Wednesday 16 November 2016

Questions, questions

All those questions you've been dying to ask, answered at last. More glaring gaps in your nick-knowledge finally filled in. It's your lucky day!

What's your greatest fear?
Being burnt or crushed to death

Which living person do you most admire?
Gareth Peirce, the human rights lawyer

What trait do you most deplore in yourself?
Worrying too much, timidity, brusqueness

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Too many to name - saying something inappropriate, being lost for words, letting someone down

What's the dearest thing you've bought (other than a house)?
Various cars

What's your most treasured possession?
An abstract by an artist I knew in the sixties

What's your favourite smell?
Newly mown grass, coffee, freshly laundered bed linen

What's your favourite word?
Inebriated, impecunious, soporific

Which book changed your life?
Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Fritz Perls

What in your life would you have done differently?
I would have moved to Australia

What or who is your greatest love?
Jenny, obviously

What do you owe your parents?
Self-discipline, persistence, a crazy sense of humour

What did you want to be when grown-up?
A journalist - which I was for a few years

To whom would you like to say sorry, and why?
Jenny, for careless hurtful remarks

Who would come to your dream dinner party?
Patti Smith, Paris Lees*, Tina Fey

Which word or phrase do you overuse?
Who knows? Why bother? Does it matter?

What's the worst job you've done?
Admin work for a chaotic London council

What was your biggest disappointment?
I'd rather not say

What would improve your quality of life?
More close friends, a better memory

What is your greatest achievement?
Several trips to Australia, going vegetarian

*transgender activist

(questions shamelessly pinched from the Guardian magazine)


  1. Crushed to death? Where did that come from?

  2. Meme, Meme, Meme!!!!
    I have some of the same answers.

  3. Your most overused phrases "Who knows? Why bother? Does it matter?"?

    My dear Nick, that so reminds me of Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh). Before you object: I love Eeyore - he is a most amusing antidote to my usually totally misplaced optimism and enthusiasm for life. Not that I am a Tigger. I am not. In fact, Tigger does have potential to get on my nerves occasionally. Still, what are friends for if not to tolerate each others foibles alongside the joy they give us (juxtaposition by another name - now, there is a word I adore "juxtaposition")?

    So very interesting that the only question you decline to answer is that on "greatest disappointment in your life". I understand. There are limits as to how much soft underbelly we can show (in public). If we did you can bet your bottom currency that someone will come along and prod it. And not all intentions are good.


  4. I'm a bit surprised by your greatest fear, only because the likelihood of either is so slim. Mine would be getting cancer or having one of my children die before I do.

  5. John: Probably all those terrible earthquakes around the world, where hundreds of people ARE crushed to death. And they never saw it coming. No earthquakes in Belfast, I know, but there's always the odd collapsing building....

    Scarlet: Yes, yes, yes! I await your own answers with baited breath.

  6. Ursula: I do see myself as Tigger rather than Eeyore. I'm sometimes a bit depressed, but mostly I'm bouncing all over the place. I can't sit still for very long. And I only say "Does it matter?" when someone's trivial ponderings are blocking some more interesting subject.

    You're right about why I won't admit to my biggest disappointment. It can stir very polarised negative and positive reactions so I prefer to keep quiet.

  7. Bijoux: Well, fears aren't rational, are they? I know they're very unlikely, but just the thought of what they would be like is disturbing. It would be such a horrible way to die.

  8. I always like these little quizzes nick.
    just when you feel you might really know someone... a whole new hidden box of treasures opens up!

    I never thought of it before. being a tigger and all. even enough for my OWN gag reflex.
    but my very favorite is eyeore. and always has been.
    I like that the rain falls only on HIM!
    he has a much less tiring view of life than tigger.
    and as I'm getting older I hope to be more like him. AND you. and I think I finally am. or. well. becoming am.
    maybe it's the little glimpses of him in you that makes me like you so much!

    and it's odd. because other than big spiders and snakes... one of my greatest fears is also being crushed. as in an underground parking garage that suddenly comes down. could be a hold over from the bombing of the murrah building in neighboring okc. but those places always make me very uneasy until I'm out of them.

  9. Tammy: You'd like to be more like me? Be careful what you wish for, ha ha. Yes, I suppose I'm like Eeyore in that I can be very phlegmatic about something others are getting very pumped-up about. I prefer a rational plan of action to a splurge of righteous anger.

    Funny, I don't have any such fears in an underground car park - or in a tall building. It's not any physical reality that scares me. It's just the thought of what being crushed would be like if it happened.

  10. Some of my greatest fears have transpired, so I don't worry about myself that much any more. Must be my age, 77.

  11. I think these quizzes should be taken annually, people change and morph and transform if they really are growing in awareness and preferences.

    I believe I know what your biggest disappointment is. Never fear.

    As to the rest of your list you dinner companions were a surprise.

    And that's a good thing.


  12. Hattie: Maybe I'll be as sanguine as you when I'm the same age! (another eight years to go)

    www: Indeed, if I answer the same questions in a year's time, the answers could be quite different. I think those dinner companions would be fascinating to talk to. It makes me wonder who would be your own ideal dinner companions.

  13. Why worry about events you have no possibility to control like earthquakes or an airplane crash or a terrorist attack.And regrets for things you did wrong in your life bring nothing good. I learnt during my childhood between the bushmen community not to speak or act too quickly but always think about before.It was a good lesson for my future life. Living with fears and regrets has a destructive effect on our behaviour.But as always it's just the opinion of a young woman.
    Mia More

  14. Mia: I don't worry about any of those things, as they're so unlikely. I was just saying that those two ways of dying strike me as especially horrible. I don't regret things I've done wrong either. My attitude is always that I did what seemed best at the time, and if it didn't work out the way I expected, then I just put it right or move on. I'm quite immune to regret, guilt, shame and remorse.

    But you're right about thinking before you speak or act. If you act too hastily or impulsively, the results can be disastrous.

  15. Regarding your soft underbelly: when people come out with their secrets/ failures/ vulnerabilities, they often get a great load of respect and support. They also pave the way for others.

    I know it is scary and confronting to reveal yourself but would you rather be strong and authentic or would you rather play it safe by hiding?

    I'm not saying you have to reveal all here in public, just that I think you have boxed yourself in. You also under estimate your audience when you assume what the reaction will be

  16. Kylie: I assume we're talking about the same thing here. I agree that people who reveal their weaknesses/secrets etc generally get a positive reaction. On this particular thing, however, I've had some very negative reactions, especially from my family. I've also had some totally bemused/not sure how to respond reactions, which isn't helpful either.

  17. I'm not talking about anything specific, just trying to encourage a more empowered perspective

  18. Kylie: Okay. Well, in general I feel empowered enough. I've had a good life and there's not much to complain about. But I think there are plenty of gaps in my self-knowledge.

  19. I had commented earlier that I was shamelessly lifting the questions to be answered by me at my blog and that seems to have disappeared!

  20. Ramana: You did indeed, I remember the comment. What is Blogger playing at?

  21. some of these answers are intriguing. Why do you wish you'd moved to Australia? From what I have gathered from your blog, you don't really seem the type I imagine wanting to go there - often people cite the outdoor life for instance.

  22. Jenny: Oh, I love hill-walking, and there'd be plenty of scope for that! Also I love Sydney and Melbourne and I hate the UK winters. Though not having been brought up in Australia, I think the extreme heatwaves would be hard to cope with.