Thursday, 12 March 2009

Cait's questionnaire


I love questionnaires. I am one of those peculiar (probably sad) people who will fill in pretty well anything. Multiple choice questions, ticking boxes, giving opinions – a totally underrated sport. Possibly they’re so appealing because they give me the feeling that I’m doing something important or necessary (while patently Not Working). Normally I am pretty honest although, every so often I have the urge (and give in to it) to answer with brazen-faced lies. Presumably the people who send out these things allow for this? Anyone in marketing? Would love to know what the ‘puck it’ ratio is amongst people who fill in these things. What percentage of answers do you wipe out as being unrepresentative – or is it just me that can’t resist the odd untruth?
Usually I adopt a persona – the rich, lazy man; the self-obsessed businesswoman; the harried mother of six. I think it started out of embarrassment at questions like income and number of homes (being a rabid people pleaser I hated to disappoint the upmarket magazines and so added a few noughts and a couple of holiday properties to reassure them their readers were indeed all top-notch).
Have been musing about this today as Cait (a long time back, this has been pending for months) has asked five questions and I am aware that this is one occasion on which I must not fib. Cait is one of those people (even though we have never met in person) that I could no more lie to than I could dance naked on YouTube.

So, here we have it. Honest answers. Honestly.

If you had your life to live over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Very very little. I count myself as incredibly lucky. I had an absolute ball at university (Manchester) – learned very little about English Literature (though a surprising amount about Early English) but could have taken a First in partying. I then lived a wild and reckless life in London in my twenties, being paid to go to gigs and films, interview rock stars and generally be Exceedingly Bad. Just as I was getting scared that I’d never find Someone to Love I met Adrian (at a Paul McKenna video promo at a hotel on Park Lane) and we discovered that we’d both burnt out the bright lights and wanted to move. Relocated to Somerset, got married, had James. I wanted to be a journalist and I did it. Wanted to write books – and have totted up over twenty. Fancied being on TV and did that too. Wanted the big rectory – had that. Craved the Good Life on a farm – did that. So really I have absolutely no complaints. At certain times I do wonder how it would have been to have had a daughter or another son but then I figure I’m so darn lucky to have one gorgeous child that I need to shut up. No, no regrets.

Who, or what has been the greatest influence on your life?
The Pelican Centre. A therapy and retreat centre on the Somerset Levels (now sadly no more). It was where I learned about Jung, practiced art therapy, learned to bake bread and discovered the healing powers of nature and silence. It taught me to look at dreams, to listen for the small voice of the subconscious, to celebrate mythology. It was a place where, above all, I could be truly and wholly myself. It saved my soul. I miss it like fury and simply can’t find anywhere to take its place which is a huge sadness. If anyone knows of a fabulous (and reasonable) place that does art therapy please let me know.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My son. So stunningly gorgeous, smart, sensitive yet rugged – I have no idea how I created someone so darn fabulous. Or someone that is good at maths and sport. One of life’s deep and wonderful mysteries.

If you could have dinner with someone famous who would it be?
Jung. I’d bore him rigid with my dreams, asking for interpretations.

List your passions.
My family. Books. Early music. Wild places. Old houses. Egypt. India. Greece. Ireland. Ghost stories. Art therapy. Mythology. Ancient gods and goddesses. Shoes. Hearty hand-thrown pots. Labyrinths. Food, wine and rhubarb bellinis.


Phew. That’s that done.

33 comments:

Pipany said...

Wow, great blog Jane. Loved your list of interests and could have cited some of the same as my own. How lovely too that you have achieved so much you wanted to do. Well done you (and more blogging please!0 xx

Calico Kate said...

With you on the surveys but signed up for so many on-line that I have gone off them for a while and send everything to the spam box now.
So interesting to learn more about people 'met' in the ether, great questions from Cait & Lovely answers from you.
CKx

Arosebyanyothername said...

I like to hear about people who are satisfied with their lot and grateful for their opportunities (and have made the most of them). Well done.
P.S. The rhubarb bellinis sound good.

Woozle1967 said...

Ditto Pipany - lots of things in common, but then we are all on "The Coo" too, aren't we? It's lovely to read the contentment in you here, Jane, and your pride in James.xx

Milla said...

what about "my friends" in your passions bit, you old trout. Blasted old hearty pots and greedy rhubarb and not a mention of chums. Pah! (but at least not a whisper of dogs)

Exmoorjane said...

