P1040640

100 things

1.         I was born in an army hospital in Marrickville, Sydney, on the 16th of August 1958; Madonna was born the same day. Elvis died on my 19th birthday and I’ve never forgiven him for that.

2.         I don’t have a middle name because my parents weren’t together long to pick one.

3.         My father kidnapped me from my bed as a baby. Mum said it took her two years to find me. I was at my aunt’s house. Did she need a road map?

4.         My aunt died when I was nine. Dad forgot to tell me, I never got to say goodbye.

5.         My first memory of my mother was when I was three. My second memory of my mother was when I was eight. She came to my grandparents’ house, and I had no idea who she was.

6.         I have 5 brothers and five sisters.

7.         I adore 1 brother, like two others and three of the sisters; I’ll admit to intensely disliking one of my brothers, the rest I find boring.

8.         I believe in the saying ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.’

9.         Recent information on the family history suggests there may be linkage to Ned Kelly on my mother’s side, this bears further investigation. When I told friends, they all said that that would explain a lot.

10.       My grandfather retired to his bed after he retired. He died in his nineties; he missed out on a lot of living.

11.       My grandmother was blind, and never missed a thing I did wrong.

12.       I lived with Mum from age 8 till 12. Mum died six days after my 12th birthday.

13.       From the age of 12 until 13 I lived with my brother. When I think of that time, I remember the blue and white striped jug cord he used to hit me with.

14.       Lived with my Dad for the first time at 13, he was 63. The poor bastard never knew what hit him, stayed with him until I was 24.

15.       I kept a journal when I was young, filled with daily stuff, poetry, music, photos, stories and clippings; it was more of me than I knew.

16.       Met my husband in Africa, we lived on a big orange truck for six months with 19 others.

17.       My husband requested I get rid of it when we married. I did and have been sorry ever since.

18.       Got rid of the husband, and I’ve never been sorry about that.

19.       Wagged high school more than I went, I was a talented forger.

20.       Favourite subject was music. I performed in the Mikado as Yum Yum, and sung at Sydney Town Hall with the Schools Choir.

21.       Worked for the N.S.W. Government until age 24, government departments are even more boring than some of my siblings.

22.       Got caught by Dad the night I lost my virginity, I abstained for a day from the shock.

23.       Snuck out at night as a teenager to go riding in cars with boys. I wasn’t clever enough to write a book about it, and make a load of cash when they turned it into a movie.

24.       Never got caught by my Dad.

25.       Used to be a good pool player, now I have trouble seeing the ball so I brag about how good I used to be.

26.       Saw Split Enz, Dragon, and Inxs play before they became famous.

27.       While in Africa, I was lucky enough to have a small gorilla stroke my head. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life.

28.       Lived in Holland for three years and was homesick when I left.

29.       I knew I was fluent in Dutch the day I got into an argument and swore effortlessly.

30.       I want to learn Italian.

31.       I cannot stand hyenas, rats and cockroaches.

32.       Age nine; I cooked my dead budgie in the oven. I thought the warmth might wake it up again.

33.       I love Queen, Johnny Cash, Aerosmith, Elvis, Jeff Buckley and Robbie Williams, Adam Lambert, Jason Mraz, Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons, The National, and Florence and the Machine.

34.       My favourite song is ‘Hallelujah’, which is six minutes long and was in the movie Shrek.

35.       Went to see the Rolling Stones, Police, and U2 with my 21-year-old daughter, she is my best friend.

36.       The songs she couldn’t sing along to, I could, and we both bought $50.00 t-shirts.

37.       I am mesmerized by the way young people look at things.

38.       I procrastinate; nothing’s done except under pressure.

39.       Insomnia should have been my middle name. For someone who loves her bed, that’s a cruel reality; although my being awake means I’m aware I’m enjoying it.

40.       I’ve known for a while that I snore….LOUDLY.

41.       I used to hate my boobs, and then I got to love them, now I tuck them into my belt.

42.       I dye my hair to hide the grey.

43.       I rarely wear makeup, but paint my nails in pastel colours.

44.       Opium is my favourite perfume. Whenever I go to Farmers I head for the perfume counter, and liberally make use of the tester. Both kids act as if I’m someone else’s mother.

