The Monster Meme Omnibus

I have a confession to make.  Lots of lovely bloggers have been tagging me for awards and memes since Christmas.  And I've just let them pile up.  It's not that I don't really appreciate them.  I do!  Its just that other stories keep popping into my head and I can't help it.  I have to get them out there.  But guilt has finally caught up with me, so today I am going to fly through all seven in one go....

One of most authoritative and intelligent writers on special needs is Deb over at Aspie in the Family and she tagged me for the On My Birthday meme from Kate over at The Five Fs blog 
On my birthday
Very appropriate as I'm turning 50 this year, so birthdays are on my mind!  

When is your birthday? June 20th.
Pick three people who share your birthday and share what you know about them.  Not many exciting people were born on 20th June.  There was  Jacques Offenbach, German-born French composer (d. 1880), who I studied in school.  1916 – Johnny Morris, British children's TV presenter (d. 1999) and I remember him with affection from when we finally got TV in the house. 1960 – John Taylor, from Duran Duran. One of the bands that reminds me of when I was young!
Is anyone listed as being born on the same day as you (ie the same year).  If so, what do you know about them?  Evan Wynn (June 20, 1962) is a Wisconsin politician and legislator, do you really want to know any more?
List three people who died on your birthday and tell us what you know about them?  'Jackass' Star Ryan Dunn, died in an awful Car Crash in 2011 at the age of 34.  I hated his stupid stunt programme, but was horrified by his death.  He seems to be the only well-known person to have died on my birthday.
List three notable events that took place on your birthday.  Alexander Graham Bell installed the world's first commercial telephone service in Canada in 1877.  A story I didn't know - in 1942 Kazimierz Piechowski and three others, dressed as members of the SS, stole an SS staff car and escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp. In 1990  Asteroid Eureka is discovered.  This is something that may interest my son.

Tell us about a holiday that falls on your birthday.  World Refugee Day
Even the madly busy Jazzygal, who has just finished her work on an amazing-looking production of the musical Footloose, found time to tag me for the Liebster Award.  Thanks so much Jazzy!

As usual I have to answer a few questions...

Favourite Colour? Blue of course :)

Favourite Animal? I have no idea, I don't think about animals very much.

Favourite Number? Oh I'd think I'd have to say 50, as things can only get better right?

Favourite Drink? As Jazzygal said: 'You mean there are people out there who don't know my favourite drink?'  Coffee of course, followed closely by wine ...

Facebook or Twitter? No way could I choose, they are completely different.   

My Passion? Something I have to rediscover after years of firefighting, just trying to get through each day.  Maybe this will be the year when I finally get time to look at my life and what I want to do - just in time for my second half century!

Giving or Getting Presents?  I like giving presents if I really believe that I have found something special, but that can be difficult.  For me the best presents are the unexpected ones, they always brighten up your day.

Favourite Day?  The last day of term, when I get to switch off the alarm clock.  Of course the children often wake me up at 6am or earlier anyway, but at least there's the chance of a lie-in.

Favourite Flower? Red roses.  I love everything about them: the drama, the romance, the danger, the film...

I was also tagged by Bottle-in-front-of-me over at Random Pearls of Wisdom for the February Sunshine Award.  But since I'm a month late and the questions are almost identical to the Liebster Award, I hope he'll forgive me if I pass on this one...

Next up: 11 questions, well 22 actually as I was tagged for this meme by both Heather at SAHMlovingit, whose new baby boy is absolutely gorgeous, and Lucy at Being of Sound Mind.  I always enjoy her quirky take on life, charity shops and music.

