Monday, 15 June 2009

@Angpang and The Me, Me Meme

The lovely @clareHR tagged me with a meme on her blog, which gives me the excuse to talk about myself a lot and do another blog entry without coming up with a) an idea or b) a structure. Clare, you’re my hero.

So here it is, a blog that’s about me. At least I’m consulting an expert on the subject.

If you're a blogger and fancy revealing yourself through these 20 questions, consider yourself tagged. At the bottom of this post I've listed all the Bloggers who have embraced the Me Me Meme - scroll down to see...

1. What are your current obsessions?

Well, anyone who has spent 60 seconds in my company will realise I am obsessed with my children (two girls, aged six and four).

In my defence, I am fully aware I have a pair of ‘mummy goggles’ glued in place, unlike the (mostly) new mums who dominate conversations with details of every nappy change when my children’s achievements are far more interesting.

If you’ve not experienced pathological parenthood, I can only say it’s like that crush you had when you were 14.

You think about them all the time, have to know where they are each minute, filter every piece of new information in terms of its impact on to them, feel quietly exhilarated with them near, strangely hollow with them gone, and find your fingers twitching to scratch the ugly, fat face of anyone who does not share your adulation.

You bond with other parents who’ll play the game (I'll talk about mine for 40 seconds, I'll let you talk about yours for 30). Your mother becomes so much more interesting because she wants to talk about them too. You meet someone who has no kids and fumble for something to say to them. It’s addiction.

And it’s a good job you are besotted, because children also annoy the hell out of you.

But I at least know I’m doing it. I really, really do understand my children are not the most fascinating, beautiful, talented and unusual in the world, whilst at the same time knowing they damn well are.

2. What item from your wardrobe do you most wear?


There are two Angelas (well at least two, but let’s not go there): Angela Ideal who has perfect hair every day, and Angela Real who lolled in bed that extra ten minutes and has bad, bad hair so she rams a hat on top and hopes it won’t be windy.

For winter there’s my Child Catcher's Hat (named such by my boyfriend) that really does look like the one worn by the scary bloke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I wore it at the local Christmas Fair along with crimson devore scarf, floor length black coat and ankle boots. I had an honourable mention in the Victorian fancy dress competition I did not realise they were running.

For summer it’s often headbands, which also camouflage the too-big forehead I have.

Pride of place is my Philip Treacy one (pictured). S’very nice. But it really demands full make-up and heels and military-esque coat to carry it off, and Angela Real has just not got her act together yet.

3. Last dream you had?

That was a nightmare, because I foolishly watched The Grudge, a formulaic horror film that I should, with my age and experience, be able to laugh at scornfully (ha ha har) but truth is: I’m easily scared.

When I thought a ‘boo’ moment was upon me I stared at the fireplace (open fire, very calming) so I can’t even say I watched it properly. But the undercurrent of ‘something’s gonna get you’ leaked into my dreams, and then my youngest (who had sneaked alongside me for a cuddle) leaked onto my mattress (too much bedtime milk) so I was evicted to the sofa with a Disney Princess throw that left something exposed no matter how I arranged it.

But that was not the end of it. The kids invaded the living room at 6am so I had to move to the bed of the child that had piddled on me. It's five foot long with a matress as deep as an insole and it started life as a cot, so sleep was a stranger, but it was either that or drift in and out of consciousness to The Chuckle Brothers, which would be more chilling than The Grudge.

4. Last thing you bought?

Hair slides. Sparkly green hoops. A little bit vintage. I tret myself (that’s Grimsby slang, work it out) because I was going to an award ceremony with my mum, who had been nominated as a Lifelong Learner, so I was thinking red carpet, paparazzi… but more of that on another blog.

They are lovely and twinkly. Sadly, I did not wear them, having nothing that shade of green in my wardrobe apart from a sensible, Marks and Spencer V neck which may have said ‘green’ but in no way said ‘sparkly’. Idiot.

5. What are you listening to?

As I write this, the Early Learning Centre’s ‘Any Dream Will Do’ CD. Which includes songs from the shows by OK singers and OK musicians. It’s coming from my eldest’s bedroom.

But this afternoon I listened to an ‘Ange’s Faves’ playlist for the first time in about a year, and remembered how much I love Radiohead, Portishead, Massive Attack, Jeff Buckley, Gorrilaz, Turin Brakes and Aqualung.

6. Fave holiday spots

London. Snowdonia (lived there for four years). Cornwall. Arizona. Italy.
I have not been to Italy yet, but I know I am going to have a wonderful time.

