I’m not even kidding – there is about to be a HUGE amount of information here, All About Me (isn’t it always?).
Don’t believe me? I’m about to respond to a Liebster award nomination (thanks Henrietta) and a tag for ’50 Things That Make Me Happy’ (courtesy of Louise), and I’m even tempted to jump into the ‘Mustache’ thing which everyone has been doing (and no-one has tagged me for (*gripe, grumble, FOMO*)) but we shall see how I feel by the time I get to the end of the things which are the first two things which I said I’d something to thing thing can’t remember the word.
Can you tell I’m in a vaguely silly mood? I’m also cold, and ridiculous, sat here huddled inside a gilet whilst shorts and t-shirt underneath allow the stress eczema (I won’t say it’s the fault of my current situation in life, but that’s what I’m gonna blame) on my legs, feet and inner elbows to not get too hot and begin itching. Over-share mood again, but yaknow what? You’ll deal with it. If we were sat here together I’d be grumbling about it, so I see absolutely no reason I can’t grumble at you over the internet.
Keep reading. I like you. And this way you get to see inside my brain. Lucky you.
SO! Onward to the questions Henrietta posed her
1:If you were going to write a book, what would it be about? – I already am. Kinda. I keep abandoning it and then coming back to it. It’s about a woman who makes friends with a waitress who is also an incredible pianist, and then Bad Stuff happens and they lose touch when the waitress one runs away and…yaknow what? It’s much better to just read it, and I’ll give you a sneak preview, but I definitely need to work on my elavator pitch.
2: What accomplishment are you most proud of so far? – Oh! I’m not very accomplished at all, in the traditional sense, but I can po a good -em, and I’ve been instrumental in generating/supporting some truly fabulous online communities. Especially the Ten Things of Thankful gang. They’re awesome.
3: If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? – Never tie your shoelaces in a revolving door.
4: What’s been your favorite part about today so far? – Laughing til I cried and my abs ached at Vince shooting water through his nose because I made him laugh so suddenly (may or may not have been because of a bodily function (at the dinner table (in the middle of a burping competition (cos that’s how we roll (I was promised a ‘sleepover which never has to end’ and dammit, THAT’S WHAT WE DID WHEN WE WERE 17!!!))))
5: What’s your favorite joke? – Whaddya call cheese that’s not yours? NACHO CHEESE! *falls about laughing*
6: What’s one of the strangest things you’ve ever done? – Husby? (KIDDING! (probably)) Really though – pick a number. Last Friday I removed a dead person’s eyeball. That was pretty weird.
7: Do you think people can control their own destiny? – To an extent, but we only have the right and ability to control our own behaviour, and that does nothing to mitigate the impact and consequences of other people’s decisions and behaviours upon us. (ooooooooh DEEP!)
8: What are some of the first things you do in the morning? – Open my eyes. Grimace. Turn off my alarm. Snuggle back into bed and wait for my second alarm. Open my eyes again. Grimace more. Turn off my second alarm. Consider the relative merits of setting the second one forward for five minutes. Decide it won’t give me enough time to catch up on the Blogosphere before work. Fling my feet out of bed and stalk off to pee, probably still grimacing.
9: What’s something most people don’t know about you? – Without giving away more than I want to? Uhmmmm… *eyes widen, innocently, and mind goes veryvery blank*
10: What’s the first thing you notice about people? – Their height
11: If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn? – I would LOVE to be able to surf. I even have a surf board and a Beach Boys addiction. But alas, myopia and a lack of effort to actually get to a surfing beach, have conspired against me, so the board is a testament to richer days with fewer responsibilities and smaller pipe-dreams.
Now I’m meant to nominate people. BUT HERE’S A TWIST! I’m gonna do it in the comments instead of here, because I WANT TO AND I CAN!
Keep reading. There’s more (I knowwwwww!)
[Can I just complain again about how VERY EXTREMELY COLD I AM! I’ve now added a stolen (not by me) British Airways blanket wrapped around my waist as a kind of cheap, claret sarong (to go with the shorts and gilet and atrocious skin (honestly, how there aren’t people lining up around the block to woo me, I SHALL NEVER KNOW!!!) and I’m still bloody cold! Boo!]
I think I need to break this up with a random picture. Let’s see what I’ve got…
50 Things That Make Me Happy (in no particular order)
1. Family hugs that feel like home, because I know the shape of the person; their height; their scent; how they hold me, with every fibre of my being, and they’re where I belong – inside the encirclement of the latest in a lifetime of hugs.
2. Nose murrrrps – a WonderAunty special, which she has pavlovianed (excuse me? it’s my blog and I’ll verb that if I want to) me into since early childhood. I smile like a baby dolphin (or a complete lunatic) every time she does it. Even when I don’t want to. Doesn’t work with anyone else, so don’t try.
