Tuesday, 23 July 2013

20 things

I loved reading Mel's post of this and seeings as my blog is still pretty new I thought I'd give it a go!

1. This is absolutely not an unknown fact about me: I really love animals. It's difficult for me to choose a favourite kind of animal as I just love so many. I would say I generally spend about 60% of my life thinking about animals. I'm even planning a full animal sleeve for my right arm which will feature a goat, a red panda, a beluga whale, a two-toed sloth, a frog, a snail, a mouse and a bleeding heart dove.

Just hanging out with a pal

2. I collect Maneki Neko cats. I currently have 12 including one from Japan, one from Thailand and four from Amsterdam. I am also getting a Maneki Neko tattoo hopefully in August. I love the whole story surrounding Maneki Neko, but not because I believe they will bring me luck or prosperity. For me the whole story means generosity and kindness without expecting anything in return. There's an old Caribbean motto that is similar for me, "Leave some for the passing stranger". It's mostly applied to food, but it also means you should keep your home and mind open to strangers and people in need.

3. I studied for five years to become a graphic designer only to find that I would hate to work in a graphic design house. The very idea of it makes me seize up and feel sick. I still love to do design work on my own terms, but I would never be able to deal with the stress involved with working in design full time.

4. When I say I studied for five years to become a designer, I actually spent about 18 months of my degree doing horror and gore photography which means my days were mostly filled with making fake blood, intestines, hearts, brains, and covering my friends in fake wounds. Eleanor Jane unfortunately had to deal with the most of the fake blood as she featured in a lot of my photographs. For some reason my university decided I was actually making a feminist statement and entered my photographs into a feminist show on my behalf. I am a feminist, but at the time I definitely was not smart enough to even consider making any such statement, and the actual reason for any of those photos was simply that it was fun making them.

5. I have a very obsessive personality to the point of being able to listen to one song constantly playing on repeat for weeks or months on end. If I find a film that I particularly enjoy I can watch it several times in a row, and then several more times over the next few days and weeks. If I find a TV show I enjoy I will sit and watch all of it and then I'll watch my favourite episodes over and over again. Over the past two days I have watched one particular episode of New Girl about 25 times. I'm not even sick of it yet and if I weren't writing this I'd be watching that same episode again right now.

6. I am dyslexic. This would have gone completely undiscovered if it weren't for the fact my mum worked for a dyslexia charity and got me a Saturday job there which consisted of making coffee and filing. One Saturday I finished all of my work and decided to fill out one of the questionnaires in the office, and the answers pointed to me being dyslexic. I had a full assessment which showed I was indeed dyslexic (even though I'm pretty good with spelling) and I have a superior IQ (lah de dah)- although I can't do anything with that IQ because my dyslexia shuts off all of my useful brain stuff. Thanks, brain!

7. My favourite food is tomatoes. I can't go longer than one day without having to eat something tomato-based.

8. I'm terrified of wax models. The absolute worst wax models are the ones they have in history museums. I once accidentally broke my friend's hand by squeezing it in fear when we were taken to Hartlepool Historic Quay and our teachers wouldn't let me sit outside for the upstairs museum bit.

9. I'm also terrified of spiders, scorpions, going up ladders, lighthouses and being chased.

10. In April I went to an Aquabats gig (seriously the most fun band EVER) and I was skanking about and landed on my left foot funny. I felt a huge crack in my ankle and it turned out I had torn my left achilles tendon. It's been a bit of a saga over the past few months trying to get the right scans and treatment, and it got to the point where I was still working but barely being able to walk. As a result I have been off work sick for the past 8 week and am only just starting to recover now.

11. I LOVE Halloween. We were never allowed to really do anything for it when I was little because it is my sister's birthday, so I think I am just making up for lost time, but I seriously love it. One of the best moments of my life was a result of celebrating Halloween. I tend to go all-out on fancy dress, and a couple of years ago I spent about 4 months making a costume that I called "Death by Disco Squid". We went out to a club in town which had a costume competition. When they started to announce the competition I was actually upstairs in the toilet, and I heard through the floor the chants of "Disco squid! Disco squid!" and I came downstairs and got on stage and for a full five minutes the entire club literally stood chanting "DISCO SQUID!". The guy doing the competition actually resorted to saying he would only announce me the winner if everyone stopped chanting. I'm pretty sure no moment in my life will live up to that.


12. I'm a segetarian, which means I eat poultry and fish. This is because I am allergic to pretty much all meat; pork can literally make me sick for weeks.

