Tuesday, May 18, 2010

41 Things About Me

Hi there! Just for fun, I'm going to write down 41 things you may not already know about me. I got this idea from Naomi of Hollywood
who is a very artistic, funny lady and well worth a visit...

1. I was born in Sydney, Australia

2. I am the eldest of three daughters

3. My father was married previously, before he married my mother. (My father's 1st wife was a very strong character who became a feminist environmental philosopher. Until her death in 2008, she was an ardent greeny who lived for her causes and played the accordion. Does she remind you of anyone?)

4. I was his 3rd child, but my mother's 1st.

5. I once heard my father say to my ex-husband, "They are only interested in you until they have children. After that, it's all over. You're irrelevant."

6. I grew up in a home that had 2 dogs, 5 cats, hens, and ducks. You had to watch where you stepped in the yard.

7. My happiest memories are of growing things in the garden and then eating them. Green beans, sweet corn, peas, carrots, mulberries, mint, basil, parsley. Yum!

8. The only thing I don't like about my current house is that the soil is too poor to grow crops. I could improve it, but the beautiful gum trees create too much shade.

9. When I was a kid I went to the public primary school (Kinder to Grade 6). Then I went to a private girls-only high school, which was no fun at all.

10. Learning a musical instrument was not optional in my family.

11. Being able to sing in tune and create harmonies was also compulsory. We used to sing for entertainment while washing the dishes and on long car trips.

12. In our front yard we had a jacaranda tree. They have mauve, bell-shaped flowers. I used to spend a lot of time climbing that tree.

13. Both my parents went to university. Each of them was the first person from their family to attend university. My Dad was a scientist. My Mom studied anthropology.

14. My folks had a lot of books in the house. By the time I was 12, I had read (or attempted to read) all of them. There was only 1 book I was forbidden to read: Henry Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn". But I read that too.

15. I went to a High School that was far too "upper class" and snobby for my family. I suffered from huge amounts of anxiety while I was there. Compared to the other kids, I was clumsy, poor, socially-awkward, poorly-dressed, & badly organized. (My strengths were: bright, creative, & occasionally funny).

16. When I was in Grade 10 I went through a gloomy phase and became very alienated. My former friends called me, "The Omen."

15. When I graduated from High School, the only thing I really wanted to do was leave home. (I had good marks.)

16. I left home aged 17. I did not know how to use a washing machine. I tried to use dish detergent to wash my clothes. I did not have any clue how to get a job, or how to save money for bills. I worked washing dishes in a cafe.

17. When I was 21 I enrolled at University. I wanted to get a degree because I knew I wanted to have children, and I needed to be able to buy a house to raise them in. From my work experiences I knew that people with a degree had better jobs and better pay.

18. When I was 22, I met my 1st husband. I met him at a film festival. He talked a lot and seemed to know what he was doing. He was considerably older than me. I thought, "If I go out with him, I might learn something."

19. I graduated from University with 1st class honours. (Yes, I had learned some study skills by that time.) I continued on at University working on my PhD in Psychology. At this time I travelled everywhere by pushbike or train. I was very fit.

20. When I was 25, my husband and I bought an apartment in the city. I was very disappointed when he told me I would have to leave my piano behind (too noisy!), and also my tropical fish (too smelly!). I let him have his way because I couldn't bear his tantrums.

21. When I was 27, I gave birth to my son Harry. I decided not to have an epidural because my husband had a needle phobia and I didn't want him to freak out. I had an fairly easy delivery.

22. When I was 29, I gave birth to Jerome. It hurt a bit more than the first time, but nothing went wrong.

23. By the time I was 30, my husband's drinking and tantrums had become far too much for me to handle. I felt that I was unsafe, and so were the children. After many attempts to get him to change his ways, I finally decided to leave.

24. The boys and I lived with my folks for a year while I saved for our own place. My folks almost drove me bananas, but I am also extremely grateful to them for helping me out when I really needed it.

