Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Interview 2009

So, who wants to know about me?

A Free Man decided to mix it up a bit by pairing up bloggers to interview each other. The lovely Nichole was given the unenviable task of concocting questions designed to make me talk about myself (as if I needed ANY prompting).

Here then, I give you: an interview with me.

1. In your estimation, what's the best blog post you've written?

Woah you sure know where to start! You are assuming I even remember the blog posts I’ve written and as I can’t even remember what I said to that man at the bar last Friday night….

Seriously, there are too many posts and too many categories in which I could answer this. I like this one on

The Flaming Sword but I also like this other one about my dear family.

In any case, my mother taught me to titter politely and decline to reply when asked questions like this. Apparently it is not ladylike to blow one's own horn .

2. If you knew that beginning tomorrow you would be blind for one year, what would you want to be sure to see today?

Are you trying to do my head in????

All right, gut wrenching answer; my daughter’s face.

3. What was your first job?

I was a ‘Checkout Chick ’ at Coles New World Supermarket.

(Have a Nice Day and Thank you for shopping at Coles New World!)

For those unfamiliar with Australiana, the term‘Checkout Chick’ was coined by comedian Norman Gunston (aka Gary MacDonald) on his TV show in the 70s and remains in common parlance to this day. I quite liked being a checkout chick in those days. You had to punch real numbers into the till and you could get a real rhythm up. On a busy day it was easy to go onto auto pilot and the time flew.

4. If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

Why Maths? Why did I end up teaching Maths? I mean, is this some kind of sick joke? And while we’re here…how come I have cavernous wrinkles and pimples at the same time? I suppose you think that’s funny too??????

Oh, did you mean a real question?

5. What's been the most daring feat you've attempted?

Giving birth.

6. Do you prefer cake or pie?

I prefer alcohol. No, seriously, cake. I mean, pie has all that pastry! Very gluggy. Unless American pie is better than Australian pie, which is entirely possible. I mean, a country that designs a dish where a meat pie floats in pea soup…. what is that about?

7. You are going to receive an award. What is it for? (This is supposedly a question Microsoft asks in job interviews.)

I am receiving a Nobel Piece Prize for executing the greatest number of incomplete pieces of project anywhere in the world, space and time. Seriously though, I always wanted to win an Academy Award, mostly so that I could make the speech. Mind you, in years gone by I have observed that the calibre of the winning actor and the making of a decent speech are sometimes inversely proportionate.

8. What advice would you give a rookie step-parent?

I am a rookie step parent. What the hell would I know? Ask me in 10 years time.

Aw alright…..to someone even more rookie than I am I would say……….don’t get married………..NO NO NO just kidding……ok, how about this……….

Try and put yourself in the kids’ shoes from time to time. They didn’t ask for this.

9. So far in 2009, you've had run-ins with snakes, jellyfish, spiders, fairy penguins and kangaroos. What's the scariest thing in Australia?

Spiders. Definitely spiders. Cos they’re everywhere! Snakes are pretty hideous but at least they’re generally outside. And spiders make a MESS. All those webs! No sooner do you sweep them down than the b******s are back up there spinning them again. Also, you may not be aware of this but spiders crap everywhere! The pile of tiny faeces under an untouched web can be enormous!!!!

When I was considering moving back to Australia, the one thing that stood out as a stumbling block were the spiders. I managed to overcome it but, bugger me they can be big.

10. Neil Young or Neil Diamond?

Oh my Lord!!!!!!! Neither! although ND did do Sweet Caroline which has personal resonances for me and NY did ‘Needle and the Damage Done’ which everyone in my generation learned to play on the guitar along with ‘Smoke On The Water’.

My husband wants NY’s “Hey Hey My My’ played at his funeral. I may have to put on my ipod during this segment of the proceedings, if I outlive him!

To be honest, if I had to pick a Neil it would be Neil Simon.

‘Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes’.

Ah-wah ah-wah…..

11. What was the last book you read? What was it about? Should I read it?

Brave woman.

The last book I read was “Toast’ by Nigel Slater the UK celebrity chef. It was an unusual choice, bought as it was at the Picton Library Annual Book Sale (a bag of books for $5.00).

I found it easy to put down and pick up and yet surprisingly engaging . It chronicles his early life with his father and mother, (a woman after my own heart who struggled with cooking), through her death and the arrival of a step mother for whom cookery was a form of martial art in the battle for his father's affection. The delightful thing about it is the way he focuses each chapter on a particular foodstuff; through this device he traces his journey of self discovery. I found it entertaining. Not riveting or a ‘page turner’ but well written and mouth watering.

Should you read it? Depends how much you like food.

