It’s my birthday blog because, somehow, I’ve turned 40. Despite often being the baby of various friend and familial groups, I can no longer evade the fact that I’m an actual adult.
In an utterly narcissistic fashion, here are 40 things you might not know about me, in celebration of making it to 40.
1) My favourite film is V for Vendetta.
2) Kiwis make my throat itch.
3) Bananas make me sick.
4) I don’t have a favourite book.
5) I sometimes miss teaching and wonder if I’ve made a mistake.
6) After years of trying for a family, our only success ended in a miscarriage.
7) I have an abject fear of spiders, dentists and being sick (they’re not linked).
8) I like giving gifts more than receiving them.
9) I’ve been to the Harry Potter Studios four times and I’m not even ashamed of it.
10) I can touch type (badly).
11) I hate that Twitter doesn’t have an edit button.
12) I feel compelled to find solutions to problems.
13) I tackle work in one go rather than breaking it up (even if it’s carrying all of the shopping to the house in a single, Herculean effort).
14) I’m stubborn.
15) But I’m also loyal and trustworthy.
16) My first pet was a rabbit and I called him Mark.
17) I cannot stand mouth noises.
18) I should be chaperoned in book and stationery shops.
19) I hate public transport because it’s stressful as a plus-sized person who is made to feel unwelcome.
20) I vote in all elections where I’m eligible to do so.
21) I didn’t think I was clever enough to do an MA, let alone a PhD (and the jury is still out on the latter).
22) I don’t wear heels because I can (and do) fall over in flat shoes.
23) I love driving.
24) My favourite possession is my Waterman fountain pen (but I wouldn’t say no to a Mont Blanc).
25) As a child, I was terrified by Alice in Wonderland and The Labyrinth – and they seemed to be televised every Bank Holiday.
26) I met my wife in October 2000, in a nightclub, when I was just 19.
27) I’ve been with Helen for longer than I’ve been without her.
28) I love board games.
29) As a child, I hated that my birthday fell in half term; as a teacher, I was delighted by this!
30) I submitted my undergraduate dissertation on a floppy disk and as a spiralbound hardcopy.
31) I still have the hardcopy but I can’t bear to look at it because there’s a typo on page 1.
32) I have a very keen sense of smell.
33) I drink too much coffee.
34) In another life, I’d have loved to be a detective (which is strange, given that Helen would like to be a mastermind criminal).
35) Turns out, I’m quite obsessed with Lego.
36) I have to sleep with the window open (which means Helen sleeps in a beanie hat, onesie, socks and jumper for six months of the year).
37) I have no idea when the bins are collected or which one has to be put out each week.
38) When painting, I can cut-in freehand with no masking tape.
39) I only learned how to do short division as an adult.
40) I spent a lot of Lockdown 1 playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch. Far too much of it. Like, most of it.