I thought I would share a few things about myself that my real life friends (probably) know, but social media not so much.
1 I used to be vegetarian
When I was 9 I decided to stop eating meat. My parents are saints. I can’t imagine large boy asking that in just over a year. That was it though, no meat. When I was 21 I went to live abroad (more later) for a year. Realising that veggie food wasn’t easily available like at home, I decided to have fish once a week to make sure I got enough protein. Then at 25 some weird urge had me steal a bit of chicken from my boyfriend (now “himself”, the husband).
At 29 I was pregnant with large boy. I’d always said I wouldn’t impose my views on others. So when I became anaemic I started eating red meat too.
It took a lot of years to gradually bring meat back again. But now I love steak and black pudding and lamb. I feel like a traitor, but couldn’t go back.
2 my spine twists
I used to get (still do sometimes) a sharp pain in my right hip, deep in the joint. At some point the GP referred me for an x-ray and I have a slight scoliosis in the very lowest part of my spine.
After small boy was born I had diastasis rectii and the physio said she could see the curve and it’s bidirectional. So a bit like a helix.
My mum said that when I was born they did more checks for hip dysplasia because they thought something wasn’t quite right. The curve was probably it.
3 large boy was a very easy pregnancy
I fell pregnant with our eldest super fast. I had my coil take out and we had a positive pregnancy test 6 weeks later. It was text book all the way through to my waters breaking at 36 weeks, 3.5 days of induced labour and an emergency section.
4 I can’t stand bad grammar but I’m terrible at typing on my phone
My pet hates are they’re/their/there. But between autocorrect and long nails I’m a terrible phone typer. I don’t proof read enough either. Sorry.
5 I lived in France for 13 months and more
When I was almost 17, at the end of lower sixth, my school set up a scheme for people taking A level french to work as an au pair in families around Lyon. I stayed for six weeks. After A levels a year later I went back. I came out of the experience speaking French like a 10yr old – unsophisticated but with a natural accent.
Then I spent the last year of my degree studying and researching in Strasbourg. Acquired a French boyfriend for 6 months and came home fluent – with “mention tres bien” in maitrise de chimie.
6 as a teenager I had post-viral fatigue syndrome
When I was 13 I had a cold at the beginning of the summer holidays. Then I slept. A lot. Loads. I slept in late, took naps, went to bed early. The GP referred me to paediatrics and they did blood tests. I had low white blood cells and markers for a resolved infection.
For two years I struggled with tiredness. I dropped several GCSEs and only attended about 50% of school. Though the second half of year 11, I slowly improved and took exams – got decent grades but not what was predicted. I returned to school full time for my A levels but I’m always haunted by a fear of tiredness. I don’t cope well with exhaustion and the idea of being that incapable again is really scary.
7 I have a PhD in Chemistry
Not so much to tell. I spent 3 years doing proper wet chemistry research and 6 months writing up. After a tricky viva voce, I passed my PhD and had my corrections plan approved the same week I started my first (and only) real job.
Over 12 years later I rarely use the knowledge I gathered, but the independence, initiative and in depth research is still part of my day to day work.
8 my English A level was my best mark
So I’m a non-practicing chemist (chemistry not a pharmacist). Going to secondary school I was most excited about chemistry lessons. Studied it for A level, degree and PhD. But I was always really good at English literature. I loved picking out the details and themes of Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. Got an A at A level but I don’t regret my choice to pursue chemistry for a minute.
9 I’ve been pregnant 5 times
We’ve got two boys (large is 7.5 and small is 4). Between them we had a missed miscarriage. Then when small was 18 months old I fell pregnant with a coil that had got misplaced. Most recently I missed a pill in September 2018, it looked like were getting a surprise third child. Until my waters leaked and my cervix dialated at about 18 weeks. Our third little boy was born sleeping at 19 weeks and 5 days. I wrote about encountering our due date in C Day.
10 my friends don’t know I have a blog
The whole point of this blog is letting out the random thoughts that run through my mind without censoring myself.
When I’m with friends or acquaintances I know I’m working really hard to impress them, to not offend them, not disagree, to fit in, to find common ground. That means I don’t always say what I feel or think.
So I started writing to be uncensored. I accidentally followed a colleague who read something in return so she knows I’m here, but that’s it. My husband isn’t supposed to even read it.