What Makes Us, Us?

Large Baby Toula pic

As a child at school, I often spent much of my time daydreaming and looking out of the window whilst a teacher (possibly Mrs Gilhooley) warbled on about things that I didn’t think would ever be relevant to me or my life. I was right. One of the most common trains of thought I had was that although the 30 of us girls in the class had this experience in common, what effect would all the different experiences in our lives lead us to…and is it those things that make the difference?

I am now grown and for the most part have had an interesting and somewhat out of the ordinary life, filled with many exciting experiences and people and still wonder what it is that made me, me.

Perhaps there are clues amongst these 10 little known facts about me.

What do you think – what makes us, us?

1. Although I have been known as ‘Toula’ my entire life, I recently discovered during a conversation with my mother that my given name is actually ‘Fotini.’

2. It wasn’t until I was 36 that I met my father. I discovered at this time that he had lived only a mile or so away from me throughout my entire childhood.

3. 4 days after meeting my father, he was extremely unwell so I took him to the hospital, only to hear the doctor give him 3 weeks to live.

4. My mother has dementia and Alzheimer’s so her oldest memories are easier to access than recent ones. I am finding out more about her now than I ever have before, like she was brought up in an orphanage.

5. The first ‘famous’ person I ever met was the Spurs goalkeeper Pat Jennings. I was 7 and had no idea who he was.

6. The most amazing ‘famous’ person moment I have ever had was when Audrey Hepburn personally returned my call and in that unmistakable voice said,”Hello, Toula darling – it’s Audrey here.”

7. The book(s) that most shaped my personality as a child were the What Katie Did and What Katie Did Next novels written by Sarah Chauncey Woodley and Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. I first read them as a 3 or 4 year old and have regularly read them ever since. *

8. As a 12 year old, I won a coveted Blue Peter badge for writing a screenplay for an episode of ‘Grange Hill.’

9. Ten years later, I won a computer in a women’s magazine ‘Write A Blockbuster’ competition with something I hurriedly composed a few hours before the deadline called ‘The Adoption Option.’

10. I am convinced that if I were ever to be regressed I would discover that in a previous life I had lived in a Charles Dickens novel.

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