Friday, May 20, 2011

Room 101

So this marks 101 posts. I didn't want to mark a year since I started blogging because my blog has changed significantly since I started it but I thought I'd give you something different for post 101. I'm just that kinda girl. So here we go- a few things you may or may not have wanted to see, know about me, know about my life and what would be in my Room 101...

ME

1. My full name is Chloe Emma Martin-Brown. I picked my surname when I hit 14 to match my parents as I'm no longer in touch with the paternal biological family my given surname came from.

2. I'm a final year student. In 14 days time I will have completed a triple major BA in French, German and Spanish. When we graduate, the 9 of us who take our triple major will be the only ones doing so, as this degree combination was unique to our university when we started it back in 2007.

3. I collect postcards. When I started my studies abroad, I got a bit obsessive about buying a postcard from every place I visited and it's something I've carried on ever since. My favourite ironically comes from the place I least enjoyed living- Toulouse and shows the view across Place du Capitole in the rain.

4. I love the colour green. In particular grass green. I love it. I'm lucky enough to be able to wear green well too so I own green t-shirts, shoes, a hoody, a handbag, a coat as well as green bedding, green mugs, and all sorts of other things.

5. I wear a mans watch. I'm not known for being delicate- neither my personality which has been described as blunt trauma before now, nor my physical being. I find womens' watches delicate and they just don't suit me. I first discovered the joy of mens' watched when my dad gave me one he couldn't wear. And so it has continued, but I still have serious explaining to do when I go into a jewellers and tell them I'm not looking at the guys stuff as a gift!

6. At 5ft 5 inches, shoe size 38 and dress size 10-12, I'm about as average in stature as you get for a 21 year old British woman. The major advantage of this is that I have few problems getting clothes to fit me, the disadvantage is that clothes and shoes in my size often sell out pretty damn quick.

7. I was born on 3rd June. I'm a Gemini, although I'm not into horoscopes, I am quite typically Gemini in that I have quite distinct parts to my personality- the Chloe that will go to the office on a Saturday night, even if it's technically not my job, just to make sure I secure some business is not the same Chloe that drinks coffee and puts the world to rights with the boys.

8. As the name of my blog suggests, I like to talk. I've learned about hydro power on a flight from Munich to Manchester, I met a woman who was visiting her husband in a prison in Israel in Frankfurt am Main Airport and compared experiences of French strike action on train from Carcassonne to Toulouse. And this is without all the amazing people I've had the pleasure of talking to via the blog. It's good to talk.

9. I love taking pictures of flowers. I think flowers are beautiful but generally I dislike the scent and they often make me sneeze, so I prefer to enjoy pretty pictures of them. And no matter how many I take, there's still something beautiful about the pictures that I can't take my eyes off. This one is my favourite.


10. I really really can't see without lenses or glasses. I'm long sighted at +6.00 in my right eye and +3.75 in my left. I also have a lazy right eye, which means that even if I could have corrective surgery on my eyes, I'd still need the glasses or the contact lenses to correct the way my eye wanders. This had lead to a penchant to designer glasses, my favourites being my black Prada glasses or my plum coloured Versus ones.

FOOD

11. I come from a foody family, therefore food is something that is talked about a lot on my blog, with my family and with my partner who has fully embraced the foody nature my family.

12. I have a minor addiction to Angel Delight in either strawberry or butterscotch flavours. I have no idea where this came from, but I've given up caring. I also nurture a fond love for jelly, in practically any flavour going.

13. My family lovingly call my fruit bat. I LOVE fruits of most kinds. If I had my way I'd actually eat a lot more of it, but fruit and fruit juice actually contain quite a lot of natural sugar so in the interests of my waist line and my skin, I try to keep fruit as no more than 2-3 of my 5+ a day. My absolute favourite fruit? Granny Smith apples.

14. Soup is nothing short of a miracle and a life saver. In the winter I probably eat soup 4-5 times a week. I tend to buy fresh soups such as the Covent Garden soups in bulk for the freezer when it's on a good offer, and for me it's the ultimate fast food- it's hot and quick to heat, it's easily transportable, it's nutritionally sound and best of all, never gets boring because there are so many varieties.

15. My dad is a Master Chef of Great Britain. The MCGB is actually nothing to do with the TV programme. It's an association of chefs, which you have to be asked to join. There is an annual lunch each autumn which my dad has managed to go to every year since 1997.

My Dad and I
16. Roast chicken and the trimmings is one of my absolute favourite meals (although there are many) and it's something I wish I got to eat more often. On my perfect roast chicken plate you will find: roast chicken leg, yorkshire pudding, a couple of small roast potatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrots, roasted parsnips, sage and onion stuffing and some gravy. Aside being amazingly tasty, a roast dinner like this is actually pretty healthy and well balanced as there's plenty of fresh veg, protein and carbohydrates too. BONUS!

17. I like Marmite, but I love Bovril- the beef version of Marmite. On toast, in a sandwich, added to the mince in spaghetti bolognese, the list goes on.

18. If I ever had to give up a food, I'd kiss goodbye to potatoes without too much of a fuss, but ask me to give up bread and you'd have a fight on your hands. I try and be good and not eat too much of it, but I do love bread.

19. I can cook quite well, but I really like to bake. Unfortunately I rarely have the time in a fully equipped kitchen to go to town with, so I don't get to bake often. I make pretty good cookies and fairy cakes.

