Sunday, 1 February 2015

Getting to know me - My first...

I am really excited to announce that this month I am going to be taking part in my FIRST EVER blog series -

It occurred to me that, while I have been writing on here frequently for the past two years and you know a lot about random things going on in my life, you don't really know all that much about me as a person. And I would like to fix that =] Therefore I am going to write a series of articles - not sure how many yet - allowing myself to be a little more personal. And through them you can get to know the blogger behind the blog.

Let the fun begin.

So to celebrate the fact it's the FIRST of February and it's my FIRST article in my FIRST blog series, I am going to talk about 'My Firsts' today....

My first memory
Many so-called 'childhood memories' don't really exist. They are either planted there by your parents, or you see a photograph and kind of make them up. But my earliest memory is 100% mine.

I was about 2 and a half, maybe three and at the time, my parents were building a house. The house they now live in and have done for almost 20 years. Normally I would be left at my grandmother's or with my older brother while they oversaw things at the site but at this particular time, I was there. There is a picture of me (right), sat on the foundations of the fireplace with my big bro. But what really sticks out for me about this day, was the intense fear I had of the digger. I was absolutely terrified of it. I remember thinking that it would fail to see me, and would swallow me up. So even at that young age, I was aware of my small size and own insignificance.

I told this story to my Dad recently and he laughed at me. He'd had no idea so it's not like these thoughts actually came from him. And it's really stuck with me all these years. Not something I need to worry about now of course. I am a total giant.

My first story
I have loved writing stories ever since I can remember. Recently I read through some of my old year 6 school books and every week we were required to write a one page story using our spellings. Needless to say mine were 4, 5, sometimes 6 pages long. And every week my teacher would write comments like 'Excellent writing but make sure it is only one page. Poor poor Mr Lott...after embarking on teacher training myself, I now understand just how annoying this would have been.

But I wrote my first ever story when I was a lot younger than that. Aged about 3 in fact. It was called Sammy Squirrel's Breakfast. At the time, I had watched a TV programme about drawing animals and squirrels had featured quite heavily because they were apparently 'particularly simple to draw.' I hadn't found them to be so though. But anyway, I drew a load of pictures and dictated a story to my Dad who typed it up on the computer and ta-da I had my first ever book - printed on to special paper, which was a little thicker than paper but not as thick as cardboard. May it be the first of many (here's hoping).

My first friend
She was called Kalina. A German girl in my class at nursery school and we remained friends until about year 2 or 3 when she decided she was too cool for me. Facebook allowed us to get back into contact with each other over a decade later and I realised that she was in fact at UCL studying medicine with a friend that I had made at a music course when I was 15. Small world.

I haven't kept in touch with any of my primary school friends though, because I left them all to go to a boarding school at the age of 11, instead of attending the local comprehensive with them. My oldest friend therefore, is Jo who I met on my very first day (I thought she was being a right baby as she was crying her eyes out). It's scary that we have now been friends for just over half our lives.

My first job
Going to a boarding school had its downsides. And one of these was I didn't experience the working world until I was 18. I'd had plenty of volunteering jobs, assisting in schools, giving tours of my school, helping out at after school clubs, running choirs and teaching kids musical instruments...but I didn't get a paid job until the summer after I had left school.

This was at my local shop down the bottom of my parents' road, called One Stop. It used to be a reasonably large chain but then was taken over by Tesco and now they have mostly all been turned into Tesco Expresses, so they are a bit of a dying breed. To be honest, I have no idea how I even got that job. I wasn't till trained, had no experience whatsoever and was so poorly in the interview that I barely said 10 words. The boss talked more than I did but he gave me a chance. They trained me up on tills, PayPoint and Lottery and, even though I was only expecting to spend the summer there, I ended up working there for 3 years whenever I was back in Sussex for the holidays. It was reasonably fun, but as any supermarket job is, could be deathly dull at some points, while super stressful at others. I loved loved loved all my colleagues though, we always had such a giggle.

My first crush
This was on a neighbour of mine aged 7. Well, I was 7, he was 8 - always loved an older man. Over the road from us, lived two boys, one was 3 years older than me, (which might as well have been 30, I thought he was ancient) and then David was one year older than me. I was always trying to impress him but it obviously didn't work because he ended up pushing me in a bramble bush. Which really hurt. And that was my first warning that all men are dicks.

My first time away from home
When I was kid, I didn't go on many sleepovers. We all lived really close, so my Mum thought there was no point. And I wasn't too traumatised as I ended up going on a 7 year sleepover when I started at boarding school, aged 11.

This meant that the first time I was away from home wasn't until I was 7. It was on a weekend camping trip with my year 4 class and I absolutely loved it. I loved the independence and just hanging out with my friends, while doing all sorts of fun activities. I didn't want to come home. Funnily enough, I have never been so enthusiastic about camping since and never went again. I am far too fond of normal things like you know, hot showers, and a bed which you don't have to share with ants...

My first film I saw in the cinema
I think this was The Rugrats Movie whenever that came out. Am not very sure though.

My first published article
I started writing various articles for my local paper when I was around 14 or 15. And the very first one was this (right). So cringe - it's always horrible reading back your old writing. It seems so immature.

When I was a kid, I wrote all kinds of articles for my own newspapers which I invented. I made loads of them including the Phoenix House News (about me, my siblings and parents); and Col A News (about me and the 7 other girls on my year in my boarding house). I still have them all somewhere...I was such a cool child.

My first boyfriend
His name was Daniel. We were 11. We held hands. We hugged. We even kissed once. But after the Christmas holidays, I got bored of him and told him I would prefer to be just friends. I don't think he was too fussed.

Oddly enough, I have never actually been able to commit to a proper relationship since. My problem is I go through all those stages I wrote above, before I have even entered the relationship. Oops. Must try and fix that one.

My first time abroad
We were not the most affluent family when I was growing up so I did not embark on amazing holidays to Corfu. My first time I travelled abroad was on a school trip in Third Form (year 8) to Poitiers, where we visited the theme park and the town to improve our French speaking. I loved it.

People are always surprised that I didn't go abroad much with my parents but it didn't really bother me. And it has placed a never-ending hunger in me to explore the whole world, which I am doing one country at a time. How many travel experiences can you actually remember from your first 10 years anyway?

My first mobile phone
Again this was a lot later than your average kid is given a mobile as I didn't have my first brick of a nokia until I was 14. But bear in mind that, 8 years ago, the world was not as mobile-crazy as it is now and I went to a boarding school, so I didn't need to contact my friends regularly. I was surrounded by them all the time.

I had that phone for 2 years, then had a slidey Samsung for 2 years. Then finally I actually managed to enter the 21st century with my first Iphone, Ivy aged 19. She was stolen at New Year's 2014 so was replaced by Ida for 8 months until she was upgraded to Isaac the Iphone 5s (left) back in November. And he is my constant companion, helping me with absolutely everything. Even this blogpost. It depresses me, just how much I rely on him.

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