A bunch of facts

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks at work, and have been getting home tired and uninspired so not been writing much – even doing my 3 happy thoughts each day has been tricky. When you spend your day at work and get home late, it’s sometimes hard to think of even 3 good things that have happened.

So in a bid to get back into this, they say you should write about what you know, and I don’t know many things as well as I know myself, so this is just a bunch of facts about me.

  1. I’m obsessed with symmetry, completeness and order. The volume on the TV has to be at a multiple of 5, I usually chew my food the same number of times on each side of my mouth, and by the time I’m done with this list it will almost certainly be a list of 25 or 50.
  2. My biggest regret is plucking my eyebrows in the late 90s/early 2000s. It was cool then, honest. Just look at Gwen Stefani in her No Doubt days.
  3. I love cooking and hosting, and often invite friends over for dinner. My speciality is venison and wild boar casserole, and I do a mean Guinness cake or banoffee pie for dessert.
  4. While I pride myself on being a decent cook, Will does most of the cooking in our household. Mostly because he’s home from work earlier than me, but he’s also pretty damn good – I just don’t give him much chance to show off as I tend to take the reins when we have guests.
  5. I haven’t played in a while, but I can play the saxophone – I have a tenor and a soprano, called Sebastian and Tony respectively. Tony Soprano, geddit?
  6. This one won’t be a surprise to anyone who’s met me, but I fell in love with immersive theatre via Punchdrunk, and have spent the last few years chasing that high. Including multiple trips to New York.
  7. I also love traditional theatre. Musicals especially, both old school and contemporary.
  8. Will proposed to me at the zoo. A bit like Rocky proposing to Adrian – including the fact it was in front of the big cats – except this was Washington DC rather than Philly.
  9. We celebrated with a lunch of messy seafood at Hot N Juicy Crawfish. Who had run out of crawfish. But it was still delicious.
  10. Then we celebrated REALLY hard that evening with a bunch of practical strangers – we’d arranged to meet Del and Chris (whom we’d met once before, at a wedding a year previously) for drinks before I knew about the proposal. When we got to their apartment, they’d invited all their neighbours and friends over. We decided we couldn’t keep it a secret all night, so we told them our news (and swore them to social media secrecy) and a group of people we barely knew threw us our engagement party – when only our closest friends and family back home had been told.
  11. Our wedding was vaguely film themed – invites were vintage cinema tickets, tables were screens, each showing one of our favourite films, and most of the significant music was from films. We signed the register to the theme from Jurassic Park, we left the chapel to Gonna Fly Now from Rocky, and we had Don’t Stop Me Now (prominently featured in Shaun of the Dead) and Hooked on a Feeling (Guardians of the Galaxy) at the end of the night. Plus we had a cake that featured Rocky’s boxing gloves, the yellow brick road, a topiary rabbit, and a baby Groot amongst other things.
  12. But I walked down the aisle to Biffy. The Captain sounded EPIC on the chapel’s organ.
  13. I used to work in a pub in Soho and served a fair number of familiar faces. My favourite was Rhys Ifans, who was both lovely and an excellent tipper – I think he left me about £6-£8 change from a round several times in an afternoon. Someone said you should judge a person by how they treat the staff, as it shows how they would treat everyone if they thought they would get away with it, and he passed with flying colours.
  14. I love Chris Pratt and Patrick Wilson.
  15. More than Chris Pratt or Patrick Wilson, I love tea. I probably drink 5-8 cups a day – the entire Tweedlie side of the family is the same. My Grandpa’s tea habit put mine to shame though, and he lived to 95, so I’m not going to worry about overdoing it any time soon.
  16. Talking of my Grandpa Tweedlie, he was an absolute hero. Every now and then I re-read his obituary, and it always makes me smile.
  17. My Gran Tweedlie had a wicked sense of humour, and had brilliant nicknames for all her neighbours. She also taught me to poach eggs and they’re still my favourite breakfast.
  18. My other Gran – my Gran Hendry – was a tiny woman with a huge heart, known by everyone as Mimmie. She was a champion bowler, had a saying for everything (which would drive us mad), and loved little traditions and would collect the Oor Wullie and The Broons cartoon strips from the Sunday Post for me and my brother, and every week she gave us a bag with a couple of chocolate bars and a pound coin each.
  19. Aside from my own wedding jewellery, my most treasured possessions are my Gran Hendry’s engagement ring, and a silver octopus tentacle necklace I bought in Staten Island the first time I visited NYC.
  20. I love octopuses – both to eat and look at. If it’s on a menu I’ll order it, and there is some REALLY cool octopus artwork out there.
  21. My favourite perfume is Le Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes. Though I wore Balenciaga’s Florabotanica for the wedding. It’s a close second, and it felt more wedding-y somehow.
  22. All our picture frames are matching ones from Ikea, but I hate going to Ikea, so I’ve got 3 pictures which have remained unframed for over 2 1/2 years because I can’t face going to buy matching frames for them.
  23. I’m really fussy about white wine, and can’t drink sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio or chardonnay – which typically are the 3 you’ll find by the glass in more pubs…
