Sunday, 24 February 2013

Stace's Eleven

A couple of weeks ago Lynn over at YATGB did a post with 11 facts and 11 questions.  She then passed this onto 11 other people with 11 new questions.

I always love this type of this thing, and so was quite happy when I saw my name at the end.  There are a few ground rules (aren’t there always!)

·         Create a new blog post similar to this one.
·         Start off by writing 11 random facts about yourself, and then answer 11 questions which were left for you by your nominator.  
·         Then you can nominate up to 11 blogs and leave 11 questions for them to answer in return.  

First things first, the link back!  Here you go Lynn!

Right on with the show!

11 Random Facts about Me
1.     I love cars! Throughout my childhood my dad restored classic cars for friends.  One of the ones he did was a green Triumph Spitfire 1500. I was smitten and have one myself now (which is being restored by my dad J)
2.     I have almost zero self-confidence.  It is a fear of mine that one morning my boss is going to suddenly see that I am useless and fire me on the spot. That goes for most things in my life…
3.     I love shoes, but as a nuance only shoes that I love.  I am not into weird and wonderful and I am not into fashion per se, more simple and stylish! But, I have less shoes as Stacy than before I transitioned.  Working on it though!
4.     I prefer quality to cost when possible.  That does not mean I buy the most expensive I can afford, it means I buy the best quality I can afford.  If something costing 50 euros is better than the same item costing 100 (but is less cool) then I do not see the point in spending the extra.  Then again, if the 100 item is better I have no problem with spending the money if it’s in my budget. That is how I got my last bike helmet and the speakers in the living room.  There was budget left for both, but the extra would have given nothing extra (in fact it would have given me less!) I hope that makes me neither a cheapskate nor someone who burns money but someone who is pragmatic…
5.     I struggle to come up with 11 random facts about myself J
6.     I cannot stand watching football – even the major internationals hold no interest too me.  But I love watching the Six Nations and Rugby world cup, even if I watch no other games throughout the year! Every Super Saturday I go with a friend to her local Irish bar to watch all three matches (being scared of publicly supporting England with so much animosity being displayed generally! J)
7.     I’m a speed freak!  I have a SuperSports 600 motorbike with an insane amount of power for its weight and what my friends call an old man’s Volvo Estate; that can surprise people with the 240 horses that it has up front J  And yet oddly enough whist I may do the odd traffic light grand prix, I don’t generally speed – I don’t want the fines and the roads are not the place for really enjoying yourself.  I do use the car when on an autobahn though – but only when the road ahead is empty!
8.     I have a house full of stuffed toys! The Gruffalo and Mouse guard over the living room from the top of one of my speakers.  Most of them have names.
9.     I was in the ATC as a teenager, and loved it!  I even liked drill, as long as we got it right and it looked good.  I even tried to join the RAF but was turned down due to health reasons.
10.  I have too many phobias! Considering fact (9) one of them is flying on commercial jets!  Other than that poisonous animals are up there on the terror inducing scale for me. As much as I would like to visit, I don’t see a trip to Australia in my future! ;p
11.  I adore cooking! I have come up with a few recipes myself, and have adapted a few more – but I want to do far more!

The Eleven Questions

1. There's a fire in your house. You have time to save three material objects. What do you grab and why?

My phone – I have none of the numbers anywhere except for in it.  I can replace it easily enough, but probably can’t replace the information in it quite so easily.

My dress watch.  My parents got me the watch for graduating from university, the first in my extended family to do so.  It’s a gorgeous and slim line Raymond Weil and the only quality watch I have ever owned. It means the world to me, and is the only item of his that I still wear on a near daily basis.  I forgot it recently and spent the whole day missing it!

The wedding picture that sits on our piano. Whilst I could not be me on that day, and missed all the fun stuff that I would have so loved to do leading up the wedding, it was such an amazing day and I married such an amazing and wonderful woman. The favourite one on the piano is of is us looking out onto a river / canal that runs past the botanical gardens where we had all of our pictures taken.  We are laughing at a group of people in a boat yelling good luck to us.  I love that picture, and whilst I don’t really recognise myself in it we were so obviously happy and it radiates from the picture!  I even look half decent in it for one of the very few times before I transitioned.

2. You're an author. Would you be happy writing trash and be minted, or be poor and respected?
I’m guessing I am not allowed to cheat here?  I would like to take a pen name for the trash and use the money from those novels to write something that I am really proud of.

Of course if the writing of trash causes me to hate writing then I think you have to stop and find something else to do.  Just the same as I have in my career to date.  Once a job becomes too soul destroying you have to try and find something else before it consumes you and leaves you bitter.  I’ve seen that too often in others and don’t want to move away from a job I love!

3. Karaoke: yes, no? If so, which track? If not, why not?
Yes, but only Lips on the Xbox at home either by myself or with Mrs Stace!

