So… I haven’t done one of these kinds of posts in a while (and I always enjoy reading them when I see them on other blogs)… and since I’ve had quite a few new blog-followers of late, I thought I’d share some random facts about my story & life…

Here goes…

  1. My surname… Costaras is a Greek name.  I’m married to a Greek.  My maiden name is Patterson.
  2. I always liked the sound of “Heather Patterson” more than “Heather Costaras”.  But then I googled both.  There are hundreds of Heather Patterson’s out there.  But only ONE Heather Costaras (that’s because Greeks usually don’t marry non-Greeks).
  3. I was born in Cape Town… and we moved inland when I was 6 years old (my dad wanted to start up his own business… away from his family).  I consider Benoni my “home-town”.
  4. My wedding photos are here (I love looking at other people’s wedding photos).
  5. I grew up on a smallholding as a mud-encrusted, scabby-knee’d, adventure-loving, rule-breaking tomboy.  I am still that person.
  6. I think that wet window putty smells amazing.
  7. My husband, Nick, is the love of my life and my closest friend.
  8. I never thought I could have kids… nor was I particularly broody.  But now that I’m mom to Morgan and Joah, I can’t imagine life without them.  They have enriched my life in ways I could never describe.
  9. I am messy.  I have tried to *fix* this part of me for many years.  Now I’ve just made peace with it.
  10. I am scatterbrained.  I have always been scatterbrained… and I get bored and distracted very easily.  I have spent years guilt-tripping myself about these characteristics.  I think I’m finally making peace with them too.
  11. I’m not a panicker.
  12. I’m a qualified NAUI Openwater II scuba diver… but I haven’t dived for years (unless you count a camera shoot in a pool)… which is a pity.
  13. My father is  workaholic who manufactures electrical components (and renovates and sells property).  I get the risk-taking part of my personality, my great sense of direction… and my deep love of the sea… from him.
  14. My mom is a pastor who has a restoration ministry called Fisherman’s Village.  I get my creativity… scatter-brained… gazillion-ideas-at-once traits from her.
  15. My parents are divorced.  Dad re-married a woman of a different race.  I now have 3 sisters… including my step-sister and my half-sister.  My 3 sisters are 3 different colours.  As a huge fan of diversity… I love this!
  16. I abhor racism, sexism, classism, homophobia… and all other forms of nasty discrimination.
  17. I really… really… really… hated school (especially high school).  To this day, I feel resentful towards the schooling I received as a child – and the system that enforced it.
  18. I once secretly pee’d in someone’s shoe (whilst in the back seat of a car).  The owner of the shoe was driving… and I was too embarrassed to tell him to stop for a bathroom break.  I was 15 at the time.
  19. I can speak English and Afrikaans.  I wish I could also speak Zulu, French and Spanish… but I’m pretty useless at picking up new languages.  🙁
  20. I can speak 2 different kinds of gibberish, though!  🙂
  21. I have a small scar beneath my bottom lip from when my face connected with a windsurfer board.
  22. As a kid, I listened to Dolly Parton, Roger Whittaker, Bee Gees and Boney M.  I still listen to the Bee Gees.
  23. I am a full-on, all-out Creative Creature and can do all number of creative things… BUT… my creativity mysteriously vanishes when it comes to cooking.  I am the world’s most BORING cook.  I can make a great lasagne… and that’s about it.
  24. If I’m staying somewhere that has access to DSTV, I watch the food channel for inspiration.  And I pin healthy, interesting recipes on Pinterest.  And I read recipes when I pick up a magazine… however, as soon as I visit a grocery store… all that information inexplicably vanishes from my brain – and all I think is:  “Bread!  Cheese!  Milk!  Spaghetti!”… and that’s what I end up buying.  Bread.  Cheese.  Milk.  Spaghetti.  And maybe some yoghurt.
  25. I would prefer NOT to cook.  Ever again.  I would much prefer a personal chef.  That would be soooo wonderful!
  26. One of the few things I envy about wealthy people… is having the means to employ helpers who help them with stuff that they suck at (or are too busy to do).  If I had the financial means, I would employ a personal chef (who would also need to do the grocery shopping) and an administrative-genius-person.
  27. I prefer swimming underneath the water (rather than swimming on top).  As a child, I used to wish I was a mermaid.
  28. Oceans 11, Little Miss Sunshine, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Shawshank Redemption, Inception and Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey Jnr) rank as some of my favourite movies.
