10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

The lovely @relucthousedad has tagged me to share ten things that you didn’t know about me.  Now his list is pretty awesome, and quite a hard one to live up to, add that to the fact that I have some dear friends who occasionally read this, who pretty much know everything about me, so finding ten things they might not know has been a challenge. But I have dug deep, to see if I can share at least one new thing to them about me.  Thank you for indulging me this opportunity to delve into past memories.

1/ I was born in the Philippines and lived there until I was five.  When I did eventually come to live in this country, even though my background is completely European, for a while I was known as Chinkey at school.

2/ Rafael Pacheco painted a portrait of me. This will mean nothing to most, as he is a Filipino painter who has a unique way of expressing his artistic talent. He uses his fingers and palms in creating outstanding pieces of art. My Grandfather commissioned it (boy does that sound grand) and was expecting a picture of my face, the actual painting is over a meter tall and currently resides in my spare room.  My sister is not best pleased that she doesn’t have something similar. (NB it’s been really hard to find any info about him on the web)

3/ I wanted to join the RAF to be a pilot.  The recruiter said that I had all the credentials they were looking for except that I was a girl. I would have been about sixteen or seventeen at the time, and I wanted to congratulate him on his observational abilities. However, I just kept quiet and decided to join the Navy to fly helicopters instead.  (I look back on this now and the feminist in me gets so angry)

4/ I spent my two-week work experience pulling out aircraft interiors and even got to “drive” a plane on the runway.  I was sixteen, and thought this was most cool, even if one of my friends got to spend a day with the then speaker Betty Boothroyd.  I still remember turning up on the first day, looking oh so smart in a little skirt and heels.  Only to be taken to the workshop.  It was brilliant, my friend who was at the same company spent her time in the office and I distinctly remember her highlight was sending an international fax.

5/ A (rather dashing) Norwegian F16 pilot did a “Top Gun” fly by in my honour whilst on a school visit to 617 Squadron at RAF Marham.  Though if I remember correctly this was a shared honour with my lovely friend Delia.  What we did to deserve this who knows, (a bunch of twenty something boys thought it would be a laugh to entertain a group of teenage girls.)  This was an awesome couple of days, as we had the opportunity to climb into Tornado’s still in their desert livery, not long back from the Gulf, and as the F16 squadron was there too, they let us climb all over their planes too (IMHO an F16 is much more comfortable to sit in than a GR4, just in case you were interested).

6/ I was offered a conditional offer to read Materials Science at Oxford University, and I think this was primarily due to the fact I missed my first meeting with the college that finally wanted me, and ended up having a re-scheduled two-hour interview with two lovely professors when I promised I’d play rugby and row for the college. (not that I got the grades at A level, but that is another story)

7/ Through Uni and into my mid twenties, I was told I looked liked Tara Fitzgerald.  It would have been a novelty if it was said once or perhaps twice in total, though there were some days whist managing a busy restaurant in Edinburgh I was asked “did I realise that I bore a striking resemblance to Tara Fitzgerald” two or three times a day.  I put it down to her being on the television often then.  She seemed to be everywhere as she was in the films, Sirens and Brassed Off around that time.

8/ I almost joined the Navy, but was informed that I would have to “cease associations” with my then boyfriend, now husband, since I would be going in as an officer and he was a Chief Petty Officer and our friendship would be detrimental to my career.  There was no way I was going to join a company that dictated who I was to be friends with…

9/ I hosted the post-election party for the Liberal Democrats for the first Scottish elections. Well it was held in the restaurant I managed and in the end, even though I was there all night, due to a problem with the counting, it ended up being a quite quiet event, it was most interesting.

10/ A photo of my naked torso has been published as part of a body beautiful project.  This is a project celebrating the myriad of shapes of the human form to encourage body acceptance. (It’s totally anonymous so I’m not sharing any further details)

Well that’s me done, who’s next? I challenge  @dogbombs@BlueBearWood & @TheBoyandMe