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I have been tagged by the very lovely @Scottish_Mum, whose blog I don’t read quite often enough. I am to answer her 12 questions. After my answers, you’ll find a new list of questions at the bottom from me, for you to answer on your own blog. Then you make up a new set of 12 for your victims. And so it goes on until the bell rings for the end of playtime.

I answered these in reverse, from 12 down to 1. I’m not sure why.

"Catriona" Pamela Brown

1 – If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

Catriona, the name I use on here. She is a character in Michael Powell’s “I Know Where I’m Going“, one of my favourite films, a love story with a terrible terrible curse in it. She was slightly wild and very very independent, an attitude I admired.

2 – Who do you most admire in life, and why?

The public figure I admire most would be Nelson Mandela, for reasons that are fairly obvious, but especially for his commitment and integrity over the years. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is someone else I admire for speaking up for women where no-one else would (look her up and read her books).

For a private figure, it would be L, a friend who helped me a lot when we move abroad. At the age of 12 she shepherded her younger siblings single-handedly through France to get home through the war zone at the outbreak of the second world war. She taught French to American students and would cook for them all at the end of the year, 150 for dinner. She was a very committed Roman Catholic although she did read palms and coffee cups as well and I regret not asking her how the two married up. She was a mostly single mother who brought up her children excellently, or so it seemed to me. She had an immense amount of inner strength and determination and tried to tell me that I could achieve whatever I wanted if I tried enough. Her convictions also sadly led her to trust in homeopathy when she was diagnosed with cancer and she died soon after.

3 – What is your most treasured possession?

My books. They are are the best representation of all the things I am interested in, although woefully incomplete. I love the books that I’ve had for years, remembering the shop I bought them in or the person who gave it to me. I loathe it when books are not treated with respect.

I’m quite fond of my bed too.

4 – Are you a glass half full, or glass half empty type person? Give an example.

I have seen my  glass as half empty but am trying to see it as half full.

I’ve always thought that fundamentally people are good and that humanity will move forwards rather than backwards as is so often suggested.

For myself I’ve always been hyper-critical, considering the tasks left undone or incomplete far more than the achievements. My school reports invariably said “could do better” and I absorbed that as a negative.

3son came across this question recently and told me it was stupid because a glass is both half-full and half-empty simultaneously.

5 – Tell your favourite funny joke…

I don’t tell jokes. I suppose because it’s setting myself up to be laughed at, or to fail to tell one well so I just don’t. My father had five that he used to repeat ad nauseam throughout my childhood. One of these was (and still is) “How do you make a Maltese Cross? Stamp on its foot.”

Maybe that’s why I don’t tell jokes.

6 – What is your biggest fear in life?

That I die before my children grow up and can manage on their own.

Less seriously, and more probable is making a complete fool of myself in public. I am still heavily embarrassed by memories of things I wish I hadn’t done 30 years ago.

7 – What is your favourite flavour of ice cream? What does it remind you of?

I absolutely love lemon sorbet, preferably when it’s very tart and made inside a lemon skin (citron givré, can’t remember the Italian, and the Internet has failed me). It reminds me of when I was a child and my father used to take me out for dinner occasionally just the two of us. Lemon sorbet was about the only flavour he ever ate but we both used to enjoy them.

My second favourite, which is perceived as a childish dish is a Dame Blanche, with vanilla ice cream, a dollop of cream (preferably Chantille) and hot chocolate sauce. Perfect.

8 – If you have kids, do they do what you tell them first time, every time? If no kids, what about your elders?

You must be joking, of course they don’t. I’d be worried about their lack of independence if they did. Although I’d appreciate 3son doing it once a month just to show that he’s capable.

9 – Prada or Primark?

Primark. I do have moral debates with myself whether you should buy products that are made in sweat shops or whether those people working there need the money. What would they do instead? It’s easy to say that they shouldn’t be working those hours in those conditions for so little pay but does boycotting solve the issue?

I’ve never been a brand person. I’ve never seen the point of spending hundreds of pounds on handbags, let alone clothes. Since I first had children I went for years without buying clothes that weren’t easily washed so finger marks and spillages would not bother me. I’m trying to pay a bit more attention to buying clothes.

10 – Jeans or joggers?

Jeans, I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of joggers. No, not ever.

11 – Jennifer Aniston or Meryl Streep.

Jennifer for her vivacity although Meryl’s a better actress (and she did play *that* woman, which puts me off).

12 – Sean Connery or Daniel Craig.

Sean Connery, definitely. I bumped into him in a theatre bar after a play once, which made me think that Jason Connery who was starring in the play was possibly his son. It was a long time ago.

Phew, made it. I didn’t think I’d have so much to say in my answers. Now for my 12 questions. Please feel free to explain your answers.

1. Why did you start a blog?

2. Red or blue?

3.  Sub-titles or dubbed?

4. Where would you visit if you could go anywhere?

6. Comfort or style?

7. Safety or risk, and what do they mean to you?

8. What do you like to read (or do you)?

9. What’s your most irritating trivial habit?

10. What fascinates you?

11. The smell or sight of which food makes you drool with anticipation?

12. What’s your favourite piece of art?

If you read this, consider yourself tagged. I’ll add your link in if you do. I’d particularly like Twoplustwo08 and Whatsit to answer. So if that’s you, get typing.

Twoplustwo08 carried this on at her blog so go see what she thinks.

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