A Few Things About Me

Hi there! 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.

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." (!!) Dad was having one of his gloomy moments.

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.

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 compulsory. We used to sing for entertainment while washing the dishes and on long car trips. If you sang out of tune, you got laughed at.

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, and badly organized. (My strengths, although I did not recognize them at the time, were: bright, creative, resilient and funny).

16. When I was in Grade 10 I went through a gloomy phase and became quite 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, which I did ASAP.
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 could only cook one dish: spaghetti bolognese. I did not have any clue how to get a job, or how to save money for bills. I worked clearing tables in a club.

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. I continued on at University working on my PhD in Psychology.
20. If there is one thing I regret, it is that I spent too much time at University when I could have been doing something more practical. But regret plus $2.50 will get you a cheap cuppa coffee.

21. When I was 27, I gave birth to my son Harry.  It was a fairly easy delivery.

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

23. By the time I was 30, it became clear to me that my husband was a nightmare. His binge-drinking and tantrums had become far too much for me to handle. After many attempts to get him to change his ways, I 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. In 2003, I was seriously ill for 3 months. I was suffering from major depression. I was like a zombie.

27. When I was ill, I could not drive, shop, clean, cook, get dressed or take care of my kids. My folks helped out. Sometimes when I woke up I could not move. I would literally lie there, unable to move.

28. When I got better, I was profoundly grateful for the things in life we take for granted. I still am!
29. I have been to the Family Court a lot. (My ex is an a**.) Ironically, my divorce made me more confident in myself. I decided to try new things. I travelled overseas, learned to ride a horse, and went scuba diving.

30. When Harry was 8 and Jerome was 6, their father decided to stop seeing them. It was actually a great relief to them. They haven't seen him face to face for 6 years, although they speak to him on the phone occasionally.

31. While a lot of bad stuff was going on in my life, I decided to continue having piano lessons. I figured, if nothing else is going right, at least I will be in control of one thing that I enjoy. (Little did I know, I would one day make a good income as a piano teacher...)

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.

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

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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. Or a movie.

38. We eat dinner as a family every night. Everyone says I am a great cook. 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!

39. I help the boys with their homework. Layne and I give them guidance on how to be a responsible person. I am a very sweet and affectionate Mom. But I also have high expectations and I don't accept laziness. In that regard, I am tough. But I think that's good preparation for life.

40. I taught the boys to do their own laundry. This year (2011) they are learning to cook. They already vacuum, mop, clean toilets, do garbage, and blow the leaves off the deck.

41. 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.

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

43. 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).