12. Describe your ideal day.

I am 34. I am 56kg. I have a perfect knee without wires and bolts (this bit is fantasy as I smashed my knee at 28 and it will never be the same again). I am living in Jindabyne NSW and I get into my reliable 4WD and drive to Thredbo where the snow cover is top to bottom and perfect. I meet up with dear friends and family and we ski all day, stopping only for gluhwein and bratwurst at lunch and hot chocolate whenever the legs demand it. My boots fit perfectly and I have no pain in any part of my body.

At the end of the day we gather for rum and cokes, tell stories of the day, travel back to our house on the lake in Jindabyne and play cards until the wee, small hours after eating a fantastic meal prepared by someone else.

Wow. That was fun.

13. If you had to hide an elephant, where would you hide it

Under my skirt.

No one looks up there nowadays.

Except for my husband and he is really good at pretending he doesn’t see elephants.

14. Are you happy?

Well, a while ago I figured out that happiness is a journey not a destination. With that in mind, I am on the journey. Not everything is great 100% of the time of course but hey, if I wasn’t sad sometimes, how would I know when I was happy???

Reading back through this however, it appears that I still don’t.

15. What was the last concert you attended? Was it great?

The Vines at the Gov in Adelaide. Yup we loved it…..

16. Who would play you in the movie of your life? Why?

I don’t think she’s been born yet. Or hang on, maybe my niece……

You want a ‘big name’ don’t you? I dunno…..Cate Blanchett maybe? You’d just have to shoot the whole movie with her standing in a ditch. :-D

17. What would you choose as your final meal?

I suspect I wouldn’t be hungry. No seriously, food is such a pain for me. I would be really happy to exist on a handful of pills which made me feel ‘full-up’ and meant I wouldn’t have to make a decision about cooking. If it was going to be a useful last meal however, I wouldn’t mind a shot of Asterix The Gaul’s magic potion.

18. You find a sack full of cash in the middle of the street. What do you do?

Report it to the police. Seriously. I am so sad and honest that when the cash machine gave me $100.00 instead of $20.00, I rang the bank! Fortunately they said I could keep it but I wouldn’t have been happy unless I reported it. I mean, someone could get into trouble and lose their job for giving me too much cash.

19. I'd like to meet Boy Z. How can we get the Free Family back to the U.S. for a visit?

I’ve got a better idea. You come on over here for a visit! If I orchestrate it right I can irritate my stepson sufficiently for him to move out again in time for your visit! It only takes 2 hours to clean up his ensuite for visitors.

So there you have it. A riveting journey to the deepest depths of Arizaphale's psyche, which, it transpires, is about as deep as a teaspoon. Thank you to Nichole for providing me with such a varied range of questions and stay tuned for my interview with Jill at Twipply Skwood and yes, don't worry, I'm going to ask her about the name!!!


Brittany said...

Ohh this was so fun! The Neils?? Who really likes the Neils? ;)

Check-out-Chick. LOVE it.

A Free Man said...

Ok, the correct answer to the Neils question is both of them. Clearly. Come on, Arizaphale!

Nice job, you two. I particularly like the machinations surrounding my son.

natalie said...

That was TOO fun to read! Arizaphale...you have a wonderful sense of humor!!! I always love learning a tad more about you. I wish I had a smidgeon of your wit. Where would you hide an elephant? Under my skirt!!!! That was GREAT. I was thinking, in my closet...no, maybe in the fridge. Oh, wait...I AM the elephant. Where to hide ME?

Agnes said...

Yep, definitely the spiders! We had one in the loungeroom the other day that we THOUGHT was just one spider with a really fat body, but on closer inspection (not by me!) it was discovered that it was actually two spiders, and they were dead. We suspect an unfortunate copulation accident. I would tell you also that one of them was also not in one piece....but that would be too much information.

Sorry Ariza - am I banned from commenting forever??!

Arizaphale said...

Brittany: Exactly! Who really DOES like the Neils???

AFM: Oh, apparently you do.

Nat: Don't tell me you have no wit; you ARE the elephant???? hahahaha

Agnes: OK, I now feel vaguely nauseous. Mind you, not as bad as I felt when my dad stepped on a big spider which exploded and hundreds of little spiders ran out....ew ew ew ew ew ew NIGHTMARE.
Comment at will my dear but be prepared for the gross comebacks!!!

Agnes said...

Ok you win! My stomach also suffiently churny now. Lesson learned!

Nichole said...

OK, the elephant answer made me laugh out loud. Really.

I would love to come to Australia and hang out with the cool people. But only if you promise to fumigate before I get there. Spiders make me want to die.

Anonymous said...

You must really not like Neils. Neil Simon didn't do dimonds...Paul Simon did. You had to go to a Paul to find a Neil you like.

Maggie said...

I love it -- this was awesome!

Arizaphale said...

OMG! I can't believe this. Three years later I am finally reading that I mixed up Paul Simon and Neil Simon. And no-one else picked it!!!!! Well done Anonymous! (was it Elisa? Guess I'll never know now...)