3. Arms-flung-around-me-grabbed-tight-small-face-pressing-in hugs from Niece and Neff
4. Reminiscing around the Scrabble board about times gone by and people no longer with us, and family legends like Lenny Blue Eyes and the ever-glamourous Rene, and immersing in the tradition of oral history, through reconnecting with the stories and ever increasing their place in our history.
5. Cups of tea. Though not for long, as I’m giving up cow-products as of tomorrow (when I use up the last of the milk) to see if it will have any positive effect on this &*$%ing eczema. I’ve already cut all my fingernails off, and have had it up to HERE *indicates the ceiling* with itching and bleeding and weeping (and seriously, why aren’t people queuing up to date me?)
6. My friends – the ones here In Real, and the ones who live in the World Between the Wires. And ESPECIALLY those who I consider my Lifeboats or Lighthouses or kindred spirits or particularly wonderful. Those who I would consider I’ve hardwired my heart to.
7. Open fires because they’re awesome. I like laying and watching the shapes in the flames, and getting too close and being really toasty warm.
8. Garden parties. Admittedly I’ve never hosted one – mum and WonderAunty are the supremes at this, and there will be bunting and tea and candles and cake and any kind of assortment of strawberries and cream or scones and jam or wine or sparkling something and nibbles and games and bright, mega-watt, super-colour afternoons of fun and laughter, or late, languishing evenings as the light fades and the stars come out.
9. Being tipsy. I’m absolutely HI-LARIOUS! Ask anyone who’s received a drunk message from me, or known me in person whilst drunk. I’m amazing at it.
10. Cooking, which has been a tradition in my family since ever, and I can remember learning to bake rock-cakes at my grandma’s side, and all kinds of things looking over my dad’s shoulder. I have a copy of the VERY important family recipe book which he wrote up for us, as one of the things I really appreciate about him is what an incredible cook he is, and how he’s instilled a love of food and flavour, colour, texture and the way careful crafting can beget such incredibly varied results to tempt the palate.
11. My Sis, who I swore half-blind-to-next-Tuesday I would never, ever, ever, EVER IN A MILLION YEARS be friends with because I HATE HER! She’s awesome and lovely and encouraging and wonderful and a great confidante and brilliant with advice and suggestions, and good to have a laugh with, as well. I’m glad we’re friends now. Really properly.
12. Soulie, who (after my family) is my most important person. I would not, WOULD NOT be without him (possibly literally) and I am forever and ever grateful that somehow we randomly ended up in the same Japanese class at college, got over our instant dislike of one another, and decided to become friends for ever.
13. The hardwired two I speak to every day, and who have become so much more to me than just ‘people at the other end of the screen’ – you’ll be sick of them if you come here often, but they do mean that much to me. Ever thankful for my BlogWife and my 1000Mile Heart.
14.Practical jokes, laughter, silly jokes, rude jokes, nerdy jokes…I love to laugh. I love to make people laugh.
15. Deep thoughts and the ability (and space) to write them (somewhat) eloquently and receive feedback, which (egocentric – I know!) helps.
16. Poetry – same as above, but with most of the thought stripped away back to bare emotion. Thank goodness for it. I think perhaps of all things, I have a poet’s heart – it comes to me as easily as breathing, sometimes, and is often the way I can express myself when words fail me.
Time for another pic, or your brain’s gonna asplode from so much writing. Maybe. I don’t know. Don’t want to be leave myself open to that kind of responsibility, just in case…
17. CONNECTION. And communities. Like the TToT gang, and the people involved with 1000Speak, and the various assorted groups and joint-efforts I’m involved in. People interacting. ME interacting. Me being part of things. That makes me happy.
18. Music makes me happy. Actually, music most often makes me happy. Sometimes it makes me sad or angry or irritated, but mostly it makes me happy. I can express emotions through music where I can’t even poem.
19. Nicknames – it means people care enough to invent them and use them. That matters to me. Only had that recently.
20. Storytelling – epic fiction! Pulling the wool over people’s eyes! Hoodwinking! Making them FEEL! YES! The incredible power of words is something I utterly, utterly adore. I like when I succeed at any of these things.
21. THE BEACH! Ohhhh the place where my soul can breathe and the ever-changing water is sparkled with sunlight and rippled across with cats-paws, and the gentle swoosh and draw on the shoreline is the sound of the earth breathing, and I know that the ocean connects us all, somehow.
22. BOOKS! My escape. My consolation. My other lives. My companions. My friends. My teachers. My good examples. My preciousesssssssssss!
23. Bad books – because they teach me, too.
24. Sunshine. Bright, beautiful, warm, skin-crisping, bone-deep-sinking, vitamin-D-generating, mood-lifting, gorgeous, amazing sunshine.
25. SUMMER! (see above)
26. Fruit and Vegetables. Bright, crunchy, gorgeous flavours and colours and textures, and some of my absolute veryfavourite things to eat. Especially carrots. Though I tend to go overboard with carrots and have (in the past) gone yellow because of excess beta carotene. WHATEVS!