25. In 2000, we moved into our own home. We had virtually no furniture, and just a few toys in a cardboard box. (Ex-husband kept everything). Fortunately I managed to find a crib for Jerome by the side of the road. We were also given a pram, and some mattresses, and some crockery. I bought some sheets and clothes at Red Cross.

26. My Mom bought us a TV so we could watch the Olympics, which were on in Sydney that year. I remember watching Maurice Green running the men's 100m. Jerome managed to put together this sentence: "Man, Run, Fast!"

27. The same day that I left my husband, I booked myself in for therapy. My aim was to make sure I didn't go back to him. I continued having therapy for about 5 years. I not only did not go back, and I also sorted out a lot of underlying problems as well.

28. I have been to the Family Court about 56,000 times. At first, my folks helped to pay for a lawyer. After a while, I got pretty good at getting my own evidence and depositions together. So I did the leg-work, and my lawyer just stood up in Court and argued.

29. When I recovered from my divorce, I felt more confident in myself than I ever had before. I decided to try new things that I had never really done before. I travelled overseas, learned to ride a horse, and learned how to scuba dive.

30. My ex-husband kept all my recipe books. At first I was upset about that, but after I while I realized that I didn't need them any more. All the important points were stored in my memory! And with a bit of experience, you can make any recipe taste good.

31. In 2001 I decided to try and get fit again, like I used to be in my 20s. I started taking aerobics classes. Being reasonably clumsy and uncoordinated, I was very, very bad at it. But I tried to copy what the other girls were doing. Over time, I improved. I think I learned a lot about balance. After 5 years of classes, I was actually very good. If the teacher was ill, she used to ask me go up and lead the class.

32. I started writing when I was 7. I used to get bored in class because I finished my work too quickly. If I got bored, sometimes I would start crying. So the teacher got me started on writing poems. I could write quite long, rhyming poems. Also I drew illustrations in bright texta colours around my poems. I guess I have always been writing something ever since then, either diaries, or short stories (fiction). I have never had anything published. I'm not fussed about that. Maybe when I'm an old lady, I will have a serious go at it.

31. I still shop at Red Cross and K-Mart. Anything more fancy than that is too expensive for me. I love bargains!

32. In 2007 I met my husband Layne. How it happened was, I needed someone to teach Jerome the euphonium (mini-tuba) which he was playing in the school band. Somebody gave me Layne's number. When I first spoke to him, I thought, "Wow, what a nice, efficient, and very pleasant man." At first, Layne seemed a little shy of me. Fortunately, Jerome had the last lesson of the day, and so there was time to have a little chat afterwards. After 6 months, we had learned quite a bit about each other, including the fact that we grew up in the same area, 1 street apart. We just hadn't ever met because we went to different schools. One day, I was washing the dishes at home. It was almost time to pick Jerome up from his lesson. I suddenly thought, "I bet Layne likes me. I think I will ask him if he'd like to go for coffee with me." And so I did. He was so pleased, his whole face lit up in a huge smile.

33. Layne and I got married in a small registry office ceremony. We wore our favorite clothes, just ordinary clothes that we already owned. The boys were very excited. They got to have a day off school. After the wedding we walked down to Chinatown and had yum cha.

34. Layne is a high school teacher. He is a very popular teacher. He's very funny, but he also commands a lot of respect. He has high expectations of the kids. He leads by example (he can play all the brass instruments, also guitar, bass, drums, sax, clarinet and flute). We can't go anywhere around here without bumping into students of his. It's wonderful that so many kids have great memories of him; even the naughty kids.

35. Every night I spend time with my hubby at 9.30pm. The boys have to be in bed by then. I don't care if they are still awake. They have to be lying down doing something quiet. Our 9.30 time is often not what you'd call quality because we are exhausted! But its better than nothing. Usually we watch some kind of TV show about home renovations. Or a movie.

