Friday, April 14, 2006

Interview with a... well, you decide.

My good friend Buddess elected to be interviewed by Reluctant Nomad recently. She'd made reference to this upcoming interview a couple of times but I had no idea what it was all about... and then the Interview happened and was posted on her blog. The honesty of her answers and the insight it gave me into someone I have known a long time prompted me to volunteer for her to interview me in the same way, even though she was uncertain if I would do so because I am a "very private" person (her words).
Perhaps it was that which made me sit up and take notice. I never really thought of myself that way. In fact, I would say "repressed" might be more accurate. I tend to be hesitant about volunteering my deepest thoughts and feelings, partly because I'm afraid of backlash, and partly because, well, I'm not really sure people are that interested in me.

But it's amazing what I'm willing to talk about when I'm asked.

So, here are the answers to Buddess's questions. The questions themselves are quite long, so if you want to take a look at them, you'll find them here.

Question 1:
Yes, I would love to write a novel, have it published, and have people who don't know me read and enjoy what I have written. In fact, last year I even considered quitting my job and taking three months or so off so I could do just that. I've actually started a novel - well, more than one, really - the trouble is in finishing it ;) But it's something that I still consider a serious possibility. Writing is something I have always enjoyed doing... no, it's more than that; it's something I have always needed to do, although when I was younger it was much more private and not something I took seriously at all. It's only recently that I realised I may have a talent there. Winning a prize in that short story competition gave me such a buzz! And it also proved to me that it is something I could do if I set my mind to it. Unfortunately, I am my harshest critic and I battle to judge if what I write is any good. Hence the blogging.
The photographs are something I do just for fun. I'm a lazy photographer - I couldn't be bothered to remember all the details about aperture and shutter speeds, etc. Most of my best shots look good because the natural light at the time is just right. So that's just a hobby, just because I like to take pretty pictures. But the writing... well, I'll keep you posted on that.

Question 2:
Buddess, this is a question I've asked myself many times. I honestly don't know how I would feel about moving back to SA. I miss my family and friends immensely, and I miss the country itself more than I ever thought I would. On the other hand, as you say, I have always wanted to travel and living here in Ireland I am getting to fulfill that dream. It is also much easier to live here than in SA - better quality of life in that there is much less crime and the earning potential is so much greater. You just get more for your salary here.
On the other hand, the weather really, really sucks! We are lucky to get two weeks of proper summer weather here in a year... and by that I mean anything over 21 degrees. It plays a bigger role in life than you would imagine.
How would I feel if Dave said we were moving back? I don't know, quite honestly. I think I'd be happy to be going home, but also sad to be leaving this life behind because I don't know if we'd get the opportunity again. But I would go, and happily, because I trust Dave to do what is right for us and I would follow him anywhere. I know as long as we're together we'll be just fine. I came here with him and that worked out fine, didn't it? It was a 5-year plan, and those 5 years are up this August. We had discussed it and decided that yes, we would stick to our plan and go home at the end of this year. His kids play a big role in that - being apart from them has been incredibly difficult and we didn't want to miss out on any more of their lives.
However, the decision has more-or-less been taken out of our hands now. When his daughter said she wanted to come over here and live with us, because she thought it would be better for her in the long run w.r.t. school and studying, we didn't even hesitate. So now she's here, and we'll be staying for at least another few years while she finishes school and goes on to study or whatever. And I'm happy with that.
I think the uncertainty was the thing that unsettled me the most. Now the decision is made and I can settle down here properly. I love my job and I'm glad I'll stay around for that a while longer. We're planning on buying a house here and everything that goes in it. So for me, the best part is that I can put down roots instead of living a 'temporary life' like we were before. And yes, I'm glad I'll be able to do more travelling before we go home for good... if we ever do.

