11 Things

The beautiful Sophie asked me to do this 11 things survey. (I initially typed her blog address as loveliverandlearn. I do quite like liver, but I don’t think that title would be quite as catchy.)

Survey rules (OK!)

#1: You must post these rules.
#2: Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
#3: Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

1. I am incredibly bad at talking about myself in a specific sense. I’m great at talking about things I did and people I know, but you know that weird moment when you’re with a group of people and somebody decides that it would be so much fun if you went round the circle and everyone said their name and something interesting about themselves? I clam up. All of a sudden I am not sure that there is one interesting thing about me. I have a trick up my sleeve, though, which is…

2. I live in Wensleydale! Trust me, people find this more interesting than you might expect. In my first year of university I thought it was amazing information that everyone needed to know, and so I told everyone I met. ‘HEY GUYS! GUESS WHERE I’M FROM?!’ Everyone was all ‘where the cheese is from? Wow!’ and eventually I realised that my place of residence was not a conversation starter. I stopped announcing it with such excessive bravado and behaved like a (semi) normal person. Then, when people asked me where I was from (all conversations at uni consist of your name, where you live at uni, what course you do, and where you’re from – true facts) I would quietly and calmly say, ‘Oh, I’m from Wensleydale’ and try to move on. And guess what? People, albeit drunk people, would still say, ‘Oh my god, like where the cheese is made? That’s like so totally awesome!’ (Did you know I went to uni in an American teen drama? Like, totally!) So now I ham it up. I’m from Wallace and Gromit land. Represent.


3. I also live in a pub. As in, my parents own it and they, my sister and I live in it. My older sister lived in it too before she flew the nest. This is a fact that some people will probably say I talk about far too much, yet there are people who have known me for 3+ years who have no idea about it.

4. I have serious hoarding tendencies, which I believe I have inherited from my father. It pains me to throw out magazines from a year ago that I’m never going to read again. The thing I hoard the most? Cards. As in, loyalty cards and so on. Every day I carry around loyalty cards for Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Milly’s Cookies, Pumpkin cafe, Costa, Superdrug, Tesco and Boots. As well as a tastecard, my blood donor’s card, my national insurance card, my EHIC, and obviously my driving license and bank card. I carry all this with me when I go to the local supermarket. Even though, as I mentioned, I live in the middle of nowhere. I do not leave the country on a daily basis and therefore am unlikely to need my European health insurance card. I have serious issues. Don’t laugh at me: feel sorry for me instead.

5. When I was younger I had what I can only describe as a speech impediment. I couldn’t pronounce any ‘s’ sounds. So school was cool, and my uncle Stuart was my uncle Tuart, which eventually become uncle Toot. All I can remember from my speech therapy is being tricked into pronouncing s sounds by being shown cards in quick succession and having to say what I saw. I’m sure there was more to it than that: any speech therapists reading, I’m sure your profession is far more worthwhile than I remember it being. I can speak properly now, or at least I think I can. Some people think I still have a lisp. One day I might record myself talking and ask for an honest opinion.

6. My food tastes change all the time. Things that I hate so much that I cannot eat, I used to love, and things that I could eat all day, I used to despise. For example, as a child I used to eat chocolate raisins by the handful, and now I can’t stand raisins, whether they’re coated in chocolate or not. I used to gag at the thought of bananas, but now banana & peanut butter is my dessert of choice.

7. I’m short-sighted and slightly astigmatic. I also had an ulcer on my cornea when I was about 16. This was partly caused by wearing contact lenses. Which I still wear. Because I am stupid.

8. I’ve never broken a bone, and I’m not allergic to anything, which I think is pretty good going for a 21 year old.

9. I really enjoy wearing bright colours, and have no real concept of what colours match each other, or flatter me, or any of that stuff. I always think I look pretty good, but I am aware that others (one of my old housemates, for example) will look me up and down and announce that I am wearing 6 different colours in one outfit and none of them match.

10. I am so clumsy. My boyfriend will happily attest to this. We can’t spend a single day together where I don’t hurt him or myself multiple times, or drop or break something. Clumsiness is sometimes portrayed as cute and endearing, but I’m sure that people do not look at me and go ‘awww! She just tripped up the stairs!’ but actually laugh at me.

