Someone on Facebook tagged me to write seven random facts about myself. So here they are.
- At 18 I had an offer to study Maths (with English) at Manchester University. At 22 I was offered a chance to train to be a specialist Maths Teacher at St Martin’s College. In both cases I turned those offers down to specialise in English. Because the Universe loves irony – I now work as a tutor of both English and Maths. And guess what – Maths is my favourite of the two subjects when it comes to teaching.
- When it comes to music I am very much a 90’s bitch. I have an unashamed love for Take That, The Spice Girls, S Club 7, Eternal, Boyzone, The Stereophonics, Catatonia, Blur, Oasis and a hundred other flash-in-the-pan pop stars that most of you won’t have heard of or won’t remember.
- I have an utter phobia of big spiders. If they’re large enough for me to see all their legs from a distance of 10 feet, that’s too big for me. I know it’s stupid. I can stand there looking at them and thinking ‘it’s just a spider’ but at the thought of touching them my brain just spasms and I can’t move, I end up standing almost rigid with fear. Oddly, money spiders don’t bother me at all, I can pick them up and let them walk over my hands. But anything bigger just gives me the wiggins.
- I have never succeeded in staying in the same job for three years. The longest I managed was my previous position, which I stuck out for two and a half years.
- I don’t think I’ll ever give up on studying. Every couple of years or so I end up taking another course, working for another qualification. I have three on my wishlist. I read every OFSTED and BIS specialist report I can get my hands on. I’m a member of Lancaster University’s library and I conduct my own research into education, feminism, sociology and methods of learning – not for any reason, but because I find it fascinating and want to know more about all of them. I’ll be one of those women graduating from their umpteenth degree at the age of 85. If I won the lottery this is what I would do with my life – study as many different subjects as I could, one after another, in between writing about them.
- Prior to leaving home and moving to Lancaster, I would not eat any of the following: rice, pasta, anything with mayonnaise in it, anything with herbs or spices in it, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, green salad, any form of chinese food or any type of seafood, including prawns. I wasn’t too fond of onions either. I also hated the taste of garlic and I didn’t like drinking milk. All of these things now form a regular part of my diet. And yet, I was still not the fussiest eater in my family.
- I find reading and watching new things very difficult and sometimes emotionally overwhelming. I wasn’t always like this, in my childhood and teens I would inhale new books and loved watching new TV shows, but during my early to mid 20s this stopped and, if left to my own devices, I would read and watch the same few favourite things on repeat again for the rest of time. This is not a healthy habit, especially not for someone who is a writer and pop culture analyst. It was formed as a reaction against (sometimes severe) pressure to adopt other people’s tastes and a fear of being ridiculed for expressing or admitting a preference for the ‘wrong’ thing. Thanks to my husband and his patience and good reading of my sense of taste, I am beginning to overcome this, but it has taken several years to reach this point.