Thursday, 26 February 2009

A-Z FACT FILE: E... F...

Dear reader, I’ve decided to intersperse my fiction writing (short stories, snapshot narratives and poetry) posts with some facts about myself... my way of inviting you to get to know me better ‘up close and personal’ (lol). My remit... three key words for each letter of the alphabet... which lead to three brief facts about myself... and I hope to cover two letters of the alphabet per post (whenever I do post). Hmmmmm - this should be an interesting journey. It’s so easy to hide behind the liquid interface of cyberspace however in these A-Z Fact Files about yours truly I do intend to keep it ‘real and honest’! Please feel free to simply read, share your thoughts, and/or ask any questions... [For earlier A-Z facts please scroll down... Thank you!]

Embarrassing moments. Embroidery. Enid Blyton.
Embarrassing moments... well, in the spirit of honest sharing there’s no time like the present to release those skellies from the dust and cobweb coated cupboard (lol). I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments in my topsy-turvy life but I’ll just share a couple with you here. Brace yourself!!! I must have been about 18 yrs old when I went to a ski resort in Virginia (I was completing my first degree at VCU at the time) and I was a novice skier, that is to say, I couldn’t ski an iota. But I was persuaded to take a Beginner's Lesson that day and I ended up in a class with about twenty kids aged between 5 and 10 (honest). I was the only ‘big person’ amongst all those little kiddies. Anyway, I went along with it – thinking how hard can it be to slide on the white fluff? To my horror, as I took my first ski-steps – I slid, lost my balance, and landed on my bum. It wasn’t a delicate and dignified Jane Austen topple (well that’s what I imagine her fall might be like). No – my fall was ungainly and awkward; definitely more Gerard Depardieu (no offence, Gerard – I do like you as an actor). Then I had to get myself back up on my feet engulfed by the laughter of the kiddies. I’ve never been so embarrassed. To top that day of embarrassment off, when it was time to be airlifted on the ski lift... as I stood in line waiting for lift-off and went to sit on the seat of the ski lift (when it arrived) – I missed the target by a mile. Yep – you guessed it... for the second time, I landed on my backside AGAIN. Humiliating! Not surprisingly, I’ve never been skiing again and to this day I still can’t ski an iota (chuckle). BUT my most embarrassing moment must be the time I wet the bed at the grand ole’ age of 19 or 20. Yep – you read it right – I wet the bed AND (it gets worse) someone was in the bed with me at the time. Too embarrassing for words... cringe cringe cringe... (lol). Thank goodness the boyfriend at the time was good enough not to make a big deal about it. And before you ask, no – I don’t suffer from any unfortunate bladder problems rather it was a case of being bladdered up with booze after a heavy night clubbing. I’d had way too much to drink and used the loo in my dreams. Hmmmm... thank goodness for the beautiful phrase of life coined ‘I grew up’ - I'm such a different person from the girl I used to be (chuckle)! Embroidery... In the last year or so I’ve started doing lots of crafty stuff such as embroidery, cross-stitching, knitting, and creating collages, card and jewellery making. I also started my first scrapbook a few months ago and I’m really enjoying that. I’ve had fun hosting some cool ‘Craft & Chat’ socials and also attending invites of others. I find these crafty circles very therapeutic, almost meditative, and a great source of inspiration. Enid Blyton... I was going to go with Epitaph for my final E-word but decided on Enid Blyton – the author who opened up the realm of imaginary worlds to me. I read and loved most of her books which kept me sane by giving me worlds to escape to during my boarding school years. My favourites were: The Wishing Chair series, Famous Five series, Mallory Towers series, The Magic Faraway Tree series... I just loved Moonface and the Saucepan Man...

Fear. Feet. Ferdinand.
Fear... of one thing or the other... I have lived with fear most of my life. I am afraid of many things. Some irrational. Others real. As a child I was afraid of the dark and would creep into my younger sister’s bed at night (she's a year younger). To be honest, right up until my early twenties if I was in a room alone, I would always sleep with a light on. These days I am now well over my fear of the dark. Another big fear of mine is that of heights. So if I’m on the sixth floor of an apartment block I would not be comfortable on the balcony. Saying that, I’d be happy to look at the view from the window. Biggies... as with regards to my fear of heights are walking across bridges, especially if they are crossing over a major motorway and thrill seeking rides. I’m absolutely no good with fun-rides. Anything that dips, swoops, slams or dunks from any height is NOT my thing. Well, I could go on and on in terms of my fears and phobias which include the physical, emotional, spiritual, etc – but I’ll spare you the details... after all don't most people live with one fear or another? Feet... I’m a UK size 7’s and not only that, my feet are broad and flat. Unfortunately, I have my father’s feet (perhaps, that’s part of the reason for my earlier oaf-like fall). Anyway, I digress... I dislike my feet because I’ve always viewed them as unattractive and unladylike. Matters weren't helped by the fact that it was always very difficult to find decent shoes to fit me in Israel (where I grew up) and I hated that. In my thirties, I have come to accept them. But I remain evermore a FLATS person, never HEELS. Ferdinand... the name of my first true love (age 22)... always special and never forgotten – even after all these years... funny that!?!

