Monday, 23 May 2011

C is for... Christine

C is for Christine.

Christine being me.

Yep, I am dedicating a whole post to myself. 

As I said, my name is Christine.  My surname is Dutch, which not many people seem to pronounce correctly.  Quite a few people seem to suffer from what I like to call Foreign Name Syndrome.  This is when a person reads a name that is obviously 'not from around here' and try to pronounce it in a 'foreign' way.  In my case, you pronounce my name as you see it.  Van.  Den. Bout - not b-oot, but b-out.  I wasn't born with this name; I was born with a good English name and we were the only kids in the whole of our district with this surname (going by phone book records here), and it wasn't hard to pronounce - Hale.  I was called numerous names related to Hale, the most recent being Hale-bop.  Every day I thank my lucky stars I wasn't born with a weird first name - my husband has an odd name, and even in Holland it's a bit of a weird one.  It is always mispronounced, without fail, even by people he knows, though I always knew how to say it.  It's like we were meant to be together.

This is me as a baby.  My mum still has that big pram blanket I'm laying on, but thankfully the sofa was retired many many years ago.  Apparently I was a perfect baby, which is probably why my parents risked having a second one 15 months after having me.  She turned out to be a very not perfect baby, and turned into a major pain in the arse little sister before long.  The Gremlin has a touch of my sister about her; creates hell, demands attention and looks pretty evil when she smiles.  She also has a mean stare.  Must be second child syndrome at work.

If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the cackle coming out of the witches mouth.  I love my sister, but she was a witch.  She even has a witches nose.

This is me on my first day of high school, surrounded by family.  That is my aunt in the picture.  I just realised we don't have more than a couple of photos with me, my brother, sister and my parents in it.  

I am originally from Stenhousemuir.  That's near Falkirk.  About 10 miles from Stirling.  About halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  Right in the middle of Scotland.  It was and always will be home to me.  Home is where the heart is, and my heart is there.  Well, half of it.  Obviously my heart is also here since this is where my husband and our children are.  I want to move back one day.  Not sure when, but one day.  Things have gotten easier in the past 6-9 months being down here, and it's not painful to come back down after every trip north.  I used to get homesick before we'd even left Scotland!  I used to spend weeks following a trip north in a funk.  Now I spend a few days a bit unhappy and distracted, but it passes pretty quickly.

Yes, it's nice here.  Yes, there are worse places to live.  Yes, we are lucky we have a house, and Jitterbug has a job.  But, it isn't home, and no amount of trying to convince me of the positives to living 500 miles away from family will bring me round to the idea of this being home.

Jitterbug and I at a Ceilidh in Glasgow, pre-Oliver.  He looks so young/untired/unstressed!  We had a lot of fun pre-Oliver.  He'd visit me in Hyndland every few weeks, we'd undoubtedly go out, get drunk (until I stopped drinking due to a mental breakdown one night which involved me hiding in a cupboard in my flat convinced all my friends hated me), be hungover, and go shopping.  Such a simple life!

I loved music, once upon a time.  It was how me and Jitterbug knew each other.  It was why I was such good friends with my flatmate even before he was my flatmate.  I still love music, but it no longer has the meaning it once held.  I enjoy music now, I don't obsess over it.  I like all sorts of music.  Generally not pop, but older pop is amazing.  I thoroughly enjoy 60s and 70s music, and most of my favourite all time bands came out in the 60s or 70s or were influenced by such band.  Favourite all time band?  Pearl Jam.  Doubt they were influenced very much by The Band, but you never know ;)  Favourite all-time DVD, including movies? The Last Waltz.  One night of such amazing music in a time when whole rooms were dedicated to drugs.  Once upon a time you could see the rocks of coke on Neil Youngs nose - those have of course been edited out now.

I love reading.  I read every day, generally getting through 2 medium books a week, some times way more.  I adore my Kindle.  I still read proper books, but the Kindle is invaluable at night, for reading in bed with the lit cover.  Rose wakes up if we turn lamps on.

I have a degree in computing.  Internet Software Development to be exact.  I loved computers at one point many years ago.  I know my way around the insides of a computer like I know the back of my hand.  I have never bought a pre-built computer, and used to get a kick out of researching the parts, buying them, building them and then setting it all up.  Geek?  Moi?  Almost certainly!  The last job I had was in network support.  I could troubleshoot a network problem like nobodys business.  I was good at it, and enjoyed it.  I doubt I'll ever get into computing as a career again, but I'm not sad about it.  When you are into computers, people expect you to fix their problems!  I've been out long enough for people to think twice :D

For more C posts, head on over to The Accidental Knitters blog!

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