55 trivial things about me – better late than never…

I think I can do this if I focus on trivia:

  1. I was born in Alice Springs. I’m not sure of the statistics but this is, I am confident, a relatively unusual place to be born.
  2. My birthday is the 16th of August and as a result I was mildly obsessed with numbers divisible by four as a child. My 8th, 16th and 32nd birthdays were all fairly significant to me. I don’t remember my fourth.
  3. I have almost no early childhood memories.
  4. My very earliest memory, I think, is of listening to the Little Golden Book record and book for Alice in Wonderland, hearing the song lyrics about Wonderland being “just behind the tree” and then walking around and around and around a big palm tree in our yard, waiting to fall into the rabbit hole.
  5. My next earliest memory, I think, is looking down at my legs while lying on my bed and my legs are covered in calamine lotion. My blood is mosquito nectar.
  6. The year I turned seven my parents travelled with my brother and I in a caravan around the eastern states of Australia.
  7. I still have my shell collection.
  8. I know A LOT about cowrie shells.
  9. To this day, I bring home more shells from the beach than my kids do…
  10. Crikey, is this only 10? Um. Trivial item number 10 – I prefer bulleted lists to numbered ones.
  11. The year I turned eight, my parents settled in a small country town populated by people with two left thumbs and one set of grandparents.
  12. It’s pretty enough as small towns go, but I still haven’t completely forgiven them.
  13. This is largely why I am raising three children in a small inner city house smack bang in the middle of the biggest city this nation has to offer.
  14. I hope my kids will forgive me for it.
  15. My first husband decided he was gay after seven years together.
  16. It is a source of great delight to me that I can now consider this a very trivial fact. It was not always thus.
  17. My second husband is almost 20 years older than me: linking these two items could, I know, be construed as me deciding to play it safe this time.
  18. There is nothing safe about marrying someone from another generation.
  19. Husband #2, The Prof, was nicknamed “The Prof” after he hosted a Chinese delegation who called him Professor because he was a senior education official.
  20. He has no academic tenure of any kind, but there’s still time.
  21. I still remember exactly how I looked, sat, spoke and felt the first time the Prof flirted with me.
  22. We were talking about touch football.
  23. He wanted me to play in the work comp at lunchtime, I said I thought it would be too rough, he said “I’d look after you”. You had to be there, but his voice in my head? still makes me shiver.
  24. While many of our friends call him the Prof, he’s really more of a Sherriff.
  25. What with him being the Sherriff and me being a School Captain, you Do Not Want To Be Our Neighbours.
  26. I really was a school captain.
  27. No really, I was. I didn’t run for it or anything, they just voted for me. It was the first, but not the last time I experienced retrospective ambition.
  28. One of the interesting things about my 30s has been understanding ambition. That, and shoes, I really get shoes now. If only my disposable income weren’t tied up in feet that are so much smaller than mine…
  29. My feet are one and a half sizes larger now than before I became pregnant with the Pea Princess.
  30. The same thing happened to my mother and aunt, rule of thumb for our genes = about half a size expansion for each child.
  31. I’m officially a Generation X. Baby Boomers frequently shit me to tears. See #18.
  32. I have abnormally long thighs and arms. Sadly, you won’t really notice the length of my thigh bones unless you are sitting in the seat in front of me in the bus, because I will be the person who is constantly and helplessly shoving you forwards.
  33. I can’t vouch for the thighs but the arms run in my family. It makes it very easy to show off by touching your toes.
  34. My children also have the Monkey Arms. This is really noticeable in winter when they grow out of jumpers and jackets cuff-first.
  35. I cannot sneeze more than twice in a row. This is an inherited trait. I must have got it from my dad because my mother was totally a serial sneezer.
  36. My elder daughter is also a serial sneezer; she gets this from her dad.
  37. The fact that there are two kinds of sneezers in the world (those who can sneeze three or many more times in a row, and those who cannot sneeze more than twice) is one of only three things I can remember from Year 10 Science.
  38. My eyes vary from blue to green, depending on what I am wearing. They’re getting greener as I get older.
  39. Only one of my three children has blue eyes. The other two are brown like their father. The fact that this forms a perfectly typical dominant/recessive genetic pattern is the second thing I remember from Year 10 Science.
  40. I have no patience for literary victims, real or fictional: I think Sylvia Plath is over-rated, Tess of the D’Urbervilles deserved everything she got and that Frodo is the least pleasant of all Tolkien’s hobbits. I also believe Anna Karenina could have saved us all a lot of trouble by just throwing herself under a train in Chapter 1.
  41. Sam Gamgee is my favourite hobbit, but Merry is a close second. This applies both to the books and films.
  42. I read The Hobbit when I was eight and The Lord of The Rings when I was 11. I spent much of my teens pretending to be interested in rugby.
  43. I once went to a Brownies party dressed as the Big Bad Banksia Man. I had never read May Gibbs. I’ll let you imagine how confusing that was to a nine year old.
  44. When I was seven I wrote to the Queen and asked what she ate for breakfast. Her secretary wrote back that the Queen loved to receive letters from Australia and sometimes ate boiled eggs.
  45. When I was 10 I shook hands with the Queen on her Silver Jubilee tour at Armidale airport. I forgot to ask her what she had for lunch.
  46. I was an exchange student to South Africa in 1986.
  47. The town I lived in there, Port Shepstone, was almost exactly on the same latitude as the town I had come from in Australia. Freaky, huh?
  48. I first watched the film Out of Africa in a cinema in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I can find a quote from that film to suit pretty much any situation life might throw my way. “Why is your freedom more important than mine?” is a good example.
  49. These days, I am just as likely to quote from that other great film for all occasions: Toy Story.
  50. Best Toy Story quote:”You are a sad, strange little man and you have my pity.” I use this one ALL the time.
  51. My wedding ring has the diamonds; my engagement ring is an engraved band that was my husband’s mother’s wedding ring. I wear them the normal way around.
  52. Despite spending an amazing amount of time choosing it, I didn’t eat any of our wedding cake: the Prof got up for a midnight (4am) snack and ate the piece our hostess had stored in the B & B fridge for me because I’d been too busy talking to eat
  53. No, I haven’t quite forgiven him.
  54. But I don’t much like cake, anyway.
  55. My first wedding was on a palindromic date (19/1/91) but only if you aren’t American.