45.       I love a tidy house, but wish I could afford a maid.

46.       I hate ironing, if it’s creased, bad luck!

47.       I’ve driven the same car for the last 15 years. We are both dented and need a good polish. I LOVE that car.

48.       I am a LOYAL friend.

49.       I cannot let go of something I think I might need before I die.

50.       I have the best orthopaedic surgeon. On my last visit, he said that he would ‘never forget me.’

51.       When I get stuck, the only thing that gets me writing is poetry. The art of cutting away unnecessary waffle thrills me.

52.       One day I’ll try song writing. For every feeling of my life there is a song that describes it, often better than I can.

53.       I’ve a terrible temper. These days I usually only lose it if you pick on my kids or pets. Then I’m likely to run you over in the street if I can.

54.       As I grow older, watching people get worked up over small things makes me want to plant one on the buttocks.

55.       When I turned 50 I didn’t feel any older than when I turned 21, except for the fading eyesight, loss of hearing and mobility problems, and of course – tucking my boobs into my belt.

56.       It took me a year to learn to water-ski; in the mean time, I drank a lot of seawater.

57.       Favourite movie is Dirty Dancing.

58.       Men with big hands make me weak with lust, hence Dirty Dancing. Patrick Swayze has huge hands.

59.       My favourite movie moment is when Swayze takes Jennifer Grey’s top off and tosses it with a flick…it’s the big hands thing, and the way he swings her around and cups her bum. It is sexier than watching someone’s bum rise and fall on a huge screen, complete with pimples, except when its Brad Pitt’s bum…even my daughter agrees with me on that one.

60.       Other than Patrick Swayze, I am a huge fan of Kevin Costner ( I have 23 of his movies so far – Revenge being my all time favourite, closely followed by the much maligned ‘The Postman’, which is brilliant – and if you don’t think so – you are an *&*)%$ !! (this means idiot).

61.       Both my daughter and I think Tommy Lee is hot. My son thinks we are insane.

62.       When I was nine, I travelled with the circus.

63.       My son’s teacher informed me that backwards his name spells out the word ‘sinned’, and his initials backwards (I think she has a thing for backwards) spells ‘bad’, maybe that it explains the last twenty years.

64.       One day I hope to live in Italy on the Costiera Amalfitana (that’s the Amalfi Coast for those who don’t understand Italian).

65.       Growing up I was a fiercely patriotic ‘Aussie’.

66.       I’ve lived in Katikati for 18 years. I’ve never lived anywhere for that long before.

67.       Watching sporting events where New Zealand vs. Australia is a win-win situation for me.

68.       The things I miss about Sydney are the lobsters, prawns and the scallops. I know we have them here, but it’s not the same somehow.

69.       I want to write, I need to write, I love to write.

70.       I don’t think I am very good at writing and find it daunting to place my work out there to be critiqued; I find it more daunting to critique the work of others.

71.       I cried the first time someone said they liked what I wrote, and then I did the whoop-whoop thing, as well as other general insanities.

72.       I love the process of writing, finding the words that make it live.

73.       I will always be glad I grew up in Sydney in the seventies, when freedom meant just that.

74.       My dream was to have six children, I am thankful some dreams never eventuate.

75.       Another dream was to be married forever. My marriage of ten years felt like forever.

76.       I like being single. I spend all night on the computer, and then sleep late. I sleep with the dog and cats. I don’t feel the urge to shave my legs, and can wear not so sexy undies.

77.       My oldest friendship of 35 years is still going strong.

78.       My oldest friend is the funniest person I know.

79.       My friends are so different, but manage to find common ground when around me.

80.       I want to travel again. The first place I want to go to is Cuba, then Peru.

81.       One day I would like to go swimming with sharks.

82.       When I was first pregnant I stuck my belly out in front of the mirror until it was big enough that I didn’t need to.

83.       I still own the first set of books I ever bought, The Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney.

84.       My favourite and most read book now is my dictionary-slash-thesaurus. At the moment Patricia Cornwall, Diana Gabaldon, Ian McEwan, Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Sharon Penman, Jasper Fforde and Jane Austen are beside my bed.

