One of my favourite bloggers, Rachel Hawkins (Our Rach), answered a bunch of questions put to her by two other bloggers. Her answers are characteristically-hilarious. She then nominated me and five other bloggers to answer ten questions of her own. My answers are below; followed by my own questions put to fellow (nominated) bloggers.
1. What’s the most drunk you’ve ever been?
I didn’t do the whole park bench drinking thing. A number of my friends used to drink underage in a pub that was so notorious for it, one of my friend’s Dad’s had apparently done similarly. (It has since been raided and shut down.) I didn’t bother; too scared, would’ve never got served, and I can’t keep up an Aussie accent. There were a few occasions here and there at parties, but I think the age I really started drinking was mid-16/17 – later than most, I dare say.
I’ve more than made up for it though, and there are a number of contenders for this. The winner – by a country mile – however, was a party at which I ended up laying in the tall grass beside the village hall talking/singing to myself. I’m convinced I didn’t drink so much, and had my drink spiked (because of what followed) but either way, I attempted to walk home (I only lived down the road), and I was found in the gutter – not far from the hall – by a couple who pulled over, took out my phone and called my parents. I could’ve frozen to death. My Dad came and picked me up, and as I wretched and heaved throughout the night, my Mum repeatedly came into check on me to make sure I hadn’t choked on my own vomit. She said I seemed to be on another planet, on account of my eyes, which is why I think my drink was spiked. Regardless, this was bad, and certainly the most drunk (if indeed it was drink-related) I’ve ever been.
A chirpier anecdote is when I was stood outside the King’s Head on the phone, hung up the call and, forgetting what I was doing, presumed I was on my way home, and so walked back. It was only when I got there that I thought, “what am I doing?” (whenever this phrase comes to mind, it is always in exactly this [at 18:27] tone.*) Or the time I got back without my key and instead of getting the spare, rang the doorbell over and over again until someone opened the door. My poor mother.
Thanks, Mum x
2. Night in or night out?
Can I have a bit of both? Ideally, it would be a drink or two in a cosy, old-fashioned pub with – this time of a year considered – a fireplace, followed by a meal in a restaurant – off the top of my head; Carlo’s Trattoria on Newlands Corner. It’s a family favourite and I love it there. After this, back home to crash/snuggle (company dependant) in front of the fire/in bed with a film.
If I can’t have both, then I’ll take either the night out minus the post-meal film; or a night in with drinks and takeaway in front of the tube.
I’m cheating, aren’t I?
3. Your biggest regret?
I honestly don’t know. For what it’s worth, this question has made me realise, upon reflection, that I suppose I don’t actually have that many regrets – at least none that I dwell on enough for them to come to mind when required. That’s a happy realisation; so, thanks for the prompt, Rachel. I guess, looking back at recent events, one significant regret – of sorts – that I have, in the context of my engagement, is not the speed at which the relationship progressed, but rather the fact that I didn’t trust my instincts when (near the end) I felt I was being deceived. Love is blind, but after the betrayal, lies come so swiftly into focus, and you can’t help but feel stupid. That said, that is, of course, part of the manipulation – I look back on it as emotional seduction – and in actual fact, I don’t regret this so much, because I do, retrospectively, interpret the course of events as intertwined with manipulation. And, frankly, if I was still feeling so worthless and blameful over things (see #9), I may not be here to write these words** – so I can happily say that this isn’t a piercing and unshakable regret.
My scars may never go away
But I’ll learn not to mind them along the way
4. Your best day?
Quite simply, one that ends with the night outlined above (see #2), with a day out somewhere and live music in between.
5. Your favourite bloggers? Don’t feel pressurised to say me(!)
Elle JC (Laura Cloughley) and Geek Magnifique (Mel) will always be top of my list. GM is my bestie, and I’m biased (as I’ve admitted.) In fact, I’ve written two blog posts on this (here and here). The bloggers therein are as follows (and do genuinely follow the links to each and have a browse; they’re all brilliant):
In fact, there’s others I’m really enjoying at the moment too. They are:
As far as I know, she doesn’t have a blog, but the poetry to be found on Kate Chapman‘s Twitter feed is so marvellous that, having just read one particularly wonderful one, I can’t help but quote it, and can’t not mention it.
Glowing, ruby-rich, burnished leaves
Skies blue and bright, dance on the breeze.
Frost-tipped, wood-smoke, and cosy days,
Snuggled up in a warming haze.
6. Your most embarrassing moment?
I’m not sure, really. Being rather drunk at one of my own house’s parties at uni, and consequently walking out of my first floor room in boxers and shirt to vomit outside the front door – instead of doing it out of the first floor window where no one would’ve noticed – wasn’t a particularly proud moment.
