Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Meme. Meh.

I may have been tagged in memes before, in fact I know I have, but I have this sneaky suspicion (read: crystal clear memory) that I've never actually followed through and completed the assignment. It's still early enough in the year for me to feel guilty about not having made any new year's resolutions, so with my vague aim of Doing Better at Everything, I am going to do what was asked of me, by Pani Pinolona...

Here's my list of seven random facts about me that are strange but most definitely true.

1. Jobs
It's taken me 27 years to get a Proper Job. Although that in itself isn't particularly strange, the jobs I had beforehand mostly were. Oh I've been a waitress, translator, proofreader, art gallery assistant, UN conference assistant, volunteer and intern... but the strangest thing I did was probably the gig driving around Lytham St Annes, interviewing kids in playgrounds for a local government project redesigning them according to users' needs. Interesting, sure, but definitely Odd.

2. Celebrities
Salman Rushdie once trod on my foot as I passed wine around the guests at a poet's party. He didn't say sorry either. My admiration for him was dinted somewhat. Then there was the time my friend Jo got me and her tickets to a kids programme on the bbc when we were about 8. We sat behind Liza Minelli as she was interviewed and marvelled at her large bum. I was awestruck by her super long fake eyelashes. My third near-celebrity experience was when I wrote a poem about peace for Terry Waite when he was released from Beirut. I sent it to him and received a very nice letter back.

3.Bands in Bonn
One thing that makes a fifteen year old who has been ripped from her friends/home/school/life in her own country and dragged kicking and screaming to foreign lands more open to her new environment is the prospect of seeing Indie bands that give huge concerts back home, in intimate smokey bars. Crispin Mills' knee bumped mine once as we sat on a sofa backstage; the Stereophonics got us smashed on their tour bus another time and the Dodgy boys used to wave as soon as they saw us, we went to so many of their gigs. The climax of that great time was the evening we waited in a hotel bar, after pleading phone calls to parents asking for another couple of hours... the hotel staff told us there was no guarantee they'd appear, and for a while we sat, despondent and convinced it was a waste of time. Then. Then, they appeared. We finally plucked up the courage to approach them and soon we were sitting on a table with them, filling in a questionnaire on their behalf for a French magazine and having pseudo-philosophical conversations. Dave was sweet, Alex was drunk and swaying and Graham was very chatty. Damon however stayed in his room.

4. Hollywood
I thought I was going to grow up to be an actress for quite a long time. I realise lots of little girls think this, but I had good reason for such ambitions as I'm sure you'll agree when you see the roles that came my way, at even an early age. My starring roles have included (but are not limited to): a cow in animal farm (I think I was Daisy, but that could be a false memory. Gertrude rings a bell too); the Angel Gabriel in the nativity (yes, my costume was made entirely of a white sheet and tinsel); a cockerel in Noah's flood (actually that was a damn good mask. I kept it for quite a while); and a maid in dracula (a vampire too I seem to remember. Think the cast was a bit smaller in that production).

5. Music
As well as being an accomplished actress, I have been known to make the odd feeble attempt to make music. Ha. I "play" the piano and recorder. Not strange enough? OK then, I play the harp too. I joined an orchestra once, which went on tour. I advise against the harp if you are playing concerts on tour in halls that are up hills. My lasting memory of that trip is one long neverending mountain and me at the back of the group pulling the harp on its trolley.

6. Appearance
I hate my right foot. It's really ugly.

7. Embarassment
My Dad has always been very proud of being a good Dad. In his book that means embarassing his kids as much as is humanly possible. He takes great joy in it. Just one example (of hundreds):
I have come to the end of school. As our school is an international school that used to be an American school, certain traditions (like prom) have persisted. The year book comes out and all my friends are standing about looking at the back page. There, parents have written loving messages to their graduating kids - 'we're so proud of you son!' 'you have been the best daughter we could have wished for!' and 'we know you will succeed in anything you decide to do!' Then, my mouth falls open and I gasp involuntarily as I spot a picture of 3-year old Becca in a fairy outfit gleefully waving a wand next to this heartfelt dedication from my own father:

The space is short to put a thought in just a doodle;
No one's poodle, cock-a-doodle, Becksy Boodle!

I'm not tagging anyone. So there.

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Blogger pinolona said...


Sorry about the meme thing. I'm not all that good about the whole meme etiquette and procedure and all that.

Anyway, it took me 26 years to get a Proper Job and likely as not I'll lose it again sooner or later! And my Dad is at least as embarrassing as yours. He still calls me Fifi. Don't worry, you're not alone. Plus I was never as cool as a teenager. It was more about piano lessons than meeting bands. Sigh.

OOh and my sister plays the harp too! She's 5'1'' and she can fit the thing (usually with help of a male persuasion) into a Renault Clio (so long as her knees are right under the steering wheel). Not bad going...

8:34 pm  
Anonymous Keji said...

OHMYGOSH....did your dad really do that? How embarrassing at the time, but pretty funny now. The only defense I can think of is that your dad had the incredible foresight to know it would be funny and make an amusing anecdote later on in life.

So how bout the weekend of the 25th of april for me to impose myself?

3:38 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

I forgot about the picture i'm going to have to look that one up when I get home

8:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Pinolona has not suffered is the effort of moving the harp uphill/stairs. Her sister asked to be on the ground floor at halls of residence in her first year. But no, health and safety would not allow young ladies on the ground floor for fear of rape. Instead muscles were pulled, backs and necks potentially broken trying to heave the harp up and down stairs to/from the sister's flat! Glad she has not been ontour with it. So the sister and the dad can both relate to your experience, even though there has not been a tour yet. Though she did play for the Queen once!

6:43 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

It's good to know I'm not alone Pinolona. And yes Keji, like I said, my Dad takes great pride in episodes like that. Steve, you may check, but I assure you, the picture is most definitely there :)

I am impressed by the performance for her majesty, Pinolona's anonymous sister/father. Ha, I remember the no girls on ground floor rule too - our halls of residence was too small for the harp to come along too though...

11:38 am  

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