There are two of us at The Chiswick Gift Co. There's Sam, who very much prefers to stay out of the way getting on with things quietly and, there's me: The loud one who's always writing the emails and the blogs.
To celebrate the launch of our Thought Factory range of mini-pins - I thought I should attempt to explain myself a bit more.
- I was brought up in Chiswick. Yeah! I know! You don't see many of us original Chiswickians around. Here's me, in Goodbands, the Department Store on the High Road visiting Father Christmas in a really gorgeous plastic jacket that I LOVED.
- I have misophonia - a word I only discovered recently. If my husband eats near me when I’m not being distracted by my own chewing I want to kill him. Sometimes even the sound of my own chewing can irritate me. Similarly, strong smells and even bright lights can set me off. The Catherine Tate character who over-reacts to any sound is a little too close for comfort. My poor family 🙈
- I listen to music all day and can ‘kill’ a song by playing it on repeat for days on end. For this reason I’m freakishly good at ‘naming the year’ if you play me a song as I can usually visualise who was where and what was happening when I played it over and over. For the same reason, there are some songs that will have me in sobs within the first few notes.
- A tidy drawer is a thing of beauty. Labelled is even better. I used to declutter for a living and was screen-tested by TalkBackTV to do my own show... I didn't get it.
- I have the most useless ‘secret skill’ known to man. I can write in mirror writing as quickly as I write normally. Cursive.
- In the lesson about colours in primary school I said that my favourite colour was turquoise because it sounded more impressive than red, blue or green. I can still remember the teacher writing the word out for me to copy and having second thoughts about the whole thing. It turned into a lifelong love of turquoise and I sometimes wonder if I caused the obsession because I was a precocious child or if its genuine love.
- I have anxiety and panic attacks that have shaped my life, for good and ill.
- Reading is my thing. I read books and then keep them. So I have a lot of books that I put into alphabetical order by author. I now have so many non-fiction books I’m thinking of using the proper library system to ensure they’re all correctly placed on the shelves (my mate Debbie has promised to help me). I can’t take seriously the people who colour organise their books.
My favourite writer is Steinbeck. I’m going to sound like an absolute wanker right now, but he soothes my soul. He stops my brain chattering. If you think he’s just for school children, go and find his letter to his son about love. It's very sweet. If you feel his writing can be a bit dense at the beginning, you should know that he can do quite a bit of landscape describing to paint a scene - so just race through that bit and get to the people. He does people like no other. My suggestion would be to start with Cannery Row.
- I gave birth to three babies in 12 months. Simultaneously the most stupid and brilliant thing I’ve ever done.
- My husband and I have been together since I was 15 (he was 16). I will often tell one of the identical twins that their dad isn’t their real dad. The only person who thinks this is funny is me.
- I can’t decide what I want to eat. Ever. It has led to eating the same lunch every day for years on end.
- I identify as a stoic (if I were to identify with any philosophy - again, not massively into labels). So I guess I work on the basis that it's ok to just get on with life as best I can. And it really can be as simple as that!
- The first gig I ever went to was U2 at Wembley Arena. My last gig was Elbow at The Hammersmith Apollo when they (randomly) played one of my all time favourite songs from their back catalogue. Now that I’ve heard it live, I have decided that I need never go to another gig as I find them very crowded and too loud. It was "Newborn".
- I can’t stand waistbands. I hate having anything touching my stomach so have to roll down trousers/skirts to my hips.
- I am married to a perfectionist. It’s doubtful he will start on any hobby or project unless he can do it to perfection (and purchase everything available to fully engage with the end results).
I, on the other hand, am a doer. He has said, and I quote…
“I wish I could be more like you and just say ‘that’ll do’”. A backhanded compliment if ever I’ve heard one.
- I am diagnosed Bi-Polar but I’m not massively into labels so I’m just me.
- As a treat at the weekend, my husband and I will sometimes walk to the big Sainsburys at the opposite end of the high street to stock up on chocolate bar multi-packs. I’m currently addicted to Yorkies, he to Wispas. We're all class.
- I recently spent about 4 years studying The Rise of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. I have every book I could find on the subject and around it, just to try and understand how it all happened. I read many survivors' first hand accounts only to discover that a friend's mum was one of them. Blew my tiny mind!
- I work all the time. I don’t have an off switch from work. I work hard, I’ve taken risks and it can be exhausting and very stressful but the success is about 95% luck. I love my job a lot of the time.
- I use the C word freely in my life. I used to loathe its use at any time but have found it a useful addition to my lexicon. I have never said it in front of my mother in law. And never will.
- For a decidedly unadventurous individual, I have lived through some pretty tough times. I have chips on my shoulders and some stones in my heart (a Polish saying a dear friend once told me). But I'm very glad to be here 😁
I could go on and on and on... I'll stop now.
We are selling all of the pins as a set for £36 as we figure you'll know at least 2 people who need them in their lives.
They are a limited edition so when they're gone they're gone! I hope you like them (and my blog... I doubt anyone has got this far 😁).