This was quite a meme, and has taken a while to compile, but it’s always nice to be included, isn’t it?

I have to list 7 blog posts I admire
  1. I adore @Pixielation’s photos of the urban foxes in her garden. This is a lovely one. A fox romance
  2. This recent one, from Random Lunacy, was retweeted like mad around my timeline but it made us all laugh.
  3. I love the way Betty Broken writes. Her pieces speak with total clarity and sincerity. This one just before last Christmas, when many of us were pre-occupied with Christmas shopping was a wonderful, moving example of her work. To me, it’s an illustration of the power of social media, of tuning in to kindred spirits. The response was heartwarming.
  4. @Ellen27 is forever blogging. She loves it so much that she’s written a book about it, called Blogging for Happiness.  But I always enjoy her In a Bun Dance thoughts and it was difficult to choose a single post. This one chimed with me perfectly, though.
  5. Obviously, I like @Dulwichmum’s blog for its audacity. Almost singlehandedly she captures the essence of the wealthier, snootier inner London suburbs. And I’d love to receive a post bag as large as hers every day. I do hope the mail van delivering all her daily goodies is powered by recycled cooking oil. This post, and its attendant comments are, you know, a slice!
  6. Although I am merely a parent and not an exalted, heroic teacher, this post from The Behaviour Guru made me smile.
  7. Finally this first post from @LifeTestDummy made me weep.

Then list 7 things about myself
  1. I’m not keen on water. I learned to swim only when I was 39, and then only grudgingly. This makes me sad and I fully intend to remedy it properly when I win the Euromillions and buy a place with a warm indoor pool.
  2. I like shopping only when I know exactly what I’m going to buy. That thing is usually quite expensive and expected to last for ages as I buy things on a cost per wear basis. The idea of browsing in M&S for hours searching for T shirts reduced to £3 is about as far away from my self image as it is possible to go.
  3. People who smoke or dislike animals, especially dogs, go down immediately by 20% in my estimation. Judgemental, but true. There is only one exception to this rule and she knows who she is. Sorry about that. (Not really)
  4. If I had my time again, I would do so many things differently. Most importantly, I would not be so self-effacing (yes, really) and I would have realised that employers DID want to hear from people like me. In essence I wish I had had more confidence when I was younger. My life might have been very different.
  5. I have only ever been in love with one person.
  6. I have a sweet tooth and could consume vast quantities of chocolate and cake if not restrained by some semblance of dignity.
  7. I wish I were more patient. Especially with my mother, who drives me around the bend.

Then answer the 7 questions set by The Sardine Tin
1) When was the last time you told a lie?
I can’t bear lies: both being lied to and lying. Even supposed white lies are anathema: I’d rather say nothing at all. This might make me seem tentative and standoffish and it’s probably quite pompous to say that it’s because my integrity is so important to me. But it’s the truth.
2) Is there any food you’ve not tried, but would really like to?
No, I can’t say there is that I’m aware of. Living in the UK is brilliant because you can find most things without too much difficulty. If there’s something I’m not aware of yet, then I’ll try it. I’ve even tried a bit of dog before, in Kunming in 1985. I’m not sure what breed of dog.
3) What posters were on the wall of your teenage bedroom?
OMDZ. In those days I was a little like Amy Farrah Fowler in the Big Bang Theory. Hold that thought. I was a bit of a swotty bluestocking but felt I ought to have someone on my wall so it was Leif Garratt. I had no real idea who he was, and still don’t really.
4) Groundhog Day is real. Which day would you choose, and why?
That would be my wedding day. I love the film Groundhog Day because it’s about gradual redemption through trial and error. I’d change so much about that day: my dress – I was never going to dye the sensible silk suit and wear it for work -; the guest list; my bridesmaid; the seating plan; and, especially, the fact that there was no music or dancing, which is remarkable for two such musical souls who were always the last ones on the dance floor. Essentially, we didn’t want too much fuss or expense, both because we didn’t like it and also because we paid for it all, and I have ever since wished that I had had a bit more fuss. It was all a bit too low-key really. It’s probably just as well that we had an Indian wedding the following day. I hope my own children have a proper send-off if and when the time comes.
5) Which is the one room in your house you’d make over, if money were no object?
My kitchen. There are plans, but I think the Italian debt crisis has put paid to that. It’s a long story. But I spend my life in my kitchen and I wish it were bigger and that the appliances actually worked like they are supposed to. Also, I’d like underfloor heating, integral wireless hifi and a warming hotplate.
6) Would you ever consider/have you ever had plastic surgery?
Yes. I have. My Lasik eye surgery was the best thing I have ever had done. I’ve had laser hair removal too (I don’t know if that counts) and one or two other, more personal things. If there were a way of reducing my breasts to a  more reasonable size without pain or scarring, I’d jump at it.
7) What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
I suppose doing a degree in Chinese in 1984 and spending my second year in China was quite adventurous, although it didn’t really seem so at the time. Everyone told me that a degree in Chinese would mean that I’d be set for life. Nothing could have been further fro the truth so it was, in fact, more adventurous that I realised at the time.
4)  My 7 questions to my taggees
  1. Do you have an unfulfilled ambition?
  2. What would be your idea of the perfect day?
  3. Have you ever had to make a difficult choice?
  4. Which is more important: a clean house or a pet?
  5. What does your partner think of your blogging/Twitter activities?
  6. Music or sport?
  7. Can one have it all?

Finally the people I’d like to tag:

@pixielation

@Number1ScumMum

@Becki_says

@baccarat_hair

@Beckenham

@Rezina_Choudhury

@Ellen27

But only if you have the time!