Cuddles with my Poppy dog!

So it’s pretty obvious I’m not a prolific blogger. But it’s not for want of things to say. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve got a lot say and a hell of a lot of opinions. I’m just not sure where to start. So, expanding on a post I was tagged in on Instagram a few months back, “20 facts about me”, I’m starting with a 50 facts about me post. Here goes.

  1. I have no idea what my natural hair colour is anymore. I’ve been colouring it in various forms since my early to mid teens. I’ve had rinses, semis, permanents, highlights, and am currently back on semi permanent colours. My hairdresser found my first grey hair when I was 14. And it’s safe to say, in the nearly two decades since, that one grey has brought a hell of a lot of mates to the party. And not being prepared to go quietly into being grey haired, I have to have my regrowth done about every four weeks. Monotonous stuff.
  2. I have a good grip on terra firma. Which is a nice way of saying I have big feet. I’m a 10-11 in Australian sizing. But, I’m also above average height, at about 5′ 7″, so my tootsies don’t look out of proportion. Thankfully.
  3. WHile we’re on things feety, I LOVE shoes. They don’t have to be expensive. In fact most of mine are at the lowest end of the footwear price scale. I especially love boots. But being in Australia, we don’t have a long boot wearing season. More’s the shame!
  4. I was bullied very badly at school, which has left an awful lot of emotional scars. As a result, I react very poorly to anyone being mistreated. I don’t hold back in telling people to pull heir heads in any more. Too many nasty people in this world.
  5. I love animals. Most especially dogs. I’ve been guardian to three wonderful little dogs in my lifetime (see previous posts “Poppy” and “Bonnie”). Barring reptiles, I love almost all animals. For my birthday in 2012, I did an animal encounter at Adelaide Zoo, getting to go into the enclosure with, and feeding the Ring Tailed Lemur Troupe we have here. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. And I was privileged to do it while the Zoos oldest Lemur, Hoss, believed to have been the oldest Lemur in captivity anywhere, was still alive. He had gone a lovely reddish shade, and although the he had slowed right down, and was being treated for age related arthritis, he was still very much enjoying the fruit treats my group fed them. I’d like to do another animal experience for my birthday this year. The hardest part will be choosing which animal!
    Elderly Lemur Hoss. A true gent.

    Elderly Lemur Hoss. A true gent.

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  6. I started learning to horse ride when I was 4. Not unusually for little girls, I was horse mad. And pony rides just didn’t cut it. So I was enrolled at a riding school, and continued on until I was about 7, I think. At the time, I had to stop, it was thought that the horses were causing asthma. But, nearly two decades later, it was discovered that I was not in fact allergic to the horses, but the Sheoaks that grew wild around the riding school.

    Here on Goldie! Great little Welsh Mountain Pony.


    And here on Thunder. Also a Welsh Mountain Pony. He was my first riding school pony.