13. I HATE WINTER. Snow makes me cry. There is absolutely nothing good about it.

14. I played piano until I was 16 and reached grade 7. I love to play piano, but I suffer from severe nerves which means I cannot play piano for anyone at all except myself.

15. I have suffered from depression since I was about 6 years old. I saw a lot of doctors, therapists and psychologists as a teen and they all tried to tell me my problem was self-esteem and many of them tried to suggest losing weight and dressing differently. When I reached university I finally decided to seek help alone and found a doctor that would take me seriously. He prescribed me medicine, and within two years the medicine had completely changed my life. I try to not be bitter, but I can't help thinking what I could have achieved if I had been given the medication I clearly needed earlier in life, or even if I had just been taken seriously instead of being made to feel it was my fault I felt that way and if I just changed who I was I would feel better.

16. I have a pet Degu called Sherlock (Shirly). We got two Degus that we called Wallace and Sherlock thinking they were both boys, and it turned out Sherlock was a girl and we ended up with 8 little baby degus, or "goobies" as we liked to call them. In all the stress of new parent-hood, Wallace sadly died, so we ended up keeping Sherlock with one of her little girl babies who we named Lego Milner (after our housemate Rachel Milner). Lego then died suddenly about a year later and so now we just have little Shirly who is now almost four. Her favourite food is peanuts.


17. In my life I have had the following pets:
  • Two cats called Scamp and Nutmeg- Scamp died last year at the grand old age of 19, and Nutmeg was a stray that we found in our garage in a storm. The vets said she wouldn't last the week, but we have had her for 16 years now and she's amazing.
  • Two rabbits called Flopsy and Mopsy
  • Two frogs called Samson and Dellilah who just turned up in our pond one day. They now seem to have had babies, and there are five frogs who live in the pond full-time.
  • MANY fish
  • My canine son Alf.


18. I feel like this needs to be in it's own fact. Mice- I started with two that I bought on a hung-over whim. I named them Chas and Dave, and Dave turned out to be a lady. Dave gave birth to 18 baby mice who one day all escaped and I had to build tunnels around my flat out of books and pans so I could trap and catch them all. Dave developed a tumour and sadly died, and I gave most of the babies away. I decided to keep two little boy mice to keep Chas company, but it turns out after separating Chas from the babies, he didn't really warm to them so I had to keep them in separate cages. One of the babies had a little lightening flash down his face which made him look like Aladdin Sane, so I named him Bowie and the other baby Havoc, and they lived in a space station in my bedroom. My mum used to be terrified of mice, but for some reason she really warmed to my mice, and it got to the point where she wouldn't let me take them back to uni as she wanted them for herself.

19. I used to suffer from severe nosebleeds. I would have them on a daily basis and pretty much every night until I was about 12. I once had a nosebleed that lasted over 4 hours. I think this was where my interest in gore began. I have had my nose cauterised several times, and one of these times my nose was not numbed at all before the procedure. We went back a year later to have it done again, and the staff had no recollection of the doctor who had performed it the previous year. This was a mystery that was never solved.

20. Two of the most important people in my life both died earlier this year. I've not mentioned this on here yet, and I'm still not entirely sure how to talk about it. My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas 2011. She was given the all-clear in October last year, and not long after this my Gran fell ill very suddenly. She was 89 years old and despite living through the war and being a very sickly child, she basically had very few health problems. She fell very ill very quickly pretty much out of the blue, and suffered a series of strokes. She recovered miraculously one day just before Christmas, and then an infection got hold and she passed away in January. Over Christmas my Mum had started to feel unwell again, and the doctors said there were a few rogue cancer cells that had re-appeared in her lymph nodes behind her heart. They said they could zap them away with some further radiotherapy, but my mum put it off because of my Gran dying. Two weeks after my Gran died, my mum's cousin died. Then all of a sudden, my mum became very ill and was rushed into hospital. She died very suddenly on February 28th, just five weeks after my Gran. This is the first time I've really talked about any of this on the internet. I wrote something about my Gran just after she died, which helped me process some of my grief for her passing. You can read that here if you want to. However, I've not really got to the point where I can really process my grief over my Mum yet. I know it's a matter of time, and maybe soon I'll be able to share more about her.

Anyway, I'm sorry this is so loooonnnnggggg. Hopefully you haven't all fallen asleep half way through it! If you've done one of these posts before, link me up to it as I love nothing more than reading about people!

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