100 Things

1. I was born in 1985.

2. I grew up in the east end of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

3. As a child, I was terrified of anything that had to do with doctors and once informed a very eminent professor of nephrology that I would never, ever want to become one.

4. My ambition at the time was to be the next Enid Blyton or the next David Starkey.

5. Henry VIII was my childhood hero.

6. I wear odd socks on purpose.

7. I don’t drink alcohol.

8. I think of myself as an activist.

9. I haven’t driven a car since the day I passed my test.

10. My undergraduate degree is in biomedical sciences from the University of Durham.

11. My medical degree will be from the University of Glasgow.

12. The most important things I learned at Durham had nothing to do with my degree.

13. I wear glasses and have done since I was eleven.

14. My accent is not and has never been Irish.

15. Nor has it ever sounded like Ant and Dec, which may be where the confusion comes in.

16. I worked in the public transport industry for three years and can recite enormous amounts of totally useless information to do with buses.

17. I’m a soprano.

18. I’ve warmed up for a concert in Professor McGonagall’s classroom.

19. I’ve been conducted by Sir David Willcocks in the Royal Albert Hall.

20. My favourite piece of choral music is the Russian Kontakion for the Departed.

21. I’m a member of the City of Glasgow Chorus.

22. I still think of myself as a biomedical scientist.

23. I once grew cholera by accident. The fact that I was capable of doing such a thing is only one of many reasons why the universe is better off with me as far out of lab science as is possible.

24. I make to-do lists because I enjoy crossing things off them.

25. I used to do a job that involved being woken up in the middle of the night by people who wanted condoms, by people who didn’t know how to change a lightbulb, and by people who had somehow managed to get on buses to towns that were fifty miles away from the one that they’d been after.

26. I live in a converted fire station.

27. I live with another medic.

28. There was a mix-up with a travel agent that nearly ended with me being deported from Australia when I was eleven.

29. I can sleep anywhere.

30. Ten is my Doctor.

31. The first time I tried to learn how to drive, I went the wrong way around a roundabout on a dual carriageway. It took another four years for me to actually pass my test.

32. I am a cat person, but am not yet a crazy cat lady. But there’s time.

33. As a child, I had a collection of over 300 bookmarks. I now use train tickets and supermarket receipts to mark my place in books.

34. I write most of my first drafts in longhand with a fountain pen.

35. I have no interest in shoes. At all.

36. I own a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Latin. Just because.

37. I was a ballroom dancer in my extreme youth.

38. My stethoscope is purple. This seems garish to people who don’t know that I considered buying an orange one.

39. When I grow up, I want to be a medical oncologist.

40. I am open to the possibility that I might change my mind.

41. I often wish that I were better at remembering to take photographs.

42. I’m a member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists.

43. I obsess about cadence.

44. I believe that voting is a responsibility as well as a right.

45. I blame Aaron Sorkin for my love affair with politics.

46. In the summer before upper sixth, I was offered a place to study medicine at Charles University. I told my teachers and my friends that if I didn’t get a place at a British medical school, my back-up plan was to move to Prague, and, although I eventually decided against it, most of them got an enormous shock on A-level results day when they realised that I hadn’t actually been joking.

47. Cocking up my A-levels was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

48. I like planes and trains.

49. I’ve been in the House and the Senate chambers.

50. I want to spend part of my retirement doing a history degree, just because I do.

51. I’m descended from Irish Catholics and Border Reivers.

52. I have a goddaughter.

53. I grew up as an only child and became a little sister shortly after my eighteenth birthday.

54. My sister was my work colleague before she was my sister.

55. I am a musical theatre geek.

56. I almost missed my interview at Glasgow because of high winds, fallen trees, the wrong kind of snow on the line, and a power cable in Motherwell.

57. I don’t have a favourite book, or song, or film. Not because I don’t, but because I can’t pick.

58. I’m allergic to penicillin and morphine.

59. I was the least athletic person imaginable for the first twenty-three years of my life, and it was therefore as much of a surprise to me as to anyone else when I started running.

60. My long term goal is to run a marathon in 2013.

61. I’m good at living out of suitcases, but I do like the part where I get to come home at the end of it.

62. I thrive on stress, most of the time.

63. I don’t believe that anywhere south of Darlington qualifies as the north east of England, no matter how many times people from Scunthorpe try to tell me that they live in the north east of England.

64. I get twitchy without a watch.

65. I enjoy subverting peoples’ expectations.

66. I don’t eat sandwiches or salads with any sort of dressing. This mostly means that I’m a nightmare to buy a prepackaged sandwich for.

67. I get very, very seasick. The seasickness is a hangover from the time that I got stuck in a thunderstorm for seven hours on a boat between Santorini and Crete.

68. An extensive collection of Giant Microbes lives on top of my bookcase.

69. I’m an honorary life member of my Durham college.

70. My taste in music is eclectic.

71. I am a coffee addict and a chocolate snob.

72. I’ve given up chocolate for Lent every year for the last twelve years.

73. People who suggest that I should try giving up coffee instead are underestimating how much of a raging bitch I would be without my coffee.

74. The acknowledgements in my undergraduate thesis included Gabriel Faure, Coldplay, and coffee growers in the Dominican Republic.

75. I don’t believe in hell.

76. I have an (old) security pass for the House of Commons.

77. My audio typing speed is 93 wpm, but I don’t use the proper fingers.

78. I once worked as a secretary for someone who didn’t believe in filing systems that used the alphabet. I spent a lot of time suppressing the urge to gnash my teeth together.

79. I am the author of a local government’s “never-going-to-be-used-but-the-government-wants-us-to-have-one” emergency response plan to be used in the event of pandemic flu. It was written less than three months before swine flu kicked off. I had been working on a 14 day temp contract.

80. I was in my twenties before I learned how to smile in the presence of a camera.

81. I cross-stitch.

82. I’ve never wanted children and rapidly lose patience with people who tell me that it’s just a phase.

83. I can’t use text speak, even in text messages.

84. I believe that the NHS is a national treasure.

85. After much consideration, I’ve decided that there is no right way to come out but that I could write a book on how not to.

86. I value my solitude.

87. PBL was invented for people like me.

88. There is a lot of music that I want at my funeral, and I often become profoundly irritated at the fact that I’m not going to get to be there.

89. I am almost obsessively organised. It made me a good secretary, but it also makes me do things like alphabetise my books.

90. I’m a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church and (technically) of the Church of England, but am increasingly skeptical about the existence of an actual Anglican Communion.

91. I talk to inanimate objects.

92. I name inanimate objects.

93. I read fiction and history and newspapers and the back of cereal boxes.

94. The moment I enter a bookshop, I lose all pretence at self-control. Italo Calvino wrote a passage about bookshops that I believe was written for me.

95. I don’t watch a lot of television, but there tends to be obsessive fangirlish glee over that which I do.

96. I want to stay in Scotland for FY1. I think I want to stay in Scotland forever.

97. I’ve been a blogger of one sort or another since I was sixteen.

98. I turned down a place on a GEP.

99. I appreciate that I will no longer be expected to work 26 hours a day, but am far from convinced that the European Working Time Directive is a good thing.

100. I want to spend part of my career working for an international aid agency.


4 responses to “100 Things

  1. Merys Jones

    April 13, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Re: number 38… my stethoscope IS orange!

    • sefkhet

      April 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      Excellent! There should be more brightly coloured stethoscopes in the world!

  2. Izzah

    April 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    my stethoscope is hunter green 😀

  3. Anonymous

    September 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

    i have an orange stethoscope as well :))


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