  24. I hated it when I was younger, but now I love cheese. The stinkier the better. When we went to Le Gavroche, they wheeled over an entire trolley of cheese, and I was in heaven. I wanted it all (though I made myself stick to 3).
  25. I share my birthday with Emile Hirsch, Neil Sedaka, and Geoffrey from Rainbow.
  26. I’m a collector. I like books, DVDs, CDs and vinyl rather than a kindle and mp3s.
  27. I also collect facts – I’m full of useless trivia. Whenever we watch films, I read the accompanying trivia on IMDB. I’m a good person to have on your team on a pub quiz!
  28. I’m forever searching for a decent scented candle that doesn’t cost a fortune. I just can’t quite justify Diptique or Jo Malone for anything other than dinner parties, but nothing affordable fills a room quite the same!
  29. I’m really indecisive. Sometimes I’ll have something set in my mind, but otherwise I can mull over the options for hours. Choosing a film to watch or dinner at a restaurant can be torturous.
  30. Worse, I also get really bad food envy so if I make the wrong decision at a restaurant, I’ll be lusting over my dining companion’s option while we eat, then thinking about it for days afterwards.
  31. I really resent going out for fancy Italian food as all the best Italian food I’ve ever had (including that I had in Italy) has been simple and cheap, just made with good ingredients and love.
  32. I like my steak as rare as the cut will allow.
  33. There’s nothing better in life than brilliant chips – my favourites (so far) are probably from Hawksmoor.
  34. I jump really badly at films. Not always at bits you’d expect, and knowing it’s coming doesn’t usually make any difference.
  35. I haven’t picked up a racquet in a few years, but I used to play tennis. I wasn’t great, but I wasn’t dreadful and played for my club in the junior and women’s leagues.
  36. I’m not really scared of anything except failure.
  37. But I’m not a fan of snakes. They’re fine if I know where they are, and I’ve held one before, but I don’t like the idea of one sneaking up on me out of the grass
  38. I’m a bit of a bargain hunter. I always check the reduced section in the supermarket, and I can’t say no to an Asos sale.
  39. I love dogs, especially big ones like huskies and alsatians, and as soon as we have a lifestyle and home that lets us look after one properly, we’ll head straight to the shelter.
  40. I’m certainly not skinny and never will be, but I’ve lost about 3 stone over the last few years, and now I feel pretty fit, and genuinely enjoy running, lifting (small) weights, and pushing myself. I’ve written about my fitness story if you like self-indulgent accounts of such things.
  41. I went to a music summer school every summer for 11 years, to play in jazz ensembles, one of which was led by the inimitable Keith Tippett. It was one of the best things I ever did – a truly magical, inclusive and inspirational place, and I met some incredible friends there who are still in my life, including Keith, his wife Julie, and my jazziest chum, J.
  42. I have an MA (Hons) in Music and Film & TV studies from the University of Glasgow. In first year I took music, French and film & TV, intending to take music and French to degree level, but I hated the way French was taught and dropped it in second year and took the other two subjects to honours level.
  43. I volunteered as a Freshers’ Helper for my student union, the QMU, when I was at uni and later got involved in student politics by joining their Board of Management, first as an Ordinary Board member, then the Ordinary Board Convenor, and lastly as Honorary President. I got a real buzz from helping people have fun – during Freshers’ Week, at gigs and club nights, the weekly pub quiz – and that led to me going into the events industry.
  44. I did a postgrad MA in Events Marketing Management. I had no real draw towards marketing, but I’m pretty academic and wanted a solid educational basis, so the marketing course appeared to me. Thankfully, I turned out to be pretty good at it, enjoyed it, and did a work placement at the company I now work at (though I have left there multiple times – I just keep going back!)
  45. I was recently shortlisted for Best Organiser Marketer in the Exhibition News Awards.
  46. I’ve met some pretty famous faces through work, and done a lot of celeb spotting on the streets of London, but the only time I was a bit speechless in front of a celebrity was when I got in a lift with Justin from Hell is For Heroes when they played at the student union. All I could think was how short he was. Funnily, I met him again recently at the wedding of their drummer who used to work with Will and is now a good friend of ours. I wasn’t starstruck any more (probably because I since learned he was in the Young Tories at uni) but I still had no chat for him.
  47. I’ve got a scar on my left palm from when I stabbed myself in the hand trying to get a particularly stubborn stone out of an avocado. It was really deep, required stitches and made me really lightheaded and dizzy, but looking back it was rather funny to think that the nurse in A&E took one look at me in my running gear, looked at the wound and asked “avocado stabbing?”
  48. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Biffy Clyro play live, but it’s creeping towards 20. Some gigs have been better than others, but even a bad Biffy gig is a good night out.
  49. We have a HUGE collection of good champagne – largely from our engagement party and wedding – but we tend to drink prosecco as the champagne is “too good to drink”. I know it’s stupid, as we have more champagne than we have special occasions to drink it on, but it seems a shame to open the good stuff just for me and Will (who doesn’t even like it that much).
  50. I live in London, but my favourite cities are Glasgow and New York.