Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Whatever do you Meme?

From the Taxi...
A very highly ranked member of the Bloggerati, and incidentally one of my idoles, has sent forth a meme from her Taxi. I shall do my utmost to live up to her immensely kind words.

What is always so difficult with such exercises is the degree of emotional self-examination required. It is in much the same way as my relationship with mirrors; sometimes the reflection is rather terrifying. The next day I may be Narcissus incarnate. Thankfully, I have always found the strength to turn away from the looking glass and unlike Narcissus, have not - thus far - perished. Today is more an example of the former than anything else. Lack of sleep, travel, aeroplanes and Heathrow do not a good mixture make, and this is before I even look at my face. However, ten things it is and will be...

1: I am Australian...
Frequently I forget this, as do many of my friends. There is usually laughter, then shock when new acquaintances discover the truth. It is often quite embarrassing. In my self-important manner, I am embarrassed by my own country and heritage. In many ways it is a terrific, industrious nation, full of enterprise and opportunity. And talent. I was extremely lucky to grow up there. However. It is also severely dull and very, very hot. And I want more.

2: I am snobbish...
...To the point of obsessiveness. What is "done" and "not done" echoes in my head insufferably so. I have known myself to miss my Tube station because of this. A hierarchy exists in my mind and it tends to categorize within nanoseconds. Very bad. I have no idea where this comes from, and how I managed to exempt myself from the scrutiny. I have tried to unlearn this affliction, but it sneaks up behind me all too unexpectedly.

3: I like to be paid attention...
I dislike being invisible. My ego demands fame/infamy on any scale whatsoever, but I hope I keep this much more under control. I think I do so, in public at least. However, beware alcoholic lubrication. This is why I like acting, it is an excuse for public exhibition and the adrenaline rush is better than chocolate etc. etc. I think it was another reason to blog: another opportunity to be noticed.

4: I have embarrassing musical tastes...
I do like some "socially acceptable" music. I can't think of much though. Think Abba, which at least proves the Australian in me. 'Nough said. Just re-read that header and have visions of a choir of taste buds, with the sweet singing soprano and so forth. 

5: I am naturally pessimistic...
Certainly if the last four are anything to go by. I measure my achievements against others' and I frequently come out the lesser. Hence the snobbery, possibly. I have impossibly high standards and find it hard to compromise. This does not mix well with my sloth-like being. I would make a fabulous monarch, I just need my own nation. As these first five have invariably been negative, I shall attempt five positive notes about myself. Hmm.

6. I am kind...
Hopefully the majority would agree. It is perhaps a secular synonym for being Christian towards others. I think it is incredibly important to be kind to people. It is a lesson many seem to have lost, or perhaps they missed out on bedtime stories courtesy of Enid Blyton. Real kindness is so difficult to find, yet it is (usually) so appreciated. Small acts can make an enormous difference to people. I find that smiling, politeness and empathy can completely change the outcome of a horrid day. Naturally this need not erode the steeliness of the stiff-upper lip and nothing is more irritating than the perpetually happy chap we all avoid, but I think there is a space somewhere that more people could try to find.

7. I love the countryside...
London is a very oppressive place to be 365 days a year. I think it is the most wonderful city in the world and I have loved (very nearly) every minute of living here. But nothing beats the English countryside. In rain or shine, it is magical. The yearning for fresh air, fields and drinkable water is rather like seasickness, with the obvious difference excepted. Trudging over muddy fields in Wellington boots - bliss!

8. Snow...
I have mentioned the stuff before on here. To many, snow means miserable weather and inconvenience. All anathema to me. I love it wholly and absolutely. I become a toddler, filled with excitement and joy. It's cold! And white! And it's falling on me! Of course, as a toddler this is not actually articulated by words, merely a gabble of noises and giggles. But it must have been hilarious for all the onlooking Swedes.

9. I seek adventure...
I have been incredibly lucky in all my adventures thus far. Things happen, good and bad, but somehow, something has always come up. I don't necessarily crave jungles or desert islands, but exploring the unknown and discovering new destinations, people, foods are all things I truly enjoy. That said, I do have a low comfort threshold. Pickled herring or Västerbottenspaj is one thing, but fried cockroaches? I think not. Ditto walks on the moors versus climbing Mont Blanc.

10. I am not afraid to be myself...
One thing that has struck me is how many people have said they like me because of this. Particularly in Sweden. Do they like "me" or do they just like this trait in others and wish they had it as well? Or both? Overall, I do like myself. I also care about how others perceive me. Which I then juxtapose by not caring so much about what others think. Perhaps I should be allowed to hold two contradictory ideas in my head... I'm not afraid to! I think moving to London has allowed me this freedom. There are infinite opportunities to meet people and equally to forget them. It's too exhausting to remember who one was on that particular day, when one met Whatshisname.

All the blogs on my list I have enjoyed at some stage or another, though I have sadly not kept so up-to-date with all of them. Here are some, an eclectic mix, I think:

An intriguing mixture of fashion and health, Teutonic style.

Reality Strikes Back
One of my irritatingly brilliant peers. An ongoing story of his charity work in East African refugee camps. Did I mention he established the charity by himself?

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Why stop at six? So this blogger says, and rightfully so. If you enjoy books, but wish you read more.

The Tea Appreciation Society
I love tea. So do they.

Go Fug Yourself
Because the voice in my head as I read makes me laugh out loud. I can be frivolous too!

Un Vieux Vélo
As a fellow city cycling enthusiast, I must recommend this one.

Miriam Levine
A wise poetess from across the pond.

Mrs Trefusis Takes A Taxi
An extra one, simply because I wouldn't have commenced writing in the first place without her.


  1. A truly great post and blog, félicitations for your well deserved accolade. x

  2. Lord above - your vernacular - c'est spectacular!

    I can see why Mrs T nominated you - nice blog!


  3. Thanks so much, Lewis! Yes, you are kind and you do write well. I'll try to do the meme, too; but 10 points... That's a challenge! Sabine x

  4. Found you via Mrs. Trefusis. Read one sentence and fell in love. With your blog. Will be back to read more once I bludgeon les petits to sleep.

  5. Forwarding this wonderful post (and a link to your blog) post-haste. And eagerly reading-on as I found amongst your labels 'Dylan Moran', 'Schadenfreude', and 'Sliding Doors'. Salut! tIO x