  7. I love sport. Although I can no longer compete, I still get itch feet watching certain sports. my favourites were tennis and swimming. But I think, given more opportunity, I’d have really enjoyed softball. I loved pretty much any sport I had a go at though. Except volleyball, which even as a kid, made my wrists and hands hurt badly, and korfball, again because the ball made my hands and arms hurt. I wasn’t a big fan of running, but that too was due to pain.
  8. I learned to play piano for age 8 to 11, when illness forced me to start cutting extra curricular pursuits to maintain my school work. I also tried my hand at violin, but, as per my body’s quirks, I had endless issues with the resin used on the bow. I do miss piano, but not violin. But that’s probably down to my teachers. Awesome piano teacher, wanker violin teacher.
  9. The reason I can no longer play sport or music is I have battled ME (Myalgic Encephalomyalitis, or more dubiously Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) for over half my life. Sometimes that battle is a big brave roaring one. Sometimes it’s a quiet, just get through each day, hour or even each minute at a time. In the early years, I pushed to keep up, with school and with socialising. It was a mistake. I ended up bedbound at times, and continue to be mostly housebound. It’s a big case of if I knew then what I know now. But, such is life. The thing I find amongst the most difficult, beyond the loss this disease causes, is the reactions of others. Where I try to take the lead of others who are dealing with illness, be it acute or chronic, I seem to be in the minority. It seems to have been more difficult for other to get their heads around the fact I’ve tried everything, and seen I don’t know how many doctors. It is what it is. Acceptance does not mean defeat. It means I need to accept things as they are in order to cope with it myself. My close friends have been second to none in their support. As has my mum. But that is not the case with everyone. I have what I call my mask, the face I put on to deal with the not so kind and unhelpful people in my life. My friends (and my mum) see beyond that mask, they know by looking past the makeup that hides how sick I look, when I’m struggling. Having an acquired chronic illness is not how anyone plans their life. I had bigger plans than all those unhelpful and disbelieving people will ever know. No one questions a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis anymore, but did you know it was once called “Hysteric Paralysis”? Simply because doctors couldn’t explain it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be screwed without my doctors, but there’s a large bracket of them that are only book smart, and can’t see beyond the ends of their noses.
  10. And, as if all that’s not enough to deal with, in 2013, I was given a tentative diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type. It’s an hereditary connective tissues disorder. There’s no treatment. It’s a management situation. Because of it, my joints are prone to dislocation with little or no trauma. I’ve dislocated more joints than I can count. But the scary thing is, I’m on the lower end of the affected scale. There’s others with far more severe manifestations.
  11. Following one from that, I still have dreams. Some of them haven’t changed since early childhood, some have altered to better fit my reduced stamina. I’m going to do a post of my bucket list next, so that will cover some of my dreams.
  12. I am a prolific dreamer. Like actual dreams. My sleep cycles are wonky thanks to the ME, and so I dream, a lot. Some are awesome, some not so much dreams as violent, horrible, scary nightmares. I occasionally sleepwalk still too. I actually fell while sleepwalking this summer just gone, and had some very ouchie bruises from it.
  13. I’m a decent cook. Put a recipe in front of me and chances are I’ll be able to do it justice. I do have a stool in the kitchen these days to make cooking less taxing. I have all manner of kitchen gadgets to make cooking easier too.
  14. I love kids. I’ve got young cousins, and my friends kids to keep me on my toes. Most notable of those on the toes moments being when then cousin Master Three was listening in with great gusto, and overheard me use the word psychopath. “What’s a psychopaff?” he asked. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! I got out of it well, but the looks on my mother, and his mother faces were quite priceless. Lesson learned.
  15. I’m left handed. I was completely ambidextrous until I was 6/7yrs old. But a particularly unpleasant teacher insisted I choose a hand. Then spent the rest of the year telling me off for poor handwriting. For starters, have you ever seen a 6yr olds hand writing? Mine was no different to the rest of the class. He was a jerk. He’s still a jerk from what I hear.
  16. I’m allergic to cockroaches. Among other things. But they’re my weirdest thing. Not all that uncommon according to my doctors.
  17. I don’t have a favourite colour, as such. I do love vibrant, bold colours though.
  18. I’ve worn glasses since 1991, and contact lenses (somewhat sporadically) since 2000.
  19. My favourite show in my youth was The X Files. I’m not the I’ve seen every episode 167 times fan. More than I’ve seen it lots, I own it all on dvd, and I still love sinking back into that universe kinda gal. And just this week, the news all TXF fans have been hanging out for, a revival! I am, naturally, delighted.
  20. My favourite movies as a kid were the Goonies and Playing Beattie Bow. Scary thought they’re now 28 and 30yrs old.
  21. I still think of some childhood playmates as “my little boys”, despite the fact they both have a good six inches height on me!IMAG0163
  22. The first concert I went to was Billy Joel at Memorial Drive (better known for tennis) in 1991. It was the start of a big, very serious love of live music.
  23. The first album I bought was New Kids On The Block in 1990. I finally saw them live in 2011! Totes worth the wait!
  24. I’ve tried to keep a diary a few times, but suck at it. Always feel like a bit of a git writing shit I wouldn’t want anyone else to ever read. Rather a what’s the point feeling for me. All power to those who do keep diaries, but it’s not for me.
  25. I played with Barbies, and I’m not damaged about how women should look. It was always about the clothes for me, not the boobs and tiny waist.
  26. I still have a teddy I got for my second Christmas when I was 15months old.
  27. My weight has been an ongoing battle since childhood, courtesy of a serious reaction to steroids, in any form. My self image takes a big hit when I have to deal with the yoyo-ing numbers on the scales.
  28. As a consequence of my weight battles, my wardrobe is bigger than I’d like. But rather than having to re-buy the basics every time I gain or lose weight, I store the too big or too small items for when they’ll be needed again.
  29. I hate fresh coriander. HATE. Dried I can tolerate, but fresh is foul.
  30. I tried milk thistle when I was about four. Why call something milk thistle when it tastes so bloody bad? Gross!
  31. I enjoy gardening, but it’s something I have do in small, and very careful lots.
  32. I broke my collarbone trying to get a better vantage point at an outdoor music event. Broke in two places. And dislocated the shoulder and had a separated AC joint. And I got up and ran. Ever wanna challenge how tough I am, remember that.
  33. I’ve had three major orthopaedic surgeries. With the second, I had what my surgeon said was very technically termed “mean pain.” I’m normally pretty polite and will keep it to myself when people queue jump,etc, however, give a person enough pain, and you get “mean pain”. The moral of the story is, do not cut in a coffee queues when someone ahead of you is still wearing a sling!
  34. I rode in the car carrying two Crows duel premiership players in their ticker tape parade in 1998. I have photos of legs!
  35. I have supported the Adelaide Crows since 1991, and have been a member since 1999.
  36. I live with chronic pain. I don’t like to talk about it as a lot of people view it as whinging or attention seeking. But, for the record, when I do talk about the pain (or my other health related things), it’s never about attention seeking. It’s because I’ve suffered in silence longer than I can cope with and I need to say I’m not coping right now but don’t have the words. I don’t remember what it’s like not to have pain. And pain changes you. At least in how you handle situations. Sometimes it’s just that something or somewhere is too loud or too bright and my head is spinning with it all. It is never about wanting attention. Unless you consider vomiting on you from the pain attention seeking!
  37. One of my favourite things to do is spend time with my friends. I might not have a big circle, but I have a strong circle. Some are a second family to me. I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like, but I make the most of what I can manage.
  38. I’ve been researching my family tree for about 15yrs. With a lot of gaps filled by distant relatives I’ve located along the way, and a huge amount of trawling through records, digitised newspapers, war records, and all manner of resources, parts of the tree are huge! Much bigger than any of my maternal line knew. I’m proud of what I’ve found. The people in the tree aren’t just names and dates on pages, they are part of me. They form part of who I am. Our genes determine more of who we are than most are prepared to recognise.

