Eight not very random things about me

The fascinating Doctor Z tagged me (hi, Z!) so I am obediently presenting the disinterested masses with:

Eight Random Things About Me.

Now of course the only way to make this truly random would be to write every single fact I can think of about myself on tiny slips of paper, stuff the mass of them into a duvet-cover, and ferret eight out, thereby inevitably presenting the gentle reader with such gems as ‘I like marmalade’, ‘I have brown hair’ and any number of phrases beginning with ‘when I lived in Italy…’. Can I do this to you? Can I do this to myself? No I can’t. And of course, the fun is to think of eight things I haven’t really mentioned before, also, eight things that surprise people slightly (thereby keeping the reader intrigued, hah hah). I say fun – of course, I mean difficulty.

Tell you what, the Editor can edit them. That’s her job [Bah - Ed]. Thereby presenting you with:

Eight Things About Me – Editor’s Choice.

  1. Reed thinks cooked carrots are only marginally less disgusting than the pavement outside an all-night take-away. In fact, all orange vegetables are disgusting, swedes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin. Why not invite her to dinner and upset the both of you thoroughly by having spent the entire day making carrot and coriander soup followed by butternut squash ravioli and then pumpkin pie with chantilly cream? (This really happened once. She ate most of it. She’s a good girl really). But she adores carrot cake. Because a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, apparantly.
  2. Reed can knit fine Shetland lace. She has been told that this is very hard. She finds it quite easy. Did I ever mention that I find her almost unendurably smug? Anyway, she used to be very shy about the fact she could knit, as peers between the ages of 12 and 26 would collapse with merriment at the very thought. Knitting is however officially ‘cool’ now, so she has Come Out. Never mind, it won’t be cool soon enough, and she can go back into her woolly little closet, which should help with the smugness problem.
  3. Reed bites her nails. This is infact an improvement on her childhood habit of chewing the cuffs of her shirts and jumpers, so we let her.
  4. She once played the Sheriff of Nottingham in a panto, complete with purple stockings, van Dyke beard and ‘tash. It was one of the more enjoyable experiences of her life. Alas, she can ham, but she can’t act, so that was that.
  5. Reed is obsessed with libraries. I have a strong feeling this only comes as a surprise to that uncle who is still inexplicably under the impression that Reed wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up (oops, that’s two things in one go. Oh well, they’re both quite boring, so we’ll let it pass). Her step-father even gave her a book of, basically, Library Porn for Christmas.
  6. She once sprained her ankle by getting tipsy, climbing onto a table to dance, and falling straight back off again. As this happened at boarding school, she ate a whole packet of anti-sherry-breath polos while waiting for the school nurse to come and have a look (yes, I know. Sherry. At seventeen. Lord have mercy). To this day, the taste of polos makes her ankle twinge. She has got over wincing at the sight of tables, thank God, because that would be silly.
  7. I strongly suspect that her fondness for PreRaphaelite art has a lot to do with the fact she has been complimented incessantly on her PreRaphaelite hair since she was seven.
  8. She can read over 1000 words a minute. And, importantly, recall what she’s just read. This makes quite a lot of people quite annoyed. It even makes me annoyed. We think it’s because she learnt to read when she was three, Scout of To Kill a Mockingbird style, and didn’t learn the actual alphabet until she was seven. She still has to stop and sing it to herself under her breath to check which comes first, I or H. I strongly suspect that f she had been left to the tender mercies of Primary School, she’d be dyslexic, just like her sisters and cousins.

I’m supposed to tag some more people to do this. I was going to tag Sol, Aphra, Teuchter, the Singing Librarian, Helen, and SG, but they’ve already been tagged, and I was going to tag Lilian, but she very cleverly tagged herself. So, I tag Archie (unless he’s done this and I completely missed it, in which case, oops), and Bloglily, if they like to be tagged for this kind of thing, and if not, please ignore, obviously. Charlotte has ducked out altogether by promising only to do esoteric or high art memes, so I won’t tag her out of respect [for 'respect', read 'fear of satirical eye']. Unless she can pickle a cow in aspic in the middle of it.

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11 Responses to Eight not very random things about me

  1. LK says:

    I’m so jealous of #7 and #8. I would like to read 1,000 words a minute while twirling my PreRaphaelite hair.

  2. Reed says:

    I apologise for both the hair and the reading. Both have caused me a great deal of smug pride and a great deal of immense self-conscious embarrassment over the years. My aunts loathe the both of them. The one is too untidy and the other is antisocial, and, worse, showing off. To which I say, oops, I did it again.

