Ros from TheMoreThanOccasionalBaker recently gave me an Awesome Blog Content (ABC) award - thank you! The idea is that you think of something relating to you personally for each letter of the alphabet, and share it with other bloggers. This is quite appropriate given that Ros and I run the Alphabakes challenge!
A - animals. I love all creatures great and small, and after a joke comment from my boyfriend about how many pictures I have of me with animals,I've started a facebook album called "pictures of me with animals". Highlights include me holding a baby crocodile, riding an elephant and playing with lion cubs in Africa.
B - baking, of course! Though my efforts can be a bit hit and miss, I can be quite impatient and I'm sure I have a temperamental oven as well.
C - cats. My little tabby Tilly is the sweetest thing and I love her to bits.
D - diet. Always seem to be on one, officially anyway - hopeless at sticking to them!
E - elephant. I plucked up the courage to ride one while I was in Africa, which was a big deal since I'm terrified of heights. But I was at a point in my life where I decided I needed to "feel the fear and do it anyway!"
F - friends who you can go ages without seeing or talking to, then when you do get to catch up, you pick up just where you left off! Which is also linked to the other F I can't live without - Facebook!
G - Google. Don't know how I managed before we had it!
H- Hobbycraft. Only been there a couple of times as they always seem to be on trading estates, and difficult to get to if you don't drive (which I don't). So when I do get to go, it's like a wonderful mecca of papercraft and cake decorating products!
I - Ian, my wonderful boyfriend who I am planning to spend the rest of my life with. And am currently trying to persuade to move in with me!
J - journalist. What I wanted to be while I was at university and what I did for the first 5 years of my working life, until I became disillusioned and went to be a writer at a financial services firm
K - kindle. I love reading and books - the actual feel and smell of the paper, even. So I wasn't convinced of the merits of the Kindle when it came out... until I got one (thanks, Ian!). I still read physical books but don't know where I'd be without my Kindle on long train journeys or holidays.
L - lists. I love making lists of things to do and crossing items off - partly because I like to be organised, and partly because I'm quite forgetful!
M - money. I like to have it, spend it, and save it. And I like to think I'm quite good with it as I've never been in debt other than my mortgage.
N - Namibia. Last year I went to this amazing, beautiful country with the Bobby Moore Fund and helped renovate a school. It was a fantastic experience and one I will always remember.
O - organised. The day I discovered I could send Outlook calendar invites to my boyfriend and if he accepted them, I would have put something in his diary for him - was a happy day indeed. I'm very organised, possibly to a fault, and don't like not knowing what I'm doing a month from now, let alone a week from now.
P - public transport, which I use more than most people I know. I learnt to drive when I was 18 (I am now 33) and haven't driven since! It's been so long that I'm now terrified of the idea of having to get behind a wheel again, even if I had lessons.
Q - queuing. I'm of the polite British sort that waits patiently in queues without getting annoyed. I recently had a visit from a friend from another country and he definitely didn't share this trait!
R - research. I have to do a lot of this for my job, and have got pretty good at finding things, whether it's what happened in bond markets ten years ago, a discount code for event tickets or the best hotel to stay in on holiday. Not to be confused with Facebook stalking.
S - Surrey, where I now live. I work in central London but like the fact that when I come home, I can get away from the hustle and bustle, and have a house with a garden whereas for the same money in London I'd be living in a shoe box.
T - travel. I was never much of a traveller before - I was 17 the first time I went abroad, and that was to Belgium. Then holidays through my 20s were generally Greek islands and the like. Now I've decided I want to see the world, and am on a mission to visit as many different countries as I can. In the last couple of years countries I have added to my 'where I've been' map include Italy, Russia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands.
U - untidy. I don't know how I can be so messy when I am also so organised - I think it's because I make so many lists, and organise things into piles, then am too busy or lazy to put them away!
V - vegetables. I'm really fussy when it comes to food and literally only eat a handful of types of vegetable. Which is a handful more than my boyfriend eats!
W -Wilton, where my family is from (in Wiltshire). I have had a penfriend in our twin town of Wilton, Connecticut, since I was 8 years old, and went to visit her for the first time a couple of years ago! My local paper even decided it was newsworthy.
X - my ex (see above). I have to include him on this list as he was such a big part of my life, for such a long time. We met as teenagers, moved in together, bought a house, got a cat, never got married because he always said he didn't believe in marriage... then when I turned 30, he left with no warning. I still don't entirely know why he did that, and after 11 years together it almost killed me, but I do know that I'm better off without him.
Y- yes. Something I say far too often - I can never say no. Whether it's taking on work for a charity I don't have time to do, or having friends to stay when I'm actually quite busy, I'm actually a bit of a pushover.
Zzzzzz - sleep! Something I never seem to get enough of - and I don't even have children! I do have a cat who likes to wake me up for breakfast as soon as it's light, which is about 4.45am at the moment.