11. I always seem to be overdressed or underdressed.

Now here are the questions Sophie asked me:

1. What is your favourite thing to bake? I’m still getting to grips with baking. I have the most fun making fairy cakes, because I can decorate each one however I want it.

2. Who is your favourite fictional character? Even though I don’t think you’re meant to like her, the character of Maria from Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays. Which may mean that I missed the entire point of the novel. Still, I wanted to be her friend.

3. Arts or Sciences? Definitely Arts! I think science is awesome, and I actually read a lot of science blogs and try very hard to understand it all, but a lot of it just hurts my brain.

4. What is your main goal for 2012? Get some experience, get a job, move out. Most of all, be happy.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose? This question has so many possible answers, because I change my mind almost every day. Over the weekend I decided I want to live in Edinburgh. Then I decided I wanted to live in Brighton. Then it was Florence. This never ends with me.

6. Strength training or cardio? Hmmm. I haven’t been to the gym in so long that this question is completely alien to me. So, my cop-out answer is: both. My gym routine used to consist of 15 minutes on the exercise bike, 15 minutes treadmill, 15 minutes arc trainer, then roughly 15 minutes going round the strength training machines. I never plucked up the courage to enter the free weights section. Various people told me that this routine was wrong, though I’m unsure as to how exercise can be wrong, as such.

7. Favourite quotation? I don’t know if I could ever pick a definitive favourite, as I’m always highlighting phrases and copying out paragraphs. Here’s a quote that I had written on the front of all my notebooks while I was at uni, and which often helped me put things in perspective when I was stressing out about work.

Your success in reading is invisible to others unless you know how to write.

Completely boring, I know. It comes from this book, which is not a wild read. But, as an English student, this was the most useful thing to keep in mind at all times.

8. Which famous person would you most like to meet and why? My standard answer since the age of around 14 has been Keith Richards. And I stand by this.

9. Sweet or savoury? Savoury. It is well documented how wonderful sweet food is, and there are desserts that I would crawl through hot coals for, but it’s savoury all the way for me. When dining out, I want a starter and a main course, not a main course and a pudding. When it comes to junk food, I’d rather have a burger, or something involving cheese or fried potato, than ice-cream or a chocolate bar.

10. Which film do you always turn to and why? The Commitments will never fail me. It’s funny, it’s a bit weepy, and it has really good music.

11. What is your greatest achievement to date? I would say graduating university, but some days I don’t feel like that was much of an achievement. I really haven’t done anything spectacular… yet. I’m working on it.

Now, for 11 questions set by yours truly:

1. You’re going on all expenses paid holiday, 10-day holiday. You can go anywhere, provided you can get there and back in 10 days. Where are you going?

2. Do you have a lucky charm? (As in, something you take to exams or job interviews with you.)

3. What’s your dream career?

4. What would be your death-row meal?

5. What would you do if you didn’t have to work for a living?

6. What made you start blogging?

7. Do you like where you live?

8. How many books do you own?

9. Stripes or polka dots?

10. Fruit or vegetables? (Yes, you have to choose one!)

11. Poetry or prose?

I tag the following people:

I tag Amy @ Girl Looks Like A Pony, Al @ Forgotten Beast, Mara @ Eccentric Owl, Louise @ The Book, and anyone else who wants to play along. Let me know if you fill it in so I can have a read! If you’ve already done it but want to answer my questions, feel free to answer them in a comment. Ready… steady… GO!

And so ends the longest blog post in the history of the world. I hope you enjoyed it, or at least tolerated it.

13 thoughts on “11 Things

  1. I love love LOVE this Emily and now I know what I’ll call my blog if I ever become an alcoholic ;-) I’m hopeless at finding interesting things about my self to talk about – those moments are so awkward. This post took me several hours to complete!

    I’ve never broken a bone or developed an allergy either, we’re doing pretty well aren’t we :-) (I’m also quite clumsy, we clearly have great traits in common!) I love your main goal this year, all of it is so worthwhile, especially the aim to be happy!

