Friday, 4 September 2009

Seven things you didn't know about me!

Both Monica at and Happy Mouffetarde at have nominated me to take part in the 'seven things you didn't know about me' meme - thanks girls! Having never been nominated for anything in blogland before, I got quite ridiculously excited about it - but then realised I'd have to come up with some interesting stuff!!!

Anyway, to participate in the Meme Award, you need to:
- link back to the person who gave you the award;
- reveal seven things about yourself;
- choose seven other blogs to nominate and post a link to them
- let each of your choices know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog;
- and finally let the tagger know when your post is up.

So, down to business!
1. I was both an accident and born 5 weeks premature!
I was born at home and came out at great speed - the midwife only just arrived in time and the doctor didn't. If I'd have been born that early and at that weight (5lb 5 oz) nowadays I'd have been taken straight to SCBU for a couple of weeks and also been closely monitored for the first couple of years of my life. Back then, I didn't even get a hospital visit!

(My parents were convinced I was going to be a boy and had planned to call me Peter. I didn't find this out until I'd had Last-Born - I was convinced I was carrying a boy and we had decided to call him ......... Peter! How weird is that?!)

Here's me at about 18 months old with my brother and sister. Don't you just love the curl?
Do you remember the rhyme:
There was a little girl who had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good
and when she was bad, she was ...........horrid!

2.I was South Yorkshire's first female Queen's Scout.
This is the highest level of achievement and takes lots of hard work over about two years. The reward is to take part in the annual Queen's Scout parade at Windsor castle, where I got to meet the Queen, who was taking the parade that year. She is even smaller than me - and I'm not exactly known for my vast height!

The writing hasn't come out very well as it has a plastic sheet over it - which I didn't dare remove due to the great age of the article! Sorry!

3.I got my glider pilot's licence when I was 20 through a joint programme between the Scout Association and the RAF.
My RAF wings were on my Venture Scout uniform. That is how I got to meet the Queen - she spotted my wings and came to ask me about them. We had a nice little chat. I still have my uniform and the shirt still fits!
(Jackie, who is in the picture with me is still one of my dearest friends nearly 30 years on!)

This is the glider we flew in ....... it was called 'the barge' and it was made up from bits of other old gliders. It didn't so much fly as lumber through the air somehow defying gravity. I cannot describe the sheer joyous excitment and pure adrenalin rush of being taking up to do aerobatics in one of the RAF gliders one day!!!
I still look up at the sky some days and long to fly again.

4.My first marital home was a Land Rover.
We took a year out and drove through Pakistan, India and Nepal - and back again, obviously! The Land Rover had all mod cons - a bed, cooker, lights, music, curtains, filtered water through a tap and a washing machine! Well, okay, so it was a lidded beer brewing tub fastened into the back corner with seat belt strapping, but it worked well. We put the clothes, soap powder, water and a few stones in then drove to our next destination, rinsed everything out and hung it out to dry. Easy!

This is what our family and friends did to Fred (the Land Rover) for our departure. Subtle, eh?! We did clean it off before we got to Customs at the docks.

5.I spent my 27th birthday under arrest in Nepal.
We had an accident and hit a cyclist who turned into our path ......... quite how he didn't hear our very loud truck horn remains a mystery. Anyway, the law in Nepal is that the biggest vehicle is automatically at fault and if a foreigner is involved, then they are definately at fault because if they hadn't been there the accident wouldn't have happened! I can sort of see their logic, but it wasn't funny at the time.

Most of our photos of the trip are on slides, but this is one that I had printed years ago and I love it - Himself and I had driven 300+ miles up the stunning, starkly beautiful Karakorum Highway to the Pakistan/China border (which had only just opened again in May after the Winter snows!). This is the border marker.

6.I HATE spiders. But , when the Gnomelets were little and in order not to pass on my irrational fears to them, I held a tarantula. It was awful - it moved and everything! I'd had no problems with the Falcon or the snake, but it was only the prospect of a free cream tea that stopped me from dropping the dratted thing! It didn't work either - my fixed grin and glazed expression didn't fool them and they're nearly as bad as me about spiders. *sigh*

7. I would love to go white water rafting down the Grand Canyon.

Anyway, that's all the stuff about me (- except that if I had to have an 8th thing, it would be that no matter how filthy, dirty or grotty the job is, I always wear girlie earrings!)

My nominations for continuing the meme go to .............. (cue dramatic drum roll)

Carolynn at A Glowing Ember - because her eloquent writing frequently moves me.
Matron at Down on the Allotment - because she grows wonderful veg and shares some great growing tips.
Kathryn at My Roots Run Deep - because it is such a lovely blog - and she grew multicoloured carrots!
Rob at Our French Garden - because I love where he lives and the photos he takes and, okay - I'm nosey ..... I want to know more!
Camellia at motstrvigtragardsdesigner - because despite English not being her native language, she writes beautiful evocative posts.
Irena at Plant Whatever Brings You Joy - because her posts are always thought provoking and informative, especially her recent ones on butterflies.

and last, but by no means least
Mrs Robinson at Mrs Robinson Presents - because her lovely sweet posts on a huge variety of subjects always make me smile.


