quite a bit of insight in to both questioner and answerer ... here are her questions and my answers:

1. Please list at least the three most embarrassing times you got caught, during your school years; one to involve a boy:

1. At the age of about seven, by my mother, while I was making my little sister stand against the door in the sitting room so that I could shoot arrows around her, like they did on the TV. They had rubber suckers on the end, I don't know what all the fuss was about.

2. In the Sixth Form Studies, at 9.30 pm, necking, sans blouse, with Peter The Transvestite*, by the Headmaster. He didn't believe that I was waiting for my sister to finish Orchestra Practice. Incidentally she'd got locked in one of the boarding houses. One of the boy's ones. It was an odd evening.

3. In my bedroom, with Peter the Transvestite. I am nineteen (I was a late starter). My parents are downstairs, watching the Six-O'Clock news. My bedstead squeaks, really, really loudly. So we are on the floor. I am getting quite bad carpet burns. The wardrobe door is creaking and banging, really rhythmically.

I hear my quite elderly father say to my mother:

"What are they doing up there? Moving the furniture?".
I hear my mother say:
"Well, Ally did say that she was thinking of re-arranging things. Perhaps Peter is helping her, he's a nice boy".
I love my mother.


2. What is the single most mindboggling liberty your ex-pigfriend took. You know, the memory that creeps up on you every once in a blue moon and leaves you stiff with outrage or disbelief, at him, or at yourself for falling for it? We've all got one (or two, or three.....):

Too many to even begin to articulate without foaming. But probably the most coherent was the Sandwich Feud.

I said:

"Of course I'll support you if you decide you want to lose weight. What about making sandwiches to take to work instead of stopping at Asda on the way to work and buying three rounds of sandwiches and two bars of chocolate? What about having a sensible breakfast at home and making a nice, healthy sandwich for lunch? I'll help you!".
And then I'd come home from my split shift at 10.30pm (on the bus, because he didn't want to come out again in the car (my car) to pick me up from the dodgy end of the docks in Newport after he got home from work) and he'd tell me I was being unsupportive because I said I was a bit too tired to start making his sandwiches immediately and perhaps he could have a go at doing it himself?

Or how about the time that he told me that he thought that I wasn't making enough effort to get on with his mother and perhaps I could phone her once a week for a chat? Although he didn't call her regularly himself and she used to write me letters telling me how I was ruining his life and asking me to post back any birthday presents she'd given me. In between phoning him repeatedly at work and telling him that he should leave me.

Or what about one May, when he sat me down and told me that around the Easter, he'd decided to give our relationship until the end of June and then decide whether or not he still loved me. And he hadn't decided yet. But he just wanted me to know.

I could go on. But I won't, I don't want to waste the material :).


3. Imagine your life going really well - everything gradually falling in to place from here on in. Now imagine yourself at 80 having lived the 'it all worked out' life. What one piece of advice would the 80 year old you give to you right now? If you have no idea, then who would she be?

"Don't sweat it babe, it'll all be okay. And remember to make hay while the sun shines."
(Have you read "The Time Traveller's Wife"? I recommend it.)


4. Describe one recurring dream you have ever had, now or in childhood.


In childhood.

I am running along a railway track on a grassy plain. The grass itself is short but it has seed-heads on longer stalks, as big as bumble-bees. The wind ripples across it and moves it like water. There is nothing but the grass and the tracks as far as I can see. I need to follow the tracks to get to safety, as the T-Rex is chasing me. As I run along the tracks, I can see silvery dots high up in the blue sky far away and I know that the aliens are around and that something really, really bad is going to happen.

Eventually I get to the porta-cabin that is my infant-school classroom and I know I have to hide. I huddle behind the five-foot high red calor-gas canisters (they seem enormous) that are in a wire cage on the side of the building. I make myself as small as possible, scrunching up and up and up, tucking my head down as far as I can, screwing my eyes shut - because there is danger, danger, danger. I am frozen with terror - I can feel it in my limbs, in my breathing, in the weight in my chest.

And then the aliens come down in their flying saucer and start taking people away.

I have no idea what this means, but I had it regularly between the ages of five and ten and I used to wake up absolutely petrified every time, too frightened to move or to scream.


5. Which fairy story character did you most want to be?

Difficult. I don't think I did - there always seemed to be a catch. And 'happily ever after' seemed so tame. I always wanted to know what happened after the end of the story.


Passing it on:

Quoting Cheryl, who thought she'd set me up, but who I forgive anyway: "If anyone wants me to think up five questions about them then all you have to do is leave a comment here, saying either 'set me up' or 'be gentle', and I will do my best to comply with whichever version you choose."


* I didn't know he was, then. Largely because neither did he.

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