Was that YOU singing?

What was the best compliment you’ve received?

Years ago, I was in my twenties, my friend and I were staying somewhere on a residential course. She was a musician and there was a piano in lounge of the house we were staying in. I asked if I could try singing something (it was before I had singing lessons).

I’d just finished singing ‘Over the Rainbow’ and a man came in. He looked at us both and said to my friend ‘you have a lovely voice’ . To which she replied that it was me that had been singing! Then the man said something like ‘was that YOU singing?’ I think he was surprised because I wasn’t pretty and I had big glasses and probably didn’t look like a singer (what do they look like?). He said ‘you were very good’ again and left! I take that as a big compliment even if it was a bit strange…

Bike before, Car now.

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, car, or bike?

When I was young I could cycle forty miles in three hours (including hills). We once did a hundred mile reliability trial in five and a half hours, we used a tandem. The one we rode on was two bikes welded together. One of the chain wheels was on back to front so a pedal unwound and fell off during the ride.

After I sustained an injury we got a car because my bike was damaged in the accident. It went in to be fixed and the shop lost it! I don’t  drive much or very far now. In fact I travel less than I did when we cycled. Most places we go to are only a few miles away unless we go on holiday. I drove less than a thousand miles last year, so I guess my carbon footprint must be low.

No, I don’t use the train. If you go anywhere from Stoke-on-Trent on the train it’s hard to find one that comes back late in the evening so you either can’t spend a long time away or you have to come back the next day. We are also bypassed by the West Coast main line I think…. Bad for a city! Bus? Yes sometimes, but it depends again if there is a bus back and the routes keep getting changed or cancelled. And planes? Are you kidding…. Too scared.

Confidence, what’s that?

How would you rate your confidence level?

Yes, OK, I do have reasonable confidence levels after years of lacking it. I think you do become more confident as you get older and more experienced. But (and there is always a sneaky but in there) it can easily be knocked because I sometimes over think things, and then worry and anxiety knock my confidence.

Why? At various times I’ve been bullied in my life, and that makes you question what you are doing. It’s hard to give a robust explanation if the person bullying you is your manager. Then the ability to think things through is an advantage, to realise that you haven’t got it wrong, but it can knock your confidence.

Another thing is the feeling of imposter syndrome. When you get a job and then wonder why you feel confused by how you actually got there? So many responsibilities, and I’m doing it? Having to think up reasons why someone can get permission to do one thing, or be denied another? Get it right and the feeling of elation can give your confidence a boost.

But writing? Looking back at this I’m confident I’ve used too many clichés! Oh to be young with all the massive confidence people have these days? No, I think expecting everything to be wonderful all the time is a mistake. We have to learn from them to grow more confident.

Not knowing

What makes you most anxious?

The world I’d bleak and I don’t know what to say or think. Words and thoughts churn round in my head. I feel anxiety about not getting something right, something I should have done months ago that could have massive consequences now or in the future.

Because I was focused on myself I didn’t see other people or a person who might have needed my help. It’s six months and the Earth has travelled half way around the Sun. That’s 186,000,000 miles. And now I’ve only just realised I should have been there for someone 186 Million miles ago! I feel idiotic, I feel great anxiety that I will not be forgiven. I feel I have lost a chance where I could have been of help…..

Even now, writing this, it seems a trivial response, too self serving, am I writing something that will help, or to just try and exonerate myself. Guilt and anxiety, mixed emotions and sadness…

Drawing and painting

Digital art

What activities do you lose yourself in?

I have always drawn and painted. Hours can disappear and I don’t notice them. I think that’s called ‘flow’, I’m immersed in it. Even now when my left arm shakes I can’t stop. I end up with shake lines or I have to put things on an easle to stop it. I now have golfers elbow in the same arm and gout and trigger finger in my right hand. But I keep being creative. I really think its my reason for living. When I stop drawing that will be the end of me. Even if I can’t hold a pen or paintbrush I can doodle on my phone and finger paint as in the digital drawing above.

A few years ago I was in hospital. I made my hubby bring me a sketchpad and pencils, I think that was proof I was getting better!

Has to be Star Trek

What movies or TV series have you watched more than 5 times?

I have watched Star Trek, the original series over fifty years. I keep coming back to it. I’ll leave it a few years and then watch then again. My favourite character is Spock, although I do like James Kirk too.

I also enjoy Star Trek Voyager and The Next Generation and try and catch them occasionally too. I guess I like the fairness and attempts at diplomacy in the series. I’ve enjoyed the films, especially ‘The voyage home’, there is a charming humour to them. Yes there are anachronisms and things that would be depicted differently now. I would like to see more recent series but as I can’t afford a streaming service, we’ll I don’t know anything about them. I would like to catch the Picard series if it ever comes on terrestrial TV.

Not really

Are you superstitious?

I have to say I usually walk under ladders, but I always say ‘hello Mr magpie how’s your wife’ if I see a lone magpie. I wonder why black cats are lucky in the UK and unlucky in the USA? I used to avoid cracks in pavements but not any more.

So no, I’m not superstitious. Thirteen is an interesting prime number to me, a bakers dozen, not something to fear. I’m not interested in Halloween really. I don’t bother with trick or treaters and sometimes even shout ‘boo!’ at them and say ‘here’s your trick!’ Does it matter?it depends on the person. I can’t disabuse you of your own beliefs so let’s agree to disagree if you are superstitious.


Which animal would you compare yourself to and why?

If I could I’d be a cat

Eight meals a day

But still not fat

Treats on demand

From my owners hand

A bed in each room

For me to groom

And fall asleep

Warm and comfortable

Under the table

Or on the windowledge

Watching nature

Then outside

To chase leaves

And hide.

Would you like Marmite on that?

What is one question you hate to be asked? Explain.

I hate marmite. I ate it once when I was a child and I never ate it again. Its a minor hate, it wouldn’t hurt me to eat it, but that’s  how I feel about it. So if you asked me if I’d like Marmite on something I would not thank you.

This is why I took so long to answer this prompt. I don’t think I have a real question that I would hate to be asked? I guess there will be something but I haven’t come across it yet. I must lead a sheltered life.

Thinking of a question I would hate to be asked made me realise how lucky I am not to be in a situation where I would need to answer it. I think I will leave this here as I’m starting to waffle!

Dear me at 100

Write a letter to your 100-year-old self.

Dear me

I never expected to get to 100, although I really wanted to. I enjoy being creative and learning new things. When I was young I always got bored, so I found things to do. The more I did that, the more I tried to do. Art, science, astronomy, pottery, reading. Lots of nonsensical things too.

I think using my mind is important, I hope I still have all my marbles when I reach 100. I once met a woman who was in her mid seventies and said she had no room in her brain to learn more! Why? It doesn’t make sense. Finding out new things renews me. It gives me the opportunity to understand more. I hope that me at 100 can still take in information and keep up to date with what is going on in the world.

I really wanted to see Halleys comet return. I hope future me saw it? Its on my bucket list. X