7. What are you reading?

I’m re-reading Angela Carter's short stories Burning your Boats.

I started talking about Ms Carter on Twitter to US writer Debra Snider, and was flooded with Tweets from many others praising Carter’s work. Debra was convinced to give her a try, and I was convinced to read it all again.

8. 4 words to describe you

Cannot be easily summarised.

9. Guilty pleasure

Secret Millionaire. Though the formula is starting to poke through and I don’t cry anymore.

10. If you were god/goddess who would you be?

Love, lust and beauty sound appealing, which would make me Aphrodite.

11. Who/what makes you laugh until you are weak?

Flight of the Conchords.

12. Fave spring thing to do.

Get lost in some woodlands. I find dappled shade magnetic.

Chuck lots of stuff out. I always have a piano and a coffee table too much in my house.

13.When you die what would you like people to say about you at your funeral?

Still sexy at 99.

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately?

That would be my boyfriend’s rhubarb crumble (that ain’t a euphemism) made with rhubarb fresh from mum’s vegetable patch. He thinks I don’t notice him sneaking in some ginger, but I do.

15 When did you last go for night out?

A week ago to a friend’s house for our Art Group, which is six time-poor / cash-poor mums who coulda-shoulda-woulda been good artists but through the well meant advice of parents to ‘get a good job in a bank’ did not turn their talent into a career. Plus me, the crap one.

This evening was heaven. My friend had arranged her unwashed dinner plates as a still life, and supplied us with oil paints (and all the paraphernalia that puts you off buying them) so we could just simply have a go.

I pottered away until midnight attempting to paint a gorgeous antique white jug with the proportions on Monroe and the luminance of a Vermeer. The finished painting is recognisable as a jug, so I feel I’ve leapt the first hurdle on my way to becoming an artist. And my youngest child told me it was wonderful. Perhaps there is such a thing as 'daughter goggles' too.

The smell of the oils and the joy of good company are now permanently linked in my mind.

16. Fave film ever.

I watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet several years ago before I was a parent. I have just watched it again as a mother (look, the M word again) and found it amazing in a whole new way. Have loved the play since my GCSEs, when it was the set text.

17. Share some wisdom.

“Wise children always choose a mother who was a shocking flirt in her maiden days, and so had several offers before she accepted their fortunate papa.” J M Barrie, The Little White Bird.

18. Song you can't get out of your head.

Cheesy songs are the ones that stick. I like to plant them in my boyfriend’s head by humming them in his ear in the morning. We Built this City on Rock and Roll. Sorry.

19. Thing you are looking forward to

My children’s hugs. My four year old is exactly the size and weight of a hug.

20. If you could change one detail from your past, what would that be?

That I’d edited more ruthlessly. People can be backpacks or jetpacks, and I put-up with the backpacks a little too long.

Tag you’re it…

Meme Rules: remove one question & replace with one of your own.

UPDATE: The Me Me Meme challenges has been taken up by:

@eyglo in her blog

@koshkanott in her blog

@ltxi_itx in her blog

(go read and enjoy)

I'm sending special obligation rays out to:

@goonergamie blog

@nik_kee_dee blog

@belle_lulu blog

@cakepirate blog

@EmmaJaneR - you can do pictures


  1. Delightful peek into another life -- we're all voyeurs after all -- written with effortless (seemingly) charm and wit.

  2. No pressure then, how can I compete with that little lot. I thought I would be able to do a load of one sentance answers, but would obviously letting the side down. I have the feeling you will be a hard act to follow. I really enjoyed it.

  3. What fun to read this winsome post and to realize you've already done a wonderful job of conveying who you are via tidbits on Twitter. I love knowing the additional detail, but it's more a matter of shading & coloring in a few blanks than of creating the picture. Your voice as a writer rings very clear and pure, even in 140-character bursts.

    As for Angela Carter's work, I'm enjoying it enormously and I owe you one for the heads-up.

  4. Lovely Ange, I feel honoured to share this hallowed space! Your answers, as everyone else has said, make me feel that mine will be somewhat inadequate but I'm game enough to give it a go!

    Give me time - about a month should do it!!!

    Oh and Angela Carter is my favourite author. Wise Children is the best book ever written in my opinion - if you've not read it Debra - do so now!!!

  5. Loved tracking you back here from Jamie's... I hope everyone remembers to link back! And now you have links out as well, I could be in for some fun reading!

    The "four words" answer is absolutely, utterly brilliant.


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