Question 3:
Oh boy, do I ever get sentimental! Sometimes Dave and I sit at home & have a bottle of wine or whatever and reminisce about the bad ol' days for hours. Especially about biking. We haven't been to a rally here yet, but then we only got a bike again late-ish last year.
Winter here is definitely NOT good biking weather. The roads are bad at the best of times, and in winter they are icy and muddy and slippery... and OB's is great for South African cold but I'm afraid it would take a bit more than that to warm me up here in the middle of winter! However, we are planning to take a couple of weeks this summer & go across to mainland Europe on a ferry and cruise around there on the bike. I can't wait! The Blackbird was just made for the Autobahn!!!
Getting the bike was the best thing we've done here. It gives us something to do. We're bikers, we've always been bikers. It's what we do. This morning he took me to work on the bike - what a way to start the day!
But it's not the same. I miss the rallies too, and I miss the friends we had in the biking crowd. Do you remember the Hen Party you girls threw for me at The Handlebar before my wedding?

Wow! I wish I had known then how precious those times were. I had so many good woman friends there, so different from here. The people are different here. I have a friend from SA who's moved over here but is staying in Cork, a few hours away. Plus I have my sister who is living in London now. Apart from that there are 2 or 3 women at work I get along well with but I just don't have the good friends I had in SA and that's been one of the hardest things to deal with here.

Question 4:
It has been easier than I thought it would having Cinderella here. She is a very easy-going girl and I love her to bits. Although, as you quite rightly pointed out, I don't want children of my own, she and her brother have filled that part of me that might otherwise have yearned to have children. She's very self-sufficient and yes, she has slotted in really well here. When we first went to see the headmaster at her school he expressed concerns that she might battle with the standard of education here... well bah humbug to that :) OK, she has an advantage in that she is an extremely bright girl (our little over-achiever, hehe) but I think people tend to underestimate South Africa's education system. It may be classed as a 3rd-world country but in some ways it's actually ahead of this place. In fairness, though, in other ways it is way behind, but that's normally in things that are impacted by economics.
Getting back to the first part of your question, yes, it was an adjustment. But it's not like having a lodger in the house - she's family. We're a family. So in that respect, it's hardly an adjustment at all. I just need to remember not to get up & go make coffee in the nude in the mornings, hehe!

Question 5:
This question evokes a bunch of thoughts. First, it tugs at my heart a bit, as does any mention of my father. That's probably why I don't talk about him, or my early life. I was very young when he died, but believe it or not it still hurts and I still miss him. I often wonder what he would think of me now - would he be proud of me? Am I like him? It's another part of my repressed self, but one that I am trying to come to terms with.
As for my 'tomboy' tendencies... I have no idea where they come from!
I have always had male friends. I find it easier to make friends with men - much less 'issues', haha! My first serious boyfriend (actually I think you know Mac, Buddess?) taught me how to play pool - we'd go to the Marine Hotel at the beachfront on weekends and play there. They had about 6 tables, if I'm not mistaken. Misspent youth and all that ;)
Whaddaya know - turns out I have good aim.
Same with the shooting. Actually the first time I ever fired a gun was when I was working at a security company as a bookkeeper in the early '90's. Remember the riots? Well our building was right in the middle of the trouble spot, in Korsten. So my boss, who was a Kommandant in the army, decided all the ladies in the office had to learn how to shoot, just in case. Up till then I hated guns. But we went along to the shooting range and I was handed a .38 special and told how to use it.
Again - turns out I have good aim. My boss was really p*ssed off because I was shooting straighter than him... with his own revolver, haha!
Then when I met Dave it was inevitable that I would do more shooting. He belonged to a rifle club and actually shot at provincial / national level. I'm not quite as good a shot as him though
I took an interest in bikes and racing when my older sister was going out with a guy who had a bike and was mad into stock-car racing etc. when we were teenagers. The interest stuck. That's also where I realised I'm a bit of a speed-freak, hence the whole love-to-bike thing.
So there you have it. I'm afraid my unconventional interests may have been cause for worry on my Mother's part at times, but what can you do?!
Oh, and just in case you're wondering - I'm not good at everything. I can't catch a ball for love nor money, and I always sucked big-time at sports and athletics. The only thing I was good at was ballet - and as you mentioned, I do love to dance!