85.       TV shows I like to watch are: Supernatural (totally ADDICTED), Sons of Anarchy, CSI (the REAL one), Glee, True Blood, Judge John Deeds, Mash, Getaway, and That Seventies Show.

86.       Sunshine always makes me feel better – especially if there is sand between my toes..

87.       I give a bloody good massage and am jealous whenever I do.

88.       I miss sex but not the sleepovers.

89.       I love the pigs in the Bank of New Zealand ad; I’ve always wanted to have a pig as a pet.

90.       I’m opinionated, but learning to accept that not everyone needs to agree with me. They can’t help it if they don’t realise they are wrong.

91.       My son is in the Navy, he looks fabulous in a uniform – my throat constricts, and I want to cry when I see him in it (he’s been on TV twice now) – I am SO proud of him.

92.       I once drove my car to Auckland, and on a straight stretch of road tested out its capabilities speed-wise, it reaches 180 klms really quickly.

93.       I’ve talked my way out of a few speeding tickets; say you had no idea how fast you were going and then blame it all on the friend in the car. Or tell them you got lost, again the friends fault. Keep babbling until they are glad to get rid of you.

94.       I went on a cruise and bought home four stranded men as souvenirs.

95.       In my twenties I went out with a guy who worked as a waiter, wearing only a g-string to keep the female customers happy – he used to get a lot of tips. I was kinda proud of the fact.

96.       I love solitaire. My father did as well, and that fact makes me feel closer to him.

97.       I miss my children now they are away from home.

98.       I miss my Dad every morning when I wake up and realise again I will never see his face again.

99.       I am terrified of heights.

100.     I went bungy-jumping.

67 thoughts on “100 things”

  1. Didn’t know you were scared of heights, Jo! I don’t like them either. Makes me dizzy looking over parapets etc and I don’t think i could stand on the Sky Tower glass.

  2. Keep going. This list is fascinating. 100 more please!

    I’m especially curious about why you were w/the circus. I ran away w/the circus and sometimes think about going back. I miss the magic of the tent. I can only imagine what it must have been like from your nine year old perspective.

    Write on!

  3. My mother’s boyfriend was with them and we travelled for 3 months with him, thus also the circus. You ran off to the circus. WOW…
    maybe you should write on !!

    1. Ohh…thank you. Resliient?? Nah – just rubbery so that the majority of things bounce back out into the atmosphere. We aussie born sheilas – it is how we are made. LOL :)

  4. lol……wow! I love the boobs in the belt thing. One day I’ll be like that….so at least I know I won’t be alone. :)

  5. I just happened upon your blog and started reading. I love this – esp the bit about a song for every feeling you ever had. That and the bit about the gorilla stroking your head! I’m off to read some more but I’m sure i’ll be back to comment – it’s a very refreshing blog.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments. :) This was actually an exercise for a uni paper i did a few years ago – I found it so much fun that it has grown, and grown, and grown. :)

  6. I really like your 100 list! I can relate to many of your items, such as afraid of heights. Thinking of borrowing your idea for my own list. Guess that means some interesting soul searching.

  7. I would not have thought a list of 100 things about anybody would hold my attention, but your surely did! Fun and poinant at the same time. You are a remarkable woman. I look forward to knowing you better. Hugs, pat

  8. Dear Jo: Sometimes you meet your twin more than half-way ’round the world! Love your attitude! And so strong are Sheilas! Africa with 19 people; hey it was the 70’s! Commune-style…must have been a wild ride! Fun!

  9. My dear, what an intriguing and spellbinding life you have had! This is a truly fascinating list of 100 things, which I have just read from 1 to 100! It has inspired me to do something similar, so that I may share with people some details of my life in Rothunia. Never cease to write! I am new to WordPress (in fact, I am new to Earth and the internet!) and this page is certainly the most entertaining I have read thus far! A fond farewell,
    Lord Avanforth.