Track?  I don’t have one specifically, but anything where you can really let go when singing and belt it out.  We did Beck – Loser recently and it was so great to do!  We couldn’t talk afterwards, but it was so much fun we didn’t care!

4. Favourite book?
I don’t know if I have one single one – we have more than 500 to choose from at the moment, and I expect it to reach 550 by the end of the year!

I like so many different types of books that I even struggle for a genre.

Either “The Andromeda Strain” or “Sphere” (so, so much better than the film was) or one of the Discworld books “Nightwatch” or “The Hogsfather”

Or if I am in the mood for something light then “Bridget Jones” or one of the earlier “Shopaholic” books.

If I’m in a gruesome mood then something from Kathy Reichs – “Deja Dead” or “Monday Mourning”

Or, in a nostalgic mood Judy Bloom or Roald Dahl.

Really, don’t make me pick! J

5. What's your earliest memory?

Too painful to mention here, sorry.

The ones that I can mention are still painful, but physically!  I was always injuring myself as a child.  Falling over whilst playing and trying to knock my front teeth out (both milk and adult!), falling off of bikes or skateboards.  At one point I must have been well known at A&E as I was going there 5 or 6 times a year!

6. You invent a new technology that would help people. Would you patent it, licence it or give it away to be used freely?

I would patent it to make sure that no one else can patent it and abuse it.  After that it would depend on whether or not I had other income. If I need the income to live then I would license it per territory, hopefully so that I could survive, but still help those who have the most difficulty getting the help they need.

If I don’t need the income then I would license it either very cheaply or free of charge

7. Cooking: do you have a signature dish? I'll include snacks, cakes and/or biccies in this.
I have a few…

Lasagne Bolognaise – I love making this, I love eating this!  Fresh pasta sheets, layering freshly made sauce:
Onion, garlic and mushrooms softened before adding minced beef salt, pepper and Italian herbs.
Once cooked through pour in some sieved tomatoes and simmer to reduce to a thick sauce.
The béchamel is just butter, flour, milk and some cheese for flavourings.

It takes a long time to make, but is so worth it!

I have my non-fried, double fried herb chips too (the recipe is somewhere on the blog).  Crispy, tasty, fluffy on the inside and only a tablespoon of oil per person!

Christmas cake – originally from Delia Smith, altered to reduce the ingredients that I don’t like (or can’t get easily) and the ones I like increased to make up the weight!

New York Cheesecake – Hummingbird Bakery recipe (cooked slightly differently to the recipe as I prefer the texture when I make it my way!)

Hopefully I’ll be adding a couple of new ones to my list soon.  Marble vanilla / chocolate New York Cheesecake, some kind of soft cookie and a few new pasta dishes.

I am so hungry after writing that!

8. Can you do impressions / accents? Which one is your best/worst/favourite?
The only one that I can do is an Irish accent.  It’s very good, but comes on automatically when I am in an Irish bar and have had a drink or two.  Which isn’t what I want! J

I would love to be able to do a highland Scottish accent – but no matter how much I try, I can’t see to be able to do it!

9. Is there any skill you wish you had?
There are a couple I suppose.

The first is the ability to be relaxed around people and not sit shyly and quietly. I am much better than I was when in the UK, but I am far from comfortable in large groups! It would help me be more sociable and help me in my job where the ability to back up your personality with words is quite useful!

I would also love to be able to sing again.  When I was younger I had a good singing voice, but it’s no longer there and I do miss it a lot!

And of course, see my answer to question 8!

10. If you could change an event in history, which would it be and why? It can be a biggie (WW II) or personal.
Nothing, I know from personal experience that whilst it would be so tempting to change some things from my history that I could not do that as I am the sum of my experiences. It is something that I am struggling with at the moment as I want the paradox of having a different childhood but still having the life, and being the person, that I am now.

I think the same is true of the world.

On a lighter note I would like to change the Spitfire rotting into an unusable wreck to it never rotting ever, ever, ever!

Then again, that would mean my dad would not have his garage as it was built to restore the car, and of course he really wanted to restore my car as the last one he did before stopping.  See what I mean – even something small has so many consequences!

11. You're cursed (blessed?) with being a monster. Vampire, ghost, werewolf or ghoul? Which one and why?

Vampire!  Without a shadow of a doubt!

Why? Because as a computer programmer people already think I am afraid of the sun. The stylish clothes of course, and not forgetting never growing old (yes am I vain!).  Could I just do Brad Pitt’s or Spike’s thing of not killing people to survive?  I don’t like that side, but let’s face it it’s a problem with all of the options!

I couldn’t be a werewolf – come on, after trying to get rid of my hair so much over the last few years that would be ironic at best!

I’m scared of ghosts, so if I chose that I would be afraid of myself (more than I was 4 years ago!)

