Monday, January 30, 2006

Four things

I've been tagged by Zhoen. My first meme.

Four jobs I've had

1) Library Assistant in the local public library, checking books in and out, shelving, earning money while I studied. The only job I have had where I have needed to deal directly with the general public, full on, all the time.

2) Packing oranges into crates in a local fruit packing factory. Student job again. Handling oranges all day long meant that after a few days the oils in the skin of the fruit would start to soften the skin of your hands - better than a beauty treatment. However, it didn't do much for the nails which were always getting broken lifting the crates.

3) Assistant in the press office of a wealthy international philanthropist. Stressful to the point of idiocy sometimes, pressure and long hours, but I did get to do a fair amount of really interesting foreign travel and through working for short spells over the years in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tanzania, etc etc, I saw much more of real life in these places than I would have done as a tourist.

4) Secretary/PA (in various organisations). It's what I am reasonably good at and a way to earn a living. I have plans for other things in the future though.

Four Movies I can watch over and over

I want to list far more than four. I'm definitely a movie buff.

1) Calamity Jane. My mother took me to see this, I couldn't have been more than 5-6 years old. I still think Doris Day has a great voice and the songs are so infectious.

2) Crash (the Paul Haggis film). How life works. How people are.

3) Zorba the Greek. The joy of life. The dance.

4) Etre et Avoir. (To be and to have). Infinitely touching documentary film about a small French country primary school, its pupils and its teacher. The sort of schooling I wish I'd had.

Four Places I've lived

1) Colchester, Essex, UK: First 18+ years. I get nostalgic for my childhood haunts from time to time but I know I really wouldn't want to go back.

2) Paris, France. Planned to stay for maybe one or two years, in fact stayed for nine.

3) London, UK. Where I went initially when I left home, and where I've always returned to over the years. London could almost count for 3 places in itself. I've lived in North London, West London and now South London. Each area has been very different from the rest. I plan to leave next year and move to the West of England.

4) Portsmouth, UK. Briefly, but not happily.

Four TV shows I love to Watch

This is difficult because I don't watch much TV. However ....

1) Any BBC nature programme with Bill Oddie. Don't know if non-UK readers know who he is ...

2) Thirtysomething (which I used to watch religiously when I was thirtysomething)

3) The recent BBC version of Bleak House.

4) The Day Today. Channel 4 comedy programme sending up news and current affairs programmes.

Four Places I've been on Vacation

1) Egypt
A Nile cruise. The poem I posted here brings it all back.

2) Israel
About 10/11 years ago, a week or two before Rabin's assassination, so it's taken on a particular significance in my memories.

3) Yugoslavia (as it then was) .
Wonderful, wild, remote. Friendly hospitable people.

4) USA. Grand Canyon/Bryce Canyon/Zion National Park/Las Vegas
I found the geography and scenery of the whole area totally beautiful and stunning and I'd love to go back.

Four Blogs I visit daily (the days I am online)

Lots and lots, definitely more than four a day!

Four of your Favourite Foods

1) Sushi (real or vegetarian)

2) Ice cream - lots of it, any flavour but am particularly fond of coffee

3) Cote d'Or dark chocolate with whole nuts

4) Warm, fresh-baked bread with lots of unsalted butter

Four places you'd rather be

1) Montana (this state, which I have never visited, has haunted me ever since I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance and then saw A River Runs Through It)

2) At the cinema

3) At a live music concert

4) Hiking along the Black Mountain section of Offa's Dyke, along the ridge of the mountains, on the border between England and Wales.

Four Albums You can't live without

1) Vaughan Williams Concert - Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Includes Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and The Lark Ascending.

2) Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls (current favourite - discovered them 16 years late). Great harmonizing and one of them (Amy?) has a raspy, throaty, sexy voice that I find irresistible.

3) Mary Chapin Carpenter - Stones in the Road .

4) Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits.

There are so many CDs I've left out, including some classical (Brahms 4th symphony, Mendelssohn/Bruch violin concertos). I almost put in Jeff Buckley's Grace but this would have been only for two tracks, for his version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and also an unearthly, beautiful rendition of the Corpus Christi Carol. So in the end, The Boss won. His music has accompanied me through a lot of my life on and off.

