... Sonja for this lovely award.
It comes with a few rules:
1) Thank the person(s) who nominated you for this award
2) Copy the award and place it in your blog
3) Link to the person(s) who nominated you for this award
4) Tell us 7 interesting things about you
5) Nominate 7 bloggers and link to their blogs
I'll start with the nominations. I'd like to have given it to both Sonja and Egghunt, but they already have it, so my other nominees are Myndi and Circus Princess. All of them have been so consistently supportive towards me and write such great blogs themselves that I really feel they are friends and would love to know more about them. I'm an accountant - that makes about 7, doesn't it?
And now on to my 7 things about myself...
1. I was potty trained at 16 months. To listen to my mother speak sometimes, you'd think this is the greatest achievement of my life and that nothing since then has matched it. Maybe she's right - but it's sad to think the peak of your life happened before you could even talk...
2. I loved looking after my little sisters when I was growing up. One visitor to the house when I was a teenager thought I was the nanny.
3. At the age of eight, I used to try to sing my one-year-old sister to sleep. She was not good about going to sleep, and one particular night I sang the same song 100 times over in the hope of boring her to sleep. She now sings the same song every night to her children.
4. The summer I turned 10, we lived in a place where the local swimming pool allowed children to go in unaccompanied by an adult once they reached the age of 10, provided they could demonstrate that they could jump in at the deep end and swim 8 lengths without stopping. On my 10th birthday, I went down to the pool to do my test, and when I reached the end of my 8 lengths, I didn't stop. I kept going until I reached 100 lengths. The next day, my brother just HAD to beat me, so he went and swam 120 lengths. The day after that, I swam 123 lengths. My mother then banned us from carrying on, as we would quite happily have kept the competition going until one of us drowned from exhaustion.
5. I really am sad enough to have counted the 100 instances of that song and the 123 lengths of the pool. It gets worse - I completed the Dublin marathon a few years ago, and I counted every step that I took, both in training and on the actual day. I have a system which allows me to count to 100 on my fingers, using one hand for tens and the other for units.
6. I'm quite evangelical about giving blood, and when I ran the marathon I asked people to give blood rather than sponsor me in cash. I raised over 100 pints, and some people who gave blood for the first time then are still doing it now. When I was a student in France, I once gave blood there, and had to put up with EVERY nurse and assistant who was there coming up to me and making jokes about the fact that they'd know who got my blood, because the recipient would start carrying an umbrella and wearing a bowler hat. At the time, I owned neither a bowler hat nor an umbrella, and I have still never owned a bowler hat.
7. The Chinese call Westerners Big Noses. I saw how they believe the truth of this nickname when I fell off a mountain and injured my nose. First the nurse who saw me when I was first brought into the hospital said in a musing tone, "Of course, if she had a nice neat Chinese nose, she wouldn't have hurt it so badly." Then the guy who sewed me up offered to give me a good deal on a nose job if I went back to him once the wounds had healed. I have also had to be stitched up for various reasons in Germany, the US and at home in the UK. The only country I've spent a significant amount of time in without needing stitches was France. I never did go back for the nose job.