This is my first post of 2020 and I thought I would start off with a post sharing 10 things you might not know about me.
Over the last year or so, I’ve gained some new readers. Thanks for taking the time out to stop by and have a look at some of my posts. I appreciate all the feedback I get and I’m hoping 2020 will be a year filled with lots of content!
I’m a little surprised I’ve not written anything like this before. I guess I felt I had shared everything I needed to about myself in the About Me page. Or that you would all learn everything else there is to know through my posts.But there are some things in my life I don’t talk about much, mostly because I had forgotten about them or just because I never had a chance to share them.
I am splitting this post up in to two parts. So enjoy reading the 10 things you might not know about me over this week and next. And please let me know in the comments section if any of them surprise you!
1. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES IS MY FAVE FILM – EVER!
Only a handful of people probably know this about me. When I started dating Sukh, it was one of the first things I told him. I discovered the TV adaptation of Lucy Montgomery’s novels when I was around 10 or 11. It was mainly because my older sisters started watching it by chance when the mini-series premiered on TV. I was hooked as soon as I sat down to see what the fuss was about.
I immediately identified with the main character Anne Shirley and found her stubborn, passionate, fiercely loyal and extremely intelligent. Of course, I didn’t think of it exactly in that way at that age, but there was just something about her that I connected with. Anne was played by Megan Follows, and to this day, she is still the best portrayal of Anne that I have seen in any version.
KEVIN SULLIVAN ADAPTATION
The films spans many years in Anne’s life; her life as an orphan, being adopted by the elderly sibling pair Matthew and Marilla and her friendship with Diana Barry. But at the crux of the film for me, is Gilbert Blythe and his unwavering love for Anne. Even though she dislikes him for a long time, she eventually forgives his ‘crimes’ against her and then places him firmly in the friendzone. I won’t elaborate on what happens beyond this just in case you watch the film some day.
The background score of the film is beautiful and quite early in to our relationship, Sukh bought me the soundtrack on CD. It’s the most special and thoughtful gift he’s bought me. Of course, I now have the digitals of the instrumentals but the CD is something I will always treasure.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
To be able to visit Prince Edward Island and take the tour of the filming locations there and in Toronto, is on my bucket list. Sukh knows that one day, even if it’s something I do on my own, I will fly to Canada just so I can do the Green Gables trip.
I remember how excited I was when the DVD was released. The mini-series is nearly seven hours long and it’s not something you can watch in one sitting. I watch it at least once a year, especially during spring or when I need a pick-me-up.
2. I’M A DETECTIVE!
I fancy myself a bit of a detective. When I was a kid, I loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books and the Five Find-Outers Mystery series. I used to try to work out ‘whodunnit’ before the culprit was revealed at the end of the story. I then started to buy the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks, where you’re given options at the end of the page and you, as the reader, determine the character’s next move.
So when I discovered Nancy Drew games for the PC, I had to get my hands on them. I never read any of the Nancy Drew books but I got to learn about her character through the games. You play as Nancy and use your sleuthing skills to crack the case.
There’s several hours of gameplay and you not only drive the storyline but there are many puzzles to figure out before you can move on. Gosh, the amount of hours I’ve spent trying to crack some of the puzzles, which are harder then you might think.
I’ve been playing these games for years and the kids have both became hooked too, We’ve replayed a lot of my older games and it’s become a nice activity we can do together. I’m currently in the middle of the latest game, which released in 2019.
Before that, there hadn’t been a game for a few years as they developed a new look. The kids and I had a long wait and when it finally launched, I bought it straight away!
3. WINNING A MCDONALD’S SCHOLARSHIP
I started my part-time job at McDonalds when I was sixteen. I had just started my A-Levels at sixth form. My parents always encouraged us to work from a young age and I want to teach that same work ethic to Shalini and Shivam too.
One of my managers was really supportive and knew I was moving away to Preston to study my BA in Journalism. I told him my parents were doing all they could to support me but that I was saving as much as I could over the two years to make uni life a little bit easier.
He told me about a scholarship competition run by McDonalds. I was surprised a fast food chain did something like this. The entry had to be a project about an aspect of McDonalds’ business. I chose to work on ‘McDonalds In The community’ via their Ronald McDonald charity.
