Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Paula's 10 'Secrets'

A real mixed bag here, as I thought of different things – not exactly secrets, but things you might not know about me! So, as they say, not in any particular order …

The drunken sea-captain or
the Methodist minister? Guess!
1. One of my great-great-grandfathers was fired from his job as a Captain with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for being drunk in charge of his ship. To counterbalance this, another of my g-g-grandfathers was a minister in the Primitive Methodist Church and, presumably, a strict teetotaller! The photo is the oldest family photo I have - not sure of the year, but my grandfather said it was his grandfather.

2. I’ve been going ten-pin bowling regularly for about ten years – and am still useless! Any (occasional) good score I get is pure luck!

3. I hate spiders, wasps, and daddy-long-legs.

4. I’m addicted to diet cola – no, not Coca-Cola, I mean the cheap supermarket cola.

5. My first published book was ‘due out’ on the same day (May 1st, 1968) as my second daughter. Daughter arrived 10 days early, on April 21st, and I got the print (hardback!) copies of my books 10 days late, on May 10th.

6. I score quite highly in trivia quizzes (having a squirrel-type mind for useless trivia) but often can’t remember what someone said to me yesterday or what I did last week.

7. My very first celebrity crush was Pat Boone – I had pictures of him all over my bedroom wall when I was about 12. And I can still remember all my other teenage crushes!

8. I’ve never been able to eat ‘raw’ cheese, but can eat it cooked e.g. on pizza, lasagne etc - not sure why!

9. And now a couple of ‘confessions’: I sneaked a camera in my bag at a B...ham Palace Garden Party (no cameras allowed!) and took a photo of the side and back of the palace (which is actually the front, but we won’t go into that). Didn’t dare take a photo of the Queen though!

10. Another one: There was standing room only in the 2nd class area of a train from Nice to Marseilles, so I found a seat in an almost-empty first class compartment, and then pretended I didn’t understand the train conductor when he told me I was in the wrong place and would have to pay a large surcharge. He eventually gave up (with a stereotypical French shrug) and so I kept my seat all the way to Marseilles!


  1. Oooh, you sneaky gal, you. I love that you got a "rebel" picture of the palace. I have one from the street with the Queen Victoria Fountain in the foreground and one from St. James Park: places where cameras are allowed!

  2. You're such a rebel! I like the story about your drunken g-g-grandfather. I think there's the making of a novel in there, too.

  3. Hi,

    Something to be said for being a Rebel, and having cheek of the Devil!

    Cheers, m'dear for bucking the Palace... ;


  4. Debra - it's wonder the photo came out okay as I was part shaking with laughter and part nervous. My friend stood in front of me while I positioned my camera, and she waited until it seemed no-one was looking in our direction, then jumped out of the way while I took the photo!

    Jen - glad you liked the drunk Captain - there is a hilarious report of his antics in the minutes of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. He was quite a character - went off the Australia to make his fortune (but didn't) then came back and ran the blockade during the American Civil War! But he disappears without trace after the mid-1860's.

    Francine - I think of myself as a non-conformist, but maybe that's the same as a rebel LOL!

  5. First of all, I LOVE the confessions! You would be fun to hang out with!

    Secondly, I think the minister is rolling in his grave that we cannot tell him from a drunken seaman!!

  6. Cool info, Paula. I love the idea of the book releasing at the same time as your child! And it wasn't a surprise that it didn't synchronise.

  7. Libby, I'm sure he'd be mortified!

    Nancy - I did have a photo of my 20-day-old baby girl propped up next to me book, but I couldn't find it!

  8. Now I'm wondering what other secrets you're harboring!

  9. I enjoyed your entire piece, but identified especially with #6, just never knew what to call that infuriating memory glitch we share! The family tree is quite humorous; here's another bit of humor. All my life I've been told a great grandfather was of a small Long Island, NY Indian tribe. Turns out through it was discovered he was actually a French Canadian and someone had misspelled his name! And a lot of other details apparently!

  10. What a cool picture of the palace--and funny that you should keep your first class seat because you "didn't understand" the conductor. LOL. Great 10!!

  11. Maybe you get your rebelious streak from your great, great grandfather...? x

  12. Love them Paula - especially those naughty ones!

  13. Ana - there's probably plenty more - if I could remember them!

    Janet - it's fascinating when family history research either confirms or completely contradicts the stories that have been passed down in the family, isn't it?

    Jenn - I did feel quite guilty about 'not understanding' the conductor - but it was the end of a long day and I needed a seat!

    Suzie - I'm a mixture of rebel and conformist (at different times) so perhaps I have a little bit of each?

    Rosemary - well, we all have some 'naughty' memories, don't we? LOL

  14. I loved reading all the facts about you. Very cool. Love that you got the picture of the palace and that you possibly were close enough to the Queen to snap one of her if you dared. You have fascinating ancestors. Just loved this!


  15. Kathy, I've been close enough to the Queen twice to snap a phot - once at the Garden Party and again at the Millennium Service at St Paul's Cathedral. And I did shake hands and talk to Prince Charles once.