10 Things You Don't Know About Me

“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us” 
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden


I couldn't figure out which photo I should start this with, but settled on this secret garden-esq one, because I guess if you don't know something about a person, it's sort of a secret, right? Anyway, I love the quote too.

I'm aware that some people reading this know me pretty well and will therefore know lots of these things, maybe even all of them, already. But for lots of people these are things I don't think I've really ever written about before. So, in no particular order, here are 10 things you don't know about me that fell out of my brain while I was drinking an earl grey in the snazzy new Pret in Norwich. 

Don't judge me on number eight...I'm fully aware it's disgusting! 

1. I dropped out of Uni

I've written several times (and in great length) about my time at uni, so obviously I didn't drop out of my undergrad degree. However, after I finished Fine Art, I got a place on an Art Psychotherapy Masters. I say, 'I got a place', but in reality I fought tooth and nail to get there. When I first sent off my application, it came back pretty quickly, with a note saying I wasn't 'experienced' (read 'old') enough and to wait two years before applying again. Considering this was what I thought I had been working towards for the last three years, I wasn't giving up that easily, so I called them (several times) and demanded that they reconsider. They did, but I had to re-apply, answer several convoluted essay questions and go for an extended interview, at which point the course director offered me a place on the spot (not so under-experienced after all eh!). Obviously I was elated, and spent the next few months happily anticipating learning how to use my knowledge of art to change peoples lives for the better. Fast forward to October, and the first day of the course: I found myself sitting in an 'Effective Hand Washing' seminar, and making a piece of art with children's wax crayons...

Every single thing about it felt wrong, it was clinical and cold and everyone had limp handshakes and under-confident voices and coffee breath and it all made me feel flat and horrible. Turns out I was too young (I was the youngest there by about 20 years) and my overwhelming desire was to run away. So I did. After the second day, I phoned the tutor and explained I wouldn't be coming back. People around me then started saying, slowly and cautiously, that they didn't think it suited me anyway, that maybe it hadn't ever been the best choice, that I'd always made things, made a mess, explored, did I really want to work in a hospital? I felt like Rachel from Friends, you know that part when everyone except her knew that she was in love with Ross....

"Why didn't anyone tell me!?!"

People said it was brave, but it didn't feel that way. It felt crazy and irrational, and I quickly enrolled onto a post-grad diploma which I thoroughly enjoyed, but which pulled my even further away from what I truly loved...but thats another story entirely....

2. I hoard magazines

I LOVE magazines! I love the way they smell, I love that each issue (of a good one) is a little carefully curated escape, to make you ponder, and imagine, and challenge what you thought, to make you want to cook, to spend £100 on a beautiful throw or go exploring outside. I subscribe to a couple a month, and usually buy a couple more, and I'll carry them around with me, from the bath, to the dining table, to the sofa and off to bed. Inevitably when I'm done they end up on the coffee table, or in a teetering pile next on the bedside table (or in my case, bedside-pile-of-suitcases).

The problem comes in that I can't seem to put them in the recycling bin, and when you buy 2-4 a month (and your husband usually adds another couple to that number) it quickly gets out of hand! I'm working on remedying this at the moment, reading through them all again and tearing out articles or items I'll go back to in future, and writing down websites or books to look at again. It's tough, and feels a bit wrong, and of course I'm keeping some of the quarterly journals whole, but it's that or the house will fall down with the weight of them.

3. I'm a huge procrastinator

Not only do I procrastinate, but I seem to be skilled in the art of justifying it to myself. Then I get cross with myself when I've run out of time...and somehow manage to re-justify it by saying 'oh I always work better under pressure.'

Pinterest is great for procrastinating, as is Instagram. Even better is several episodes of One Born Every Minute. More often than not though (unless it happens to be the thing I'm supposed to be doing) cleaning is my favourite way. It will suddenly become absolutely imperative that I clean the front of all the kitchen cabinets before I write that email, or re-organise D's shirts by colour rather than phone the bank.

More often than not I think this happens because I take on too much, and put too much pressure on myself. So I end up with too many things to get done, don't know which to do first, then end up doing none of them!

4. I hate coriander

No further explanation needed. Tastes awful, smells nearly as bad, and it is not ok to sneak it into a persons dinner like it's parsley. It's wrong!

5. I struggle with 'obsessing'

This doesn't happen as much now as it used to, but once I get fixated on an idea I find it difficult to stop sometimes. It used to be over things like how my skin was, or which foods I was eating, but now it tends to be things like finding the perfect pair of yoga leggings (because I found them, but now they don't have my size!) or researching the cheapest place to buy raw cacao, or (only occasionally) with reading forums about how the headache/eye pain/leg cramp/weird spot on my hand I've had for two days is DEFINITELY going to kill me! 