  29. I am also rapidly becoming a huge fan of Wes Anderson.  He doesn’t make films.  He makes creative masterpieces.
  30. I have a *thing* for old graveyards, ruins, old bell towers (with old bells) and wishing wells.
  31. I’m a cat person.  But Nick, unfortunately, has cat allergies.
  32. I’m uncomfortable with zoos.  I prefer to visit animals in their natural habitat.
  33. I can sing all of the songs from The Sound of Music.  And most of the songs from My Fair Lady, Oliver Twist, Annie, Mary Poppins and Camelot (my mother raised my sister and I on musicals).
  34. I performed in a number of amateur theatre productions when I was a kid… and LOVED it!
  35. I can’t read a note of sheet music.  I play music by ear.  I went to guitar lessons when I was 16 and learned how to play chords.  I would go home, sit in front of my piano with the guitar on my lap and teach myself how to play those same chords on the piano.  The passion for music was always there… and everything I’m able to play was self-taught.
  36. I can’t act – but I think I’d make a great director.  In fact, one of my big dreams is to write and direct a film.
  37. My very first job was “waitress”.  I was 16.  I was fired.  I was fired from my second job too (working in “Operations” at a big courier company).
  38. I don’t like being told what to do.
  39. I have worked for myself and been my own boss for over 20 years.  I can’t remember what a “day job” is.
  40. One of the (many) reasons why I hated school:  a bunch of people telling me what to do… all the time.
  41. In primary school, I was awarded with a trophy for being one of the Top 5 students of the year and a certificate for “Exceptionally High Standard of Work”.  In high school, I was bunking classes, forging sick notes and spending many hours in detention.
  42. I lived in Norwalk, Ohio for almost-a-year (in 2000).  I worked for a church as “Minister of Music” or “Worship Leader”.
  43. I called myself a Christian for many years.  These days… I have a different perspective.
  44. I love exploring new ideas and places… and meeting new people… and going on adventures… and trying new things… and learning, discovering, evolving and growing.  Let’s just say that I’m not a big fan of sameness, systems, predictability or routine.
  45. I once bit a Rotweiller’s ear (out of sheer desperation, mind.  I was trying to get her to release the Border Collie she was viciously attacking).  It worked.
  46. I think Bobby Mc Ferrin is a musical genius.
  47. I don’t send my kids to school.
  48. I don’t want my kids to “fit in” with the status quo or to be “normal”.  I want them to be confident, self-directed initiators.  And I want them to be happy.
  49. I’ve never been good at sports and I don’t *get* what’s so exciting about watching sport on TV.  Especially things like golf or tennis.  However, I DO enjoy watching the Olympics – and especially the gymnastics and the figure skating.
  50. We don’t have a TV.  We ditched our TV a number of years ago (I hate advertisers telling me what to do… among other things).
  51. Although I’m South African by birth, I prefer to call myself a World Citizen.  I’m human first and foremost.  My humanity comes before my race… before my religious beliefs… before my nationality.  There’s a quote by Francis Fenelon that I love:  “All wars are civil wars because all men are brothers.  Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which he was born”.  Albert Einstein called nationalism an “infantile disease”… and I concur.
  52. I hate guns.  But I won’t fight people on the right to own guns.  I don’t think making things illegal solves anything.  If people want to own guns – they’ll own guns.  If people want to take drugs – they’ll take drugs.  Making things illegal just drives the issues further underground.  Prostitution is another case in point.  I would rather encourage education… and questioning… and discussion… rather than reams of additional rules and laws.
  53. I’m a pacifist and peacemaker.  I don’t think violence solves anything.  War sickens me.
  54. Whenever I burp, I say the word “burp!”.  It drives Nick mad.
  55. I’ve become a bit of a potty-mouth.  But not as bad as Nick.
  56. I grew up around boats.  As a child, every holiday involved boats.  We would take the boat out to the sea, lagoons, rivers or dams.  As a result, I’m very comfortable driving boats… and I love waterskiing and knee-skiing.
  57. I like the IDEA of becoming a vegetarian.  But I can’t resist a nice, crispy chop off the braai.
  58. I hate it when my feet get hot.  Because of this, I seldom wear closed shoes.  In summer, I live in slip slops.
  59. I have a really big head.  No, seriously!  Hats don’t fit me (which is such a pity, because I love hats!).  I had to commission my mom to sew me a big, floppy sun hat – because I couldn’t find a single sun hat that would fit my enormous noggin!
  60. I consider myself a feminist – in that I believe firmly in equal rights for women.  I think many people have the wrong idea of what it means to be a feminist.  I certainly don’t hate men… and I don’t think women are *better* than men.  I just think we’re equal.  Different… but equal.
  61. In fact – I’m just big on equality in all areas.  I don’t believe that race, wealth, nationality, age, status, gender makes anyone “better”… or “less than” other people.  Ever.