Heather  first...
  1. What's the worst present you've ever been given? A set of three towels for my 21st.  And they had flowers on them, really not me at all.
  2. If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world where would it be and why?  Paris, because I've never been there.
  3. What's your most embarrassing moment?  Too many to mention.
  4. If you won £45m on the Euro Lottery (like that young couple did the other week), what would you do with the money?  Not so long ago I would have said a round the world trip, or making a film or even rescuing a factory.  Now I'd have to do something a little closer to home.  I don't know what is going to happen to Smiley when she turns 18.  She won't ever work, and she can't entertain herself, so I think she needs a school for life and that's what I'd like to set up for her and children like her.  And a special secondary school for kids with Asperger's syndrome as too many of them drop out of school because they can't cope.
  5. If you weren't with your partner/boyfriend/husband/significant other (or, if you aren't with anyone right now - bonus!) and you could have one date night with someone else, who would it be and what would you do?  Very hard to choose just one.  For first dates I prefer day time? There's less pressure.  Actually I'd like someone who would just accompany me on a typical weekend day.  Someone who would really help with the children, fix stuff that breaks (this seems to happen every day) be interesting and entertaining and be able to cook.  Does this mythical person exist?  I'm not sure...
  6. Football or rugby? Rugby.  I'm from Wales, remember!
  7. If there was a film made about your life, which actor/actress would play you?  Oh having just seen The Hunger Games, I'd have to say Jennifer Lawrence, who I loved in Winter's Bone too. 
  8. Do you prefer a wild night out or a quiet night in?  This is very embarrassing as I am definitely old enough to know better but as I'm now a stay at home mum and carer, I yearn for wild nights out.... and very occasionally get to enjoy one.
  9. Is there one television programme that you couldn't live without in your life?  No.  Well so long as you don't get rid of my internet connection too.  In fact if my ex-husband hadn't been so into his telly I would have thrown it out as soon as I saw Angel getting interested.   
  10. If you could turn back time, what would you do differently?  Go to my best friend's wedding (I was sick), learn to ski, change the way I handled the most difficult situation of my life in 2006...
  11. What's your guilty pleasure?  A firelog burning away merrily in the grate, my laptop, my rocking chair, the telly on low, and a glass of wine.  Something to look forward to all day once the little ones are in bed.
And here's another 11 questions from the lovely Lucy...

1) If there was such a thing as reincarnation, what would you come back as?  A man.

2) What is your favourite sandwich filling?  Real prawns and mayo.

3) What's the most pain you've ever felt?  The day my baby nearly died.

4) What advice would you give your teenage self?  Cream cakes and cigarettes will not improve your life.

5)  How many friends have you got?  Lots. I couldn't count them as I'm not sure how you decide who is a friend and who is someone you like, but perhaps they don't consider you to be a friend.

6) What is the last lie you told?  I don't really tell lies.  When I was about 14 I lied outright to my parents when they asked had I been smoking in my bedroom.  That's the only real one I remember.

7) What is the worst film you ever watched (so I know to avoid).  Closer.  Horrible people being horrible to each other.

8) Do you think George Clooney is overrated?  Not so far..

9) What trait do you most deplore in yourself?  My inability to grit my teeth and just get on with the housework.

10) Do you get the giggles? If so, what type of thing induces them?  Smiley giggling :)

11) What in your life has been the biggest waste of money?  The car I bought for work three months before I was let go.

Christina who blogs over at Beadzoid is a passionate campaigner for premature babies and she tagged me in the Thankful Thursdameme.  I'm a big fan of remembering all the good stuff when things are difficult so I just had to do this one!  I promise to keep it short..
  1. My health: Yes I keep having worrying symptoms, but so far everything has been good.  
  2. My kids: They give meaning to my life.
  3. My family: Always there for me.
  4. My friends: Ditto.  And my real friends 'get' special needs.
  5. Spring: Once I see the first snowdrop, I just know that life is going to get better.  And warmer.
  6. My home: It's perfect, even though stuff is always breaking!
  7. Blogger: I've always been paid for writing, it was part of my job.  Thanks to my blog I now know that I am compelled to write. It's part of who I am.
  8. Coffee, chocolate and all the other treats that make my life worthwhile!
  9. The Irish weather:  No really!  It suits me as I no longer likes the heat and can't cope with very cold weather either (Raynaud's)
  10. Being born in the 1960s:  I've benefited from all the social and scientific advances of the 20th century but missed out on the worst effects of the current recession. 
Finally, Marsupial Mama asked me to join in with the worldwide IEP Meme that was established so that parents of kids with special needs could share information about this process.  What process? While I am generally happy with the special education provided by the schools attended by my two kids with special needs, the IEP is not given much importance or time.   They were only introduced in most schools in Ireland following legislation in 2004, and are not mandatory.  I find them useful, but as a structured parent-teacher meeting, rather than the comprehensive goal-setting and evaluation process that the IEP seems to be elsewhere.