6. I hate change

I've only realised this as I've got older, but it's definitely true. Even if the situation that is/could be changing isn't ideal, I still seem to get anxious about the idea of something different. This is true of little things (like getting my hair cut, which for some reason this week is a massive deal...but I'm doing it!) or changing jobs. I don't like other people changing their minds either...D has had four different jobs since uni, and every time he starts getting itchy feet and wanting to change again, I have this inner battle with myself over being supportive, and just wanting every thing to stay the way it is! 

This also explains why I hadn't updated my computer in months, because I liked the old operating system and although D had been pestering me for weeks to do the update (and making me watch the apple keynote talk thing about the new products and software...thrilling) I didn't see any real need to. Then one day last week my background picture magically changed from one of us at the wedding to a picture of Yosemite...you know, Apple's new operating system. Curious. D denies all knowledge and says it must have done it on its own...  

7. I have three tattoos

I think I might have written about this before, but not recently. I have one on each foot, and one on my upper arm, above the inside of my elbow. The first I got when I was 18 and about to leave for Uni, and it's the Hogwarts school motto, in latin, with seven stars (one for each book, obviously) and a lightening bolt. There's nothing more to it than that, I love Harry Potter. It goes a bit beyond love actually, I sort of need it. I don't think JK Rowling is the worlds best writer (by any means) but the stories are so clever and feel like a big warm jumper, or getting into your parents bed when you feel ill. I also find it really hard to sleep without Stephen Fry reading the audio books to me. D said after we moved in together for the first time 'do I really have to listen to this crap every night for the rest of my life'. Yep, I'm afraid so!  

The second is also HP related but not in such an obvious way. There's a scene in the sixth film, where Hermione has just seen Ron, who she is madly in love, with kissing another girl. She asks Harry, 'How does it feel', when he looks at the girl he loves with someone else. The Ron bursts in with his girlfriend and Hermione makes some magical birds attack him, and breaks down on Harry's shoulder. He replies, "It feels like this", and those words are what I have tattooed on my left foot. There's a feeling I get when I love something so-bloody-much that I couldn't possibly put it into words in a coherent way, and the only logical response would be to scream and cry and grit my teeth and clench my fists and shout, which is an excellent way to get thrown out of a gallery, which is where this often happens. So the tattoo is about that, about the feeling of loving something so much that a wordless display of emotion (like Hermione's rage, bird launching and crying) is the only way to describe it.

My newest one is an elephant, a black outline filled in with splashy watercolour. It's completely selfish, and there to remind me to never forget who I am. I've been fascinated by elephants since I was little, and I definitely feel like my patronus would be one. I had an Ayurvedic consultation while we were on our honeymoon, and my dosha type was a pitta/kapha mix - apparently kapha types are often likened to elephants. Lots of times in my life elephants have cropped up subconsciously, so it feels right to have one on my body forever more! 

8. I've had a verucca for approximately forever

When I say forever, it's about 4 years, on and off. No amount of Bazuka or attacks with the nail scissors seems to stop it coming back, and I'm actually contemplating cutting off my big toe! 

9. I suddenly feel most productive at bedtime

I am most definitely a night owl. Even on a day off when I'm up early, it will still takes me ages to get started. I'll potter about (see item three above...) and then realise it's lunchtime and I haven't really done anything! However, once 9pm arrives, I will suddenly get the motivation to do all sorts. I'll take a magazine in the bath with me in a attempt to wind-down, but it will usually just make me think 'ooh I must look into that, I wonder if I have time to make that now, that bookcase looks beautiful...let's clear out the study'...and so on and so on....

Maybe this comes with working full time. When I get in from work, it's like I have a couple of hours to cook tea and kind of absorb and let go of the day, then I want to get going on something fun but by that point it's bedtime. 

Maybe there is a way to reverse this pattern...if there is I'd love to know! 

10. I want a baby so much I've become a crazy person

I've always known I wanted children, and so has D, but suddenly (since we got married, ish) it's like someone has flipped a giant switch in my brain and I want a baby right now! It's not even, 'I want to be pregnant', more like I want an actual baby immediately! Also, because social media is creepily clever, once I followed one baby clothes company on Instagram, 15 others followed me, so I follow them back, because baby clothes and shoes are cute, and all of a sudden my feed is entirely babies! The same thing happens with pinterest, it seems to learn what it thinks you want to see, and slowly my feed had moved from weddings to 'things I wish my husband knew before I had a baby', or 'how to make soothing postpartum pads' (which incidental I pinned, because well, it might come in useful one day...but it prompted 10 million similar things to appear every time I open the app!)

So, yes. D is slowly being driven mad by me showing him pictures of baby grows or making him look at cots in IKEA the other day! All in good time Eleanor....Rome wasn't built in a day after all...


  1. after reading this post (which didn't get any comment. weird) I came to the conclusion that we are very similar (except for the last one. and the verruca hahaha). procrastinating, magazines, obsessing, night owls... AND THE HATRED FOR HORRIBLE CORIANDER. It tastes like soap. End of. Yuck.

    1. It does taste like soap!! It really really does! This is why I love blogging so much - love that we've connected from different parts of the world x