A to Z of me
Family, Friends, Work

A to Z of Me

I’m kind of jumping on the bandwagon here. I’ve seen some cool posts from Tom, Michelle and Em lately, giving a lowdown about them using a nifty alphabetic categorization. You can see their posts here:

So, I thought that I’d give it a go, not least to provide some light relief from my last serious post. I fear this might test my inventiveness…

A is for aardvark

No seriously. I grew up listening to the Goon Show:

GRYTPYPE: Not everything, sometimes I don’t think of Aardvarks.

MORIARTY: You mustn’t be so careless. After all Aardvarks never killed anybody.


B is for boy3

We didn’t get to keep him. We miss him every day.

C is for car crash

Yeah, when sleep deprived by small boy I drove my car into a lamp post at 5 miles an hour with no one else in sight. Wrote it off. Oops.

D is for deliveries

During lockdown I’ve got onto first name terms with our postie, Andy. He brings at least three Scalextric cars a week plus various Amazon Prime packages. I do love getting a delivery of something necessary without having to leave the house.

E is for ERASMUS

I lived in Strasbourg for a year during my undergraduate degree as part of the ERASMUS scheme. That experience was a joy and so formative for me, I’ll always look back on that year and the people I met with huge fondness.

F is for the fens

I spent my childhood and teenage years in the fens of South Lincolnshire. You will not find a more beautiful dawn or sunset than those enormous skies, with fields that stretch forever and clouds that roll in for hours before they arrive.

G is for grandparents

I count myself very lucky to still have both my grans, in their 90s. The boys have all of their four grandparents too. I think having that extra generation in our lives helps us feel connected to our past, sort of roots us to who we are and how we fit in, and helps us see our parents as the children of their parents.

Can’t believe I didn’t use gin for G!

H is for HTML

I’m a technical author by profession so HTML, XML, CSS and JS are my bread and butter. I didn’t realise I would be adept at such technical matters when I started my job 14 years ago, but it turns out I love sleuthing, figuring out what went wrong and fixing it.

I is for ink

I recently dug out my old fountain pen and I’m loving using really flowing ink cartridges when I write cards and letters. Yes, I write letters to my two grans, they don’t have the internet. There’s something wholesome and at the same time elegant about using a fountain pen, I love it.

J is for jam and jelly

There’s always a weekend at the start of September when my kitchen looks like a murder scene. I forage the hedgerows for berries, then throw them all into a big pan and make hedgerow jelly, sometimes dosed with a dash of gin – the perfect present for the wonderful teachers in our kids’ school.

K is for knee

My left knee is a right bastard. It doesn’t appreciate the running and is regularly stiff after a long run. Git.

L is for large boy

My first born, my baby forever. He’s hilarious, bright, obstinate, inquisitive, loving and has a Fortnite addiction. He gives the best, tightest hugs, he can just lift me off the floor and has developed a stroppiness over reading matter that is beyond his 9 years. I fear for the teenage years to come.

M is for my man

Here we are, spring 2021 and we’ve been together 17 years, married just over 11. We’ve been through some tough times together; studies, jobs, stress, house moves, miscarriages. But we’re stronger together, better together and (he’ll read this and tell me I’m soppy) we love one another very much.

N is for normal

Large boy gets very upset when I ask him to do something normal. He says he’s unusual, and he’s very proud of that. He’s right. None of us is 100% “normal”, we all have our quirks and we should celebrate them, not try to hide them.

O is for optimist

I’m a natural optimist. I can’t help it, I’m just built that way and it’s innate. Even in the worst of times, I can see that I just need to push through and it’ll be OK in the end.

P is for PhD

I completed a PhD in chemistry (yep, proper wet, chucking solvents around, inert atmospheres, vacuum lines, separation columns, NMR machines, liquid nitrogen and stills). It was the hardest few years of my life, my supervisor was unforgiving, sometimes unkind, and it was impossible to satisfy his expectations. Three years of being told you hadn’t done enough, that the results weren’t complete, that you should have tried other things almost broke me a couple of times. But I survived. And I met himself so it wasn’t all bad.

Q is for quiet

No one who knows me would every say I’m quiet, and I don’t really like silence. I need Radio 6Music on when I’m working or alone at home. I run with a playlist on a shuffled loop. But I also cannot cope with too many inputs: kids chattering, radio on, himself talking to me, phone notifications and serving tea? nope, I’ll scream!

R is for running

What else could I have put for R?! Yeah, I might have developed a slight addiction to pulling on my trainers and hitting the road. I’m constantly planning a new route to discover, how to fit runs in around work and weekend stuff, or finding new kit to buy. Yeah, slight addiction.

S is for small boy

Pregnancy 3 of 5 brought us this utter gem of a child. He’s fierce, brave, full of mischief and his love for his brother burns bright and strong. He doesn’t believe in his abilities but he’s turning into a fab little learner, loving books and maths like large boy. He has a magic hug recipe: arms round, pat with one hand, stroke with the other and plant tiny kisses all at the same time.

T is for a tipple

I forgot gin for G, so I’m going less specific. I do love a little cocktail and really adore making my own fruity gins. Spiced elderberry is my favourite ever.

U is for undervalued

I have a theory that if we paid teachers and nurses on the same scale as doctors and lawyers, they would be more appreciated and we would value learning much more. How many people say “I’m crap at maths” or “I never liked school”, but put all their confidence in their GP or solicitor? It sounds very socialist or communist or something but I think we should pay people according to the contribution they make to society. Where would we be without teachers and nurses? Buggered, that’s where.

V is for vaccines

Vaccinate! I am so passionate about vaccination; protect yourself, protect your loved ones, and above all protect those around you who are more vulnerable. We are part of a society, not a discrete set of individuals with no responsibility to one another. If you were lying injured in the street would you want a stranger to rescue you? yes? then protect those self same strangers in return. Bank some karma.

W is for working

It never occurred to me to not go back to work, or even not to go back full time, after large boy was born. It was only years later that I discovered my mother in law felt I should have stopped working, when she told me she’d changed her mind as she could see how much the boys got from nursery. Honestly, though, even if I won the lottery I couldn’t not work. I need to be busy, I need to be productive, my brain needs to keep working and learning and being challenged.

X is for X-ray

Yeah, lazy option. But I did have an interesting x-ray experience when tracking down a hip problem years ago. It turns out the very lowest part of my spin has a slight helical twist, not noticeable except that it makes my lower back muscles a bit unbalanced which can translate into right hip pain. Seems to have improved immeasurably since I started running.

Y is for yellow courgettes

I don’t like green ones and you can never buy yellow ones in the shops so I grow yellow ones. I limit myself to two or three plants these days after the year I did five and himself got very bored of hidden courgette in every meal for months.

Z is for zero

The tolerance I have for people who don’t wear masks in public places – as evidenced by the stand up argument, in three rounds, I had with a shelf staking guy in my local supermarket.

Love from Smell xx

27 thoughts on “A to Z of Me”

  1. I love posts that help me get to know my fellow bloggers better! Itโ€™s pretty badass that you have a PH.D in chemistry. I barely got through the intro classes in undergrad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so wanting to do an about me Post but Iโ€™m so boring lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ I really enjoyed getting to know more about you. This is such a fun read.
    Ps. I got my first dose of the vaccine today! Finally!! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed reading this and had a laugh here and there! Yellow courgettes are the best, to be honest, and very much undervalued. I am so happy that both the boys love reading, it brings so much! Thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

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