Monday, January 01, 2007

Five things you don't know about me?

Well well. First post of 2007 is in response to being tagged by Mrs. O'Neill to do the "Five things ...." - so a self-indulgent New Year's morning (well, it's actually the afternoon, but the day began late) thinking about moi. Here goes - and I'd like to know if any of these things are new to Ewan!

1. I was nearly born a month prematurely - prevented, I was told, by my grandfather's not allowing my mother to attend the VE Day celebrations in George Square. And when I did appear on the scene, my newly-demobbed father called his 2 month old daughter "the Belsen baby" because (a) I was so skinny (don't things change?) and (b) the horrors of Belsen were uppermost in people's minds.

2. I had my tonsils taken out on the kitchen table of our top floor flat in Hyndland. I was seven, and I can remember it with alarming clarity. The kitchen was full of nurses and doctors - apparently observing this practice before it went completely out of fashion - and I had to sit on a fat nurse's knee while they anaesthetised me with a mask onto which something was dripped. (Aagh). I don't think I was completely unconscious, as I could hear clatterings and was aware of a bright light throughout. Afterwards, I threw up down the wrong side of the bed (the one next to the wall). The stain was still there when we left the house three years later.

3. When I was ten, I had a passion for shoes which made a noise when I walked. I persuaded my father to hammer segs into the heels of my school shoes. By the time I had my first pair of "heels" at 15, the fashion was for stilettoes and the little metal tips would ruin the lino - so none of my friends was allowed to keep their shoes on if they came to visit.

4. I always wanted to learn to abseil and rock climb. I used to draw mountaineers doing classic abseils - using only the rope rather than karabiners etc - down the inside covers of my school text books. This hurt no-one except my concentration, as I went to the kind of school where you had to buy your own text books. You could tell the boring subjects by the density of the illustrations. In the end, I learned to abseil when I was 46 and it felt exactly as I had always imagined, so I had no fear and scooshed down the cliff at Benmore on Loch Eck like the SAS.

5. When I was small - about 3, I think - I had decided views on aspects of my life. (I know - what's new about that?) One was that I didn't like being a little girl, so that if someone said kindly "And what's your name, little girl?" I'd reply "I'm not a little girl. I'm a boy and my name's Peter Pan." (Really) And I often embarrassed my mother when someone to whom she might talk came along; I would look resolutely at my feet and say "I don't talk to this lady." And I didn't. But when it came to my interview with the child psychiatrist to see if I was suitable Hillhead High School material (I was 5) I apparently took the hand of this terrifying figure with a nicotine-stained white walrus moustache, smiled sweetly and went off with him. I got into the school; the child who screamed and wept at the psychiatrist did not.

And now, having done this, I see that my whole life was mapped out with a terrible inevitability. Fascinating.

And I tag: Ruth, Kelvin, Kenny, Di - to get her blogging again - and David, who's been far too quiet these hols.


  1. Never think you know the heart of my mystery - I have a long and interesting life to plunder!

  2. Peter Pan, eh? After complete misery over this dreadful holiday, that has just made me smile. Thank you!

  3. Well done Chris! Knew you'd prove to be an interesting read...
    The tonsils story sounds absolutely awful. No wonder you didn't find abseiling anything to fear later in life.
    Love the Peter Pan stage, but then I was a horse for most of my 8th year.

  4. With reins? and someone to drive you? My experience with two-legged horses can wait for the next meme!

  5. Duffy: why so mis? Have you returned to the metropolis?

  6. No.3 is news to me. Oddly enough I too at some stage fancied clattering heels, a notion soon to turn sour when trying to march down the Royal Mile's cobbles at a parade of the school army cadet corps.

  7. My bridle was silver, my mane it was gold, but the worth of my saddle has never been told...
    Actually I painted all the brooms/forks/window poles red and white and made jumps for myself in the back garden. Got into terrible trouble. But it was worth it:)

    What is wrong with the Duffy boy? Not good to hear he is low.

  8. I fear that none of these are new to me!I wonder why?

  9. I'll blog about it this evening! It's just another to add to the list of hellish Decembers. Back in the big smoke revising away for exams next week. Will I ever get a break?!

    I must confess... I find this Peter Pan thing so hilarious! Purely because when we first came into your class in 2nd year I thought you looked like peter pan becasue of the way you used to write on the blackboard -you know- with one hand on the back and the other in the air. Brilliant!

  10. Oh... forgot to say that my dad lost his tonsils in the same way... and most of his teeth too. Kitchen tables are clearly much under-used now-a-days. Do you think we could free up some hospital beds in the NHS if we all offered to send them a kitche table or two? :-)

  11. Hmmm. Does it strike you that we'd have tonsillectomies on tiny worktops now rather than tables? I think my feet would hang off the end .....