As for ghoul…  I’m going to go back to the vain thing!  Have you seen the images of ghouls! J

My 11 Questions

1.  What is your best memory?
2.  An oldie, but I like it…  Lightning: Scary or Cool?
3.  Adrenalin Junkie or Relaxation Queen / King?
4.  What would your ideal pet be, and why? (Fantasy creatures are allowed if you wish!)
5.  Public Transport or own car (or own power)?  And why
6.  Where are you on the chilli scale – none, flavour enhancer or it’s never hot enough
7.  Do you feel your age when not in the company of teenagers?
8.  What films, and scenes, do you cry at?
9.  When thinking about the invasions of privacy, and all the down sides would you really want to be a famous person – even with the money that goes with it?
10. You are on a plane when everyone except for you falls violently ill.  What do you do?
11. Was everything really so much better when we were children?

Those bloggers who I would like to pass the list too

This is actually difficult.  A good proportion of those that I would pass it onto are not actually blogging anymore! This makes passing it on more than a little difficult!

There are 3 that sprint to mind, but after that I am going to leave it as an open invitation.   (Though if you take me up please let know!)


  1. Aww... thank you so much, sweetie! I love this sort of thing as well. :c) I will get working on it, and hope it is half as entertaining as yours.

    Once again I am amazed at how similar our personalities are. I too have no self-confidence, and frequently have the same fear of being fired. I'm struggling with it right now in terms of passing when I go out. My fingers are crossed!

    I also adore stuffed animals, which I can now indulge without shame. I cannot leave my apartment in the morning unless the entire menagerie are in their proper spots. They're quite anal-retentive about that sort of thing. Unlike me, of course. ;c)

    This was fun to read, Stace! And thank you again for tagging me!


    P.S. Would it be possible to hire you as a chef? (I could pay you in Radiohead and Bruce Springsteen bootlegs.) All I need to do is research how much it costs to rent a Concorde on a weekly basis...

    1. I hope mine was entertaining! (There goes the confidence again! Actually, with every press of the publish button...)

      I did actually tell my boss that fear, and he was very nice in pointing out all of the processes, applications and places where I am the key person. It was a longer list than I realised and as such really nice to hear.

      I still have the fear though!

      We have them watching over the bedroom, living room and study. Our only issue is Billy Bear. I got him for Mrs Stace first birthday after we were going out but he is huge (he sat in the passenger seat of the Spit on the way back from the shops, in the seat belt with the roof down - people who saw it when I was driving in town loved it!). And as he is huge he's a little squashed at the moment. We have to rearrange at some point!


      PS Hmm... Cooking for someone else - I'm not sure my nerves would hold up to it! Mrs Stace seems to want me to enter Great British Bake Off or Masterchef - I don't think so!

  2. BTW, the Concorde is for the food; I'm afraid you'd have to trade some of those Radiohead boots to tag along. Sorry. A girl's gotta live within her means, after all... ;c)

    == Cass

    1. Phew! I thought I was going to be on Concorde every week!



    2. Well, some of those boots are pretty darn good; I think you could get a baker's dozen of seats just for Radiohead's '97 Glastonbury set alone! Then you could pick and choose when to come! (Hint: pick fall; autumn in New England can't be beat...) ;c)

      == Cass

      P.S. That show really is THAT good, btw...

    3. I just did a search for images of New England in autumn, it does look amazing! And still, me not being able to get on a plane is going to stop me from being able to see it in real life :(


    4. That is a pity, Stace; it really is beautiful. But so is Europe, which I haven't visited - yet. :c) I will, though. I am determined to visit Ireland and Scotland to see where my family came from. Apparently I have second cousins there - and in Newfoundland too. Yes, we Irish are everywhere. lol

      I *think* I just shared several Radiohead shows with you, btw. I haven't totally mastered the process yet! In any case, I have other shows as well, from The Bends, Kid A, and In Rainbows tours. All are stellar, and all sound incredible. Let me know! :c)


  3. ...and so the meme rolls on :-)

    Interesting stuff. I'm a bit surprised by the confidence part. I always imagined you as very 'together' - if that makes sense.

    1. Thanks for the challenge!

      As for the confidence, it's something that I have always struggled with. I'm useless in interviews (and I mean as both the candidate as the interviewer! I find both challenging) and have always been the quiet one in the corner.

      Moving to Holland helped tremendously, in the UK with friends that you have grown up with you can easily be the quiet one in the corner and no one minds. When you are in a new country, with new people you don't have that luxury - if you want to keep going out with people you have to make the effort to join in!

      That said, there is an amount of façade there as well. I act a lot more confident than I am, in interviews, when stepping out for the first time, in stressful situations etc.

      But having that façade can help!


  4. I'll get to the 11 q's this evening, Stace! :-)

    1. Cool! Looking forward to it!


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Trying that, again...

      I didn't even bother trying to be succinct... :-D

      11 questions... For me, that's 38 answers. :-)