Friday, May 11, 2007

Seven things you didn't know.........

A new and exact plan of the Cities of London and Westminster
and Borough of Southwark
with additional buildings to the year 1756
14" x 29"
Artist Engraver R.W Seale

Maggie Stiefvater has tagged me - which apparently means that I now have to write seven things about myself that most people don't know and then tag seven other bloggers and ask them nicely to do the same thing and mention who tagged them in their blog post. I guess it's a blogging version of Post Secret!

OK - so here are seven things that most people don't know about me.
  1. Age 6, I was told I needed to put my best dress on so I could go and see something rather special - an art exhibition! However I didn't know until I got there that I'd won a national art competition. Now you can imagine - when I become a famous artist this will become a big feature of my resume. I'd just like to record for posterity therefore that it was a rather large painting of a squirrel eating a nut sat on the branch of a tree - and that the tree had proper marks for the bark. See - making a mark even at that age!
  2. I have two professional qualifications - I'm a qualified teacher and a qualified accountant - some would say I also qualify as a "nerd" - but we'll just move on quickly............! ;)
  3. the problem I have with anybody coming anywhere near my eyes and eye drops . (My stomach turns over even writing that sentence!) It's a long story but when I was a child I used to have to have a lot of eye tests which started age 5. By the age of 10 it took six people to hold me down to get eye drops in to anaesthetise my eye and even then it usually took at least 3-4 goes as I apparently had the fastest blink reflexes that anybody at the Eye Hospital had ever seen. Now I try to be adult about it - it's just one person and about 5-6 goes.
  4. I've sung madrigals in the Kings College Choir (the one without the little boys in gowns) sitting in a punt on the Cam next to Kings College Chapel. Given that this was in June during an English summer the weather was a cause for some concern. We'd all remembered to wear our thermals underneath the evening dress but then watched with horror as a gust of wind took all the scores off our conductor's music stand and dumped them all in the Cam. Soggy! I think the drizzle held off until we got indoors for the 'aftershow party' which is, of course, one of the main reasons for joining any choral society! I sang in a couple of college choirs while at Cambridge and thoroughly enjoyed it. Singing is such an amazingly energetic thing to do - I always felt like I'd had a good work-out afterwards! I then went on to sing, among other things, Carmina Burana in Central Hall Westminster with Lawyers' Music - which was simply amazing.
  5. I love a really good puzzle and have an absolutely huge collection of detective novels. They sublimate an intense drive to solve problems! I've read more of less everything ever written by every detective novelist who has taken my fancy. The problem now is that having read so many they have to be really really good for me not to have guessed the ending before I get to it.
  6. When I was younger I used to very much enjoy having a backstage role in the delivery of dramatic art! I can design and paint a mural or backdrop flats; reposition lights and change gels from the top of a scaffolding lighting tower and prompt the entire script of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead by (Sir) Tom Stoppard or Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas.
  7. Some people may know that I originally studied geography for my first degree but I don't think I've ever mentioned that I have a complete fascination with maps. In fact I've had to make a pact with myself to stay out of antique print shops as I used to collect old maps - particularly if they relate to London. The pact is because when I started doing it, they didn't cost so much - but they do now. I have two enormous maps of the whole of London - one relating to a survey done in 1756 (see top) and the other in 1843. I like the latter because it shows me what London was like five years before my home was built!
OK - so who are the lucky people who are going to be tagged by me? Well fortunately I was going through my blogroll last night so that I could update those tagged as my favourites on Technorati - so the deal is if you're on this list you're also on my Technorati favourites list! (Memo to self - finish the update!)