    My Gran's family, her parents and nine siblings, Christmas 1996, taken at "The Farm", near Hawker, South Australia.

    My Gran’s family, her parents and nine siblings, Christmas 1996, taken at “The Farm”, near Hawker, South Australia.

  39. I wanted to be a doctor growing up. And a vet before that. But. I’m dreadfully allergic to cat, rabbits, and so,e dogs. And I cry at animals in pain. More so than people. I’d have made a terrible vet. Had I been able to become a doctor, I’d have been the fifth generation through my paternal family to do medicine, or something in that field. My Grandmother was a doctor, qualifying in the late 1930’s, not an easy time to be a woman in general and most defintiely not an easy time to be a woman doctor. She took over her fathers practice in the town where she grew up, and saw all manner of illnesses, injuries, accident, and crimes. But, aside from my health preventing me from fulfilling my dreams, I discovered something of a phobia in my teens.
  40. Blood. I’m really bad with it. When I have my first orthopaedic surgery on my knee when I was 15, I had a drain to keep the knee from filling with fluid. When I discovered this drain, I threw up. I can’t even watch blood being taken now. Last year, I held a tray for a nurse taking blood from my Mum. I made the mistake of looking at the vials of blood in the tray. I’m assuming I turned my usual shade of grey, as the nurse asked ME if I was ok! I toughed it out when mum had the drain removed from her knee after her knee replacement, but I was heavily caffeinated at the time! I can suck it up and cope for short periods, but let’s hope I never need to hold a wound closed or anying!
  41. I bit my nails til I was 15. Braces solved that habit.
  42. I had braces from 15 til 19. Every time my orthodontist got my teeth to move over to where they belong, months of painful moving, they’d move back within a few weeks. Every. Single. Time. They’ve stayed straight, but they’re defintiely not as he intended.
  43. I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 21. Here’s a tip, don’t say anything remotely like profylactic to a drugged up 21yr old, because whatever they mean will it be what you think of. I was warned of swelling. Likely to reach it’s peak in 2-4days. Always a bit of an overachiever, my swelling peaked in about four HOURS! I bore a striking resemblance to John Goodman, large jowls. And then came the bruising. I didn’t leave the house for 12 days. And even then I didn’t look so hot! I am extremely grateful that it’s something that only has to be done once. The bottom two were impacted, grown into the jawbone. One of the most painful places to have hacked at apparently. I didn’t get the profylactic antibiotics, and yup, I ended up with a lovely infection.
  44. I broke my nose in 2007. I have a neighbour who has some rather serious mental health issues, and 2am, middle of winter, he had something along the lines of a psychotic break. I bolted for the phone, in the dark, missed the doorway, got the door frame, one broken nose, a decent black eye, lots of very shiny stars were seen, and one hell of a concussion. Lesson learned, don’t use technology, watch tv, read etc when you’re concussed. I had post concussion syndrome, which took a long time to ease up.
  45. I rarely start a book and don’t finish it. Some I devour, others I drag through, but I try to finish most.
  46. My favourtie book is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. No surprise, it’s a classic for a reason, and it’s message resonates today as much as when it was written 55yrs ago.
  47. I believe in marriage equality. I want to see my gay friends allowed to stand up and publicly declare their love and commitment, if that’s what they want.
  48. I’m not religious, but I respect others rights to believe what they do. Just don’t stuff it down my throat.
  49. I don’t know if I will ever have good body confidence. It’s rather a fake my body confidence until I make it.
  50. I would love to study anthropology. Still the science nerd at heart, I’d love to be working in a museum. Always learning. Despite everything, I still have dreams. Lots of dreams. Probably even more than your average joe.

So, there you have it. That’s just a little bit about me.