In the interest of doing something a little bit different, I thought I’d take some advice from the internet and do an “about me” post. For me this is a bit awkward. I’m much better at diverting and deflecting attention back on to other people so it’s certainly a challenge to sit and write a few things about myself. But here goes… Five things you (probably) didn’t know about me…
1 – I’ve kissed a sea lion. More than once. It was fishy. I’ve had one hug me too. It was heavy and wet.
This is thanks to my wonderful friends Jen & Brandon who were both living in Vancouver at the time. Brandon worked for Open Water, a university research unit and was studying their behaviour. The most amazing thing about this was, like the name said, the research was conducted in the open water, the sea lions could leave at any time but they had a relationship with the people, a safe place to rest and food, so they always came home. That is, with the exception of a few afternoons off where they went for a wee jaunt instead of helping with the dive study. Haha!
2 – I can’t do two wheels. Nope, bikes, segways and any other two-wheeled mode of transport that you can think of (are there any more?), are definitely not for me. I have a tendency to fall off of them. That’s right, I’ve even fallen off a segway. Twice.
During my first bike ride in almost 10 years I tipped myself over the handlebars after 15km of cautious cycling around Vancouver.
On my stint around the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, having both my feet clipped in and being on a fixie was just too much for me. I was honestly singing “Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling, pedaling, pedaling…” in my head. I was not having fun! I quickly gave up my turn to an eager gent waiting in the wings and happily picked up my camera instead. Much more comfortable.
It doesn’t stop me trying though. Probably because my other half could cycle all day every day. In fact, I’m attempting mountain biking for the first time in a couple of weeks… wish me luck! Eeek!
3 – I have developed a fear of heights in the last few years. I used to love heights when I was younger and spent quite a lot of my childhood climbing trees and running along walls. I’m not sure when the fear set in but I now get wobbly legs and dizziness when I’m looking down from a great height.
In fact, the only time I can cope with heights is when I have a camera in my hand and something (usually an animal or something with a time-limit like a sunset) to photograph! Interesting how distraction can help you cope with a visceral fear-response to being up high.
4 – I’ve met the Queen at Buckingham Palace and Prince Philip too. I’m not a Royal-fan-girl or anything, I just had the opportunity to visit thanks to my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship and I was curious.
It was as grand as you’d expect and very surreal. We had fizz and canapes, formed an orderly queue to say “How do you do?”, did a little (awkward) curtsy, met Prince Philip and then mingled in the palace with the Royals. Prince Philip even came over and had one of his usual “moments-where-he-couldn’t-care-less” with one of the girls I was talking to. Yep. Surreal!
5 – My other half and I have fostered 16 animals since the start of 2016. Yep. Sixteen. This is mostly thanks to a group on Facebook called Madrid Pet Lovers which is run by a slightly crazy lady who somehow manages to get loads of people to join her in rescuing as many animals as we physically can. She has a certain knack for convincing us all and seems to attract wayward strays. Sixteen might sound a lot but I’m no where near close to the number who have been in her care over the past couple of years.
We’ve had seven dogs (six of them puppies), seven kittens (four of them were bottle fed for two weeks) and two chinchillas. Granted a few of them only stayed a week or so but still, four puppies can be a handful! And, rather handily, this brings me nicely on to my next blog…
Thanks for stopping by! x