I did do a search on your blogs to see if you've ever been tagged before before listing you - honest! I've just got an awful feeling that this exercise is called different things and I may be asking some people who've already 'played' before. I've left out all those people where I definitely remember reading a similar type exercise. Have I remembered to tell you how my memory is not my strong point anymore???
  • Ed Terpening ("Life Plein Air") in northern California has been a regular blogging read for a very long time. I just love the mix on his blog of great plein air paintings and the sharing of information about his trips and the process of painting. What can I say - it makes me feel like I'm standing alongside him.
  • Susan Borgas ("Arts and Stuff") is a lovely lady and fellow pastellist who lives in the Flinders Range of South Australia. Susan has taken to blogging and all things internet related with gusto. I don't know how she gets everything done - well I do actually, try reading her blog post about 'Hints for Staying Focused'. I do like reading about how people stay organised!
  • Tracy Helgeson ("Works by Tracy Helgeson") living in upstate New York (you should see her snow drifts!) is a relative newcomer to my 'regular reads' list but entertains me enormously with her writing as well as giving me really lovely paintings to look at.
  • I've grown to know Shirley Levine ("Paper and Threads") well over the last year while her daughter and her family have been living in London. She visits from New York where she lives on a regular basis and Shirley and I visit exhibitions and do sketches together when she does. She's a really lovely lady with a fabulous sketchbook of her visits to London, lots of interests and I'm sure her list will be fascinating too.
  • Vivien Blackburn ("Painting, Prints and Stuff") is another cyberchum who've I've met face to face. We do exhibitions and art fairs when Vivien comes down to London from Leicestershire - although we'd chatted for ages before we started doing this. I'm just wondering whether Vivien will hint at her BIG secret which she is NOT ALLOWED to talk about! ;)
  • Gayle Mason ("Fur in the Paint") is my Fine Line Artists cyber chum who lives in Yorkshire and draws the most wonderful dogs and cats. She makes my jaw periodically drop with things I find out about her. She's such a dark horse that I'd love to read whatever she comes up with for something like this.
  • Kathy Ellis ("LabsWork4Me") is my other Fine Line Artists cyber chum living in Maine. Kathy's had a few biggish things to deal with recently - like moving to a new abode - which has made a serious dent in her blogging about her drawings of chocolate. But she's settled in now, has got the broadband hooked up and I'm dying to hear what she comes up with. Another dark horse with hidden depths and an 'interesting' past - and future!
I've just realised that 4 out of my seven are people I've met face to face solely because of mutual interests plus internet forums and/or blogging! :D

Wendy Prior also got tagged by Maggie and we've done a deal over which Fine Line Artist gets 'tagged' by who!. So a quick mention for the fact that she's tagging Nicole Caulfield and Gord Leverton. We'd have liked to have tagged Louise Sackett as well - but no blog - drat! Louise - if you start one this can be your first post!



  1. My word, you do have hidden depths, don't you! That sounds like a fun game. I love the map, by the way. I love old maps too. For that matter, I love modern maps and (even more so) nautical charts. We've got some fabulous old atlases in the college library here.

  2. Fascinating! I don't like doing memes but sometimes enjoy reading other people's. I sang in Carmina Burana as well in a local production a couple of years ago. BTW did you get my e-mail re wednesdays being good?

  3. Yikes - I gave that one a big yellow star to remind me to write to you and it looks like it was one of those days when it whizzed off the front page too fast!

    Yes - Wednesdays are good and I will now e-mail you - right away! Pronto even.

  4. Ooh at last a few things I didn't know about Katherine! I knew a few of those though :D I have to admit, this is an awfully fun game, lucky for Maggie since she's spread it so far :D

  5. Dave get me anywhere near old maps and I'm gone for hours.... Have you checked out the rather fabulous website that exist for old maps.

    Julie - see you on June 13th [wink!]

    Wendy - it is fun isn't it - I had a rather happy dalliance in my youth this morning while writing this one.

  6. Hey Katherine, got your tag and accept! Should be fun...

  7. this is great fun :)

    I love maps as well, old and new

    and what a lot of talents in your list 8>O

  8. Any blog reader could have guessed that teacher qualification, Katherine. We're all thankful for it too, I might add. Wendy isn't right, btw, you do more research than I do on these projects - and you know more to begin with!

  9. Isn't in fun learning snippets about other people's lives? I keep waiting for the tap on my shoulder to let me know I'm next in line to spill secret beans. :)

  10. Jeanette - you were on my list of possibles - as was Dave. I'm sure Gayle or kathy would be very happy to 'tag' you!

  11. I have now posted mine.... mmmmm don't think I gave away all my secrets ;)


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