At the wonderfully named Dada doesn’t catch flies, one of my favourite bloggers has challenged me to share seven things things about myself. I normally shy away from such invitations but reluctantly accept the proposition, perhaps it will be therapeutic.
- A highly nomadic childhood and commuting long distance to various boarding schools meant accruing a lot of air miles. At eleven years of age I became the youngest recipient of the Cathay Pacific 100,000 miles flown certificate.
- Near my boarding school was a communist bookshop. Every Saturday for at least two years I stole a book, the first being Mao’s Little Red Book. Sometimes I fool myself that the owner knew and let me get away with my crimes. I still feel guilty. Sorry.
- The first author that inspired me to read his complete oeuvre was Robert Heinlein, followed closely by J. P. Donleavy.
- Inspired by J. P. Donleavy’s tales of his home country, I spent three months in Ireland, hitching north to south and east to west.
- For reasons I can no longer recall, as a teenager I was drawn to the Middle East. Setting out with three hundred pounds, I spent nine months hitching through Spain, to Morocco, and then through Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, then to Cyprus and Greece. The current turmoil has resuscitated my fascination for the region.
- After returning from this supposed ‘gap year’, for all sorts of reasons that made complete sense at the time, I did not go back to university. I have regretted this at leisure. It is the source of my autodidacticism.
- My talisman book, that I have read so many times that, in a sense, I am always reading it, or thinking it, is Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea.
>This gives me hope for my formerly boarding school attendee, currently regretful college dropout partner ;)Seriously though, fun facts, especially the first. Is Nausea sitting on my shelves somewhere? Perhaps I should pick it up someday; it's been years since I did Sartre.
>Thanks for playing along. It is a great seven! For someone who has spent her whole twenties studying at various universities, I wish I had had the fortitude to travel overseas (abroad) for more than a month at a time (uni holidays). I guess "the grass is always greener…"
>A fascinating seven indeed. Part traveler, part book thief, part Sartre addict and all very honest. An interesting combination by the sounds of things! 🙂
>Nicole: Didn't Shaw (or someone equally mis-quotable) say education is wasted on the young? Or is that youth? Both are true.I came across a brilliant comment, of Beauvoir, in BHL's 'Sartre' that in his youth Sartre was Roquentin, after his war-time imprisonment he became the Autodidact.
>Fiona: Thanks for the tag, it was amusing to compile the list.
>Christina: Thank you, though I am not remotely proud of the 'book thief' history. Sadly the shop is long, long gone or I would make full restitution.