I gather that there are various rules about being nominated for this award, the first of which is that I have to tell you seven things about myself.
- I'm ambidextrous. At one point in mid-1970's Britain there was a spate of gruesome news reports about people who'd lost limbs (and even a head, as I recall) by doing stupid things like waving out of car windows. Somehow this was conflated in my 9- or 10- year old mind with notions of improved efficiency through ergonomics: I read a fascinating text book from Bognor Regis Library about how to improve efficiency with the result that I decided to teach myself to do lots of things with my other hand and even my feet just in case... I was a strange child.
- I'm a petrol head. Fast cars and particularly motorbikes are something of a passion! My mother didn't really want me to learn to drive a car because at that point her world view still included the idea that gentlemen drove ladies. Somehow I don't think I was ever 'lady' material because as soon as I could afford it I got my motorbike licence and have been addicted to them ever since. Not those retro Harley jobs, mind... too much chrome to polish. I love proper lean-forward Japanese sports bikes. I like Ducatis and Triumphs too, but my legs are too short *sigh *
- Talking of motorbikes, I have an ENORMOUS head, geographically speaking. It's an English size 7 5/8 which translates to XXXL in most helmets. This means that I look like an alien in a motorbike helmet with my huge round head sitting on top of my narrow shoulders...
- I have the numeric equivalent of dyslexia with numbers. Disnomia? I'm not sure, but anyway I read numbers the wrong way round and in the wrong order. Always have, always will. It's probably partly what made mathematics such a nightmare at school. As an adult I have techniques that help but I still get things wrong, which is a real pain.
- I try and meditate with more or less success: when I need it most I'm usually too stressed out to find the time and space to do it, which is madness really since it helps so much. Hmm. Perhaps I need to reorganise some priorities there.
- I spent some years in the early 1990s working with people with AIDS, at a time when the general public thought they could catch HIV infection from being in the same room as an HIV positive person. It taught me a lot about human dignity and about dying well. Modern drugs have completely changed the landscape: when I was working as a 'buddy' for the Terence Higgins Trust in London the life expectancy from diagnosis to death was 18 months.
- I love tatting! It's more popular here in Australia than in the UK which is heartening because otherwise I think of it as a dying art. My grandmother taught my mother who taught me, and I fully intend to teach my daughter when she's older. She's expressed an interest but right now she has a plaster cast on her broken wrist so I think it will have to wait!
OK, so much for the seven things... now I have to think of other blogs to nominate, but I'm going to think and read in private and then come back to you in a separate post about that one.