I have felt very honoured and humbled this week to have had my blog considered worth nominating for a second blogging award by two of my new friends. The life of a stay-at-home-mum can be very lonely at times, especially when living in a foreign country (however welcoming its natives may be), and I have had a great deal of pleasure, these last few weeks, in forging new friendships with other bloggers. When I started writing my only aims were to create a space where I could try to remember my pre-baby identity and to talk about something other than trains. A typical conversation with my son (who loves Thomas the Tank Engine) goes as follows:
Son: “Ga choo choo ee ka cranky.”
Me: “That’s right. The red choo choo crashed and had to be rescued by cranky” [a crane].
Son: “Ga choo choo ee ka cranky.”
Me (chuckling): ” He did need rescuing, didn’t he?! Look, what’s that over there?”
Son (louder): “Ga choo choo ee ka cranky.”
It has felt wonderful to know that I have acquired a minute band of readers and I find daily entertainment in reading the fascinating blogs of others. Since I have still not been able to make contact with certain bloggers from my previous round of nominations (whom I would only select anew in any case, along with all of my former nominees) and I do not have sufficient popularity in the blogging world to list fifteen bloggers who would necessarily remember who I am, I feel that I must, reluctantly, decline the award on this occasion.
I still have every intention of taking part in a private capacity, and have spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to think of seven interesting things to reveal about myself. I do not live in a tropical, eco-friendly paradise, like the intriguing and adventure-seeking Becca of From My Lofty Hill, neither can I write witty poetry or do a cart-wheel like Confessions of an Irish Procrastinator (whose main confession ought surely to be the shameless lack of procrastinating to be found over at her busy and highly entertaining site).
Here, after much agonising, are seven (hopefully interesting) things about me, and if any of my would-be nominees fancy playing along too I would be fascinated to read the responses:
- I am half Czech (or more accurately quarter Czech and quarter Slovak – my grandfather was born in the Slovakian region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and my grandmother, five years later, in the Czech side of the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia – Granny is Bohemian). My Czech is very poor indeed – I was attempting to wrestle with it when I moved to France and realised that remembering my French was probably more useful for the time being. I know enough to have been able to teach my husband how to order a large beer, whilst we were in Prague.
- I cannot bear to be late. It makes me very anxious and bad-tempered. My vicar told me that I hold the record for being his earliest ever bride, when I arrived at church a full seven minutes early. I consider it one of my greatest achievements.
- Before my little chou was born I worked as an unqualifed teacher in an American nursery school in Switzerland (ill-health preventing me from completing my PGCE – the British teacher training course – a few years earlier). I spent my time there singing, dancing and crafting, sadly all things that my son dislikes – he screams when I sing as he thinks it means that he is about to be put to bed.
- Despite being only five feet tall I appear to have extraordinarily springy legs and once managed to crack my head open on the corner of a cement ceiling (that even my six-feet-and-higher friends could not reach) just before I was due to appear onstage as part of my town’s production of ‘The Gang Show’*. There is now a ‘mind your head’ notice over the stairwell in question. (I ended up at casualty dressed as a tarty school girl on Hallowe’en…it was assumed that I had had a drunken brawl.)
- I once fell asleep on the back of my husband’s motorbike whilst we on the motorway (I had run away from my horrendous au pair family only the night before, so was understandably a little tired). My not-then-husband was unimpressed.
- I love Pride and Prejudice so much that I can recite most (if not all) of the dialogue in the 1995 television adaptation as it plays (I refuse to watch the film on principle). I am also the proud owner, since the mature age of ten, of a signed photo of Colin Firth and of a ‘Mrs. Darcy’ t-shirt (courtesy of http://www.pemberley.com). I realise that I am a lost cause and I am proud of it. (On a side note, I was actually named after a character in one of Austen’s novels.)
- I love old black and white films, anything starring Carey Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman or Grace Kelly and newly technicoloured musicals (specifically Singin’ in the Rain and High Society).
*A variety show performed by members of the Scouting Movement.