Ooops ......... I've just realised that I've messed up the links for 'My Roots Run Deep' and 'Plant Whatever Brings You Joy' - they're the wrong way round. I am a bit of a plonker sometimes!!!
Strongest apologies to Kathryn and Irena ...... grovel, grovel :)


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wow, Liz, am I ever glad I asked you to meme! These are fascinating things to learn about someone. How awesome that you spent a year in Nepal! I wish I'd done fun stuff like that when I was young but my (now ex-)husband was (and still is) very Mr Play It Safe Corporate. (Don't even ask!!) Was the bicyclist OK? When I collected stamps, I remember a UK scouting series. It sounds so much cooler than what Girl Scouts do here. Also, how very cool about the glider and having the Queen speak to you about it. Also, I don't wear much jewelry but I do like dangle earrings and do wear them when gardening! :)

Camellia said...

Liz, you sweet girl, thanks for those warm words. But, I am totally blown away by YOUR story – NO WAY i can even start thinking of matching ANY of that. You are the outlines of the next Hollywood blockbuster, you are. I am probably the 13th in a dozen bores who's barely been outside their comfort zone, compared to you. I'm speechless. But thanks ever so much anyway.

Mrs Robinson said...

Oh my gosh! I am so moved by your sweet words... and SO SO excited to be nominated for a meme. I always love reading what people choose to share about themselves - and yours was no exception. Once again you have inspired me beyond words! Your girls are SO fortunate to have a mom like you! I will let you know as soon as I gather my 7 things... :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Monica - the cyclist had a dislocated shoulder, but he was the son of the local panchyatt chief (VERY high status!) so it was a bit more difficult to untangle because of who he was!

The UK has Guides for the girls and Scouts for the boys. I lasted 6 weeks in guides - boring! So I joined the Ventures (16-21 age group) as soon as they went mixed ...... much more fun for lots of reasons ;)

Camellia - Hollywood blockbuster ...hahahahah!!! I've just been lucky enough to have a few peaks in an otherwise fairly ordinary life - but I do like to throw myself out of my comfort zone from time to time!

I don't think you could EVER be described as a bore!

Mrs Robinson - you're a love! Thank you so much for what you said. I don't know about an inspiration, but it's a lovely thought:)
I'll look forward to reading your 7 things!

HappyMouffetard said...

Wow! What a set of achievements, although I have to admit that being arrested in Nepal isn't something I envy you. Really interesting post - thanks for participating!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi HM - yes, it was certainly a slightly odd experience! They let us live in the Land Rover outside the police station until the Vice Consol from the Britich Embassy came to sort things out! We were in a border town where all the shops were on the Indian side, but we couldn't exit Nepal - so the policemen had to do our shopping for us! Bizarre!

O.I.M said...

what an adventurous life you have had. How wonderful. thanks for the nomination. I'll pop by and leave a note once I'm done with my post. by the way, my green tomatoes are coming fast and furious. i would love your green tomato chutney recipe.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Irena. Here's the Green Tomato Chutney reicpe:

2&1/2lbs green tomatoes
2lbs onions
2&1/2lbs cooking apples
1lb raisens(sultanas are fine too)
6 lge cloves garlic - cruched
1/2 tablespn cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespn salt (but I use less)
2 level desertspns ground ginger
1lb6oz soft dark brown or demerara sugar
1oz pickling spice
3 pints genuine malt vinegar

Quarter the tomatoes.Peel and quarter the onions. Don't peel the apples, quater them & keep in water until ready for use.

Mince the tomatoes, onions,apples and raisens. put them in the preserving pan. Add the garlic, cayenne pepper,salt, ginger, pickling spices & sugar. Mix it all thoroughly and pour in the vinegar.

Bring it to simmering point, remove any surface scum, then let it simmer very gently for about 3&1/2 hours uncovered, stirring occaisionally - especially towards the end, to prevent sticking.

It's ready when the vinegar has been almost absorbed, the chutney has thickened to a nice soft consistency and the spoon leaves a trail.

Don't overcook it - and remember that it does thicken up quite a bit as it cools.

Pour the hot chutney into hot jars, filling them as full as possible. Cover with waxed sealing discs and seal with a tight lid at once. It's best if stored in a cool, dark place for about 2-3 months before eating.


Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Liz

You've done some interesting things!!!

Glider pilot, Nepal and beyond travelling, held a tarantula (are you insane).

Wow, well I've been to Corfu, ha.

Thanks for the nomination.


O.I.M said...

Hi Nutty. thanks for the meme invitation. it was fun to do. and thanks for the recipe. my mouth was watering while reading the ingredients! I think I'll have to get a few extra green tomatoes from my mom so I can make a really big batch to share. I'll let you know how it goes. If I find success, I'll be back for more recipes.

altadenahiker said...

