Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Five Things People Don't Know About Me

I am bad when people tag me for things, because I suspect I'm meme-resistant, but hey, Meg's my buddy, so, here goes...

1 I'm going to Moldova in May on a humanitarian mission

Yes, Moldova, a country immortalised by comedian Tony Hawk's book, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, used to be part of Romania, and is next door to where my maternal great grandparents came from at the turn of the previous century. They left because of the pogroms in around 1897, which makes me third generation. There's a tiny Jewish community left there, and I'm going on a trip with a dozen or so other people, and we're buying four vans (which we leave there for them to use as minibuses/ambulances) filled with clothes, medicine, aid in general. I have to raise £5,500, and if you'd like to support me, you can do so here.

2 I was a charity trustee...
For a couple of years, a couple of years ago, and because I'm self-employed, it was only when I did my accounts I realised how much time it had taken, and I'd actually earned 40% less that year. And I'd felt really busy. Learn from this what you will. I don't - obviously - disagree with charity, I just learned that I have to learn where to drawn the line.

3 I have multiple names for various reasons
It's a long story, that I won't go into here (because I'm not that interested/don't want to bore you/it's late) but it ocassionally creates entertaining scenarios like "do you have a sister?" etc. The complex life is not worth living.

4 I wrote a book by accident
This can happen. As you know, I've been working on my novel for three years and blah blah blah. I got into a diversionary project by mistake this summer (and bear in mind that Google tells all its employees to spend Friday's on their interesting diversionary projects and it's a very creative/lucrative thing, viz gmail, froogle etc). And my diversionary project turned into kinda a book, and I wrote 75,000 words when I should have been doing something else. Washing my hair?

5 I used to be a telephone counsellor
I really enjoyed it, although I did feel slightly out of place. Like everyone else was a social worker/advice worker/nurse, and they spoke Public Sector and I spoke Bottom Line. So they were all really good at the "I'm wondering how you're feeling about the issue around the issue..." I'm a straight talker, and that's what people pay me for, mostly. I learned some good listening skills and how to reflect and be empathic and that was good. And it's stood me in good stead: I'm the sort of person if someone's having an affair/thinking of leaving their partner/done something terrible, I'm the person they call to talk to. It's happened to me a lot of times now, so there's not much left that can shock me. The human condition is: painful, sometimes. People have hard things to think about. And when I go on long train journeys I try quite hard not to sit next to someone who looks like they have a big secret, although, as we all know, most people have big secrets, especially the ones who look like they don't.

So there you go. It's tricky with my kinda blog, because a lot of what I write is personal, to a degree. And the stuff I choose not to say, there's a reason for. Also, I have a terrible memory, so it's possible I have said these things before and therefore you already know them... I hope not.

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