Patrice, I'm delighted we're chatting inside today. The thought of a warm drink and a cozy corner sounds wonderful.
All that and great company.... What more could we ask for?
1. Have you ever had a blog slump?
Well, Patrice, I think I'm there now. I'm not sure I have a blog slump, as such, but I do feel that I'm going to end up writing about the same things over and over. I keep thinking of stuff to blog about, and then I think, 'Oh, I've said all that before, and I've shown similar photos before.... the readers will be bored seeing all this again.'
But another blogger said recently that blog-readers come and go frequently. That means that there are probably readers who weren't with me this time last year, and so all this is not second-hand for them.
Maybe every blog needs, at some stage, to decide in which direction to go. I may need to give it some thought...
2. What's your favourite way to serve hot chocolate? Marshmallows on top? Whipped cream? A cinnamon stick?
I actually don't drink hot chocolate, but our kids love it. DR loves it with all of the above, and bells on top. Catherine is a plain Jane; the Wee Guy likes cream but not marshmallows; and Katie is a cream person too, I think.
I do love the thought of hot chocolate, and love my kids having it when they've come in from a cold, wintry day. But it aint my cup o' tea...
3. How do you handle it when you see someone you think you know, but cannot place? Do you approach them and ask, shy away, or just go home and hope you don't think of it at 2am?
Oh, Patrice, you must have had me in mind when you asked this question. This happens to me all the time. I see a face, I know I know the face, I know I've seen the person before.... but where? and when?
Do I know them from way back when I was hairdressing? Er, that's nearly 25 years ago.
Do I know them because I met them at a church service somewhere?
Do I know the face because they look like someone else I know?
Or do I simply know her face because she served me once in Tesco?
As for what I do...well, that depends. If the person comes up to me and talks, then I have no choice. I smile, and take my cue from what she's saying to me of course,
"Hi, Anne! I haven't seen you in ages!"
"Oh, Hi! No....not for ages" I smile, a thousand thoughts racing through my head. Church? Tesco? The salon? Glasgow? Someone's mother? Someone's daughter? My cousin?
None ring a bell.
"So, how are Mum and Dad?"
"Oh," I smile...here's a clue. She knows my parents. Scrub Glasgow. Scrub the salon. "They're fine, thanks. Yes, really good." I'm playing for time. Should I ask her how her parents are? Maybe they're not living. When did they die? Twenty years ago? Then I have no excuse for not knowing. Two weeks ago? I could have her in floods of tears....
"I haven't seen them for ages. Tell them I'm asking for them."
This is the point at which I ought to say, 'You know, I know I know you, but I just can't put a name to you', but I'm terrified in case I know her really well, and she may be hugely offended. She may be my cousin. Or someone in whose company I was only five days ago. Oh Anne, get a grip. Think!
Talk about the weather.... something neutral, but it'll give you time, Anne.
"Isn't the snow lovely." Oh, I think...mention that you've driven from Ness. Then she might say where she's driven from. "The roads from Ness were clear though."
"Oh," she says with a wave of her hand, "I don't know how you people can live in a place like that. I'd hate to live out of town."
She's a townie. And all of a sudden I've decided I'm not bothered. How dare she 'not know how anyone can live in a place like Ness'.... Huh! All that effort. All that panicking lest I offend. All these palpitations....
for a Townie.
4. What was your position in your family? Were you the eldest, a middle child, the youngest, or an only child?
I was the middle child of three. This is why I'm scarred for life.
Actually, I'm not scarred. Er...no, I'm not!
I definitely do think a person's position in the family makes a huge difference though. I'm not saying that the eldest always ends up thinking he's boss, or wanting his own way. And I'm not saying that the youngest is always the cutest and grows up knowing this to be true. I'm not saying it's always true, but ... I'm just sayin'.
5. How do you handle accumulated possessions (stuff)? Are you a pack-rat, a minimalist, or somewhere in between?
In my dreams I am a minimalist. Oh, talking of dreams - last night, I was in Toronto, and we were in a huge stadium waiting for the Ness football (soccer) team to turn up. They were going to be playing and we were there to watch. We hadn't, though, flown out just for the game - we seemed to be there anyway, but thought nothing odd of the Ness team coming all the way out to this huge stadium in Toronto to play.
And two nights ago, I was in South Dakota. Now, I've never been to South Dakota, and I know nobody from this state. It is, however somewhere I'd love to go (....along with the other 49 states, right enough), but I dreamt I was in SD. On a ranch.
There were horses and everything. But thankfully, no one made me ride one.. Phew! Even in a dream, that would have been too much.
What were we talking about, Patrice? Oh yes, 'stuff'. I have it all over. Loads and loads of it. And then I have a purge, and I fill a dozen bin bags, with some going to charity, some to friends, and some to the bin. My greatest problem is that I have to begin the process and see it through before the Builder comes home. If he so much as sniffs a black bin bag, he trawls through it 'in case I'm throwing something out he wanted to keep'. I'm not kidding. The whole exercise has to be well and truly over before he gets a whiff of my day's work. And so, I am destined to live in a guddle.
And that's yet another reason, Patrice, I love to spend some time with you and the other ladies each week. Just a wee while chilling and chatting. Drinking tea and eating cake (we do have cake, right?). Ahhhh, bliss.