    Your quote has been written on my whiteboard, I think it’s just brilliant. Love your questions, they’re so imaginative. I’m so glad I came across your blog all those weeks ago!

    • It took me hours as well, and I couldn’t do it all in one day. I had to keep coming back to it and adding a little bit each time.

      I think it’s quite impressive to get to your late teens without breaking a bone. Most people I know have broken at least one by the time they’re out of secondary school!

      Yay I’m so glad you like the quote! It sounds dull but it was such a useful thing to reflect on every time I found myself getting bogged down writing essays. I’m glad I found your blog too! It’s so great to make connections with like-minded people through blogging :)

  2. I might do this, I’m flagging for original content at my blog. Move to Edinburgh, it’s really the loveliest city I’ve lived in (well, I’ve only lived in Glasgow and Edinburgh), and I’m still sort of in love with the damn castle, the beautiful skyline over Blackford hill, ah heck, it’s glorious. *weeps*

    • Please do! I’d love to read your 11 things :)

      Ah, I hope I get to live in Edinburgh one day. I’ve actually never been as an adult but I’m pretty fascinated with it.

  3. I find your gentle, self-deprecation so endearing. But I totally agree with the ‘let’s all tell an interesting fact!’ because you can’t think of anything, and there’s always some DICK who spent a gap yah in Malawi or something. They come a close second in my ‘list of uni wankers’, with first place occupied by those people who didn’t go to Malawi on a gap yah, so they stand outside the union selling cakes to spend a summer in Malawi ‘teaching english’/’digging wells’/GETTING A TAN. Get out of my sight, losers.

    Thank you for ‘Your success in reading is invisible to others unless you know how to write.’ I think this is something that I should bear in mind between now and the end of May!

    I find that saying ‘I grew up in a pub’ makes people think I can shoot vodka until it comes out of my eyes. Do you? Nuh-uh, guys. I just know how to use an ice cube machine.

    And, finally, I think your outfits are lovely! Was this a nice flatmate?

    • Urgh, gap yahhhhh kids are the worst. Except for, as you say, people raising money to fund their little holiday. I once encountered a girl outside the uni library who was… get this… giving out ‘free hugs’ while waving a donation bucket at people. I threw some loose change in the bucket but politely declined when she came at me to hug me. I think gap year kids annoy me a lot because even though I can see the value of travelling and volunteering, I don’t actually feel like it’s a rite of passage that a person is incomplete without, and really resent that some people think the answer to all my unemployed-graduate problems is ‘GO TO AFRICA FOR A YEAR!!!’ Yeah… no. I’m actually managing to do some work to help charities *without* having to go take some pictures posing next to African children. (sorry for the rant!)

      It’s such a useful quote, isn’t it? It’s so good to keep in mind when you’re struggling to get down on paper all the amazing things that are floating around in your brain. Easier said than done, I know, but it stopped me from thinking ‘I really got this book, so that’s going to show in this essay whether or not I make an effort’ haha.

      Yeah some people do seem to think that! When I would go out at uni people would say ‘omg you can drink so much, it must be because you grew up in a pub’ and I would just think ‘err, look around you, there are many other people drinking far more than me’…

      Ah thanks dude :) Yeah she was a great housemate, still one of my close friends. She always said it in a gently-poking-fun way, though she was the kind of person who would make sure her shoes and handbag and nails all matched so I can see why me looking like a sloppy rainbow might have bothered her haha :)

  4. Thanks for the tag! I’ll be participating in this too, now–thanks for supplying me with all sort of posts ideas! I have no excuse to get in a blogging rut for a long time in the future. And “How many books do you own?”…ohhh have you ever assigned a tricky question! And I feel ya on overdressed/underdressed, I can’t seem to get that one right. The days everyone looks nice at the office? I’m in jeans and a hoody. The days everyone else is in borderline gym-clothes? I’m in a dress and I’ve actually done my hair for once. I swear they coordinate it just to trick me!

    • I know it’s a tricky question, but you can estimate or guess – I don’t expect you to count every book! :)

      Ha, that is exactly what seems to happen with me. I’m also sure that people plan it just so that I look silly!

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