People who really know me, know I love a good project. I used to love presentations and writing essays! I worked for six weeks on my document, which was several pages long. It included photos, illustrations, graphs, evidence of charity work and many written pieces.
I can’t remember exactly how many people would win a one-thousand pound prize. It was maybe 20 across all UK stores – so that was a lot of competition but I was confident with my entry.
I had started uni when the winners were announced. My manager called me to give me the good news that I had won and that we would travel down to London to be presented with my cheque and a certificate. I remember my photo appearing in the local newspaper in Preston and everyone on my Journalism course congratulated me on my success.
My parents were over the moon that my hard work had paid off and it eased things a little for my first year. I was able to buy a computer and used the rest of the money for course books and general day-to-day expenses.
4. I WAS A CHAMPION NETBALL PLAYER
I loved playing netball at high school and was part of the school team. We never really won many matches. I played Goal Attack and gave it everything. I was disappointed that some of the other girls weren’t that bothered.
My netball teacher encouraged me to fill in an application form for a local league. My dad was keen that I do it but I was in two minds. It meant giving up my Saturday afternoons. I’d be playing with girls from other schools so I was nervous too. No one from my school applied.
LITTLE LEAGUE NETBALL
I was accepted to play for one of the teams. Funnily enough all of our matches were at my school. There were several matches as part of the tournament and as a team, we were all very competitive and determined.
The quarters and semis were scheduled on the same day. I remember being really nervous. I wasn’t very tall and it was a lot of pressure to play Goal Attack alongside a Goal Shooter who was already two feet taller than me. But I was the one who bagged the most points in both matches.
Once the final came along, my confidence was sky high. The coach made it clear to the team to do everything to just get the ball to me. She whispered ‘you’ve got this’ as we took our positions. The detail of the game is fuzzy, but we scored twelve points to the other team’s eight.
I can not explain the look on my dad’s face when I came home with my gold medal and trophy! I still have the trophy today on my living room shelf. Had it not been for my dad, I never would have taken part.
5. I PLAY THE HARMONIUM
My parents forced me to have harmonium lessons as a child. We would go to the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) every Sunday where sessions were held for the teaching of tabla. sitar and harmonium. It’s also known as a pump organ and is a keyboard instrument.
All the children attending would learn to play an instrument and then sing shabads (religious hymns). Once a month, there would be an evening where the children would perform the shabads on stage. At the end of the night, we were awarded a prize. We would also tour as a group around other Gurdwaras, singing shabads.
PERFORMING ON STAGE
Initially, I resented my parents for making my sisters and I do this. I would be nervous for days, leading up to that month’s performance. But as it became routine and I started to enjoy it, my playing improved too. I enjoyed singing but getting the pronunciation correct was another skill altogether. I would always ask my parents or my teacher what each line of the shabad meant. It was important to understand so I could emote whilst singing.
I must have been around 14 when I stopped stage singing. It was a decision both my parents and I made as my GCSEs were approaching. But I never stopped playing the harmonium. In my own time, I would play the instrument and make up my own tunes to songs or shabads. I remember teaching myself the theme tunes to Eastenders, Dallas and Streethawk! On birthdays, I would play the happy birthday song for family.
GROWING MY SKILL
But I also continued to sing shabads in my free time. I could read and write Punjabi by the time I was a teenager. Again, my parents made us do this when we were kids. Again, I am so thankful for knowing another language, something I didn’t appreciate as a child. My parents had lots of shabad cassettes and I would listen to my favourites and then teach myself the tune.
Years later, I can still play the harmonium but I don’t own one anymore. The one I had at my parents’ house, we had brought back from India and once I moved out to go to university, it sat in the loft for years. I’m not sure they still have it up there but it’s probably not in a good condition anymore. I plan to buy one soon though.
Shalini is a Grade 4 guitar player. She wants to quit but we won’t allow her to until she’s accomplished Grade 6 at least. I know she feels the same way I felt as a child – being forced to learn an instrument. But I know when she’s older, she will really appreciate having the skill, just like I do.
So that’s the first part of 10 things you might not know about me. It was too much to document in one post, so part 2 will be up next week.