Lightening posted an interview style meme and of course, I went “me me me!” For this meme, you put your hand up to be interviewed and that blogger sends you 5 questions to be answered on your blog. I have known Lightening from various Yahoo groups (and her blog more recently) for several years now so she knew just what to ask!
Here are my replies to her questions:
1. You’ve travelled and lived in many different places around the world. What is the best place you’ve ever lived or visited?
mmm not easy to choose! I have only lived in Johannesburg and Sydney, and Sydney might have prohibitively expensive real estate and horrible traffic/public transport and Mark Driscoll called it the most selfish city he had visited but we love it for so many reasons. We chose to emigrate to Australia and live in Sydney (we arrived 22 years ago), and we have never regretted that decision. People often ask “Why did you choose Sydney?” and my answer is always “Where else in the world would you choose?”
Of the places I have visited, there are many I love and would love to visit again, but none I would choose to live in.
Venice is special, as is Paris (I have been to both of those twice and would go again if I could) but I would hate to live in either.
We loved Mauritius and have had 2 holidays there (the above photo is of MissN in 2005 and the Coin de Mire island) , and would love to visit again – and to go to the island of Rodrigues. You don’t get much more off the tourist track than Rodrigues! Friends recently moved to Mauritius. I will have to ask them what it’s like living there, as opposed to holidaying.
Africa will always be in my blood and I still shed tears when I hear Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika. Afrika, kearata!
The best place IS Sydney – it’s where my family is!
2. If you could offer one piece of advice to a brand new mother, what would it be?
Trust your instincts! They are God-given.
MissN had silent reflux and was a very unsettled baby. I attended Tresillian (a community family care centre) when she was about 2 months old to try and get some kind of sleeping routine (or just daytime sleeping!) happening. They practised controlled crying. Now, I did learn a lot from them (although I was an older mum, I had had no exposure to babies and was pretty clueless generally) but my instincts told me that controlled crying was NOT the way to go with an 8 week old baby with quite moderate reflux. I went for a follow up a few weeks later, and they wanted me to do a week’s residential (as she still wasn’t sleeping well) and I declined.
About a month later, I was checking out day care centres (planning well in advance) and I got chatting to the owner of one. She didn’t have any places but we were discussing MissN’s sleeping difficulties and her son had reflux too. She said to me “I can’t advise you to do this as it’s against the SIDS recommendations, but I will tell you that I started putting my son in his cot on his tummy for his day naps and he is now sleeping! You have a strong healthy baby who can lift her head..”
Well, I followed my instincts, took her advice – and guess what? MissN started sleeping for longer than 20 minutes at a time!
I had another friend who urged me to get out of the house more when MissN was tiny. She told me to express breastmilk so I could have a few hours away from my baby (MissN fed 3 hourly till she was 7 months old!) and this friend even gave me her breast pump. I was to get someone to mind the baby (I didn’t have anyone anyway!) and take some sanity breaks. Well, that didn’t work too well… MissN wouldn’t drink breastmilk from a bottle and was very unsettled the couple of times I did leave her. I wish I had had more confidence in just going with the whole attachment parenting thing. I did work it out later, and now I tend to err or being too loving rather than too firm, but that’s what my instinct tells me to do. And I am blessed with a very close relationship with my daughter (maybe it was all those hours for months on end that I held her upright so her throat wouldn’t burn when we established the close bond…)
3. You obviously have a love for a wide range of tastes when it comes to food. Is there a particular dish or cultural style that you’d consider your favourite?
If I had to choose one cuisine to live off, it would be Italian. But of course, Italian has so many different regional cuisines that there is a great diversity. C recently got fed up with my cook bookcase kindly rearranged my cookbooks by cuisine (I had it “organised by size” mainly) and I found I have more Italian cookbooks than any other cuisine. I love Thai food and it agrees with my dietary needs (no wheat or dairy and very little meat) but I don’t cook it often. I should! I felt wonderful when we were in Thailand – rice, rice noodles, lots of seafood and vegetables and tropical fruit!
My cooking style is best described as cucina povera. Rustic peasant cooking with lots of garlic, chili, vegetables. Ethnicity not important. Indian, Mediterranean, east Asian… ingredients close to how God created them (as unprocessed as possible) and robust flavour paramount!
4. If earth were to be evacuated to Mars and you could only take 5 things with you (not counting people), what would you take?
My multifocals. I can’t do much without them anymore! My family tell me I need a hearing aid too, to which my reply is “What?”
An unending supply of lip balm. I’m addicted to lip balm! My latest favourite is Perfect Potion rose petal lip balm. I also love Burt’s Bees. Or maybe Organic Fiji pineapple and coconut body lotion instead. It’s a multipurpose product (you can use it on body, face and fair), it’s healthy (no nasties to be absorbed through your skin) and the smell evokes the memory of our 25th wedding anniversary here. (I try to use only products that are organic and have no parabens, propylene glycol or laureth sulphates in them. If it’s not safe to eat, it’s not safe to go on your skin!)
A Bible. Not sure which one. Probably an ESV Study Bible (which I don’t yet have!)
The complete works of Shakespeare. MissN has a one I will take! That takes care of my reading!
A computer. It would be my source of music, infinite information, connection to the world back here and a way to blog!
5. What is your favourite bible verse?
I’m going to post 2.
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
and John 6:68
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
Nicky Chiswell’s song Where else have we to go? celebrates this verse beautifully.
If you’d like to participate, leave a comment saying so and I’ll send you 5 questions for you to blog the answers to. Then offer to interview any of YOUR readers…