Rather than follow the rules of each meme, I'm going to tag some of my favourite bloggers and ask them to pick a meme of their choice to do...

Congratulations!  You've finally reached the end of this post....


  1. My birthday is 20th June too:-)
    Thanks for picking me! Haven't done one of these for ages

  2. Loved reading that and thanks for the mention. I loved Duran Duran as well; reminds me of my schooldays. Deb x

  3. I enjoyed getting to know you more & you are an excellent writer. You are very popular - not surprisingly. It probably was a good thing that I did not tag you for a recent meme!

    I struggle w/ how much to post about myself since my blog is neither anonymous nor about me.

  4. @Suburbia - I'd forgotten that we had the same birthday :)

    @Deb -Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the tag x

    @Barbara - I understand, but I'm sure that many of your readers - including me - would love to know more about you.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post. So great to get to know you a bit more! We actually have quite a bit in common! Smoking, Wales, Raynaud's, coffee, Roses (although I love any colour), rugby, occasional wild night out (in my dreams!)........

  6. I dored finding all this out about you
    I need to do the same thing on the lovely memes

  7. Well done you! What a mammoth post. I'm so nosey, I simply love these memes. You are not alone with the housework thing, but give yourself a break woman! Your priorities are spot-on.
    Have a great weekend.

    Lucy x

  8. @Di - I think you need to book those plane tickets to Dublin :)

    @Floortime Lite Mama - Yes you should, I'd love to know more about you :)

    @LUCEWOMAN - I'm nosey too, I love finding out about people, thanks so much for tagging me with some really entertaining questions x

  9. I came back especially to see if you had commented on my comment!! Ha ha Would love a trip to Dublin... one day!!
    Dark rum, Vodka and lots of dancing!! :D

  10. An impressive Monster Meme! Loved it...and the fact that you'd prefer to come back as a man!! I get that...I SO get that!

    Now you've put me to shame to get on and catch up on my memes!! If I can find them...

    Thanks for the mention and link :-)

    Oh...and now I see where the wild night out in Dublin is coming from. I SO get that too!!

    xx Jazzy

  11. An impressive Monster Meme! Loved it...and the fact that you'd prefer to come back as a man!! I get that...I SO get that!

    Now you've put me to shame to get on and catch up on my memes!! If I can find them...

    Thanks for the mention and link :-)

    Oh...and now I see where the wild night out in Dublin is coming from. I SO get that too!!

    xx Jazzy

  12. Wow that was a mammoth read but really enjoyed it - I'm sat here nursing :)

    Was The Hunger Games any good? I've read the books and loved them so I'm scared of seeing the film for fear of it being another Captain Correlli's Mandolin.

    I've never been to Dublin so perhaps a wild night out is in order!


  13. @Di - I'm holding you to that : and you certainly deserve it!

    @Jazzygal - Of course there's my birthday coming up.... xx

    @SAHMlovingit - I saw the film first with my daughter and really loved it, it's a million times better than Twilight and better in ways than some of the Harry Potter films - the lead actors really can act. Oh and you'll have to visit Dublin one day too :) xxx

  14. Very good work! I'm afraid I've been a bad tag-ee and also have a few to catch up on when I return.

    I enjoyed reading yours :) x

  15. Wow, I loved it!! You definitely win the world record for the biggest meme post!! **lol** Was a really good read, thank you!

  16. @Beadzoid - Oh I look forward to reading yours :) x

    @Marsupial Mama - you think so? I wonder if the Guinness Book of Records could find space :)

  17. Gosh, I'm so glad it's not just me, I have a couple to catch up on as well! I'm little miss nosey too, so I do love a good meme - hadn't realised you were a Welsh lass! My Grandma still lives in the valleys :)

  18. @Steph - Oh I hope you do, I love finding out more about bloggers :) And I didn't know that you had a Welsh connection!