  10. My goodness you have had an eventful life! We have a few things in common. Shortly after my birth my family went to Indonesia and stayed there until I was 12, with a break of a year when I was 5. During the war my dad was at sea, trying to keep alive , and sailing from Australia to the USA and from there to GB and so on.. My mum and sisters and I were imprisoned in a Japanese concentrationcamp for 2 1/2 years. After the war we all came back in the Netherlands. I married and got three children, one of them has lived in Queensland for 17 years now. I often visit her and once we went to New Zealand for a month, which was absolutely wonderful. That’s my life, not as eventful as yours, but still…
    I forgot to tell: I am also scared of heights. I see you hopefully more often.

    1. After I got married and had the kiddywinkles we moved here.
      The ex wanted to farm, and snakes freaked him out – frankly once I had kids they freaked me out too.
      His mate lived in Martinborough so we came for a look in 1993 and I never left.

  11. i’m glad to know you Jo, honestly :). i’m happy that you happened to bump into my page :). i’ve read the words above, and i intend to read the rest too, because there’s such a friendly warmth and sincere openness in your lines which i rarely get to find online :).

  12. Actually started listing the items where we match. Is it possible to have a twin born 14 years later on a different continent? #33 was what stopped me in my tracks, though…. I just commented over in my blog from this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8nHdiY8cvw

    I didn’t have any boobs to speak of until the menopausal hormones kicked in… my friend think it’s funny when I tell them I got them just in time for them to sag. Life is not always fair.

  13. Love all these things… You sound like an amazing person! Am saving the next 60 for tomorrow :) Now I know how to do my ‘About me’ mine is pretty rubbish!! I think I will have 23….. Or 42…. Or 118….

  14. I’m definitely old enough to write 100 things about myself, but they definitely wouldn’t be as diverse and daring as some of yours. An amazing piece of writing – a list even! WOW!

    1. I am thrilled you are thinking of coming back for more. Isn’t it wonderful when you come across people and blogs that intrigue you. And I love that you liked visiting.

  15. I just read a hundred things about you and then I read in the traffic feed that Canberra Australia arrived 18 minutes ago; that’s how long it took me to read and absorb your hundred things. I was comparing all along – your life has been much more changeable than mine though we were born a few months and one state apart. I admire your boldness to tell us what you really think about your life so far and the people in it!

    1. WOW…18 minutes. I didn’t realise how long it was. Thank you for staying long enough to finish. And thank you for the lovely words…it always means a lot to me.

  16. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this list. I have two small children which means I am never still for more than 5 minutes at a time. I have had this page up all morning and have been reading it on and off. I loved it. You are a beautiful and my kind of humor person. I love that you could come up with 100 thoughts on just yourself. I don’t think that is as easy as one thinks! Especially for a female. We could do it easily for everyone else though. At least, I could.

    I’m so glad The Hook featured you. Can’t wait till the little people go to bed so I can sit down and read! ~Dawn

  17. Love, love this list. I’d make one of my own except it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. My fav movie is Dirty Dancing, too, but it has more to do with the dancing than the hands. My fav scene: near the end where he takes her on stage, she runs toward him and he lifts her up above his head. Why? b/c that was my move when I had a dance troupe (I was her, by the way, not him).

    1. Oh wow…clever you being able to do that !!! I am very impressed indeed. Actually I just adore every little thing in the movie. My daughter’s friends used to joke about my obsession with it. I am sooooo glad they ditched the ide of a remake. My insides were screaming NOOOOOOOOOO at the thought of them messing with such a classic.

        1. Oh my…sloppy seconds…the LOL that brought out of me. Needed that this morning, so thank you !!!! And of course Jack Weston could never be replaced as Max Kellerman. And I loved Neil.

          1. You’re welcome! Let’s face it, the movie as a whole can’t be replaced, so I hope nobody else is foolish enough to try. I have a VHS copy around here somewhere. Now if only I had a working VCR.

    1. Yep really !!! My mum and I traveled from Sydney down through Victoria and on to Adelaide with the circus for three months. She even got permission from the school, although I had to take schoolwork with me and do it via correspondence. I thought that was a drag…I mean come on…doing schoolwork while with a circus.

There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu

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