ljaus tagged me, ooh, a very embarrassing TWO WEEKS (blush blush) ago, to tell you all seven random or not-so-random things about myself. Umm. Sorry.
Worse than that, I have gone completely mad (can you tell I was trapped in a very very boring meeting on Friday morning?) and am giving you Six Sevens, for no particular reason at all, but I have gone from migraine-stricken fried egg to cough-afflicted enfeeblement, so it seemed funny to me.
Seven messages to those who do so annoy me.
- If I can hear your personal stereo/ iPod/ Whateverthehellyoucallit across a crowded train, it’s too loud. Turn it down before I start leaving the house armed with wire-cutters.
- Young man, when you wear your trousers like that, I can see not only the outline of your entire butt-cheeks-and-crack through your under-pants, but also a slight stain. I hope it is sweat. Please let it be sweat. Please pull your trousers up.
- Dear quite a few people, I’m glad you can afford to apply perfume and after-shave by the half-pint. Lucky you. Perhaps you can also afford to replace my corneas when your designer version of mustard-gas has finished burning them away.
- Dear students, being polite to the librarian means the difference between the helpful answer and the subtly misleading and time-wasting answer. Yes, I know that’s unethical. But so is guffawing away on your mobile phone to someone called ‘Tone’ when I am trying to discuss renewals with you. I am misguidedly trying to do you a favour; and now, oops, I am not. Have a nice day.
- I am benignly tolerant on the subject of poor spelling. Spelling, in English, is counterintuitive and fiddly. The grammar and punctuation, however, is not. If you want me to read your blog, and you are a native English speaker, write in English. kthxbai.
- On a bus, on a train, on a tube, if you are under fifty, and not pregnant or injured or unwell, GIVE YOUR FUCKING SEAT UP TO SOMEONE WHO IS, ALREADY. OK? OK. We’ll say no more about it. Arsehole.
- Dear colleagues, please don’t hate me, but I really do not care, even a tiny bit, about a) football, b) soap operas, c) Big Brother, d) Strictly Come Dancing, e) the sex lives of minor celebrities or f) the pregnancies and babies of your distant relatives who I shall never meet and never care to meet.
Alrighty then, that’s off my ample chest, so here are Seven Lovely Things:
- Trees in flower. There’s an avenue of cherry trees in my local park. Bliss in April.
- A large G&T, made with Bombay Sapphire Gin and Fever Tree Tonic Water, and lime (the lime is important), on a friday evening.
- The nuzzly bits just above H’s collar-bones.
- LOLcats. Sorry.
- Hand-knitted socks, made to measure. Oh, the fabulosity, the smugness.
- Tea. Russian Caravan tea. Leaf (because I am snitty like that). In my favourite mug. Mmmm. Tea.
- Internetty friends. I have met some exceedingly lovely people via the internets. I’ve even met a few of them in actual person (hello!), and contrary to accepted wisdom, I have yet to be disillusioned or disappointed. So there, Mum.
- Pretty yarn. It doesn’t even have to be very pretty. Slightly pretty will do. And then I will buy it.
- Lattes. From the organic coffee stall near work. They are NOT cheap. But they are spiffing, and the stall-holder is so sweet.
- Books. I am a member of six libraries, a few of them world-famous, but I still buy books. Heigh ho.
- Millionaire’s short-bread. Can not resist. Must try to escape caramelly force-field. Must run from pastry display. Help.
- Star Trek, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Red Dwarf, that sort of thing. I once tried to call a cat Uhura. Yes, I know, but I also collected stamps, had acne, braces and glasses, and was five foot six by the age of eleven. I had no choice.
- Theatre trips. Bloody Jacobean tragedies a specialty.
- Nice things to put in the bath. I’d include husbands in this category, but H never could see the appeal of sitting a soup of bath-oil and your own grot. *sigh*
Seven things that scare me and clearly no one else at all:
- Slugs. Inexplicable. But there it is.
- Long fingernails. I apologise to any Gentle Readers who are justly proud of their lovely long elegantly lacquered finger-tip scalpels of unhygenic lacerating doom, but there it is.
- Heights AND enclosed spaces. You want both at once? Go potholing. Watch me scream.
- Crowds. In enclosed spaces. I’m a riot during rush-hour on the underground.
- Teeth. Marathon Man teethy things. H once smacked his mouth on an iron bar (umm, yes, but really, that is what happened) and came to show me his broken front tooth and do you know, I inexplicably never thanked him for that.
- I can do innards. I grew up on a farm, I can do disgustingly and exceedingly dead things. I can’t do pain and even small cuts on living things. Have been known to faint when faced with someone else’s sliced fingers.
- And now, miscarriages. Obviously. Because, according to one work colleague, they’re just like a bad period, when they’re that early. Aren’t they?
Seven things I am very bad at:
- Vinaigrette. Just don’t ask me. Don’t. You do want to eat the salad, don’t you?
- Cake-baking. Anyone fancy a sweetened discus, I am your woman. My mother, the Queen of the Carrot Cake, thinks I am a changeling.
- Mental arithmetic. Seriously. I can do long division with a pencil and the back of a receipt. I can do algebra. Really. But I cannot quickly multiply 7 by 19.
- Being tidy. No can do. Living room floor has disappeared under drift of weekend newspapers, knitting yarn, library books and mugs with one-half-inches of cold tea in.
- Putting make-up on. I can do you a small quantity of eye-liner and a tinted lip-gloss. Anything more complicated and I look like Danny LaRue.
- H says I am bad at suffering fools. At all. Stuff gladly.
- Going to bed at a reasonable time, and then, having got there, going to sleep. Apparantly I was like this as a very small child. Sorry, Mum.
Seven things I am very good at:
- Cooking. The vinaigrette and the cake-tastrophes are aberrations. I am a good cook. I even vaguely like it.
- Knitting. Though possibly I could improve my ‘finishing knitting’ skills a little. Seventeen projects currently on the needles, people! I think I’ll try for a record next year.
- Reading. I can read over 1000 words a minute, and, what’s more, remember them. This very much surprised an educational psychologist, when I was eleven, as he was gently examining me for mild retardation at the time. Hah hah.
- Editing. I was a professional proof-reader and sub-editor for a while, before I was done out of an (actually slightly tedious and not very lucrative) career by the horrible rise of spell-checkers and that foul paper-clip, patronising little bent metal horror that it is. If you want a CV beaten into shape, I am your woman.
- Writing poetry. No, really. Stop laughing at the back there.
- I am a walking encyclopaedia. I know the most astonishing amount of trivia, historical tittle-tattle, stray facts, abstruse spellings and mythological fluff and scratchings. And if I don’t know, I know how to find out. Born librarian.
- H says I am good at arguing. When I got over my pouty face, I examined him further on the matter, and realised he actually meant it as a compliment. For I have the rhetorical talents of a young Cicero, and the more cross I am the more eloquent and elaborate my arguments get. Poor H. I’m not only always right, but devastatingly, wittily, complicatedly so. If I were married to me, I’d run away with a Trappist monk. Luckily, I save most of my eloquence for the news on Radio 4 of a morning. That’s how H knows I am awake and need my tea.
I must tag seven people now. I might do that bit tomorrow. It’s midnight, and why on earth am I not in bed?