A bit of a departure this week – you get to hear from me. As we’re rapidly approaching Christmas I decided to give my authors a break and not let them have to worry about sharing posts and responding to notifications. Plus, having inflicted these questions on others it seemed only fair that I put myself through the process too. The one thing I agreed quite quickly on, is that the music choices are the hardest – especially when you’re of a more advanced age as there’s even more musical memories. Anyway here goes.
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Scarlet Ribbons by Harry Belafonte – I’d never actually heard Harry Belafonte sing this until I searched it via YouTube several years ago. Before that, the only person I’d heard sing it was my mum. She would sing me to sleep with this when I was little. Spookily having decided on Wednesday evening on my music choices I heard it on the Radio on Thursday morning. We listen to RTE Radio 1 between 12 – 1pm on weekdays and this was played – what were the chances? I will admit I had a little weep.
Young Girl by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap – I loved this record from the first time I heard it being played on Top of the Pops (though as a 10-year-old had no clue what the lyrics were about). Even now when I hear those opening bars I’m taken straight back to Hull in 1968. Saturday morning junior disco at the Locarno ballroom, cowbells, and skinny rib jumpers. I should say if any pop quiz features music from 1968 I’m your woman.
Dancing Queen by Abba – What can I say, the ultimate pop song that’s still guaranteed to get me on the dance floor. In 1976 I was that Dancing Queen, albeit aged 18 and not 17. The Locarno ballroom had been re-named Tiffany’s and I was there strutting my stuff with my bestie Jill.
Vienna by Ultravox – Not only did it also feature Midge Ure, who I’d been a little bit in love with since his Slik days (something I’m sure he’d like to forget) it also takes me back to my student days. I went to University as a mature student, having decided that life as an articled accounts clerk was not really me. At the time record was out I’d also just started going out with Vince, who, incidentally, hates this song as much as I love it. Despite this I still married him!
Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – I love this song and the genre of music it represents. There is something about Latin music that just makes you want to dance and sing along. I often have it on repeat when I’m in on my own as I sing my way through cooking tea. I also tell myself it helps with my Spanish, though I suspect not.
Highlight five things (apart from family and friends) you would find it hard to live without
Tea – I’ve nearly always got a cup on the go. Just as well given that I’m called Mrs Doyle. One of the hardest things about my chemotherapy treatment was my inability to drink tea, It just tasted awful. The first time I was able to drink a cup of tea again felt amazing.
Books – I don’t think I need to say more.
Music – I love all sorts of music so there’s always something to suit my mood. That said, the more upbeat the better would be my normal choice.
Chocolate – Another one that’s self-explanatory.
Jewellery – more specifically earrings. I’ve got over 300 pairs.
Can you offer the five pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Don’t change to please others – just be yourself.
Be nicer to your mum and dad – they’re really not the enemy. You won’t believe it now, but they were young once. When you get older you’ll see their advice was not borne out of the desire to thwart your wishes.
Choose your boyfriends more wisely.
Don’t read those horror books that result in your being scared stiff in the dark.
When you’re crossing the road and hear that car beeping it’s horn DO NOT turn around. The corner of that concrete lamp post is far harder than your head and you’ll look a bugger in the Sunday School outing photographs.
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I’ve kissed Michael Flatley
I’ve cycled from Fatehpur Sikri to Pushkar across the Rajasthan desert.
I used to play in a brass band.
I qualified as an aromatherapist, masseuse and reflexologist while considering a career change that never happened.
I have an MA in Local History.
What are the first five things you’d have on your bucket list?
Bizarrely, as I set this question, I don’t actually have a bucket list. I have a fear that dreaming about things I’d like to do, would be depressing if I never got the chance to do them. To a degree my theory was put to the test when I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Before knowing what the outcome would be, I did feel that if the worst was to happen I’d had a good life. I’ve visited amazing places, taken my chances and opportunities and would have no regrets about things I hadn’t done. I know that makes me sound very smug, but I don’t mean it to.
That said, there are of course things it would be great to do.
I’d like to see the Northern Lights.
I’d like to really get to grips with Spanish.
I’d like to visit the Tower of London (despite numerous visits to London I’ve never done it).
I’d like to spend some time at Loch Ness as I’ve always hoped that Nessie really does exist.
I’d like to make inroads into my enormous book mountain (upwards of 3500 titles).
You’ll all be pleased to know that the normal Five on Friday service will be resumed in the New Year. Many thanks for joining me on Fridays to read this feature, I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.
So until then, I hope you all have the Christmas you desire and here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.