The truth and white lies: seven autobiographical ‘facts’.

The wonderful musician and writer, Mike McClaren from Annotated Margins has honoured my efforts with a Kreativ blogger award. My second ever. I am grateful for his recognition and will respond as I must but only in part. I will list the mandatory things about me but I will leave it up to all those wonderful bloggers whom I follow – I cannot choose among them – to take it upon themselves if they so choose to list seven things about themselves, here in comments or on their own blogs.

Why seven? I do not know, but here are mine;

Seven things about me:

1. I have my mother’s names, all three of them: Elisabeth Margaretha Maria. I share my third name, Maria with all my sisters and brothers bar the oldest. The oldest, a boy, has my father’s name. The use of Maria as a third name for boys as well as girls honours Mary, Christ’s mother as part of a Catholic tradition. We girls thought it hilarious when we were children that our brothers should have a female name.

2. I was born in 1952, on Guy Fawke’s Day the year Princess Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on the death of her father, King George VI. My mother, despite a shared name with the queen, rarely concerned herself with the British monarchy. Her regal interests were with Princess Beatrice and the Dutch Royal Family. Her religious interests were with the Pope and his priests.

3. In 1952 the world’s first contraceptive pill was manufactured. Not that this brought any relief to my parents. As Catholics, they refused contraception until the last baby was born and died and my mother at 43 years of age received permission in the form of a second opinion from a somewhat radical priest who sympathised with her plight. The doctor had told my mother that a twelfth pregnancy would not only kill the baby, it would kill her.

In 1952 inflation stood at 21% and milk cost the equivalent of 7.5 cents a pint.

4. When I was a child I pretended to be devout because it brought the nun’s approval. I also loved to sing in church.

5. I have a third nipple, known as an accessory nipple. It is scarcely visible under my right breast. When I was little it looked like a tiny cave in my skin but as my breasts developed it popped out to the size of a pimple. I consider it an evolutionary aberration. In my mind’s eye I see a pig’s udder with teat after teat to feed a line of baby pigs.

6. I am sixth in line in a line of nine children. We do not count the two and half who died – my oldest sister and my last-born sister who was still born, along with a miscarriage in between. I do not forget the dead ones and would prefer to tell people that there are in fact eleven in my family of origin. I half count the miscarriage, as I feel sure that baby – in my mind, a girl – was not viable.

7. I do not always tell the truth, but my white lies are benign and I sometimes let my daydreams get the better of me, namely I allow myself to indulge in thinking about them as though they were real.