This post is supposed to be an introduction to me. But I've typed three different posts about me, and had to delete all of them for being too boring. I could tell you about my path to publication, but as I'm not yet published, that seems pointless. I could tell you my life story, but this blog isn't long enough, or ramble on about me, but my life really isn't that exciting (I spend most of my time glued to the laptop) so I've finally just decided to tell you ten things about myself and leave it at that.
Left: me in Mozambique earlier this year.
1. I'm half German, half South African with a dollop of Scottish blood. I was born and raised in South Africa where I still live, though like half the population of this country I'd rather be somewhere else. The 'somewhere else' changes every time I go on holiday or depending on what book I'm reading. At the moment, it's the Greek island of Corfu.
2. I'm fascinated by genealogy. On my mother's side I have traced my ancestry back to the late 1500s. My eldest daughter shares the same name (Rachel Magdalena) as every woman in my family bar three generations, going back to at least 1700.
3. I am a book whore, and proud of it. I'll read anything. If I'm in a waiting room and there are no magazines I'll read the emergency regulations! As a teenager I used to sit in front of the TV with an encyclopedia in my lap, reading it for fun. Looking back, I really miss that time. I mean, I really miss having the time to sit and read the encyclopedia, not being a teenager.
4. I love musicals. In my head I can sing and dance and still have dreams about being a West End star. Or maybe a movie star. Sadly, I can't carry a tune and have two left feet. Which is why I probably write stories instead. The heroines I create can always sing and dance!
5. All my life I've been a serial starter. I've started to learn to play the guitar, the piano, started tap dancing classes, ballet classes, Scottish dancing, gymnastics, art classes, calligraphy ... you get the picture. Needless to say, I can't play an instrument, tap dance ...
The day I finished my first novel was one of the greatest triumphs of my life. It was the first time I finished something I started. That was when I knew this was what I was meant to do. (The novel was truly atrocious though).
6. I dropped out of university and dropped out of film school. I still managed a relatively successful career in the film industry (I worked on the BBC series "Rhodes" and also on "I Dreamed of Africa") before moving into television advertising. There are some moments I enjoy the day job, but I survive most days by fantasising about giving it up. Sadly, thanks to having no qualifications, I can do nothing else. My daughters are so going to get degrees in useful fields!
7. I do cross stitch for fun. I don't have much time for it these days though, what with the internet taking precedence over all else. (And two young children, of course).
I can do this. I know I can. Just three more things to think of ....
8. Both my daughters were born in water births and were breastfed as late as my work schedule allowed. I'm a strong believer in mothers trying to go natural, and have to bite my tongue when I meet women who opt for caesareans or bottles because it's easier or suits their lifestyle - or worse, out of plain ignorance.
Ladies, a baby of 3kg is not too big for you to push out. It's normal. Your male gynae just wants to schedule you in for a caesar so he can make his 11:00 tee off at the golf club. Ignorance is not an excuse in this day and age with the internet and libraries, and midwives more than ready to discuss options with you. Caesars are for women who seriously have problems birthing their babies, not for wimps. [Climbing down from my soapbox now].
9. When I lived in London many years ago I once went away for a week-end to Kent with a group of South Africans. There were ten of us: the other nine were all medical personnel (doctors, dentists, physios) and I was working at the time as a temp secretary in an NHS hospital. That was also the weekend we set off the youth hostel alarm after a long evening in the pub. Those two years I spent in England were such fun!
Okay, the end is in sight. Just one more.
10. I can't cook. I am useless at anything domesticated. I work long hours at the day job so I can afford a maid. And you do NOT want to see my house on week-ends.
Whew! That's it. I need a strong cup of tea now.
Right: me a long, long time ago.