Tagged by the Brock Patriarch of Ludlow.

3 Things That Scare Me:

Driving through floods. I suppose it’s because I can’t tell the depth of the water, but I get really agitated.
Cats. I like cats and they usually like me, but I’m scared of them too, as I don’t understand their language and always expect the (apparently) friendliest cat to unleash his claws and gouge stripes of flesh from my arms at any moment. Sometimes, one does. For no reason.
Crowds. I’m usually okay, but sometimes I feel quite panicky. It’s never been so bad that I’ve not been able to cope, luckily.

3 People Who Make Me Laugh:
Michael Bond. I picked up a Paddington Bear book not long ago and browsed for a few minutes and I thought it was as funny as I did when I was a child.
Bill Bryson. I remember a train journey when I embarrassed myself by snorting with laughter at one of his books.
JonnyB. He makes it look so easy. It’s really hard, to make it that simple.

3 Things I Love:
Lying on the lawn on a summer day, reading.
Rowing down the river, watching the wildlife on the bank and in the water. I grew up by the river and have always loved it.
Hearing that first glug from a newly-opened bottle.

3 Things I Hate:

The sound of a dentist’s drill. Obviously.
Going to the doctor. I always start by apologising for wasting his time.
Word Verification. Really. When I brought up the matter before, some people said they didn’t like Comment Moderation, so I politely switched it off. Politely, you see. They only had to mention it and It Was Done.

3 Things I Don’t Understand: So much choice, I don’t know where to start.

When I type a few words into Google and instantly there are thousands of options of sites, some of which actually are relevant to the subject. How can it be so fast?
How anyone can drink B@card1 Breezer. I tried one once, all I could taste were the chemicals and I felt really rough the next day. It was the only alcohol I drank all day and it was about one and a half units, but I was nastily hungover.
Being competitive. It’s not in my nature. I’m tenacious and a trier, but I am a cheerful loser.

3 Things On My Desk: Plenty of choice here too.
A brass dog – a setter, just like Chester, that Ro gave me once.
A candle in a candlestick. Not lit for warmth as it was in the winter, but just to soothe. It isn’t lit now, only in the evening.
A cheque dated a week ago, made out to me, for £189.82. I must pay it in before the end of the month or it’ll mess up the accounts and the treasurer will not be pleased.

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now:

Eating a square of Fairtrade ‘Divine’ 70% dark chocolate.
Listening to Bix Beiderbecke playing ‘In a Mist’, a piano improvisation. He usually played the cornet but trained initially as a pianist, and showed great promise, except that he played by ear and his teacher wanted him to read music. Bix’s story is a sad one, and his end was pitiful, but his music is a joy.
Looking at a pair of bluetits hopping around on the clematis outside the window in Al and Dilly’s garden. I wonder if they are the ones whose nest is in the study roof. I hear them scratching away in there morning and evening.

3 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:

Get old. A year ago, I wouldn’t have said that. I’m glad I’m where I am now.
Sort out the contents of my house so that my children don’t despair at having to do it themselves.
Surprise people.

3 Things I Can Do:

Be a wife. For nearly 34 years, it’s been the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done.
Parallel park. Not perfect every time, but I’m not too embarrassed to drive forward and try again. I really can do without someone trying to help though “Left hand down a bit!” and suchlike advice completely throws me.
Convert from pounds and ounces to kilos accurately and instantly, remember the prices of over 100 items of fruit and veg (some of which change regularly) and subtract to give the correct change, all while chatting to customers. It sounds harder than it is.

3 Things I Can’t Do:

Make shortcrust pastry. Well, make it well. I have no idea what I do wrong.
Reverse with a trailer attached. Nope. My brain isn’t wired for it.
Roller skate. And I’ve never even tried ice. Nor skiing. No co-ordination. Anyway, my no-exercise-that-might-cause-injury policy has served me well for nearly forty years, a resolve taken after being hit in the mouth with a hockey stick wielded by a beefy girl called Leonarda.

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:

Birdsong. Another of the pleasures of the spring.
A baby laughing. It is the most joyous sound in the world.
Some music that is recommended to you by a friend that is quite unlike your usual taste. Listen at least three times before you decide if you like it.

