Having chosen to swallow the red pill...

Saturday, May 15, 2004

102 things about me

1. I was born in Lilongwe, Malawi.
2. Both my parents are expatriates out of UK, so we moved country every 3-4 years.
3. As a result I have lived in Malawi, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, Mauritius & Kenya.
4. I went to boarding school in England from the age of 9.
5. I have worked in Zimbabwe, Germany, UK and Sweden.
6. At the time of writing this, I am 28 years old.
7. I speak English, Swedish and German. I used to be able to speak French and some Italian. I understand Danish and Norwegian.
8. I have travelled to USA, Cyprus, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Holland, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Bali, Australia, New Zeeland, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa, Namibia, Seychelles, Philippines.
9. I live in Malmö in the south of Sweden.
10. Malmö is full of gorgeous green parks and is right by the sea.
11. I moved here 6 years ago, and not out of love of paying high taxes.
12. My wife Ellie comes from here and it was my turn to discover her country.
13. We have brought a lovely little house in a quiet suburb. I guess we will be staying for a while.
14. I can cycle to work every day. It is a round trip of 10km and can get a bit cold in winter!
15. I realised recently how much I like living here. It came as a bit of a shock.
16. I took a year out before university and worked as an English teacher in a school in the middle of the bush in Zimbabwe.
17. I had 4 classes of 50 kids each, no electricity, no running water and a hole in concrete for a toilet.
18. I learnt a lot during that year and got a wind-driven water pump installed for the school and the village.
19. I attended weddings and deaths and helped chase monkeys out of the maize fields at 05:00 every morning for months.
20. Despite its problems, I have a strong love for Southern Africa and its people.
21. My hero is Nelson Mandela.
22. If I met him, I would like to ask him what the secret of forgiveness is.
23. I am a part-time vegetarian.
24. I miss the odd home-made hamburger and English sausages too much to give-up meat totally.
25. My favourite food is salad.
26. To be precise, rocket salad with ripe cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and pine-nuts, with a lemon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey dressing, accompanied by freshly baked brown-bread with olives in it.
27. I am feeling hungry now.
28. I read a lot.
29. I read very quickly.
30. Reading can be an expensive hobby.
31. Not just the books, but the bookshelves.
32. The books need to compete for space. I wonder if they get sad if they don’t make it?
33. I love my wife just as she is.
34. We have been together for eight years and married for 3.
35. There is no seven-year itch and I expect to write that again next May when we celebrate 9 years together.
36. She has an excellent feeling for interior design and our house looks great.
37. She likes things to be tidy. I feel comforted by having piles of my different activities everywhere.
38. I caught that from my Grandfather.
39. My Grandfather and me owe our (now) great relationship, to woodwork.
40. Piles and tidiness can’t co-exist like Yin and Yang.
41. We are both in agreement that one day, I will have a study of my own. I’ll be happy and Ellie can throw my piles in there and shut the door.
42. I feel like an old man for wanting my own study, but want one anyway.
43. I love her family. They accepted me as one of their own, and that is a warm place to be.
44. I love kids and kids love me.
45. Probably because I give them my undivided attention and play with unembarrassed abandon whilst the (adults) talk at the table.
46. I suffer from Peter Pan syndrome and hope to have kids of my own soon, so I have an excuse to play.
47. I used to work at an ad agency as a brand and marketing strategist.
48. I am good at what I do, but sometimes have a hard time matching my work to my values.
49. I think I’ll be going back to university again soon. (See above)
50. Half way… and still typing
51. I really try hard to live a good life, and most of the time, I succeed.
52. I far prefer summer to winter.
53. I am trying to see winter’s beauty, but can’t help feeling shut-in.
54. I have asthma and wish I didn’t. There is nothing worse than not being able to breathe.
55. My asthma is a 1000 times better since I moved from UK to Sweden. There is less pollution here, we live by the sea and we have no carpets.
56. I have run two half-marathons over the bridge between Denmark and Sweden.
57. I would like to run a full marathon one day.
58. I am not very interested in politics and sometimes feel bad about that.
59. It is more out of a sense of civic duty that I feel bad.
60. I have a lot of other interests to make up for that, though.
61. I like wine, especially red, especially from South Africa, Australia and Chile.
62. I didn’t like red wine or whisky before I moved to Sweden.
63. I have a wine cellar with over 120 bottles in it and several bottles of whisky.
64. I blame Ellie’s Dad for this. LoL.
65. I like the idea that I don’t know what our lives will be like when some of the bottles come out of the cellar.
66. I love sitting on a lazy summer evening with Ellie and friends and getting a wine from the cellar that perfectly matches the food we are eating and the mood of the evening.
67. I didn’t like olives or mushrooms either. I guess my taste-buds grew-up.
68. I like going to the movies, or just watching them at home.
69. I like thinking, but most of the time I think too much.
70. Two years ago, I started a men’s group called ‘SPERM’. The Society for the Preservation and Education of Real Men.
71. It’s still going. (2005/07/01) It has now, unfortunately, stopped!
72. It takes men a while to talk, but in 100% of the cases, they are glad when they do, and wonder why it took them so long in the first place.
73. My best friend is currently working in Dubai and I miss him.
74. If I could have three all-powerful and very selfish wishes, they would be:
75. To be happy all my life.
76. That by living my life well and learning to serve, I can set an example that inspires others and this spreads, rather like one candle lighting another.
77. To have a tunnel from my house to my Mum’s (in UK) which takes only 5 minutes to walk, so I could visit her when she feels lonely.
78. I have a fantastic relationship with my brother and am very grateful for that.
79. I am also very proud of him and envy him (in a good way) sometimes.
80. I hope he reads this.
81. I am a dog person and not a cat person.
82. Ellie and I would dearly love a dog, but don’t have a lifestyle that would be fair to it at the moment. One day though…
83. We would have a dog from our neighbour. She breeds soft-coated Wheaton Terriers and they are gorgeous.
84. I would buy our dog a ‘doggie rucksack’ so it could come hiking with me and carry its own food and water. (See no. 89)
85. I enjoy lightweight hiking.
86. Sweden with its fantastic nature is a great place for this.
87. I wish I got out more than I do.
88. I have got to stop being hard on myself. (See above)
89. Even though I know that the happiness is only momentary, I still have a fetish for buying new rucksacks.
90. I want to get out of the Rat Race (see no. 49)
91. I am slowly trying to work materialism out of my system and learn to enjoy life’s simpler pleasures.
92. Despite trying repeatedly to work materialism out of my system, I would still like to drive a BMW one day.
93. I am an early riser, even at weekends.
94. I enjoy the peace of the morning and the fresh taste of my coffee.
95. I only drink two cups a day, both in the morning, both before work.
96. My favourite place in the world is at the bar overlooking a water hole, outside Kekorok lodge in the Masai-Mara game reserve in Kenya, waiting for the elephant to come for their evening drink.
97. My greatest fear is not becoming what I am meant to be.
98. I believe that there is something I am meant to do with my life, and I am not doing it yet.
99. That thought stresses me sometimes.
100. I think what I am meant to do with my life, is to help people breathe easier.
101. I handed in my notice at work last year and since the beginning of this year (2005) I have been studying at university again. This will be my second degree, but the challenge is that it is all in Swedish this time. I am studying ’Socionomutbildning’ which is like a combination between social work and counselling. From there, I will work a bit and then study yet further in order to become qualified as a psychotherapist. (See 100)
102. Ellie is pregnant and we are expecting our first little baby on Octover 1st this year, I can’t wait.