20 things you don’t need to know unless you know me

In this 2nd blog this year, I thought I’d list 20 of the most significant things about me.  Doing this has given me many more ideas for my 2013 blogging list.

If you know me in person or via my posts, these 20 things are relevant to who I am – perhaps more than you’d realised.

If you don’t know me or care about my list, how about making your own?  Make it significant too: your favourite colour or breakfast spread is probably not a life’s crossroads issue.

  1. Fred 1950Whatever significance it may have, I was born under the star-sign of Libra, and have always prized balance and order.
  2. When I was 10 days old I paid the first of countless hospital visits.  I had developed pyloric stenosis (uncontrollable vomiting) and the fix kept me in a Dutch “house-for-the-sick” for 2 weeks – which immunised me against ever spending another night in a hospital bed.
  3. I’m the eldest of my parents’ 5 offspring.  My maternal grandparents were concerned about the first 4 of us arriving in 4 years, so I often tried to help my parents to stay across their roost.
  4. There’s no food that I’ve come across that I don’t enjoy and can’t eat: my parents gently encouraged their kids to try everything that Mum dished up, and we were each allowed just 2 “no-noes” – mine were lamb’s fry and cream, which I’ve long since learnt to enjoy.
  5. Although English is my best and everyday language, it’s actually my second language, Dutch being my mother’s tongue.  Two years after starting school in Sydney my Aussie English was at the top of the class.
  6. Because I am uncoordinated and lanky I was usually last to be selected to school teams and was never encouraged by achieving athletic or sporting fame.  But I love walking, hiking and swimming for fitness and pleasure.
  7. I’ve been a Christian as long as I can remember, which has helped give my faith and life stability and balance, though sometimes I wish I had a “before and after” experience.
  8. An articulate, mature-age, atheist Jewish philosophy student did much to give shape to my left-of-centre Christian impulses.
  9. Biology, geography and technical drawing were my favourite and best subjects at school – and I’ve never used any of them in my work.
  10. Learning to drive didn’t happen until I was 26 – dad always drove a church car and his kids were not allowed to use it.
  11. I married my first and only love – that seems scary now but I’ve have never regretted it and our marriage has always been stable.  I think that’s both God’s grace and good luck.
  12. Helen and I have many friends but close friendships have escaped us: we are each other’s best friends (the best way to be in most respects) and have “moved on” around the Land of Oz all our lives.
  13. I can be happy living almost anywhere.  After spending 10 years growing up in Sydney I really thought there was no other place like it on earth – little did I know at age 16.
  14. Being introspective and contemplative I’m a lousy conversationalist although a good question-asker and very articulate.  This is somewhat surprising as I could write for months and none of my 4 siblings are “backward in coming forward”.
  15. Working with people is the best part of the church work I’ve done and continue to do in retirement.  It’s also very tiring so that although it’s almost always appreciated I can only visit for so many hours at a stretch.
  16. Family 81Helen and I are both Librans (the star-sign for balance and order).  We have given life to 2 girls and 2 boys, who respectively have 4, 3, 2 and one child, a total of 5 girls and 5 boys.  Howzat?
  17. The interests and hobbies I’ve kept up through much of my life (at a not very high standard) are staying fit and healthy (incl. walking, jogging and swimming), the history and modelling of the passenger ships of Australia and the Netherlands, and photography.
  18. Things I enjoy most are my family, music and (to a lesser extent) all the arts, nature and history TV documentaries and movies, gardening, and researching and blogging from my laptop.
  19. For the first time after 62 years I’m living in a house I own.  I was born and raised in church-owned houses, and as I followed Dad’s calling I was expected to continue doing that until I was close to retiring.  We love living in our own home, frustrations and maintenance chores included.
  20. It’s not true for me that in retirement “I’ve never been so busy”… things take a little longer and we take our time, but I am often in wonder of what I used to fit into my work-and-family week.
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