I have never done a meme before but I read the one on Glenna's blog who tagged everybody reading it - so here goes...
1. I learnt 6 languages at secondary school: Dutch (if that counts!), English, German, French, Latin and Greek. I spoke basic English, German and French when I finished my A levels, but then came to Britain and learnt to speak English fluently. It seemed there was no longer any room in my head for the other languages and I only have a very basic grasp of them now. Although when I go to France, my reading French is better than B.'s, whose spoken French is ten times better than mine due to having lived there for a while.
2. I worked as an aupair for two years when I left school. The first family had 4 boys, lived on a farm and were partially self sufficient. I had a whale of a time and am still in touch with them now, seeing them once a year or so. It's weird seeing the boys all grown up and even with children of their own now.
3. I have a thing for old sewing machines. I met Helen through Freecycle and it's all her fault ;-) B. bought me a treadle for Christmas two years ago, then Helen gave me two handcranks for the children. I regularly collect old sewing machines and take them to Helen to restore. They're beautiful (much more so than the modern ones), sturdy and stitch wonderfully. And you can use them during powercuts. I just wish I had more time to use them.
4. I love cats and dogs and would love to have one, but used to suffer very badly with eczema due to allergies. I have been clear since N. was born almost 6 years ago and don't want to take the risk of having it come back, as it can be very debilitating. It seems I. has inherited some of this allergy too, as she starts sneezing and her eyes start running when she cuddles our guinea pig.
5. I love my breadmaker. I bought one about 2 years ago, as my 'homemade' bread was usually a disaster (think potential murder weapon) and I'd seen what good results a breadmaker could produce. I was worried it would be one of those 'use once gather dust' things, but I use it at least once a week and love experimenting with different recipes. My favourite is probably malt loaf.
6. About 4 years ago I was introduced to the concept of Freecycle by my friend Sam. I thought it was a brilliant idea straightaway, joined several groups and eventually took over the Suffolk group, which I still run, but now with two extra moderators. I have got rid of a lot of stuff, have picked up some great things, met lots of lovely people and have made friends through it. Whoever thought up this concept, deserves a medal!
7. At weekends I'm a keen cyclist. One day B.'s dad found a discarded bike in one of their ditches. When nobody came to collect it, B. did it up for me and I started to explore the little country lanes around their farm. Eventually I started to go further afield and the longest trip I've done was 38 miles. I'm happy to go out in most types of weather, although rain will stop me. I even wear some of the cycling gear (lycra trousers!) which gave I. terrible giggling fits the first time she saw them. There is something about getting exercise, seeing the seasons change and getting fresh air into your lungs – I love going on my own and don't even use an MP3 player as I feel it'd be cheating.
I'm not going to tag anyone in particular as not everyone who reads this blog, has a blog of their own, and I'm not even entirely sure who reads this blog anyway! But if you do read this and have a blog, it'd be great to see another meme... just leave me a comment so I can go and read it!