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Monday, 6 June 2005

An Interview With A Grump

A thank you to Birdy for providing the interview questions for today's blog post.

What one piece of advice would you give someone who was about to embark on the kind of job that you do?
Either bring valium, dope, or a multi-pack of humour, patience, determination and open-mindedness.

What is your theme song? By which I mean what song do you hum in your head in order to have the confidence to do things?
I don't have a theme song. Songs in my head come and go. But currently I'm humming Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika which is the South African national anthem, because it is so beautiful and so African. I also like to sing Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by The Smiths because I think it is one of the funniest songs ever written and it always makes me giggle. In particular the words 'In my life /Why do I smile /At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye ?'

If you could only eat one kind of chocolate ever again, what would it be?
Fair Trade milk chocolate. I like my chocolate simple.

What do you like best about blogging?
I like blogging because it keeps me sane. I am very far away from friends and family and no means of talking to them except by email, which is not as good as a proper conversation. There is no-one here apart from The Husband with whom I have anything in common, and who I can properly chat to, which is very hard. My blog could be subtitled 'Conversations with Myself'. I talk to the blog because I can't talk to anyone else. Hmm that makes me sound nuts. I'm sure I'm not. Much.

What's your next ambition? Is what you're doing what you wanted to do when you grew up? Or do you have more in mind?
When I was about eight years old we had to write an essay in school entitled 'What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.' Mine wasn't so much an essay as a short list. I had three things in mind - A Tennis Player, A Ballerina, An Author (yes I did use the word Author, very pompous).

The Tennis Player ambition went out the window for two reasons. One, I was adamant that I would never curtesy to any member of the royal family at Wimbledon (I believed in equality from a very young age), and two, I have absolutely no hand-eye coordination when it comes to ball games. Unless they're very big balls. Like football. Or basketball. But not little ones, such as tennis, golf, squash etc.

The Ballerina ambition fell by the wayside in a very dramatic manner. I was about ten years old, and I arrived for the lesson in the dusty musty local village hall one cold winter's evening. I took a look around and decided that it was not to be the life for me, because my parents were very poor and there was no way they could possibly afford to send me away to ballet school in Russia, which was obviously where I was headed. So I had to sacrifice myself for the greater good. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I was far too tall, too big, and quite frankly not good enough to ever grace a stage. In writing this I am now having a horrible flashback to a performance that my classmates and I gave at the same village hall one Christmas, prior to my abandoning ballet as a career possibility. We had learned an ever so pretty flower fairy dance specially for the occasion. The curtains drew back on us poised to begin, and the entire audience burst out laughing because we were brandishing watering cans. Mine was bright orange, courtesy of the hardware store where my Dad works. That watering can is still hanging in my parents' garage.

But I digress. I'm still working on the Author ambition. In fact ambitions now are an endless list, but off the top of my head - I want to finish the various books I'm writing and get them published. The Husband and I want to open our own business. I also want to travel heaps more.

Why am I here now? I have always wanted to go to Africa, I don't know why. I may have been influenced by the fact that my aunt lived and worked here when she was younger, and her house in Ireland was full of funny carvings and drums and suchlike. I have travelled to most countries in Southern Africa and still think that Namibia is the most stunning. I lived there for two years and would happily go back.

I think I will now retire for the week because I am in An Official Grump. The only food left in the house is brown rice and dogfood for the (recently deceased) dog, I have far too much work to do, the office is freezing cold and full of rats, my kitten has ringworm, I have an annoying tic in my eye and there is no chocolate. The tic and the freezing cold mean that I can't see or type properly so pleeze forgiv spellin errirs.