Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday! (and a small confession)

Name a trait you share with your parents or your children.

I don't have any children. Although I did have a hamster once (called Apple) who enjoyed sleeping as much as I do. I am aware, however, that there are some key differences between a hamster and an infant. One you keep in a cage and hope you remember to feed semi-regularly, and the other is a hamster.

Traits I share with my Dad:
My sense of humour. One of my housemates at university once commented that hanging out with me is like "hanging out with someone's comedy uncle". I took this as a compliment, of course.
Traits I share with my Mum:
I look a bit like my Mum. Except she's smaller than I am. Personality-wise, though, I think she is like me in sensitivity.

List 3 qualities of a good leader, in your opinion.

Ability to listen and respond to people as individuals and in groups
Ability to make decisions and stick by them

Who is your favorite television chef?

I... I don't think I know any. Why would someone be a television chef? Televisions are not nutritious, nor are they tasty. This makes no sense to me.

Main Course
Share a story about a gift you received from someone you love.

A couple of years ago I was going out with this South African guy called Clint. He looked like a Clint, he was six-six, built like a really tall, strapping South African, and had really good teeth. He was lovely, and at twenty-nine was a bit older than I was. We went out for a bit, but I was still hung up on someone else, and my heart was never really in it. He knew this because I told him. Not in those words, quite, but he knew the situation. We spent time together, going out for drinks and meals in Soho, going clubbing (which I don't like) and sitting in old pubs drinking beer (which I do). His attitude towards life and love, he told me, was to wear his heart on his sleeve. He was tired of hiding feelings because of the effect it might have on the other person. As a result of this he told me he loved me. I couldn't respond in kind, and that was alright by him, he said. He knew that I had been hurt and was still hurting, and just wanted to spend time with me.

I found this peculiar, but went with it. He encouraged me to talk about who I was, about anything I wanted to talk about. I always felt that he was listening to me, really listening and wanting to understand.

This I also found peculiar.

He told me all about Cape Town and his life leading him to London, all about his seven year relationship that ended painfully and made him a believer in honesty and openness. He really made me feel bigger in myself, which is ironic considering he was six foot six and being with him made me feel tiny.

Once we were in a pub in West Hampstead and I started telling him about Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the book by Salman Rushdie. For reasons that I cannot identify, I told him the story, from start to finish. I explained the importance I attach to that book, that I first got a copy when I was about seven years old, and that I loved it then. I explained how it became something of a comfort blanket to me, that the familiarity of those beautiful words have filled me with warmth even when I have been at my coldest and most lonely. I told him how picking up my beloved copy had always made me feel somehow alright.

When I was doing my finals, I told him, I felt so in need of my comfort book. I looked for it, everywhere, and couldn't find it. I searched the house, desperate to see the turquoise cover, tattered and scuffed from years of pages turned, but it was nowhere. I explained my initial panic and horror, and then my deep sense of loss.

I told him all of this and he listened to me. I don't know why I shared with him, other than because I could, and because he wanted me to.

I still hadn't found the book, I told him. I still need it and I still don't have it.

A few months later I had broken up with Clint, to get back together with the ex-boyfriend I had been hurting for and who would, in time, hurt me again. I had been honest with Clint about my reasons for breaking up with him, and he had been upset but understanding.

I was at my parents' house one day when a package arrived through the post, addressed to me. I opened it and inside was a copy of Haroun and the Sea of Stories. On the inside of the front cover was a poem. It told me to always look for the happiness and to always follow my heart. Under the poem was written "For the most beautiful woman I have ever loved, from Clint".

I didn't love Clint when I was going out with him. I love him now a little bit, though, because I think he is one of the most wonderful, honest, and genuine people that I have ever known.

How do you react under pressure?

It depends. Some situations make me crumble and have panic attacks, but in others I am cool, calm and collected. It would be hard to say what these situations are, though.


I have a confession to make, and I am sorry if I have led you on. I don't make up the Friday's Feasts! They come from a website:

I sort of thought everyone knew that. Now I feel silly, like I have accidentally plagiarised.

It is Friday today. I do enjoy a good friday. Also I enjoy Good Friday, because we get the day off work. Hurray!

I had a hot cross bun for breakfast this morning. It was truly a Friday's feast.

Oh! I just thought of a joke!

What do you call a street person in an oven who is not at all happy?

A hot cross bum!

On that note... have a good weekend.

(An aside: I have since found my original copy of my book. I had lent it to Dan, who has since given it back to me. Added to the copy in Italian that was given to me by another wonderful ex-boyfriend, I now have three. I am a lucky girl.)


Blogger Dancinfairy said...

Hope you have a good weekend too!

12:53 pm

Anonymous Adrian said...

Yeah, have a top friday and good weekend.

3:32 pm

Blogger Ant said...

A shocking confession. But it doesn't make them any less entertaining (or well written)...

Have a good 'un!

5:23 pm

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

I figured you were getting them from somewhere but had no idea where.. sneaky sneaky.. but I still like the format. Really loved your story too.. very sweet. Exes are good for something. :) Happy Friday! Whoo hoo!

5:30 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

Thank you, I will have a good weekend. Also, Adrian, I forgot to apologise to Thursday, like you asked me to. Now that I am no longer in the throes of Thursday I can look back with nostalgia.

Thursday - I am sorry to have underestimated your true beauty and... whatever it was that Adrian said.

Ant - I am still not speaking to you.

5:31 pm

Anonymous Salman Rushdie said...

I'm glad you liked my book.

6:13 pm

Anonymous number1hypocrite said...

I once dated this girl who absolutely loved the book "Les Miserables". She had the soundtrack to the musical, the book (abridged and unabridged); she had everything to do with it.

For Christmas I bought her an 1875 hardcover edition of the story, unabridged and in original French text.

So I can sympathize, but the other way around.

11:28 pm

Anonymous Adrian said...

am no longer in the throes of Thursday

In the throes of Thursday eh ... what were you and Thursday up to, and was it good for you? :)

Hope the throes of Saturday are just as ... ahem ... um ... intense.

1:59 am

Blogger Ant said...

Aww - I said I'd make it up to you... :o)

12:51 pm

Anonymous Dan said...

I'd only borrowed the book for, um, about two and a half years... if I'd known its qualities as a blanket and ability to warm you up like a hot water bottle, I might have returned it sooner as I know you get chilly sometimes, but alas, it was providing a healthy well-read look to my shelf, and without it, it would have just been Harry Potter, and that would have just looked silly.

Besides, without my crafty keeping of the book, you wouldn't now be in the possession of two brand spanking new editions of it. Forgetfulness pays dividends. In fact, I think I want it back! Give it back!

PS Good Friday = lets have a good Friday = day of fun...?

3:58 pm

Blogger audrey said...

I once shared the telling of Haroun's tale with an ex. We cuddled under blankets and travelled over bumpy waves to the storytelling moon. I always loved imagining the giant tap that all the world's stories flow from. I can't even really summarise why the book is so wonderful, but everybody should definitely read it on a cold and rainy day.

6:01 pm


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