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Tuesday 23 January 2024

Languages I'm learning or want to learn

 I liked this topic from Long and Short Reviews. There was a time when I was learning every language I could. I've always been good at languages, and my degrees are in linguistics, so I love to pull a new language apart and see what makes it work. However, I admit right now I'm not learning any.

In the past I've learned French, Italian, German and Spanish in the traditional way, and also attempted Polish, Portuguese, Dutch and Norwegian by way of Duolingo and Babbel. I may return to Norwegian and Portuguese at some point - Polish gave me a headache with all the inflections, but Norwegian and Portuguese were fun. Which led to one very interesting moment a few years ago.

I was getting a tattoo done - my very first specially-designed back piece, done by a Brazilian tattoo artist who was sharing a studio with a Brazilian-Japanese artist. I was on that table for about six hours, including the time my tattooist stopped for his lunch break, and the whole time he and his coworker were talking about me in a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish. I wasn't fluent enough to pick it all up, but I definitely caught a few off-colour remarks about my body, along with "Are you sure she can't understand us?"

Sadly I also wasn't fluent enough to answer them back in either language, otherwise I would have done. And at least it was a decent tattoo.

So which languages are you learning?

Tuesday 9 January 2024

A celebrity I'd like to meet

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews made me smile, partly because this was a question that used to come up whenever my last workplace would ask people to be interviewed for promotion purposes, and for some reason people would always say the Dalai Lama. I have no idea what I would have said at the time, but it wouldn't have been him.

I can think of two celebrities I'd like to meet. One is Craig Charles, primarily famous for "Red Dwarf". I was a huge Red Dwarf fan as a teenager and had a massive crush on Craig, which has long since disappeared, but I'd still be curious to meet him simply because I wanted to for such a long time. Among other things he inspired my first novel, which fortunately was lost when my old computer was sold, because it was absolutely terrible.

The other celebrity I'd like to meet would be Justin Hawkins of my favourite band The Darkness. Having seen him on stage many times I know he's got a sense of humour and loves his fans, so it would definitely be good experience.

So which celebrity would you like to meet?

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Hobbies I used to enjoy

 It's the first Long and Short Reviews topic of 2024, and I struggled a bit to think of a hobby I don't still have. In the end, I could only come up with one... singing.

I used to be a trained classical singer - I took lessons every week, never doing any exams (I'm terrible at music theory) but performing musical theatre, classical, some pop and a little operetta. I performed in a few Gilbert and Sullivan shows, always in small roles, but they were so much fun to do I never cared that I wasn't a soloist.

When my singing teacher retired, I auditioned at a different music school. They were happy to take me on, but they couldn't offer any times I could actually do, and I didn't like the tutor enough to shift things around. He informed me during my audition that I had no business singing "I'll Give My Life For You" because I didn't have children. Well, pal, I've done Sweeney Todd as well but I've never baked a man in a pie.

So which hobbies did you enjoy?