Over the course of my life, I have been asked many tough questions. Some have made me laugh out loud, such as when my then 14-year-old niece asked, “Auntie Nelly, how do you know if someone’s sexy?” (I defy anyone not to answer that with “you just do”) Unfortunately, she didn’t accept that answer and followed it up with, “Well what is sexy?” My response, as I remember, was, “Well, it’s when you see someone or something that gives you a tingle, and you think “phwoar yeah”” Just as I was hoping she wouldn’t ask where you get the tingle, she said, “Oh, well in that case there’s a boy in my class who’s sexy.” At that point, my maternal instinct kicked in and I had to resist the urge to lock her in her room until she was 30!
Other questions have made me cry. One, which I have been asked several times over the years, as I have stroked my desperately ill or aged and incontinent cat, is, “There’s nothing more I can do. How do you want to proceed?” Always, I knew the answer, and yet knowing never made it any easier to say.
However, the origin of this post began, not with any of the questions which I have been asked over the years, but rather the questions posed on tea bags. Yes, you heard that right folks! Tea bags.
You see, a few days ago, I bought a box of Pickwick Earl Grey tea bags from a supermarket in the Netherlands. When I opened it, I noticed that on the little paper label of each tea bag, was written a question. Naturally, the questions are written in Dutch, but it seems that Pickwick have been inviting people to log on to teatopics.nl and write their own questions, some of which are then put on the tea bag labels. The idea is to get people to slow down, to take their time, enjoy their cup of tea and ponder their answer the question posed.
I thought it would be fun to list the questions that I have come across so far when I have come to make a cup of tea, together with my answers. I shall then throw open the floor to you, my dearest readers, for you to give your answers to these most random of tough questions. A great way to get to know each other better, don’t you think? OK. Here goes nothing!
- What would you love to say to your younger self?
I would love to tell my younger self to always stand for what you believe in, even if you’re the only one standing. I’d also say that it’s perfectly OK to go down, take a count and clear your head, but you’ll never know what you can achieve if you don’t get up. Oh, and I would echo the words by the great and the gorgeous Helen Mirren, when she said that she would tell her younger self to tell people to “fuck off” more!
2. What do you want to do for your next birthday?
Hmm. I’d love to spend a week or two touring round Italy. I think that would be a perfect birthday experience.
3. What is the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
I used to be a huge fan of Formula 1. My all time racing hero was, and still is, Ayrton Senna. I was devastated when he died, and even to this day, more than 22 years later, I still get emotional when I think about that day. Several years after he died, when the world seemed to be talking about Michael Schumacher, I dreamed that I walked into a room that was kind of an office. Ayrton Senna was sitting at this office desk, writing notes on some paperwork. He looked up at me and smiled as I came in, and I had a feeling that I’d known him for years. We chatted a while, and as I went to leave, I said “You’re the greatest, you know.” He smiled this strange, sad smile, and said “I used to be”. I shook my head. “Always” I replied, and opened the door. “Thanks” he said, smiling a proper smile this time. “Anytime” I said, my eyes filled with tears. I left. The door closed. And then I woke up. I just got goosebumps writing about that.
4. What did you love when you were little?
Now, I don’t know whether this means in the realm of food, or TV, or games, so I’ll answer them all. When it came to food, I loved my Mum’s homemade meat and potato pie. God, that was the best taste ever! As for TV, there was some much. I loved the A-team, and there was a series called “Tales of the Gold Monkey”. It was set in 1938, and featured a pilot called Jake Cutter and his best friend, a mechanic called Corky. I always thought that his one-eyed Jack Russel, imaginatively called “Jack”, was his best friend though. I wasn’t really much into games, and if I wasn’t watching TV or listening to music (I loved A-ha and Bros!) I was generally reading. I loved reading. Still do!
5. What things (not family or pets) would you rescue from your house if there was a fire.
I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t rescue anything. As long as my husband, my cats and my birds were safe, everything else can be replaced. I know some people will say, “But what about photos etc?” Yes, they’re important, but all those memories are in my head. I don’t have to look at photos to remember them. Pick up. Move on. Make more memories.
6. Would you rather be a king/queen for a day, or a child for a day?
A child, definitely. A whole day with no worries or concerns, being able to play and act silly without getting disdainful or disapproving looks, and be able to eat loads of sweets! I often think back to when my friends and I were children, and how often we’d say that we couldn’t wait to grow up. What the hell were we thinking?
So, my dear readers, now that you have my answers, why not make yourselves a nice cup of tea, sit down and ponder what your answers will be. I look forward to hearing them!