27. Lying in the dark, arms wrapped around a small form who smells of damp, freshly-shampoo’d hair, and baby-toothpaste, gently stroking his arms and singing songs under my breath to him. (Niece isn’t really a snuggler)
28. Boxing – makes me tough and hopefully not an appealing target for being messed with.
29. Pilates – especially because my class, and my teacher, are super-funny, and we often end up laughing hard together, which gives us an extra ab workout.
30. Netball (it’s kind of like basketball but English, and you don’t run with the ball, just pass it to each other).
31. Naps. Naps in the middle of the day in my lunch break on the van. Naps when work ends and I can come home and grab an hour. Naps an hour and a half after I woke up at the weekend, just because I can. LOVE NAPS.
32. Staying up late – I hate, hate, HATE the idea that I might miss out. I’ve never been good at sleeping, since I was a baby, and now so many friends are in a US TimeZone, it’s even worse and I hate leaving them to go and (as I see it) waste time being unconscious.
33. Working at mum’s allotment with her, surrounded by a fringe of tall trees, capped by whatever sky the day sees fit to leave above us, getting dirt under my fingernails and the scent of earth engrained in my skin, digging and weeding and GROWING things.
34. Any food which I can eat, which has been growing in the ground earlier that day. That is the absolute best – you can still taste the sunshine and rain on it.
35. Having just added that there pic up there, I remember that I like using my words for GOOD, rather than asking everyone to sponsor me to run a mile or whatever (the time I did that was AWESOME, but excruciating) and I’d always rather turn something I know I can do into an opportunity to raise funds for a cause I care about – that way everyone wins. That’s why I’ve been selling my words, but people donate the fee to a cancer charity.
36. Generous people. And people who are willing to put in for a damn good cause. They make me happy. I see lots of it around, and it’s lovely. Altruism rocks. So does compassion. The world needs more kind people and I’m fortunate to know, and see, bunches of them.
37. Original art – call me a snob if you wish, but I believe there’s something much more poignant and present about an artwork which you own, which was made by the artist, rather than rendered in print. I love, love, love original art.
38. GLITTERBOMBS! How could I not be happy at those? They make me happy to send – to collect items and craft letters, and imagine the glee and frustration at the other end, when an explosion of *twinklysparklyhappiness* coats their floors with glitter, and I LOVE receiving them sometimes in return. They make me feel very special and cherished, and that’s awesome.
39. Tattoos. Geometric. Or awesome text. Or…oh, all sorts really. I like what I like and I don’t what I don’t, but what I do, I LOVE. And I like seeing them on other people, and me.
40. Faith. Spirituality. Whatever. It’s sometimes an irritation I can’t quit, but more often than not it’s a source of hope that this world in all its brokenness isn’t all there is, and that it’s also not how it should be, but that we can see shades of that better world, sometimes.
41. Voice messaging over Facebook and WhatsApp. This has taken many hardwired friendships to an entirely new level of beauty and wonder. We have real conversations, sing songs to one another, and CHAT. And oh, it’s BEAUTIFUL.
42. Upcoming trip to Murica in autumn. The mere THOUGHT makes me incandescent with joy.
43. Kairos moments – those minutes which transcend time and you realise that THIS is what life is all about, and it instils you with an odd sense of peace and wonder and soul-deep happiness which lasts for a good while longer than the moment itself.
44. Movies which take you out of your world and allow some escapism for a while. And also my Vloggy friend, who I go to the movies with, and the shenanigans we always get up to.
45. Silver Linings. SO VERY NECESSARY AND IMPORTANT!
46. BLANKETS! Oh so very much yes! Lots of blankets!
47. Can I change my mind about sleep? I’m pretty tired right now and I feel as though my last few things of 50 are going to be ones which just express how I’m feeling RightNow.
48. Silly Facebook threads which expand into giggles and ridiculousness.
49. Realising that I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 months and not been bothered by the lack of meat.
50. 3.1 – the EPIC version (for those not in the know, Rule 3.1 is found in the Book of Secret Rules (or Secret Book of Rules), which belongs to the 7 Guard Virgins of the TToT, and this rule states that having gotten to the end of the list can count as its own thing of Thankful.
I am NOT doing the mustache one! My brain has disintegrated into a sludgy, half-sparkled mush, and is trickling out of my ears and pooling in my collarbones. I am DONE IN
I DID IT!
*cartwheels, falls over, snuggles up, and falls asleep*
Remember, now that you’ve (did you REALLY sit through all that guff about me? Why? You must have better things to do? *remembers not to alienate you, especially after you’ve spent so long reading this EPIC MONSTER OF A POST* But thanks – I do appreciate it, and I hope that you enjoyed it) read this, if you want to join in and have a go at your own 50, LET ME KNOW!