20. There aren't many things I don't or won't eat, but I cannot stand leeks, capers, olives, asparagus or smoked fish.

FAMILY

21. When I say family I mean my very immediate family- my mum and my dad. The 3 of us are really quite close and it's a good job because when I'm at home during holiday, we live and work together.


My amazing parents
22. I have relatives all over the world from Sicily to New Zealand, most of the ones spread across other countries and continents are on my dad's side of the family and I haven't met them all, but am incredibly fortunate that the ones I do know are incredibly hospitable and have had offers to visit and stay with many of them.

23. There are 4 living generations of my maternal family. All female. me,my mum, her mother, and her mother. My Great-Grandmother is heading for 90 although suffers from dementia so isn't entirely with us. I never really understood the significance of knowing my grandparents, let alone my great-grandparents until I met one of my best friends, Dev. His dad is 6 years older than my grandmother and unfortunately his mother died 2 years ago and he never knew his grandparents on either side of his family.

24. I have a half sister who is 15. She lives with her mother and I have no contact with our biological Father, but despite having had very little contact until recently, we're quite alike in many ways. We also look quite alike which is odd for me, as I don't really look particularly like anybody else in my family.

25. Despite not being biologically related, I've lost count of the number of times people have said to my dad and I "don't you two look alike" or similar. It never fails to make me smile because to me it means that we probably share gestures and mannerisms that show how close I am to my dad. I know countless people who have a step-parent in their family, but I couldn't imagine ever considering my dad as anything other than my dad because he's such a big and important part of my life, and because he has always treated me as his daughter. To me, this only means I love him more for being my dad.

Friends

26. I have very few female friends. My best girl is Mel and I love her to bits. She studies French like me which is how I know her and she's one of the few people I'll keep in touch with after we finish uni. She's one of the all round nicest people I know, and despite having more than enough to contend with herself this year, she's been amazingly supportive.

27. I don't have a 'best friend', but I do have some very important friends. I actually think I'm pretty lucky to have it like this, because my closest friends range from someone I've worked with for 8 years and who is more than 10 years older than me, to a couple I know through my parents and business networking group to 2 of the guys I study with.

28. Although I enjoy socialising in cafes, going out to bars and clubs and long convaluted conversations in the sun I'm the kind of person who is quite happy with their own company. I grew up as an only child so I'm pretty good at entertaining myself. I love the time I get reading or listening to music and audio books or writing for Chloe Likes To Talk. If I only see poeple in class or don't do anything 'social' in a week, it doesn't really bother me. But I do try and make a concerted effort to do something each week so I don't become too introspective.

29. I honestly believe that Facebook can be as much a hindrance to friendship as a help. It has changed our definition of friendship, and  nothing highlights loneliness like seeing all the things people have been doing that you weren't invited to, or how much people aren't communicating with you as how much they are. Although I do have a Facebook account, I generally only have it as a means for people to get in touch in a world where many of us have become too lazy to even send a text or an e-mail.

30. I have acquired a couple of penpals through Chloe Likes To Talk, and I love the old fashioned nature of getting to know those people slowly and the act of writing to somebody.

Life in General

31. I am fanatical about basic manners- please, thank you and you're welcome, holding the door for people and waiting your turn. I know it's a bit old fashioned, but if we all took the time to be a little more polite, I think we'd live in a much more pleasant place.

32. I'm not religious, nobody in my family is but I have a huge respect for anybody with enough faith to follow one.

33. I am not a patient person. People say patience is a virtue, not one I possess. I'm working on it, but in the mean time, I get cross quickly and I'm a "I want it, and I want it now" kind of a person.

34. I have a rare blood type. I'm AB Rh-. Less than 5% of the population have this blood type and it is considered a particularly good blood type for use in Cardiac Surgery. I believe strongly in giving blood and did so regularly until recently when I was stopped due to a medical condition.

35. I swim. At the moment 5-6 times a week. I'm not a particularly talented swimmer and I've only once been part of a team/club, but I love it. Swimming gives me time all to myself to concentrate on clearing my head. It also doesn't aggravate my slightly dodgy knees and and hips whilst being an all over work out.

36. Being in a relationship is one of the most challenging things I've ever done. Allowing somebody to get as close to me as The Guy is, allowing myself and my feelings to be influenced by somebody, and trusting somebody has been tough, but well worth the effort.


I can't post a picture of The Guy and I because he prefers to stay anonymous for his own reasons. There's also only one picture that I have. But this picture represents me working out exactly what a relationship means.

And lastly- My Room 101

Entitlement. Or the sense of- I hear so many people say they deserve something or that they are owed something. I wish I could find a way to diplomatically tell them that actually, things have to be worked for. Effort is required and actually you will enjoy your achievements so much more and you will be a better person for it.

Guys with their jeans/trousers half way down their backsides. I'm sorry, just NO. I neither want nor need to see your trashy underwear. Pull. Them. Up.

Whistling. I don't know why it irritates me so much. But it does. Does that make me a bad person? Tough.

Posh. I have a neutral accent and I aspire to earn a high salary to take foreign holidays. I like eating out and champagne is a wonderful creation. That doesn't make me any better or any worse than anybody else, so please do not try and label me with a word that does not have any real meaning. The term posh seems to have become a way of making people feel bad for having aspirations or being fortunate enough to be educated or for speaking in a certain way. Who has the right to do that?

Phew. So now you know a bit about me. I hope you enjoyed and if you want to ask me something, feel free.
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