Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Book of Me Written by You: Prompt 3

Today is week three of what is going to be a 15 month project. The Book of Me, Written by You is a real opportunity to explore your memories, thoughts, information from your life, things that you can remember, and perhaps the passing on of oral history.  Thanks to Julie Groucher at Angler's Rest for this meme.

Describe your physical self.

Your size – clothes size
Eye colour
Draw your hands
Finger Prints

Ooh this is a tough one.  Being middle-aged and obese and probably terribly vain, one does not like heading into this territory at all.  But them's the breaks and may it be a lesson to the young ones - not to sit in front of a computer all day doing genealogy ;)  

What do you see in the mirror asks Julie?

Well, I see and a messy bedroom....

I've been told I look Irish.  Many people think they have met me before but they haven't.  I'm afraid I look very ordinary.


5 ft 4 and 3/4 inches or 165cm.  

It seems to me that I have always struggled with my weight.  Although I remember my mother saying it was difficult to get me to eat anything when I was a toddler.  I remember being fine weight wise until I went to the UK when I was ten.  There was a particularly devastating shop in Edinburgh that sold the most fantastic chocolate eclairs.  I think I ate one every day that we were there (maybe a fortnight) and that was the beginning of the end.  People kindly told me it was puppy fat but I was never convinced.  My other friends never seemed to have to deal with it.

Alex 1971 trip to UK in Manchester

I've never been one for sport so that probably didn't help either.  

When we moved from Canberra to Sydney I made a huge effort to lose weight so that I might make friends at my new school.  I probably got down to a size 8 or 10 which was wonderful. Living in a four-storey house helped too!

Judith, Sue and Alex in Blue Mountains c. 1978
 I managed to stay that way until my early twenties and then I stacked it back on.  A concerted effort with Weight Watchers helped in my late twenties but it's been down hill ever since. I'm anywhere between a size 16 and a size 18 now.  Sigh.   

I avoid having photos taken and flinch every time I see one.  Here is one of me and my incredibly beautiful daughter Isabel on the afternoon of her school formal.  Boy we had fun getting that dress made.  Bel is at least blessed with a neck (from her father's side of the family).  I would appear to have no neck - well maybe a bit.

Alex and beautiful Bel for Bel's formal c 2008


Scars maketh the man.  And woman I dare say.

So, starting from my toes.  If you pinch the top of my left toe you will see a scar to the right of the big toenail where the TV fell on my foot while I was watching Z Cars at the age of 4 when we were living in Melbourne.

There's a little dint in my left knee from when I was practicing dancing in the bathroom at 3 Nungara St Aranda and caught it on the edge of the bath.  Ouch.

I have a little white scar on the inside of my left arm from a smashed cup or saucer catching it on the way into the bin at Miss Brown's Tea and Coffee House when I worked there as a waitress.  It started at the wrist and has worked its way up my arm a couple of inches !

Kitchen at Miss Brown's Tea and Coffee House in Centrepoint from Coffee with Roses miss brown's story by Bud Brown p. 125 - I worked with Lucy but didn't know Ruth.

I've got scars in places you don't want to know from two Caesars and an appendectomy.

Last but not least - underneath my right eye I think was a doozy of a scratch from our dear cat Yum Yum.  We were on holidays at the Blue Mountains with the three cats and some friends from school.  We were trying to convince the cats to stay near the holiday house by putting butter on their paws.  Yum Yum sat in the half pound of butter and then, struggling out of my arms, used my face as a springboard to run away.  That was the first time we had heard of butterfly bandaging or whatever it's called and it worked a treat.  You can't see the scar now - well I don't think you can but then I'm blind as a bat.

Yum Yum

L to R Anna, Bronwyn, Thea, Alex and Kris with Barbara sitting in front c. 1976 at Trecwyn Blue Mountains

 Eye colour


I need to wear glasses now for reading anything.  I'm hopeless if I go to work and forget them.  Can't thread a needle to save my life.  It's tedious.  Thank goodness for the Navman particularly at night.  Can't see horrible bushy eyebrows or moustache or hairs on chinny chin chin so am very grateful to lovely hairdressers who look after me in that regard.  I have a very pointy nose by the by.


I wash it every day or I'd go mad.  It's quite oily.  Yes I colour it - every eight weeks or so.  But it's pretty close to my natural colour which is dark brown with reddish highlights when I'm standing in the sun.  I am going grey mostly in the temple area.  Caspar helpfully pulls out the ones on top when he's looking down on his short-arsed Mother.  Hairdressers get terribly excited when they cut my hair.  "Look at the curl!" they say.  But it's all at the back and only when it's wet.  The minute it dries - it falls flat - so is best cut and blow dried into a bob.  Boring but safe.

Used to think they were my best feature but now I'm getting old.  My doctor cheerfully told me recently that I was getting senile warts.  Great!  
Here they are in all their glory .... I think I've got my mother's hands.

My left hand has my wedding ring and engagement ring and the ring that my second cousin Joy Jeffery (nee Wingfield) gave me.  It was an anniversary present from her husband in 1944.  

My right hand sports my mother's engagement ring. A black opal.

It's impossible to keep my nails long in my current job working with books all day.  They get broken all the time.

You can see the age spots.  Sigh.

Speaking of skin...I'm caucasian and a marked woman for skin cancer down the track me thinks.  Pale with hundreds of freckles and lots of moles.  Allergic to metals - getting my ears pierced was NOT a good idea.  I still can't wear earrings - even clip-ons - they just annoy me too much.  Can only wear 18 carat gold - oh dear...everything else irritates. I had asthma in my youth - it's all connected apparently.

Sorry Julie, too lazy to do fingerprints.

Feet and Shoes - and legs if you must.

My husband pronounces my feet very dainty which is very kind of him.  My little toes tend to tuck under my other toes and are shy.  Other toes are a bit more bold and have been broken several times when making the bed.  We got rid of the bed thank goodness.  I can't believe how painful breaking a toe is!  I tend to wear shoes all the time now for fear of doing it again.  

Shoe size used to be size 7, then 7 & 1/ it's size 8.  You cannot say anything nice about my legs except they are straight - just like telegraph poles.  


My husband says he married me for my teeth which makes me feel a bit like a horse.  Having said that, I grew up in Canberra with flouridated water - hoorah!  Didn't get my first filling (and just about my only one) til I was in my late twenties.  

 I tend to be as healthy as the proverbial ox.  And built like one too.

What about you?  Which bits do you like about you?


Jill Ball said...

Definitely not ordinary, Alex, but unique.

Those eyes look blue to me - I'd love to know what your were thinking in that last closeup.

Kristin said...

Great describing. I really like the way you showed photos of different parts. Too bad I didn't get this assignment 30 years ago :)

my Heritage Happens said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your post, thanks for sharing! I still need to work on mine.

Alex Daw said...

Hi Jill - Thank you for your kind words. I think I was thinking "Will this work?" - as bloggers was taken for another blogging meme a while ago and I remember the response was "You can smile you know!"

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Kristin. I agree. Mind you, when I was young I was never happy with my physical appearance either. Crazy huh?

Alex Daw said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your encouragement.

Kat Mortensen said...

I had to laugh at some of the things you said, but then your self-deprecating humour is very like my own. I can't see the warts, by the way.
Really enjoyed this.