You are something else. I'm sure those eight are just the beginning of some jaw-dropping stories.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Somebody's eaten my comment! I posted one the other day but it's not here. I must have hit the wrong button.

There's some teriffic 'world' experiences there Liz. You can even include living in a landrover in that, sort off.

Thnaks for thinking of me for the meme. Is it pronounced meem or MeMe?

I'll send the saucisson next week by the way, I've been a lazy fart these last number of days, we've just done the last 'changeover' and I've done bugger all for a few days.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Rob - nobody ate your comment, it was sitting in my inbox waiting to be moderated! I've been doing battle with a holly jungle up the garden and haven't been on the computer for a few days - I'm only on it now because I can't move my arms much this morning!!!

As for being insane ..... probably a bit yes! Holding the tarantula was AWFUL - and failed :(

I have NO idea whether it's meme or MeMe ..... it's been a matter of much debate in our house too!

I don't think you're a lazy fart! I've seen how much work is involved in your properties - and I reckon you deserve a few days of doing bugger all! I'll look forward to the saucisson :)

Hi Irena - good luck with the chutney, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Glad you liked doing the meme too.

Altadenahiker - nice to see you back. Hmmm, yes, I've probably had my fair share of interesting experiences over the years! :)

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Somehow, I missed this post. How could I? This is one of the most interesting memes I've ever read! You have SOME THINGS to tell your children and grandchildren! I lived in China, but I wasn't in prison, I flew a small plane, but I wasn't a pilot... I take off my hat!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Tatyana - gosh, thank you! I think I was just lucky to have some interesting peaks in an otherwise fairly normal life .... but the travel bugs remains! :)

Di said...

Liz, you are a kick! there is no doubt about your enthusiasm for life and living. Such a pleasure to have you stop by and look forward to our next visit, and cannot wait to see the results of your garden project. ;)

P.S. we have lots of tomatoes still on the vine... thank you for the chutney recipe!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Di - looks like you've got me sussed .....I'm an eternal enthusiastic optimist and part-time adrenalin junkie who loves to travel! :)

Thanks for your comments - and I hope you like the chutney. But make sure you leave it in a cool, dark place for about 3 months for the flavours to mature. If you do it now, it's perfect for Christmas!

Woody Wilbury said...

Wow, you've lived it a bit (in a nice way!). Lots of adventures. Hope you haven't stopped having them.

Deborah said...

Liz, Thank your for visiting my blog today, and your kind comments. I was full of curiosity about you and found out a lot about you from this post. Talk about serendipity. It sounds like you have had quite an adventursome life.
Great timing on the tomato chutney recipe. Summer came very late in Canada this year, and it looks like I will have a lot of green tomatoes.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Woody - glad to see you safely back from your travels! I certainly haven't stopped adventuring, but they have slowed down a bit as children growing up slightly got in the way! Mind you, we took them with us to Siberia (in Winter!), Transylvannia and Poland - to name but a few! :)

Hi Deborah - I did enjoy reading your blog. And, yes, I've managed a few adventurous peaks - but then life is there to be made the most of!
The green tomato chutney recipe is wonderful, but I also have a fantastic recipe for Old Dowerhouse Chutney, which has plums and stuff in it as well - so if you want the recipe for that just let me know! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz, hooboy this was the most amazing post ever! Your life could be a movie, let's think who would play you? Angelina Jolie no doubt!!! Brad as himself of course. I loved learning all these things about you, but really the holding of the tarantula is the most frightening. I am not afraid of spiders at tall, but those hairy ones gives my the heebie jeebies. Where I grew up, in Oklahoma, they were everywhere and could jump right into your car if the windows were down. Pretty scary, eh? Meeting the queen seems like it would have been a high point of life too. :-)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Now these are some interesting things you've done! I was tagged for this but really don't have much this interesting. I love that you spent time traveling in your Land Rover, what a great experience.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Frances ....Angelina Jolie as me, now that WOULD be a hoot! Of course, if Brad were playing Himself, then I think I'd have to play me - just for authenticity you understand!!!
The tarantula was VILE. Ye gods, I'm glad I don't live in Oklahoma!
The Queen was really sweet - if you can say that about a Queen! :)

Catherine - EVERYONE has done something interesting, okay .... maybe I've done a bit more than most in the 'unusual' interesting, but I still love to hear about other people and their experiences:)
Travelling in the Land Rover was a wonderful experience - and certainly kill or cure for testing the metal of newly-weds! We still have a (different) Land Rover. Himself keeps muttering about getting rid of it for a more 'eco' car, but I'm holding firm. I love to feel that we could drop eveything and go travelling again at a moment's notice!

Anonymous said...

You certainly know how to live and experience life from many view points both while rooted in the earth or effortlessly gliding freely from high above. You are an inspirational explorer for all to appreciate and smile with.

Nutty Gnome said...

Wow, thank you Bernie - I shall cherish your comments. They mean a lot, coming from you :)