Something different for today! A few weeks ago @gabrielatravels asked me to participate in the "Ten Random Things" challenge set by @twodorks in this post. At the end of the challenge, you have to nominate someone else for the challenge, and ask them a random question. They have to include the answer if they accept the challenge.
In Gabriela's post, she asked the question:
What animal represents you the most, and why?Hmm... I think that would have to be the mountain goat, because I can't seem to keep away from mountains, and when I'm not actually mountain, I can often be found on the wall at the climbing centre!
But I don't usually take these kinds of risks:
So without further ado, here are 10 random things about me.
I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and I've lived in Aberdeen, Dundee and London. I'm now back living in Glasgow.
I love travelling, and have travelled to 46 different countries, most during the 1990s, when I spent two years travelling round the world.
It's a miracle that I survived beyond age 4! My mum took thalidomide when she was pregnant with me, but luckily she stopped taking it after a week, on the advice of my wise grandmother, who always said, "Never take any new medications during pregnancy".
Thalidomide was a drug that was used in the 1960s to treat morning sickness, however it had devastating side effects, causing malformed limbs and other deformities in people whose mothers took it during pregnancy. Less than 50% of these infants survived. I am so lucky that my mother listened to my grandmother's advice and stopped taking that drug when she was pregnant with me.
When I was 18 months old, I caught measles and whooping cough at the same time, and got very seriously ill. It developed into bronchial pneumonia and I was close to death on and off several times over the next few years, until the doctors identified the infection that was causing the problems and treated it.
As a result, I have a strong respect for conventional medicine, but also a respect for the old-fashioned wisdom of my grandmother. Nothing is failsafe, and all information should be questioned and checked.
I've been interested in cryptocurrencies since 2012, but it hasn't made me rich! I bought 100 Ether in the crowdsale for a total of £20 (about $26). When its value rose to £10, I sold it all, making about £1,000, as I needed the money to pay some bills.
A few months later, Ethereum's value exploded. Meh...
OK, so I passed up the chance to pay off my mortgage, but at least I was able to pay off my immediate bills! And as we all know, with crypto, you never know what's round the next corner.
I can do a handstand! When I was in my early teens, I was crazy about gymnastics. I can't do the splits or the Crab any more, but I can still do a handstand!
I was once asked for my autograph! It was when I was working as a writer on a teenage magazine, my first full-time job. I was the Letters Page Editor on a magazine called Patches. I only remained in that role for a few months before being transferred to another magazine, Jackie, but my photo remained in place as "Dear Nat…". One day when me and a colleague were out on the streets conducting a "vox pop" interviews with the public, a young teenage girl recognised me as "Dear Nat" and asked for my autograph!
I have never been so shocked or embarrassed in my life! I simply didn't feel worthy! But I scribbled my name (the signature just looked like very bad handwriting rather than a glamorous scribble!).
I'll write more on becoming "Dear Nat" later.
I once had a bizarre out-of-body experience. This was a couple of decades ago, and I've never had another one before or since. It was weird! More on this later too.
I used to volunteer for the Loch Lomond Rescue Boat (and Park Rangers). This was partly because a few years earlier I'd had to be rescued myself, and I suppose I wanted to give something back. I'm going to write more about this too.
I've had an intolerance to cow's milk since 1997 – though it seems to be getting less severe. This is something else I'm going to write about in more detail, because it had a major effect on my life.
It happened seemingly out of the blue, and led to some sharp adjustments in my eating habits. It was difficult at times, as the consumption of anything containing cow's milk gave me excruciating digestive problems, and although most people were sympathetic, there were some people who clearly thought I was just being a faddy eater.
But in the long term it's probably been good for my health, as it's made me think more about what I eat, and to look at health in a more open-minded way.
I drink two green smoothies every day. They taste much nicer than they look – honest! And they are fantastically hydrating when climbing a mountain.
I always use the same recipe, just for convenience: two bananas, a quarter of a pineapple or half a mango, an orange, 400-600ml water, two handfuls of spinach or kale and a quarter avocado. Blend and enjoy!
So that's the 10 random things about me that I'd like to share. And you have to admit, they are pretty random!
Nominations and questions
I'd like to enlist @slobberchops, @sultnpapper @lizelle, @daan, @bigtom13 and @bozz for this challenge. I have to set each of you a question, and if you don't take up the challenge, please answer the question in the Comments section :)
@slobberchops: If you could be a rock star for a day, which one would it be?
@sultnpapper: Name one vegetable that you like.
@lizelle: If you had to be a food ingredient, which one would it be, and why?
@daan: What's the worst film you ever watched?
@bigtom13: If you could have Connie transported to any country in the world for a month's travels, which one would it be?
@bozz: If you could relive one year of your life and do one thing in that year differently, what would it be?
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