Four vehicles I've owned

1) Child's tricycle

2) Child's red bicycle

3) Ford Cortina

4) That's it. Living in London and Paris for most of my adult life where owning a car isn't essential I have taken public transport and got taxis, hired cars, cadged lifts, when I couldn't. Consequently I am a nervous driver. I will need to get a car though next year when I move out of London.

Four tagees
but only if you want to ....

Plus A N Other(s) - anyone else, blog friend(s), lurker(s), whatever, who would like to do this. If you do, leave a note in the comments below and I'll come and take a peek.


Blogger MB said...

Mary, I had fun reading this. Of course, it raises all kinds of other questions for me (what's a PA, who's Bill Oddie, is Etre et Avoir in French, what were you doing in Paris for nine years, why Yugoslavia,...??) and maybe someday you'll answer them or maybe you won't. Regardless, I enjoyed the little glimpses. Thanks.

1:10 am  
Blogger rdl said...

Mary, that was easy - cause i've already done it
( minus the cars):
'66Red Rambler convertible(y 1st car at college)
an old Peugot ( that was always in the shop)but i thought was so cool.
'70:s Chevy (dents all sides)
'86 Volvo with moon roof (loved that car)
(guess i don't know how to hyperlink in a comment,sorry.

4:27 am  
Blogger Mary said...

MB: Answers. 1) PA=Personal Assistant 2) Bill Oddie is a former alternative comedian turned bird watcher turned natural history presenter. Therefore he combines a slightly zany and humorous but nonetheless serious approach.3) Yes Etre and Avoir is in French. 4) Good question, what was I doing in Paris for 9 years ??? 5) Yugoslavia used to be a popular destination for Brits and others prior to its breakup. Happily the individual countries are now redeveloping their tourist industries.

Rdl: Ah must have missed it. Have just had a look :-). I like the little glimpses (to use MB's phrase).

7:50 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Etre ET Avoir of course ... too early in the morning.

8:52 am  
Blogger Jean said...

What great taste you have, Mary. So much that is familiar to me, but with slightly different perspectives and emphases. MB's questions, and your answers, made me laugh delightedly.

10:27 am  
Blogger zhoen said...

Weird, Bill Oddie came up at work yesterday, Brit surgeon who also met Tony Robinson doing a Time Team thing.

Bleak House is just amazing, and I love seeing Gillian Anderson with great dialogue. And no American accent.

Zion/Bryce is the most beautiful part of the US, you've seen the best. Only visit Montana in the summer.

Never knew that about oranges.

Stop by the next time you are in Boston, we'll get some DVDs, I'll get the kettle on.

1:14 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Jean, I was grinning as I typed my replies :-)

Weird indeed re Bill Oddie!

We agree on Bryce and Zion - I might even post some photos of the trip at some point. And I now feel less bad at never having seen Montana.

Nor have I been to Boston - but when I do ....

1:47 pm  
Anonymous Ginkgo said...

You and I have a lot in common, it seems, including but limited to a love of coffee ice cream and similar tastes in music.

6:30 pm  
Blogger MB said...

...and I was grinning as I read your replies. Thanks!

But hey, hey, hey what's this about only going to Montana in summer??

10:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wind. Cold. Horrible driving when the storms blow through.

I would say the same of Boston.

And Utah, unless you are a skier.

Ditto Idaho, save only for Lava Hot Springs.

Zhoen (from work)

10:58 pm  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Love your movies and CDs. Very eclectic.

4:12 am  
Anonymous Apples said...

OMG! I've been tagged!:) With pleasure, Mary. Soon though!:)
I love Doris Day's voice too! I had her music on in my blog in my earlir blog..but I suppose the server couldn't hold on to too many files so I have to delete it.:) Sometime in future with relevant entry that suit her song, someday:)'ve been to Bangladesh and all. I salute you, Mary! I'm sure that's a real good experience:)

Don't know who Bill Oddie is. Now you're starting to make me curious :) Will check it out on BBC:)

1:46 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

ginkgo: yes indeed!

Patry: nice to see you again. glad you like them :-)

Nour: so glad you're going to do this. I will check periodically! And thanks for your comment on the earlier photo. Don't know the sites you mention, will check them out ..

mb/zhoen: I'm staying neutral on the Montana in winter discussion ;-)

4:25 pm  
Blogger Sonia said...

Mary, I love reading this tagg. What an interesting experience and voyage you had! Thank you for sharing this with us!

9:37 pm  

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