  3. Aphra Behn says:

    1000 words per minute? Is that possible? And given that the readers of picture-script (What is the word? Languages like Chinese and Japanese and Ancient Egyptian?) Anyway, given that the readers of those languages apparently don’t suffer from dyslexia, it seems highly likely that if you’d been taught to read o-n-e l-e-t-t-e-r a-t a t-i-m-e you would have ended up dyslexic.

    Yes, I know. I know. I had an email to send.


  4. Helen says:

    Whoa, are you me? I learnt to read at age 3 but didn’t learn the alphabet until age 7 either. I learnt by eavesdropping on a teacher in the remedial corner of our primary school classroom.

    I’ve also been told I have PreRaphaelite hair but that was when I was younger. It’s shorter now, just past my shoulders, and not in the best condition. I really ought to do something about it (like wear a paperbag over my head, hmmmm!)

    I am in awe of you being able to knit Shetland lace. I have been to that museum and seen the exhibits and we learnt about the yarn at school. I lived in Shetland for 10 years and knitting classes were compulsory in primary school. I was the bane of my knitting teacher’s life and once got into huge trouble for hiding behind a pile of books in knitting class and reading instead of knitting. People used to say to me: “You’ll wish you’d stuck in at knitting when you have a baby,” to which I’d reply: “No. I’ll buy clothes.” Did their words come true…? Yes. I wish I could both sew and knit so I could dress Kiko up like Little Lord Fauntelroy but unfortunately I am hopeless in both areas.

  5. SG V says:

    Reading at three is very early. Acquiring that skill rather early does run in our family, apparently – I read before school and my son taught himself, apparently – though I have no clue as to how – when he was 5 and a bit… (I know how I learned – by watching the small funny black thingies while my Dad read Donald Duck for me, no less)

    My son and I, on another coincidence, reads fastest in our little family – though our daughter probably comes close and the Mrs certainly reads more that I do these times, shame on me!

    It could be good fun to speed test our reading – I’m sure it’d be fast and sure that it won’t be as fast!

    As to #6, I go by the maxim “if I don’t remember it, it never happened!” Has come in handy once or twice, I’m sure – though I obviously cannot really say ;)

  6. I read 1000 words per minute too, but I don’t always remember what I read. I also learned to read when I was 3; actually I didn’t learn to read, I “remembered” how to read. I clearly remember the day, sitting there as my mother was reading aloud to me, and thinking “I know how to do that.” and I did. I learned the alphabet a couple of years later as well.

    Hmm. I do not find it odd that you like carrot cake while detesting orange food. Carrot cake is not orange, at least the one I make isn’t, it is more Pre-raphaelite auburn. And it usually comes covered with cream cheese icing.

  7. Sol says:

    You’re not supposed to teach illiterate people the alphabet first either – it’s the equivalent of making us learn the 288 (depending on how you count it) strokes that make up Chinese characters before letting us do anything meaningful with them.

    Mind you, that’s more because it’s depressing than anything else.

    Except that I found that when I was trying to improve my reading skills in Russian there were words I recognised as whole words, which weren’t always ones I heard or used myself in speech or knew how to pronounce, and that improving my fluency in reading was a metter of builing up a bank of this and whomping along cheerfully getting the gist without trying to puzzle over every word. Of course sometime this didn’t work, and then I’d have to stop and spend five minutes trying to decode some crucial word letter by letter to see if I knew it, only to discover it was a word like ‘please’ which I just hadn’t seen written down before.

    Needless to say I am a bigger fan of the ‘learn to read by learning to recognise whole words’ school of thought than this phonics business, but then I did hear somewhere, perhaps from you, Reed, that actually the phonics thing is better for dyslexics?

    Deary me, that went on a bit.

  8. Sol says:

    *winces* And I also apologise to the Editor for the mass of typos in that.

  9. Lilian says:

    Thanks for wanting to tag me! The Library Porn looks scrumptious, just from the front cover. I have no idea how many words I can read a minute. I read fast-ish, but don’t always (often) remember what on earth I just read, which is no use at all, really.

  10. Archie says:

    I was a 1,000+ word a minute reader in my youth. In recent years I have consciously decided to read slower (read individual words rather than phrases) and appreciate the author’s craft. Reading is not a race.

    @hmh, I am arriving on your doorstep expecting carrot cake with cream cheese icing!

  11. Pingback: Out of ideas » Blog Archive » Seven weird things about Reed

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