36

Today I turn 36! THIRTY SIX! HOLY CRAP!

So, to mark the occasion, here are 36 things about me you may or may not know about me:

  1. 36 years ago I was born to a girl two weeks shy of her 15th birthday and a boy who was 16. She was on her own when she delivered me. When her parents picked her up three days later they went immediately on to their annual family holiday, where she lay stomach down on the beach because her boobs kept leaking. Her parents had been advised the best thing for her was to never ever mention it again. They didn’t until the day I turned 21. I found her (and him) 14 years ago. She was the first person to call me this morning and wish me happy birthday.
  2. When I was younger I would make up dramatic stories about her – that she was a prostitute or a drug addict – it never actually occurred to me she was just a normal suburban teenager mucking around with her first boyfriend.
  3. At my second birthday my cousin licked all the icing off my cake. Apparently I cried and cried and years later I overheard my mum and her mum saying it seemed like I’d forgiven her. I have no recollection of this whatsoever.
  4. My favourite toys as a child were my very funky dolls house (it wasn’t twee at all and I’m investigating ways of getting one built as I can’t find anything remotely similar anywhere), my Kenner Family Treehouse and my Fashion Plates.
  5. One Saturday morning when I was six I got up from watching cartoons with my brother to go and play outside. He asked where I was going and I told him, ‘I’m too old for cartoons’.
  6. The signature items at my childhood birthday parties were baskets of cherries. They are still one of my most favourite fruits.
  7. My boobs seemed to suddenly appear in Year 5. They literally got in the way when I was trying to write something in class and I was all, ‘what the hell are these?’ I was in hideous beige bra that weekend. I was 10 1/2.
  8. Even though Mum had given me (and my next door neighbour) ‘the talk’ about puberty, the first two times I got my period coincided with our once-a-month treat to go to McDonalds (does anyone else remember how you used to get a calendar and each month had a tear off voucher for something?) so I was fairly convinced that McDonalds was making me bleed.
  9. I used to own this bottle of perfume that was in a bottle shaped like Cinderella. She had a wand that glowed in the dark. I loved that little wand and had it long after I ditched the bottle of perfume.
  10. My Nan used to have a big jar of lollies on top of the fridge and a packet of Mint Slices in the fridge. Always.
  11. When I was about five and we moved house I developed an intense fear of the dark. Mum and Dad got me a Womble nightlight. I adored that nightlight for years and wish they’d never got rid of it, whenever they did.
  12. I used to have elocution lessons because I had a lisp. This involved yearly exams where I’d have to recite poetry infront of a panel of very intimidating judges. I still can’t believe that I did it. When I had to get braces the orthodontist said that such was my overbite he was amazed I didn’t have a lisp. Mum was all, ‘it’s the years of elocution lessons’. Which it was.
  13. I always wanted to be a writer.
  14. If I had to have chosen a different career I would have been a chef but coming from a rather exclusive private girls school, to go on to TAFE (as opposed to uni) and do a trade was rather frowned upon.
  15. I also would have loved to have studied geology and archeology.
  16. For a long time I thought being a journalist was being a writer. But I’ve never got over my anxiety of interviewing people. Ever.
  17. I still want to write for National Geographic.
  18. In the last month I have written an outline for a book. This is the furthest I have ever gone to being a writer outside of my Masters, which I still haven’t finished.
  19. There are a lot of things I haven’t done because I didn’t think I’d be good enough.
  20. For quite some time I thought having money, or making lots of it, would make me happy. Now we are the poorest we’ve been in quite some time and I am my happiest. Go figure.
  21. I am at my most happiest when baking things for others to enjoy.
  22. My children make me laugh every single day.
  23. They can also drive me insane every single day.
  24. I still can’t take the first packet/tin/magazine from the shelf/pile at the supermarket/newsagent.
  25. I wish I had more benchspace in my kitchen but know that if I did it would still be just as crowded.
  26. My favourite colour when I was young was dark blue. Now it is green. I adore green. Anything green. So long as it’s not that yellowy olivey green.
  27. I miss going out to fancy dinners on birthdays and anniversaries. A lot.
  28. I used to hate the beach and now I love it. Sand still gives me the shits but I am a lot less panicked by it than I used to be.
  29. My best friend lives too far away. I wish she lived closer so we could just hang out together.
  30. I have lost some friends along the way and I think of them, one inparticular, every single day.
  31. I used to think I was so mature for my age. Now I realise just how young and naive and impatient I was.
  32. I used to be so driven, with yearly, five-yearly and decade plans for my life.
  33. Nothing makes me happier than having friends over, feeding them and just hanging out.
  34. I hate pubs and have only been into a nightclub about three times in my life. Give me dinner at a restaurant or at home with family and friends any time.
  35. In the last few weeks my natural father and I have been in very regular contact thanks to Facebook. This makes me very happy.
  36. It has taken some time, but I now know (and feel truly blessed for it) that being a mum is the best job in the world.

    And one extra for the year ahead

  37. Chef and I have weathered quite a few rough patches over the 17+ years we’ve been together. Where our relationship is today is something I am intensely proud of. We have worked hard at it and in some ways I think we’re more in love today than we were as those virile 17/18 year olds we once were.