3 Things You Should Never Listen To: I’ve changed this to ‘3 Things You Should Never Have To Listen To:
Once we had to take Al to the local hospital as he had put a pebble in his nose (little rascal). We drove in behind an ambulance that had picked up a woman who had been rescued from drowning in the sea. The sound of her being resuscitated and barfing up all that seawater is a memory I don’t like to recall…but at least she recovered.
The sound of a bomb going off outside your office window. This happened to my daughter. Fortunately, she was on the 4th floor and she had the sense not to look out of the window.
That awful metallic sound when your car scrapes against another.

3 Things I’d Like To Learn:

I know I’ve talked about this before, but it will happen, honestly … bricklaying. Once we’ve got the bloody bricks. This wall will be 5 foot high and the best part of 100 foot long so by the time I’ve built it, I will know how to bricklay.
I’d like to be able to swim properly. I can’t co-ordinate all limbs at the same time, so I tend to flounder. It doesn’t help that I want to hold on to something at all times as I am afraid of being out of my depth. You never know, I might do this one day. I make no promises though.
Carpentry. I’d love to make things out of wood, well. A very unlikely one though as I’m a bit clumsy.

3 Favourite Foods:

Vegetables. Actually, all my favourite foods are vegetables, but I’ll put them together so that I can say other things too.
Risotto. As made by me. I’m sure you all make wonderful risotto too, but everyone likes a particular texture and degree of slop, so it’s best made for oneself.
Bacon. Proper bacon. Smoked.

3 Shows I Watched As A Kid:
The Addams Family. It made a lasting impression and has made me what I am.
Huckleberry Hound. I watched lots of Hanna and Barbera cartoons, but Huck is never mentioned any more. We called one of our dogs after him. “Huckleberry Finn?” adults asked? “Huckleberry Hound” I replied with disbelief at their ignorance. My next dog, if a boy, will be called Huckleberry, after all three of them and, also (aah with sentimentality), he’ll be my huckleberry friend.
Zorro. You know how he used his sword to carve his mark ‘Z’ at the scene of his daring and freedom-fighting crimes? Just think how much that meant to the young Z.

3 Bloggers I’ve tagged:
Julie from Athens (I’ve tagged you before, Julie, I hope you don’t mind)
Murph. I don’t know if dogs do memes, but let’s find out.

15 comments on “Forty-eight

  1. Penny

    “…Be a wife. For nearly 34 years, it’s been the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done.”

    Can a reader request a post? An elaboration for this statement?

    No one ever says this; it’s rare to hear.

    Can you give us some insight? I, for one, would be extremely interested.

  2. martin

    Lovely list. Thirty four years with the sage, all I can say is lucky sage…… and yes I am apple to the core.
    I helped set up my aunt’s Dell last week, I left tired and weak and asking why do people buy pc’s when there are lovely apple macs in the world ?. Crazy.

  3. dharmabum

    beautiful list, z.

    “Be a wife. For nearly 34 years, it’s been the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done”

    such a wonderful thought! there is so much contentment here, your words fill me with a certain indescribable peace. i think it comes with contenment.

    me is tagged? wil do, in time 🙂

  4. PI

    I expect your pastry is really excellent but it has a lot to do with your hand temperature. Mine are always very cool but my pastry days are over- praise be!

  5. Z

    Martin, you are a honey. And so are you, Dharmabum.

    Pat, I have cool hands – run the cold tap over my wrists to cool the blood – don’t overhandle the pastry, mix the water in all in one go, do everything by the book, but it is still unpredictable. The more care I take (though still quick and light-handed), the tougher it is. It’s me. I can make it in the food processor. I can also make choux, flaky or any other pastry.

    I hardly ever use pastry though, and usually buy it ready made nowadays!

  6. The Boy

    Yup, lovely list. I like seeing people content with their lot, yet still striving to live life fully.

    Penny, my parents got to 54 years before my dad died, and my mum would likely say the exact same thing.

  7. Blue Witch

    Are you plannning to learn bricklaying by trying it?

    Especially on a wall that long and high, wouldn’t you be better to get a brickie in and labour for him – it would only take him a day to do that… whereas it might take an inexperinced person a lot longer… and it might have, erm, unexpected structural problems!

    I’m only saying, because Mr BW (who is incredibly handy) learnt a lot from building a wall with someone in just this way (and he’d made lots of low walls before).

  8. Z

    I’m not quite as daft as I sound, BW. We’ve already had the footings put in by a brickie and I’ll take lessons. A wall that high needs to be done properly, I agree.


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