12 comments:

Khaled KEM said...

I do not know if it is fear of heights or not?! I start to feel uncomfortable standing on a balcony in the 10th floor and above. I can be sitting and feel Ok. Sometimes I feel that it is a vertigo!
It started to happen to me at an older age though. Maybe it is an inner fear of what heights present- danger.

Faith said...

I love these posts about you!

lissa said...

I'm not brave enough to share embarrassing memories but I can relate, and I do have a fear of height as well, it seems such a common thing, never did know where it came from...

John said...

I don't think my sense of balance is good enough for me to make a good skier -

I can imagine falling over a lot if I got into skis, so good for you for having a go.

Lilly Jones said...

Hey sis,

Oh my gosh, only weeks ago I remembered The Magic Faraway Tree. I loved it but had forgotten it was by Enid Blyton. Well, I searched and searched until I found it online and saved it on some wishlist... probably Amazon, or was it EBay?

Do you remember the story mom used to read us about a gray squirrel called Chitter Chatter? Cath, I can't find it anywhere. I loved that one too- him eating his acorns and stuff- lol.

Well, again you've created a masterpiece writing. You always do.

paulwchambers said...

julian tim and anne george and timmy the dog....

ginger beer and lashings of ice cream...... that's what the summers of the 70's were all about - recreating blyton's stories...

beautiful post catherine as always

Lilly's Life said...

I love your lists. Totally. And your honesty, your brilliant turn of phrase and your humor. Oh we have lot of Ferdinands in our family on my Dad's side as he is German. I have big feet but its getting kind of normal here now. So you will have nothing to fear on the shoe front. I hate heights too. Thanks for sharing!

CathM said...

@Khaled: Interesting that you mention that your fear of heights started at an older age... I think I was aware of it as an adult too... I don’t remember being afraid of heights as a child – in fact, I remember climbing trees when we lived in Beit-Hanina (Jerusalem), but now it’s a fear that I just don’t seem to be able to overcome!

@Faith: Thanks for reading Faith... it encourages me to keep writing...!

@Lissa: Hee hee hee... I dunno about being ‘brave’ – perhaps, I’m just ‘mad’. I did um-and-arrgh a lot about whether to post my ‘Embarrassing Moments’ but felt that as enough distance had passed between me and the said events – I was alright (lol). Yes – I think the fear of heights is rather common... and, I have no idea what the root of it is (in my life)!

@John: Re - skiing, it was an experience to say the least... my sense of balance isn’t very good at all... I’m equally hopeless on skates of any nature... roller skates, ice skates, skateboards... all of which I’ve tried with very little success.

@Lil: Hey sis... glad you’ve been reunited with the author of The Magic Faraway Tree. Incidentally, I have a copy in my book library. No – I don’t remember the squirrel ‘Chitter Chatter’. Thanks for reading and sharing!

@Paul: Lovely to be reminded of the Famous Five characters... I loved loved loved them... and in Israel they showed the series which I was hooked on. Oooohhhhh – I remember the ginger beer and ice cream... ah – a toast to the ‘70s’.

@Lilly’s Life: Thanks for reading and for sharing!

judith ellis said...

"I dislike my feet because I’ve always viewed them as unattractive and unladylike."

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel, who publish glad tidings of good things."

Thank you for your words here; the honesty and fun come through clear.

This is beautiful.

Linda S. Socha said...

Love this post.. You are so real and honest and funny. I appreciate you Cath
Linda

judith ellis said...

By the way, CathM, for me Love is the gospel and it is this that I see here. Peace...

CathM said...

@Judith: Thank you for your thoughts... I do try to be more positive about the things that I see as negatives in myself and my life e.g. my feet...

@Linda: I am so outside my comfort zone being ‘real and honest’... but it feels like it is part of the process (or the journey I’m on)... if that makes any sense. Thank you for your comments...