A visit to Bournemouth to see Geek Magnifique and co. – wherein I was again rather drunk, devoured an entire inadvisably-coloured Chinese curry and rice, brought it back up, told everyone (including Geek Magnifique and her husband, whose house I was staying at) to “fuck off and go home”, and passed out – is another moment I struggle to take pride from. And that day began so well listening to Hepcat and drinking Coronas…
7. Your all-time favourite song?
I know this is a cop-out, but; I really, really could not say. I just can’t pick a single song. I have a post in the works (due out at the end of the month) listing 25 songs which mean a great deal to me. Once it’s done, I’ll link to it. In the meantime, have a nose around Whatever Words for mentions of particular songs!
8. Your favourite childhood book?
I can picture the cover. It’s small and blue, and is about a bear and his mouse best friend. The last page is them sitting with an arm around one another’s shoulder watching a sunset. (I think.) I rummaged around for ages in the loft looking for the box I’m certain I put it in when we moved house six months ago. Alas, I could not find the box and can’t remember the name of it. Does anyone know the book I’m talking about?
I shall continue to hunt across Google for it. I did, whilst so doing, come across The Night Before Christmas – who remembers that?!
Here is a wonderful fact: it transpires, having asked her about this unnamed book, that my mother has in the loft an entire box of books she’s keeping for her grandchildren. I love my Mum. A number of them are mine. On the left is a selection of what I recall being my favourites. Peace at Last is the one my Mum suggested as the favourite, but that’s not it. She does know the book to which I refer, though. Another Very First Poetry Book, compiled by John Foster, contains my favourite poem as a child, ‘Bananas and Cream’, about which I reminisced on National Poetry Day (6th October). Brinkworth Bear’s Bedtime was given to me by my late, ever-beloved grandparents for my 3rd birthday (the Grandma to whom I wrote an open letter a little over a week ago).
A couple others I put to the side and then almost forgot, are Stay Sonic (“The Ultimate Guide to the World of Sonic the Hedgehog”***) and Rubberneck’s Revenge by Martin Waddell, a J Sainsbury’s “A Fun to Read Book” published in 1993 – I still love that cover.
Just because, here also is the first Official Nintendo Magazine I ever had, which I’ve kept because I loved the cover (look at that price!!). Ocarina of Time is still one of my favourite games. Ahh, the music in Kokiri Forest… (as I copy the hyperlink, I’m listening and smiling massively.)
9. The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
This pertains to my break up. It was incredibly painful, and affected both my physical and mental health. One piece of advice I received though, from my Dad’s best friend (James [JC]; I call him my step-Dad), may seem slight but was so important and helpful to hear. He said, very simply, that nothing people say in support will make you feel any better. This really was important to hear because of a number of feelings I was overwhelmed with at the time, including guilt towards those who were trying to help, which only served to compound a crippling sense of worthlessness. Perhaps, hopefully, if I quote what I’ve written specifically about this issue, it will contextualise it and help James’ advice to resonate with anyone who has struggled, or is struggling, with similar feelings.
…when you’re feeling worthless, you don’t feel worthy of people’s time or attention, because deep down you already know that nothing they say is going to make a difference and you’re probably not going to heed their advice anyway, so you don’t want to waste their time and be even more of a burden.
God, that advice really is important. Thanks, Jimbo. We don’t see each other anywhere near as often as I’d like. I love you.
10. Tell me a fascinating, salacious fact about yourself.
* See footnote #3 and question #8.
** For the record, I really do not say this lightly. Read here about some of the feelings. And here, here and here are some insights in the form of poetry.
*** I was obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog.
10 Questions for Other Bloggers!
1. What’s your happiest memory?
2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
3. What was your favourite book as a child?*
4. Your perfect day: how would it pan out?
5. I think I’d like to believe that everyone has a favourite video game. What’s yours? (catch: Nothing later than the N64 or first Playstation!)
6. What’s your all-time favourite song?**
7. Which bloggers are you really enjoying at the moment?***
8. Name something you wish you had written yourself
9. Your ideal three-course meal: what does it consist of?
10. If you had to recommend one thing that people read, what would it be?
* Stolen from Rachel, but now I’m curious! And this has been a wonderful trip down memory lane.
** Yes, I ducked out myself. Sue me.
*** I think this is essentially mandatory.
I just want to stress how much I’ve really enjoyed taking part in this. Thank you, Rachel. I’m buying you a drink one day x
UPDATE [26.10.16]: I had a dream last night in which lots of family came over for a Halloween and party and – more pertinently – I found the mystery children’s book (see #8), which was called The Little Bear. I’ve already googled it and this isn’t it. The search continues!