Here’s the obligatory list of facts about myself….no doubt it will grow as my life evolves! These are not in any particular order. If there is an order to them it’s probably more of a chronological one than a priority one.
1. I am married and have two wonderful (grown up) kids
2. I am a musician
3. I believe in God and try to live my life as a living embodiment of Christ’s teaching
4. I share my life with my best friend
5. I love photography. The more I do the more I realise that I want to learn more about it.
6. I love oil painting and sketching. And I wish I was better at them both!
7. My favourite times are when I’m with my family and when I’m in the open air.
8. I am a cyclist and in 2010 raised nearly £1000 by cycling from Morecambe to Scarborough in aid of The Parkinson’s Disease Society.
9. I am a big reader. I’ll read most things, but am not very keen on the big “epic” novels by lady authors, and I’m not a huge fan of Science Fiction, but I love crime, thrillers, police procedurals, mysteries, vampire fiction, biographies, historical novels, the classics….the list is pretty extensive and diverse.
10. My favourite time of the year is Autumn
11. I love Christmas time and love to decorate my house with traditional greens and reds and lots of fresh foliage.
12. I loathe modern Christmas decorations. Too tacky, too loud, too false.
13. I have an extremely wide taste in music and my mp3 player in shuffle mode is something else!!
14. I want to go to Norway.
15. I would like to see proper European Europe – the bit that’s not Spain, Portugal or France.
16. I would love to tour America in a camper van with my best friend and a labrador dog.
17. I’ve only ever been on an aeroplane twice. Well one trip, but we went both ways.
18. I’m not much of a film buff but I do know what I like. And I like a good film….
19. I would love to live in an old 3-storey, bay-fronted Victorian terraced house.
20. I passed my driving test on the second attempt
21. My best holidays have been camping. My caravan literally is my second home and the best place to be in it is in deepest Scotland with the wind and rain lashing down outside, the radio on in the inside, and lots of laughter to keep us warm
22. I love cooking.
23. And baking.
24. And my Gran who taught me how to bake.
25. I was the principal cornet player of the Middleton Band and my proudest moment was winning the National Brass Band Championships in 2007.
26. I have been forced to give up playing my cornet because of an ongoing health problem which has no name but causes a lot of pain and sickness.
27. I conducted the Todmorden Community Band until July 2018 and loved the new channel my musical gift has found.
28. I was a Sunday School teacher at my church, and I am currently an Ordinand with the Church of England, on track to be ordained in 2020.
30. I have accepted that my novel probably will never get written…. but I am currently working on it as part of my Master’s degree.
31. I have an online business selling handmade crafts. My business partners are my husband and my Mum. It is currently on hold due to other commitments, but we will take commissions for cards, crochet and other handmade items.
32. I am studying to be an Ordained Local Minister.
33. My favourite crafting activity is crocheting.
34. I collect all sorts of things – patterns, books, music, glasses, bottles, ideas, pictures, junk, cloth, wool, ornaments….the list is endless!
35. I have a little teddy bear made of string that I turn to when I am hurting inside or feeling extremely vulnerable and raw. I don’t know where he came from or who he has belonged to, but when I have to go in hospital or am awake with pain in the middle of the night I find that String Ted with his cute little face and his wholesome smell reminds me that I’m not alone. I call him “Sir Henry Stringfellow”.
36. I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in June 2016. I was awarded a 2:1 BA with Honours in Humanities with Creative Writing from the Open University. I started it about 18 years earlier and after a huge hiatus for family (and work and health and life…) reasons, I took it up again in October 2013 and I completed 5 modules in 3 years to pass it.
37. I started my Master of Arts degree in June 2017 in Creative Writing with the Open University. I am specialising in Fiction, but I have a healthy sideline in Scriptwriting too. It works out at about 50/50 of critical reading, analysis etc and actual creative output. I’m in the second year and it is hard going alongside my theology studies, but I’m determined to get there.
38. I braved the shave in February 2018 and had half of my hair shaved in an undercut style. If you saw me with my clown hair in real life you would see the value of this! Best thing I ever did to my appearance.
39. In September 2016 I fulfilled a lifelong ambition of performing in the Royal Albert Hall. It was with a massed orchestra of Besses o’ th’ Barn Band and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, and we performed a concert which was broadcast on Classic FM. The finale was the 1812 Overture, complete with pyrotechnics. Best. Gig. Ever.