Meet Sally Whittle, author, blogger, new kayaker

Sally Ross Whittle

I’m all for a bit of narcissism every once in a while, so I was delighted to be tagged by that fella over at Blog Up North and by Superamazing Mum to do the Q&A meme, where I get to answer lots of questions about my favourite subject – myself.

Prepare to be riveted. 

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

My Mother, because she’s everything I respect in a person – she’s strong, smart, honest and her life makes a positive difference to the people around her.

When were you happiest?

Hmm. I’m a big believer in there being perfect moments of happiness, and if you’re lucky (and if you’re looking for them) then they happen almost every day. I never understand people who waste their energy looking for reasons to be unhappy when they could be doing the opposite.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Almost too many to mention but the one that springs to mind is being in an interview for a post-grad course and getting my leg caught up in my chair so when I stood up to shake hands, I fell over, managing to knock the interviewer’s hot coffee directly into his lap, and land in a heap on the floor. I think I said something mature and sensible like, “Does the fact I threw myself at your feet count in my favour?”

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

Airline tickets and hotel rooms, probably. I’m more inclined to spend money on experiences than possessions. That’s my excuse for dressing like a hobo, and I’m sticking to it.

What is your most treasured possession?

Nothing springs to mind. I do think if my house burned down and took everything with it, there’s nothing material I couldn’t replace, or live without.

Where would you like to live?

Vancouver or Brighton. I’m working on it.

What’s your favourite smell?

Vanilla. I recently shared this information with my friend Jen, and she said it was “very revealing”. I have no idea why, or in what sense, but there you go. I’m now unsure as to whether I should be forming judgements of other people based on their choice of Yankee Candle.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Someone better looking than me, I should hope. Maybe Janeane Garofalo.

What is your favourite book?

A Prayer for Owen Meany or My Family and Other Animals. My favourite books depends on my mood.

What is your most unappealing habit?

I am pathologically argumentative and freakishly competitive. As you can imagine, this is a combination of personality traits that in no way makes my life more difficult or dramatic than it needs to be. Cough.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

I never dress up. I don’t even wear paper hats at parties.

What is your earliest memory?

Being carried downstairs and out of a house by a social worker. I was in foster care and then adopted as a youngster.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

TV box-sets, probably. At least once a year I sit down and watch Gilmore Girls from start to finish.

What do you owe your parents?

Apart from money? An overly developed sense of right and wrong, and a hatred of unfairness in all its forms. Oh, and amazing Scrabble skills.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

I’ve apologised to everyone I need to, and also to quite a few people I don’t think I needed to, just for good measure. Except my late grandma – I’m really very sorry for the time you took me to see the Jungle Book at the cinema as a special treat, and I made you sit three rows behind me because you were wearing a bright red raincoat and eating cough sweets.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Apart from people and animals, it would be a tie between books and music.

What does love feel like?

Who knows?

What was the best kiss of your life?

Couldn’t possibly write about it on the Internet. But it was pretty good, and all the better for being ill-advised, ill-timed and ill-thought out.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

It’s a tie between ‘so‘, ‘basically‘, ‘f**k it‘ and lately, ‘Boo hoo, Princess‘ – just because it makes me laugh every time I say it.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

Working for Greenpeace Canada, and having to walk up to a hundred suburban driveways a day, past countless SUVs and speedboats, before launching into a spiel about deforestation, global warming and cancer rates in the Metropolitan Toronto area. They were not the most receptive of audiences, let’s put it that way.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

I’d have got over my Northern reticence and told my brother that I loved him when we last spoke on the phone – the thought crossed my mind, and I didn’t say it. He died the next day, and I never got the chance.  Also, I’d quite like to just delete that whole phase where I thought parachute pants were an acceptable fashion choice.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

The day my headmistress called my parents into school and pulled out a folder of absence notes explaining two years worth of school absences. Each complete with a perfect forgery of my Mum’s signature. Oops.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Making it this far with a healthy sense of humour still intact.

When did you last cry, and why?

God, about an hour ago? I cry all the time, usually because I’m angry, rarely because I’m sad.

How do you relax?

Looking at the sky and remembering how insignificant it all really is. Or swimming, or walking my dog. Anything outside is good.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?


What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Life’s short. Don’t waste your precious time on people or things that make you unhappy.

There. Now I’m passing the baton on to some of my favourite bloggers: Lindy at Squidgyboo, Jen at the Madhouse, Pippa at A Mother’s Ramblings, Emma at Me, the Man and the Baby, Claire at Being a Mummy, and Vic at Glowstars.

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