36. I cook almost every meal from scratch and we eat dinner as a family every night. Everyone says I am a great cook. My hubby and I are still losing weight, so we eat a lot of veges to bulk out our meal. My idea of a 'break' from cooking is to heat up a Weightwatchers meal in the microwave, and serve steamed veges on the side. We used to get pizza every Friday night, but since the weight loss thing, we don't do that any more. It's too sad, to only be allowed to have 1 or 2 slices of pizza!

37. I do a lot to help the boys with their homework. Layne and I give them guidance on how to solve problems with other kids. We praise them and hug them a lot, and cheer for them at football games. But we don't let them get away with anything. Maybe I do things for them that I wish somebody had done for me.

38. I don't do all the housework myself. I do all the grocery shopping and cooking. The boys do their own laundry. Everybody changes their own sheets and vacuums. I just write down each person's name on a white board with a list of jobs underneath. It works fine.

39. Sometimes I feel like I am on a treadmill and I can't get off. The school term rolls on quite relentlessly. There are permission notes to fill in, bills to pay, lunches to make, and the cat needs to go to the vet again. The weekend comes around, but then there is homework, football matches, and cadet parades. At dinner time I am cooking (again) and all I really need to know is, who's staying for dinner so I know how many plates to heat up. It's a scramble. But I don't think anyone with kids has a life any different to this.

40. If I could have anything I wanted right now, it would be a cruise holiday. The boys could come, but in a separate cabin.

41. I practice my trumpet for about 1 hour every day. I am working on improving my range. I can also play the piano (well) and saxophone (OK), but I dont practice either of them at the moment. I play trumpet in a band with other music teachers, so I can keep my skills up and stay ahead of my students (ha ha).


  1. well THAT was very interesting. i am quite impressed with you now! ha ha

    seriously, i am!

    smiles, bee

  2. Oh, family court! We will have to share stories - I was in ours [ours is called Juvenille & Domestic in the states] for, I think, 56,001 times [actually is was an average of 6 times a years over 7 years before the little jerk left me alone. But I so did the lawyer thing - kept hiring them and when I figured out that I could do a better job for free stopped hiring them - you know I only lost once in 42 court dates? And my ex actually went to jail three separate times? hee. I am sorry he he died so young, no one really deserves that[he died in 2007] but I can honestly say I do not miss the courthouse or the judges [a**holes] We will definitely have to chat about this...lol

    I enjoyed your 41 things - very interesting and I like how each one is detailed, not just a few words.

    Can we have 41 more? Please? :D


  3. I'm glad I inspired you to do these 41 very interesting things--in a way, it all is really one fascinating story! I hope you write more.
    And thanks for your visit and your very nice comment.

  4. I love this list! What a fun way to learn about you... your life sound so lovely, and so well-rounded. You should be proud of yourself for all you've accomplished :) Can't wait to hear more!

  5. what an interesting life you are having! The story of you and Layne is very touching.

  6. Wow! I like what you wrote! I started trying to write mine like you did but too much work!
    Thanks much Michaela!
    xoxo Michelle

  7. I love that you offered us all a "glimpse" of your life :)
    I am very happy you and Layne found each other!!! :)

  8. Wow, just wow. That was wonderful! Being on the treadmill, I totally get that.

  9. i am so glad your family life is rich and happy. I am sorry to hear you went thru such a rough number of years. But you are so strong. May all your future be bright. love,rona

  10. Regarding the all girls school, my daughter told me that if we sent to one, she'd probably be expelled within the week for punching someone. Thus, did we send her to the mixed Lutheran H.S.

    She graduated Friday at number two in her class, so I suppose we made the right decision.

    (Your father's remark about spouses post children seems a tad harsh. There's always a lawn that needs cutting or a plumbing problem to sort out to keep their interest, too. [Insert Smiley Emoticon Here.]


  11. #15? Me too, my friend. Me too.