...number 2. Here are the details for all the true or false statements from the last post:
1.My Mum was born and brought up in Scotland so even though I don't feel very Scottish (especially now I live here) you probably could say that I am at least a tiny bit that way.
This is true. My Mum's parents eloped from England in the 1920s. I think it would be fair to say that my beautiful redheaded Grandma was not considered a suitable match for the Grandad I never met – she was a young shop girl from the Wiltshire countryside and he was older and from a much more middle class background, quite well-off. They settled in Edinburgh, he got a sales job and they had three children but then he died and another whole chapter started for my Grandma and those bairns (they were evicted and then forgotten by his family...but that's a story for another time). My Mum did stay in Edinburgh her whole childhood but I don't think she's ever considered herself Scottish (though she does sometimes call herself an 'Edinburgh girrrl'). I suppose that's one the reason I don't feel at all Scottish – that and being born and brought up in England myself.
Mark is more conventionally half Scottish (his Mum was born and grew up in Glasgow and is most definitely Scottish) and all that does mean our daughter is...well...how Scottish exactly? She sounds the most English in her class but looks the most Scottish!
p.s. Hope, you were nearly right...my Mum would call herself English and she does go to quaker meeting but she's not technically a quaker (it is a society and, these days particularly, you have to join). It's my Dad's family that has the quaker background (you can't get more quaker than Fox...even though we're not descended from George Fox, in fact). Most of us in the family went to quaker school at some point.
2.I loved the high jump at school – it was my favourite athletic event in P.E.
This is the falsehood. I was pretty sporty at primary school – competitive and quite able – but I can remember quite clearly the first few times we did the high jump because it horrified me. That whole thing of flinging yourself into the air and believing you can fly...I've never been one much for that (in practise anyway...not bad at theory). I did OK at high jump in school (the competitive urge got me through) but I really didn't like it and I stopped doing it as soon as I could. Once I got to high school I became far more interested in the old extra-curriculars (drinking, smoking, lazing about and misbehaving...) and I did as little of any conventional P.E. as possible. The high jump thing stuck with me because I was a fairly confident child and I think it was the first time I ever thought 'I can't do that' ( though I've thought it a lot since). This change and realisation even made it into a poem but it's not one I'll ever make public, I don't think, as it is full of very, very personal details (the high jump bit is one of the cleaner sections). The poem is called 'If only I was a catholic (I have so much to confess)'.
3.Though I don't drive very much now I passed my driving test first time.
Amazingly this is true. Mark says all the best drivers pass second time.
4.I do know the way to San José.
True because I've been there. In 1987 I went to Central America with a group of people from university. We were heading for Nicaragua (and got there) but we flew to Costa Rica (and its capital San José) and then took a bus north. I remember some of the others singing the 'Do you know the way...' song at the airport. Hilarious for the cabin crew I'm sure.
5.I was once an extra in an episode of the TV soap opera 'Emmerdale'.
True. In the mid '90s I was living in Leeds and working in nightclubs – particularly ones with a fairly hefty gay (or at least experimenting with gay) clientele. Anyway a character in the TV soap 'Emmerdale' (that's filmed in and around Leeds) was coming out as a lesbian and she (Zoe, a pretty vet in the story) was meant to be going to a lesbian & gay club in the city. A friend of mine was given the job of peopling this club with extras that looked the part and so, hey, I was an 'Emmerdale' lesbian!
6.I have worked as a tour guide in Moscow.
True. Whilst at uni I had a holiday job accompanying groups of high school kids from the USA on their (very cheap) trips to the USSR (it was the late '80s). I had to greet the kids and their teachers at Heathrow and then fly with them all on to the USSR (via Paris...whistle-stop tour and all). I stayed with them for the whole tour (Moscow and Leningrad and then back to Heathrow) and looked after their every pesky need ('gee, my hairdryer doesn't work and the food here is disgusting'...actually that's unfair the kids were great). Whilst in the USSR we did have a Soviet guide with us too (every step of the way) but technically I was a tour guide in Moscow. It was very long hours and very badly paid work but the scenery was lovely.
7.I cannot understand the appeal of prawns (as a foodstuff).
True. Why would you eat prawns when there is anything (and I mean anything!) else on offer?
8.I was a member of the Fonzie Fan Club ('School of Coolmanship') when I was about 10.
So true. I loved the TV show 'Happy Days' (theme tune below) and joined this fan club in good faith. Members got certificates for 'coolness' (bronze, silver and gold) but my gold never arrived. Then one day we saw (on 'That's Life' on TV) that the whole thing was a con and nothing to do with Fonz or the show! I was very disillusioned. Still am.
9.Despite much evidence to the contrary I do in fact have an honours degree (of my own) from one of those and famous English universities with all the pretty buildings (no, not Essex...).
This is true. I went to Cambridge University (under my real name of course) and stayed the full 3 years (studied Modern Languages). I didn't like it very much and didn't work very hard and I probably should have gone somewhere else but you don't know that till you try do you? Plus my Mum was very, very proud.
10.I once read a Pablo Neruda poem to a room full of inmates in a men's prison in Cáceres (Spain).
True. When I lived in Madrid (1985-6) I shared a flat with a Chilean guy and this meant I pretty soon met every Chilean in the city (very exciting for a girl from Teesside I can tell you!). Two of my friends were really great musicians working as buskers (because of course like many Latin Americans in Spain at that time they were not officially there). These friends were invited to a weekend of Chilean cultural exchange (or some such) by the local council in Cáceres (a few hours west of Madrid) and it was all expenses paid (train tickets, hotels, food etc.). Somehow my musician friends Hugo and Leo got me invited too and off I went (at 19 you don't question you just go!). Because I was getting all the freebies I had to work though so when it was time for the prison visit part of the cultural tour they took me along and made me read a poem. It was very strange being the only female in the place (much noise and shouting as I walked through the courtyard...) but my friends were lovely and I trusted them to look after me. I've never been to Chile but I would like to go one day. I presume a lot of the people I knew went back there after Pinochet died...but I don't know for sure because I didn't stay in touch with anyone – shame really. Even then I wanted to be a writer (but was a bit lazy) and Hugo (who was very wise...a great guy) said to me 'if you want to be a writer you have to practise every day, every day!' I hear his voice in my head quite often (because now I do, Hugo, I do!).
So Susan at Stony River got the answer right first (and Liz got it too). Well done you two and thanks for playing everyone.
A Magical Experience.
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