And friends! Of course friends. Stupid mad woman I am. No, not dogs. Nor horrible droning music by certain fey musicians.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Just read this post and the last two... just the job. Finished my very crumbly sandwich now and can make some tea... so many things to comment on. What I loved is that you wouldn't change a thing. How cool is that. And now I just have to have a rhubarb bellini.

Frances said...

Jane, I very much like Cait's questions, and the way that you have answered them.

You have accomplished so very much for someone so young! I can only imagine what you are going to do in the coming years.

xo

Dave said...

Wow. That's deep, dude.

Maddie Grigg said...

Loads of stuff there, Jane. I immediately throw away surveys because I know I could better spend the time on something else. However, this survey is a good one and perhaps gives us all a chance to stand back and realise what we have all achieved. x

Suffolkmum said...

How fab that you have no regrets. Hat a good life you've had. (That sounds a bit elegaic, I didn't mean it to sound so final!) Share many of your interests.

KittyB said...

Ah - mother of an only son, I wonder if the 'wonder' would be diluted with another child, would it be less of a suprise to have two or more such fantastic beings as offspring?
Pass me a rhubarb bellini.

elizabethm said...

So many interests in common and such a lovely contented blog - what a lot of great stuff you have packed in so far.
In my experience the wonder and amazement at producing a child is not diluted by having more than one, you are just amazed by slightly different things.
Yes please to a rhubarb bellini.

claire p said...

I love these sorts of things, they make you think about things you don't think about often enough. I quite like surveys, but never know what to put for 'occupation', career, mother, writer, housewife, secritary....

Jan said...

Great blog Jane.
Really enjoyed reading about you. Look forward to returning!

Cait O'Connor said...

Jane you have done a great job, I enjoyed every word. Thank you.
Caitx

LittleBrownDog said...

The Pelican Centre sounds blissful! I love the Somerset Levels - there's a really peaceful quality to the ancient withy beds and the slow, meandering river. Fascinating stuff - can identify with so much here. Almost everything. Except the shoes. Am not a shoe person. (Bags, now...)

Fire Byrd said...

You sneaked back into bloging when I thought you'd stopped for ever....
Right so back to my blog roll, which I hope won't be the kiss of death to any more posts.LOL
xx

Mud in the City said...

Rhubarb belini sounds fab - just what we need to get through a recession. I am impressed with your motivation and proactivity to have gone and done what you wanted to do in life. There might be hope for me yet!!

ChrisH said...

Aw! That was brilliant for a good nosey, thank you! I've also caught up with your previous post and feel rather envious of the pampering (did laugh at the too much 'wind and booze' had visions of the internal wind rather tan external wind causing a few broken veins... or is that just me?).

Ivy said...

Can I adopt you as a sister please? We seem to have more in common than my real sister and I. :-)

Tessa said...

That was a delight! I love that you've loved and lived and laughed and still do all that in the present tense, too, but possibly slightly less wildly? If you do find another Pelican Centre, please please let me know - sounds like my kinda heaven. As for the rhubarb bellinis...hey, lady, gimme a high five!

CAMILLA said...

Jane darling, I'd love to swop my life for your's. I really enjoyed reading your blog, but then I always do. You are such an interesting person, filled with wit, passion for life, determination.

You have made some great achievements dear Jane, and I am sure you will make many more.

xxx

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Rhubarb bellinis? You must share that recipe if you have it.
I find that the questions (or rather the multiple-choice answers) on surveys just don't fit me so I have to lie.
It's nice to read about someone so happy with their life.

LadyLuz said...

Cor, what a great blog - you did make me laugh and what a fab way to entertain yourself with general questionnaires....I'll give that a whirl myself.

Very "real" and honest answers for Cait and so very interesting. Your personality shines through all your blog.

Fennie said...

Great answers, Jane. I have avoided this questionnaire. My answers would change by the minute I think. Love the way you have put this together.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Very interested in the art therapy, I'd like to know more. Great blog.

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Rob-bear said...

So you like wild places. Wow, that's great. I do, too. Wild places are often also "thin spaces" in Celtic lore -- where "worlds" are close together.

May you always enjoy wild places as much as you do rhubarb bellinis (whatever they are).

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

What a brilliant read! So enjoyed every word of that! If I can get by the honesty on a blog thing I must just try this one!

Stephany Vogel said...

Love your blog. And the mention of Jung and dreams, great. Bore him rigid, eh? Your photos look like they are from the landscape I live in, lovely, moody, cool and overcast.

Iota said...

Hi

For some reason, I haven't been by your blog for ages. Must check the bloglines feed is working. I enjoyed this round-up of your life. How wonderful to have no regrets.

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