Thursday, 10 April 2008


There are loads of things I want to blog about when I have time - the marriage preparation course New Man and I went on last Sunday being one of them - but for now, you'll have to make do with this meme, since I see I've now been tagged by three people - Leutgeb, Mac and Colleen...

Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged.

What I was doing 10 years ago:

In April 1998 I was working on my PhD. I started it the month after I got back from China, and was very fortunate to get a loan from a family friend to pay the first year's fees. The second year I was even more fortunate when a nun at my old school suddenly announced that the order had a fund to make grants to deserving cases, and gave me a cheque to cover my second year's fees.

By April 1998, I knew I was going to have to find the money to pay the third year's fees. Although I had two jobs at the time (an evening secretarial job in an office and a more casual job doing typing for a print shop), I was living a fairly hand-to-mouth existence, and certainly didn't have £2,500 knocking around. Fortunately, the guy who ran the print shop had a friend who edited a legal journal and was looking for someone to compile a cumulative index of its first 10 years. The amount he was offering was a little more than I needed to cover my fees.

So the typical pattern of my days was: get up by 7:30 and do any typing that needed to be done while listening to my favourite radio programme (Wake up to Wogan) until 9:30. When that was finished, work on my thesis until lunchtime. After lunch, finish any typing that had to be done that day and then work on the indexing. Leave home around 4:00, cycle up to the print shop (about 5 miles) to drop off that day's work and pick up anything new, then cycle to the office (on my way home, fortunately) to work from 5:15 to 9:15. Get home around 10:00 and do more typing/indexing work until about midnight.

The day I got a full-time job after finishing my PhD, I couldn't believe my luck - only one thing to concentrate on, and free evenings too!

Snacks I enjoy:

Chocolate, especially Lindt Lindor, which New Man buys for me regularly
Pringles crisps
Reece's Pieces
Pretty much anything calorific and bad for me - since Lent ended, I'm having a bit of a battle between my desire to look slim (OK, well at least not fat) and beautiful in my wedding dress and my desire to trough handfuls of the mini Tootsie Rolls that I brought back the last time I went to America. At the moment, the latter seems to be winning.

Five things on my To Do List today:

1. Update notes for the course I'm teaching next week
2. Write to New Man's parents to thank them for a very generous gift they gave us last week
3. Respond to a lunch invitation for the celebration of my aunt's 60th birthday
4. Go to the gym
5. Carry on sorting through some papers and shredding the ones I don't need. This is an ongoing project at the moment, as I'm such a terrible hoarder and need to make room for New Man and his belongings to move in next month. He's also a hoarder and is (hopefully) doing a similar exercise himself.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Pay off the mortgages of all my friends and family
2. Set up a holiday fund for my family to enable all of us to be able to visit each other regularly (not easy at the moment, since one of my brothers lives in South Africa and another in the US)
3. Set up a fund to help people who work hard and need a bit of a break. When I started my PhD, I couldn't get any funding at all. I paid the full cost of supporting myself while I studied and paying my fees, etc, apart from £5,000 representing two years' fees. That £5,000 was what enabled me to achieve my dream, and I'd love to be able to do that for people in a similar situation.
4. Finish writing the book that I started about 12 years ago and have never had time to go back to.
5. Choose a few charitable causes to support - probably not big established charities, but each one would be carefully researched. I'd want to know what they needed the money for, and some sort of evidence of what was being achieved with the money. OK, I know, see number 3 under my bad habits...
6. If we're in a fantasy world already, I'll award myself three or four children and become a stay-at-home mother.

Five jobs that I have had:

1. Teacher trainer (training teachers of English as a foreign language)
2. Secretary
3. Index compiler
4. Tax accountant
5. Au pair, looking after several children aged between 6 months and 8 years

Three of my bad habits:

Only three? Gosh, which ones to choose...?

1. Procrastinating
2. Always having to have the last word in an argument
3. I'm a bit of a control freak

Five places I have lived:

1. Monchengladbach, West Germany (as it was then)
2. Rennes, France
3. Xi'an, China
4. New York, USA (only for six weeks, but I had a job and my own apartment there, so I reckon it counts)
5. York, England

Also various other places in England and Germany - by the time I was 18, I'd lived in 15 different houses.

Now, who to tag? Everyone I'm interested in knowing more about has either already done it or isn't the sort of person who generally does memes. Anyway, if you read this blog, I want to know more about you, so if you haven't already done it, consider yourself tagged.


Colleen said...

Thanks for doing the meme. It's so interesting to read about people's lives that are so very different than mine (even though we share a love for our faith and our families).

newhousenewjob said...

And thanks for tagging me. :¬)

Mac McLernon said...

NHNJ... you know you will not be able to help looking beautiful on your wedding day... even if you are troughing those snacks on your way down the aisle (though it's not good form, actually!)

newhousenewjob said...

Awww, thanks Mac. The snacks won't last till then, though... ;¬)

leutgeb said...

Thanks for doing the meme.

newhousenewjob said...

And thanks for the tag, Leutgeb.

FloridaWife said...

Hi, again! Glad to see you are doing well. I didn't know you had a PhD! You've lived such an interesting life, and how neat that your wedding is quickly approaching. I'm so happy for you!

newhousenewjob said...

Thank you :¬)