Sunday, July 08, 2007

five six seven eight

I've been tagged by Janet. Yay, I'm special. Eight things about ME ME ME. Because you're all desperate to know. I can see it in your eyes.

Here are the rules:

A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

I have never been on a rollercoaster, or anything scarier than the Ferris Wheel. I did however go on the London Eye when I was in (um) London, which seemed brave. Only it wasn't actually scary, I think cause you're all sealed in, so it's like being in a plane - kind of disconnected. And I have been in a hot air balloon, which is not at all like being in a plane. So I am not a complete ninny. Oh hang on, this is a LIE. I went on the 'scenic railway' at Luna Park (the tamest rollercoaster ever, they let four year olds go on it. But genuinely alarming, since it's quite rickety and I think it once caught on fire...actually that might also be a lie).

I hate shopping for anything specific or for an occasion, even for fun things like presents for the kids. I am indecisive, I always want to buy the perfect thing. I carry things around the shop and then put them back. Often I leave without buying anything, usually with a headache. I much prefer making presents when I have time, even though I'm not a star at it - I do think it conveys love and care though. And I love buying things on a whim for myself and other people. I feel embarrassed giving people presents and don't like to watch them open them.

Sometimes I wish we'd called Frederique 'Frederica' (which is what we occasionally call her anyway, affectionately) since a surprising number of people think Frederique is a boy's name. Plus I have to explain that no, we're not French, we're just slightly pretentious. But Frederica doesn't look as elegant written down. We never considered it really. Once we found the name Frederique that was The One.

I want to have another baby.

I believe in souls, but not in a religious sense - and I don't believe in heaven and hell. But I believe there is something about us, some essence or spirit or consciousness, that exists before and after our bodies, that is not chemical or biological. But I don't think we remember our life when we die. I think memories are a chemical process, part of our corporeal existence.

When I was about 9 or 10 I saw a horse die on the road - it had been hit by a car (a station wagon, I think, maybe a volvo - there were a lot around back then). The horse's name was Midnight and the girl who owned him was Lydia - she was my age but went to a private school. Everybody knew who they were - or so it seemed to me, they were certainly prominent features of my childhood landscape though I never played with Lydia, sometimes I talked to her on the school bus or when she was out riding Midnight - I have a distinct memory of her looking down at me from the horse. I was scared of him, but I loved him. I wished he was mine. Lydia lay across him sobbing as he died, pleading with him to get up. Zoe was there with me, we both knew that if a horse lay down it was done for - we'd seen enough midday movies to learn this irrefutable fact of horse biology (I remember us discussing it years later as we did a wine tour of the Barossa, looking out the window at paddocks of lying down horses). The driver of the car, a middle aged woman, was telling the small crowd that she hadn't seen them, that they'd come onto the road out of nowhere and there had been nothing she could do, she was very overwrought. It seemed so unlikely, I don't know if anyone believed her and i think I probably felt quite cross at her distress - it seemed unfair to Lydia really that the driver should be so upset. I remember being intensely sad for Lydia but kind of jealous too, jealous of both her horse and her grief. There was something about her devastation that indicated their symbiosis, this sense of their bodies, their identities being enmeshed. I didn't want to be a bystander. I wanted to be a part of it. But I was glad I wasn't too, that these strong, alarming emotions weren't mine. I wasn't sure I was even capable of such feelings. I was - just at that age I had nothing like Midnight to lose.

I've been asked to teach a class next semester at Melbourne Uni. It's an undergraduate creative writing subject. I've never taught before, but I secretly think I might be quite good at it.

My Great Grandmother was a Welsh gypsy. I sometimes think I've inherited a restlessness of the spirit from her (I am sure that's a shocking over-romanticism of the difficult conditions she would have lived in). It's not that I've travelled that much, not great distances, but I can never settle anywhere. I love moving house (I hate packing though). I don't mind living out of boxes. I like being somewhere new, with different scenery around me. I really hope I can overcome my wandersome ways and find somewhere to live and stay while the kids grow up a bit, let them put down some roots (and let myself put down roots too, let myself belong somewhere, feel permanent). Fred has lived in four suburbs in four very different parts of Melbourne since she was born. We're actually in the process of putting an offer on a house...maybe this will be The One. It represents a fairly big lifestyle change, but something I've always known I wanted for my kids. I'll let you know.

Okay, I'm tagging: Nadia, Jo, Ben, Kath, Lili, Meli, Fi, and Tracey. Tomorrow's mission will be to comment on all your blogs.


  1. Your story about Midnight was beautifully written Penni. I think everyone can relate to feeling envy of such strong emotions. It's a strange thing about humanity, isn't it?

    I also agree with many of your other points particularly 2, 5 and 8. Secretly, I think there's a bit of they gypsy in me too.

  2. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Point 2

    nina's snip snap book/hand-made alligator/croc cake were her mother's favorite presents that day.