Well that's it, I think.
Thank you, Buddess, for the lovely things you said about me on your blog. I'm really glad that we are able to keep in touch via blogging.
And thank you for these questions. I really enjoyed answering them.
One of the things I'm trying to do is be more open with people - repression only leads to problems, as I have found out in a big way over the last few years.
So if there's anything else you - or anyone else, for that matter - want to ask me, fire away.
I won't bite.
I may bark occasionally, but no, I don't bite

And now for the technicalities. Since this is a 'meme' of sorts, it has rules, and the rules are as follows:

For those of you who may want to be interviewed in this fashion, here are the Official Interview Games Rules:

If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, "interview me".

I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.

You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


beadinggalinMS said...

Hi Terri! Ok I want to know this. Don't bark to loud at me haahaa
What is your favorite *girlie* thing you love to shop for? Me it would be shoes and sexy underwear ssshhh don't tell anyone heehee ;)
OOOHH if you could "interview me" I am game if you are lol
Can ya tell I am happy to be home and feeling better??

anne said...

Those are very honest, and very touching, answers, m'dear. Thank you for trusting us with them.

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Terri, I admire you honesty and willingness to take this on. GUTSY!
Why am I not as brave as you are?

Jeff said...

Very nice, Terri. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Terri said...

Beads - Definitely shoes. I love shoes! Shoes and boots. Ooh, and pretty shiny jewellery too... uh, ok, pretty much any shopping, really ;)
I will start doing my research for your interview :)

Anne - This trust thing is a new experience for me - call it an experiment. But... You're welcome and thanks for the comment :)

Chitty - There's a fine line between bravery and stupidity ;) Ah, I figured why not. What's the worst that can happen?

Jeff - You're welcome. Thanks to all of you for actually listening.

angel said...

wow terri- those showed me a whole 'nother side of you!
i'm game!

Terri said...

Angel - is that 'Angelese' for "Interview Me"? You're on!

Spookie the Warrior said...

Wow Terri. I learned a few things here about you now, well done on being so honest.

Oh and "Interveiw me" please.

Reluctant Nomad said...

That made great reading - thanks, buddess, for the questions. And, more importantly in this case, thanks, terri, for those interesting and revealing answers.

Terri, you're going to regret having done such a great job opening youself up to the 'world'...interview requests are coming in thick and fast.

I did two in quick succession and then owed Buddess hers for months. I have one more to do and, possibly, a 'joint venture' interview of another person.

I enjoyed answering my interview and found it interesting how it's quite easy to open up to people if they ask direct questions. It's much easier than volunteering information about yourself.

I also enjoyed 'researching' for the interview - I like delving into how people think and act.

BUDDESS said...

Well done Terri!!! You are going to be a busy girl. Thank you for your honesty in your answers. That picture sent me to tears. Boy was that a lovely fun evening?! You were so cross with us at the beginning and then you had so much fun during!!! Best of all is Gillian sitting there in all her laughing splendor!! Best of luck with all the research you now have to do.

Terri said...

Spookie - Stand in line, girl! By my calculations you're now 3rd :)

Nomad - 'Joint Venture'..? I also enjoyed answering these questions and I agree - it's amazing how much I'll say when asked.

Buddess - I hope I can do justice for those who I interview. I love that photo - I get so nostalgic every time I look at it. MAN, did we have FUN that night!!!

Reluctant Nomad said...

Joint venture in that Andrea of Colouring outside the Lines mooted the idea of me interviewing her together with Caroline of Caro's lines, ie we'd interview her together.

I think you know of both blogs?

Spookie the Warrior said...

Yep - by my count too. I was a bit slow with that one...

Terri said...

Nomad - I humbly admit I don't... but I will make a point of visiting them. Promise.

Spookie - That's okay. And in that case, I'm sure you won't mind if I'm a little slow with the questions, hehe ;)
I should probably put a regular post or 2 in between the interviews. Wouldn't want people to think I was shirking my regular blogging duties, now, would we?