365 Challenge: Day 21 – English

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English: containing roots from England

We’ve concluded another week, and on this, the third 365 Challenge Sunday, it’s time to select one of the countries from which my ancestors hail. I’m about 33% English, though Ancestry says my DNA is 81% English; however, those numbers include Irish, and Scottish, which will be next week’s “end-of-the-week” post, thus covering my four primary heritages. But I’m pretty certain at least half of me hails from Great Britain when I look at all the records and the family genes. I am pretty pale, remember! My favorite English last name in my family history: Pantridge. So formal and eloquent.

I’ve been fascinated with the royal families and ascendancy to the thrones of England for years. At one point, I could name most of the Kings and Queens in order, but I’ve forgotten some of those details in recent years. I would love to find out that I descend from one of them, but I highly doubt it’s true. Perhaps Henry VIII’s court jester is my real ancestor!

And in keeping with tradition, I’ve located the Top 10 English traits… but this time, it’s according to the Metro UK news. Let’s see how I fare:

1. Talking about the weather

  • I do often use that as an easy line of conversation, given that I tend to be shy and quiet when it comes to conversing with others. I am fascinated by whether it will be warm or cold, rainy or dry. I hate, loathe and despise hot weather. I prefer the temperature to be a nice 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A good topic for another day!
  • Score: 1 out of 1.

2. Great at queueing

  • Yes! I love lines. It’s the most fair way to ensure those of us who arrive early don’t get left out when a crowd forms. My favorite place for a proper queue is at the airport, but it does not always happen. Each American airline (don’t get me started on other countries’ approach to the ticket counter) calls group by group to queue for an orderly on-boarding to the aircraft. EXCEPT, most Americans (of which I am one) are RUDE (not me, I am orderly). They all just run to the line even though their group hasn’t been called, and then orderly people like me have to ask people to move, step over all their luggage, blah blah blah. Get the @#*& out of my way is what I really want to say. Wait your turn. If you’re group 5, don’t stand right at the beginning of the line. Don’t be an @$$^&*%.  OK, rant done.
  • Score: 2 out of 2.

3. Sarcasm

  • I had a post dedicated to that… remember? Although, someone wise said I am probably more clever, so…perhaps not. But in general, I think the English are sarcastic like I am – never in a cruel way.
  • Score: 3 out of 3.

4. Watching soaps

  • Yes, I must confess. I used to watch a lot of soap operas when I was a teenager, not including prime time soaps. Let’s see if I can remember them: Loving (became The City), Another World, Days of Our Lives, As The World Turns and Guiding Light. I had lots of VCR tapes going while I was in school. And I also had 3 magazine subscriptions to keep me well read when not watching them on TV. Such a LOSER!!!!!
  • Special Kudos to anyone who can name the fake soap opera in the clip below.
  • Score: 4 out of 4.

5. Getting drunk

  • I remember covering this during the Irish post. Are all British drunks? Or is it really just everyone in the world at this point? Yikes. But no, I’m not a drunk. I drink but know when to stop on most occasions.
  • Score 4 out 5.

6. A love of bargains

  • No, definitely not me. I am careful with money, but I am not a bargain shopper. I like to get a discount, and I will usually balance quality and cost when making a purchase, but I always wonder “what’s wrong with this?” when it seems like a bargain.
  • Score: 4 out of 6.

7. A love of curtain twitching

  • I am stumped. What the… is curtain twitching? Let’s Google it……… OK, I’m back. OMG, I would not have guessed this. Seriously? OK, well curtain twitching is “a nosy person who watches his or her neighbours, typically from a curtained window.” AND it uses the British spelling in the word “neighbours.” Laughing so hard, I can only think of one thing. AbFab! Too bad they weren’t actually curtain twitching the neighours in the clip below. But yeah, I’m a little nosy sometimes. Remember curious?
  • Score 5 out of 7.

8. Stiff upper lip

  • Sometimes I do, sometimes I do not. I tend to be pretty strong, but not always. I’m gonna say yes to this one.
  • Score: 6 out of 10.

9. Love of all television

  • I watch TV almost every day. Besides reading, it’s the other hobby I have that involves sitting down a lot. 🙂
  • Score: 7 out of 9.

10. Always saying sorry

  • I used to do this ALL the time. I’m much better about it now, but if I get too close to someone and almost bump them, the first words out of my mouth are “I’m sorry.” It would never occur to me to say “excuse me” or “watch where you’re going!” I always assume it was my fault.
  • Score: 8 out of 10.

And what does this tell me?  I am emblematic of 80% of these things… and that matches the 81% noted above. How am I always so in sync with my DNA? Quite a stumper…


365 Challenge: Day 20 – Curious

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Curious: eager to know or learn something, strange or unusual

The first thing people often think of when they hear the word “curious” is the old adage, “Curiosity killed the cat.” I was so curious where that originated from, I had to look it up. And Wikipedia told me, which we all must believe because: 

“The earliest printed reference to the original proverb is attributed to the British playwright Ben Jonson in his 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour, which was performed first by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare used a similar quote in his circa 1599 play, Much Ado About Nothing. The proverb remained the same until at least 1898. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer included this definition in his Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.”

But when I delved a little further, you know… past 1898… it was more about a cat having 9 lives and how it was cared for. The true origin of the “curiosity” part is unknown. So that’s no help to me. That said, I am a very curious individual even though we all know:

I wasn’t the repetitive child who at two years old always asked “Why? Why? But why?”; however, I was the child who ran to the library, my encyclopedias and then eventually the internet… to get my answers.

  • This comes out in my thirst-quenching need to research my family tree and subsequent obsession with genealogy.
  • Searching for spoilers on all the TV shows I watch to know what happens as soon as possible.
  • To looking up the ending of a book while I’m still reading it.
  • To researching something until I literally spew data about it all day long and annoy my friends and family.

But it’s also dangerous, as you saw with our lovely fairy tale princess a few spots above in this post. For me, the danger presents itself when I cannot find the answer I’m looking for and I want to explode.

Or I cannot trace something as far back as I’d like to. Or if you love murder mysteries and want to play detective, and you track the criminal to the point where they try to kill you. While I’ve only done this thru books, if I had to pick a career, I’d want to be a snoop.

I am always curious about other people. Why do they make certain decisions? Why did they yell when they could have whispered? Where did they go during that two minutes I couldn’t find them? Why do I care?

Not really sure. I’m thinking it may be that I am fascinated by people’s actions and thoughts, wondering why and how we all think so differently. Or it could be I need to consolidate so much information in order to determine my own thoughts. Now that’s a bit scary…

Being curious has always felt like a good thing to me. Shows you care. You have interest. You want to grow. You want to process information. Hence the 365 Daily Challenge: I’m curious to learn more about myself, and as a result, about others who reply and share thoughts with me.

But some people don’t like it when you’re curious, and you will hear “Mind Your Own Business.” That’s harsh. A nice ol’ slap in the face to someone who just wants to learn.

Not to say privacy isn’t important. Each person decides what (s)he wants to remain private and therefore limits other people’s curiosity. Obviously if I’m revealing so much in this challenge, and I believe I’ve noted it before, I’m not a private person. I like when people ask questions. I think it helps create bonds. Brings out challenging new ideas and a flow of intimacy.

But don’t go out and just start peppering people with detailed and intricate questions. Find your own balance and activate the right level of curiosity.

How about you? Anything you want to know? Or anything you want to share? I do love a little gossip!