Friday, January 12, 2007

Five Things You May Not Know About Me

Tagged by Leonie. I'm still trying to work out how I can summarise my holiday in a blog post, so this is a suitable diversion.

1. I lived in the same house in Henderson Valley, Auckland, from a few months of age till I moved in with Hamish when I was 23. The house was built for my parents, and they lived there until two years ago, when the council bought it off them and moved it off the site. The property had a history of flooding, and I still nurse deep-seated fears of heavy rain and rising water. However it was also a fantastic place to grow up. It was semi-rural, surrounded by fields and bush. There were lots of families nearby with children around my age, and we all roamed freely around the neighbourhood.
2. I first started singing in a school choir formed to take part in a combined schools music festival when I was about seven years old. One of the other kids in my class told me I couldn't sing, but thankfully, although I believed them, I didn't let it stop me. One of my strongest memories is of a plucky girl with very curly hair singing a solo from 'Annie Get Your Gun'. I met her again several years later at Intermediate School, and we remain close friends. The theme that year was musicals, and I can still remember the words from several of the Sound Of Music songs we had to learn.
3. I once won a regional poetry competition for an anti-nuclear poem I wrote at high school. I had used only my first initial and surname on the entry-form, so the organisers didn't know whether they were awarding the prize to a boy or girl.
4. If it weren't for the Gulf Crisis turning into the Gulf War, I would have spent a year in Egypt on student exchange. Instead, the only country that could take five New Zealander teenagers at short notice was the Netherlands. I swapped long cotton skirts and high-necked blouses for jeans and a thick winter coat and spent ten months cycling around a small town in the middle of the country. I failed to apply myself in class, and ended up dating one of my host brothers, who thankfully lived in another city. He failed university that year because he kept skipping class to meet me, and as a result he had to do a year of army service. He now lives in Hungary with his lovely wife and two daughters. I read most of the way through my host mother's collection of English language literature, but still managed to learn servicable Dutch. I can still understand the language, both written and spoken, though I wouldn't be able to write or speak it that well any more. If it weren't for the opportunity to go on exchange, I think I would have failed Bursary. Instead, I learned a lot about the world and got into university on my sixth form grades.
5. I've recently discovered that I resemble my father's mother. She passed away when he was a teenager, but I've grown into the only photo of her we have. Up till now I've always resembled my mother's mother. Both have wonderful cheeks when they smile, so I guess I was always destined in that respect.

Sarah, you're it...

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