Sunday, March 30, 2008


I've been tagged by Scarletti, so here is a little insight to the Tales From The Plain psyche.

4 jobs I've had
You all know what I do now, so I though I'd tell you about life before teaching:
1. My first ever job was my Saturday job. I was a late starter and didn't begin until 16, after my O-levels. I worked in the local bakery for appalling pay, but the upside was the hours - 7am until 1pm - the early start offset by having all of Saturday afternoon free to spend with my boyfriend of the time. I loved it though, and worked all the way through Sixth form, ending up running the sandwich bar part on Saturdays. It was good for holiday work, too!
2. Also during my time in Sixth Form, I did piece work for the chap my Mum worked for. He did electrical assembly, so I occasionally went into the premises to cut lengths of wire for them, but mainly worked at home, sorting and wiping the memory from computer chips... at 2p per chip I was hardly likely to make a fortune, but it was the best money I've ever earned whilst watching Neighbours, let me tell you!
3. After my A-levels and then during the holidays of the first couple of years at Uni, I worked shifts in a local pizza factory. Money was great, shift hours suited me (6am-2pm or 2pm to 10pm) and we had a real laugh. Not many of my friends worked there, most of the rest of the students fell into the Benetton Beauty category (which I SO was not), but the full-timers were great. A lot of my family worked at different parts around the factory and I felt a real sense of belonging, being a good solid working class girl unlike most of the other students. Maybe it was because I could see that without working my a**e off at school that would be where I would have ended up? I loved the work, but the most I ever had to do was three months at a time, it might have felt different if I couldn't see an end to it. I ended up running a student line there in my last summer - yet another employer who recognised my amazing organisational skills? Or realised I was a bossy boots...
4. My first real job, after Uni, was at Sellafield, first as a Commissioning Officer, then as a Training Officer. Very interesting and I often wonder what might have happened if A had got a job that way instead of in Manchester. I suspect we'd now be facing an uncertain future...

4 favourite movies
God, I am so lightweight...
1. Highlander. There can be only one....
2. 10 Things I Hate About You. Shakespeare and Heath Ledger - what's not to like?
3. The Shawshank Redemption. Still love the sense of surprise when they take the poster off the wall.
4. Monty Python's Life of Brian. Close run thing here, could easily have been Holy Grail, but that film's lack of ending knocks it off the list.

4 places I've been
I've catalogued trips since 2006 when I started blogging, I'll travel back in time...
1. Italy - I love it and I've visited more times than any other country. My love affair started on a school trip in the 1980s and continues.
2. Philadelphia. This was my first trip to the States and we landed about three hours before they shut the airport in the snow storms of February 2003. A and I didn't get to take the train trips to NYC and DC that we had planned. In fact we didn't get to do a lot of what we'd planned, since a number of museums and sites closed for the duration, but we did get to wade around in knee height dry snow a lot (we've never been skiing so we've never done that), watch with fascination as the authorities cleared the snow and spend the whole day in one of the best Science museums I've ever visited. We also laughed a lot at the Brits who were stranded in Philly who had originally been bound for Florida and a Caribbean cruise who had nothing but shorts and sandals and couldn't even play out in the snow...
3. New Forest. We went on holiday every year when I was a child, I loved it! Nine years ago I went back and it's still great.
4. Lefkas. The least anglicised of the Ionians (which include Corfu, Kephalonia and Zakynthos) and a gem, particularly if you stay north, away from the one hideous Brits Abroad resort.

4 places I've lived
1. I grew up in a rural market town on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border. Many family are still in the area and it is truly beautiful. However I couldn't afford anything bigger than a maisonette, so I can't see myself ever returning. I have in the last two years found myself increasingly watching Midsomer Murders to catch glimpses of familiar scenes...
2. Liverpool. I lived in Wavertree, L15, which by the time I left was far too close to L8 for the insurance company...
3. Whitehaven in Cumbria. My flat was about 1 minute's walk from the quayside, I often took a walk along the pier to the lighthouse before breakfast. Interesting smell of fish if the wind blew the wrong way, though... From pictures I've seen, it's been really smartened up, so I'm guessing no one fishes from it anymore.
4. Stretford, Manchester. When A and I first managed to get a place together when I was training to be a teacher, we lived in a lovely flat right on a motorway junction. Sleeping with the windows open just wasn't an option.

4 favourite TV shows
1. QI
3. CSI (all varieties)
4. Most BBC adaptations of Austin Gaskell, Thackery, etc. Although ITV did some cracking Austins last year.

4 favourite radio shows
1. Wake Up to Wogan
2. Chris Evan's Drivetime
3. Folk and Acoustic with Mike Harding
4. Simon Mayo's Music Club.
Hmm... as you can tell, I only ever tune in to Radio 2...

4 favourite foods
1. steak, medium rare
2. lasagne
3. dauphinoise potatoes
4. puddings - all of them, but particularly sponge, with custard

4 places I'd rather be
1. The Lake District
2. Bologna
3. Cornwall
4. Milan

I'm going to be a rebel - I'm not blogging from home so no rules apply - if you want to, consider yourself tagged!


scarletti said...

Very interesting! Great reading. Curious how places and people start making connections. I remember Whitehaven as a child so in the fishing days too(my friend used to work at a little shop on one enormously long road that I recall went up and down and up and down and up and down...)

Nic said...

That sounds like half of Whitehaven...

Anonymous said...

My sympathies with working at Sellafield - it's a nice area but shame about the blot on the landscape that is the nuclear plant.

I lasted 3 months working on Thorp in a crappy, smoky portacabin. I'm not a morning person and had to be in for 8:10am, and living near Cockermouth meant a hideous journey so I never saw daylight for those 3 months. I've never been so glad to return to Warrington!