Mesdames et Messieurs,
Please find hereunder my version of this splendid post, which I saw for the first time on the blog of the marvellous Lady Rara Saur (who, in turn, snaffled it from here.) It asks one to detail one’s top five preferences in five different categories and so – me being me – I had to have a crack at it. I love making lists, particularly if they’re not lists of things I have to get done. (Having said that, I like making To-Do Lists, too, because I’m the type who likes to tick stuff off when it’s completed. But anyway.)
On with the show.
Five Things I Am Passionate About
1. Writing and Reading. I’m lumping these in together because, in my mind, you can’t have one without the other.
2. Child protection – whether that be on an individual, personal basis or a governmental/NGO/macro level. I want to live in a world where no child knows fear, or want, or hunger, or neglect. I want to be part of making that world.
3. Education – particularly literacy and numeracy. I’d love to see the fostering of a culture where education is seen as something to be striven for, and where people are encouraged to be proud of their own academic ambitions. The more widely read we are, the less likely we are to repeat the mistakes of our past, and the more likely we are to accept others for who they are.
4. Living ‘small’ – by which I don’t mean living a lesser life. I mean living a life wherein love, and family, and community, and togetherness, matter more than who has the biggest house or the most expensive car or the ‘best’ job. Whatever happened to happiness?
5. Equality. Peoples, races, nations, genders (all of ’em)… we’re all the same, beneath the skin. It amazes me how people think they’re different from, and therefore better than, people in other countries/other religious groups/other types of relationship. Why can’t we all just get a grip, and put the fear aside?
Five Things I Would Like To Do Before I Die
1. See my work published. I would love to see one of my books, battered and dog-eared and torn and cherished and loved and read to shreds, in the hands of a child. It might take the rest of my life, but hopefully it’ll happen someday.
2. Visit Iceland, and see the Northern Lights. Just – because.
3. Live in Paris, even if it’s only for a little while. I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than slipping down the boulevard for a few pains au chocolat and slipping back home again, looking chic and nonchalant and exuding sangfroid, and actually locking your own front door behind you. Of course, knowing Paris, you’d have to walk up sixteen flights of stairs to a garret room for which you’d be paying through the nose in council tax, etc. – but it would be so worth it.
4. Repay my husband, my family and my friends for all the support – both practical and spiritual – they’ve given me all through my life, but particularly since I decided to follow my dream. I don’t think they’ll ever know how much it means.
5. Reach a moment of total mental satisfaction, knowing that I have done what I was put on earth to do and that I have done it as well as I possibly could, just once.
Five Things I Say A Lot
1. ‘Sorry!’ (I’m the kind of person who, when they walk into a door, will apologise to the door. Yup.)
2. ‘I forgotted.’ (This is the way I tell my husband that I have forgotten something. I try to make it sound cute, in order to cut through the irritation. Weirdly, when it comes to dates, anniversaries, phone numbers, birthdays, significant events and so on, I have a memory like a steel trap. For practicalities, I am useless. Go figure.)
3. ‘Ya big eejit’ (Irish for ‘You rather foolish person.’ Normally, this is self-directed, but it can also be used as a term of both abuse and affection to almost anyone.)
4. ‘Ah, no worries, I’ll be grand. I’m sure they can make something for me.’ (Usually recited when I’m about to go out for food, anywhere, and whoever I’m dining with starts fretting about whether or not my ‘dietary requirements’ will be catered for. As a vegetarian, I still get looked at like a space alien when I ask what a restaurant’s meat-free options are. ‘Well, we have salmon,’ I get told, a lot. ‘Salmon’s a living creature too, you know,’ doesn’t usually go down well as a response, FYI.)
5. ‘Feck!’ or some derivative thereof. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a vile swearword; it’s equivalent to ‘darn’ or ‘poppycock’, and is utterly inoffensive. I have a variety of colourful phrases which would be considered vile, but I’ll leave those to your imagination.
Five Books or Magazines I’ve Read Recently
1. Fire and Hemlock by the goddess that was Diana Wynne Jones (It’s a book. It’s Awesome. Technically, this was a re-re-reread, but that hardly matters.)
2. An old copy of New Scientist (one of the benefits of being married to a nerdy-type.)
3. The Food supplement from the Guardian newspaper (I’m always on the hunt for recipes.)
4. ‘The Pardoner’s Prologue’ and ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ from The Canterbury Tales. Someone was writing an essay on it and needed a bit of guidance, and it was nice to blow the dust off my PhD for a few hours.
5. The Skull in the Wood by Sandra Greaves. (It’s a book. It’s Awesome.)
Five Favourite Movies
1. The Princess Bride. Gotta be. ‘No more rhyming now, I mean it!/Anybody want a peanut?’ used to make me laugh to the point of puking when I was a kid. I also love Miracle Max and his ‘I’m not a witch! I’m your wife!’ But the main reason I love this movie can be summed up in two words: Inigo Montoya. My crush on Mandy Patinkin is alive and well to this day.
2. Willow. I’m really not sure what my favourite thing about this film is – the gorgeous baby who played Elora Dannan (who’s probably got babies of her own by now), the wonderful Ufgood family, the devil-may-care Madmartigan (for whom I may have had complicated feelings, looking back), or the scary-as-all-hell witch-queen Bavmorda who literally gave me the freaky collywobbles for years.
3. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. This movie defined my teenage-hood. Claire Danes? Leo di Caprio? Rock music soundtrack? Hells, yes. It’s also the first movie I saw on my own in a cinema, which gives it extra significance.
4. Life is Beautiful. I have complicated feelings about this one, insofar as I loved it when I saw it, but I’d never be able to watch it again because my first viewing of it almost killed me. Suffice to say everyone should give it a go, but be aware that it will break your heart.
5. The Never-Ending Story. I watched this one again a couple of years ago and wept, not only because it’s still a gorgeous movie but because it reminded me of my childhood so much. The bit where Atreyu is on board Falcor and they fly around a piece of space-rubble and the Ivory Tower comes into view and the music just swells up… yeah. I generally get something in my eye around that point.
So! There you have it. If anyone wants to take part in this meme, be sure to link back to Benzeknees – and let me know, too! I’d love to read your answers to these questions. Adios!