  62. I don’t *get* why so many people are obsessed with name brands.
  63. I also don’t *get* why so many people worship and idolise celebrities.  They’re just PEOPLE!
  64. I don’t *get* why South Africans are salivating with sadistic, morbid obsession over the Oscar Pistorius trial.  What’s with the national love-affair with misery and violence?
  65. My step-sister is gay.  My cousin is gay.  Some of my dearest friends are gay.  People who continually campaign against the rights of homosexuals to love or marry whom they choose…  had best keep their distance from me.
  66. I’m impatient.
  67. I’m impulsive.
  68. I have noticed… for a long time… (and Nick has noticed too) – a very odd phenomenon that random street lights go out when we drive past them at night (always different lights).  Nick and I now joke about this… because, seriously, we notice it almost every single time we drive at night.  This has been going on for over 3 years.  We don’t mention it to others because it sounds rather silly.
  69. I love old, historic buildings (which is why Europe is such a treat!).
  70. Charlize Theron attended the same school as me.  I’d like to direct her in a film one day.  🙂
  71. I have strong opinions… on many things… but have no desire to fight with others – or to try to convince others that they are “wrong” and I am “right”.  I am open to thoughtful discussions (and I’m very open to changing my mind or viewpoint) – but, as soon as somebody tries to steamroll me… or bully me… or *tell* me how wrong I am,  or raise their voice at me… I shut down and distance myself from them.
  72. I think snakes are beautiful.  I love how they feel and how they move.  I wouldn’t want to keep one as a pet, though.
  73. I’m not scared of spiders.  In fact, I rather like them.  I can sleep peacefully with a large rain spider on the ceiling above my head.
  74. I still have my tonsils and appendix… but I don’t have my wisdom teeth or gall bladder.
  75. I have struggled with an eating disorder for as long as I can remember.  But I don’t play the shame-game any more.
  76. As a lover of diversity, I’m very accepting of people who are different to me (unless they’re rude or arrogant).  I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with rude and arrogant people.
  77. The Briggs Meyers personality test says I’m an INFP… an “Idealist”.
  78. I avoid fights and arguments – and I don’t yell at or hurl insults at other people.  This is probably because I am so super-sensitive to words and I get really hurt if someone insults or ridicules me… (so I don’t dish out the same treatment to others).
  79. I don’t eat seafood.  Only fried calamari or, on the rare occasion, battered Hake.
  80. I also don’t like hard-boiled eggs, grapefruit, olives, celery and things like liver, kidney, tongue or giblets.  Ew!
  81. Nick and I met when we both played in a Christian band called Desert Rain.  He was the bass guitarist and I was the keyboardist.
  82. I still enjoy composing music and singing songs… and occasionally, I’ll host a little show called “The Mad Hatster’s Coffee Cabaret”…
  83. I think my husband is soooo sexy when he plays the bass.
  84. I have jumped off a very high bridge – only to be caught by a rope and whipped underneath another very high bridge (this is called a bridge swing).  I didn’t like the feeling of falling (50m free-fall before the rope caught me).  Because I now know that I don’t like the falling feeling, I’m not going to be signing up for bungee jumping or sky-diving any time soon.
  85. I have also jumped off a train bridge into a lagoon.  Next time, I will clench my bum cheeks to avoid the unwelcome enema.
  86. I love the African bush… and don’t visit enough.
  87. On one of my first qualifying dives, I swam with a whale shark.  It was one of life’s most memorable moments.
  88. I was married before.  I got married when I was 19… and divorced when I was 24.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any kids.  Many… many… lessons learned from that experience.
  89. One day, when the seasons change and we decide to sorta-settle somewhere… I would like to own a grand piano.  But that can wait.  There’s lots of adventure and exploring that needs to happen before then.
  90. I once sold all my stuff and spent 4 months solo-travelling England and the States.  It was probably one of the most challenging – yet character-building – times of my life.
  91. My top two love languages:  Words of Affirmation and Quality Time.
  92. I can rap “Ice, Ice Baby” (in an accent of your choice).  It’s my stupid party-trick.
  93. When we lived on the smallholding, I had a horse called Billy.  He was such a naughty and stubborn horse (who hated being told what to do).  Reminded me a bit of myself.  I miss horse riding.
  94. I’m not a girly-girl… but still enjoy feeling pretty.
  95. I don’t give a continental crap about being “in fashion” or “on trend”.  I will never spend huge amounts of money on things like handbags, watches or shoes.  Those things just don’t matter to me.
  96. My favourite spa treatments:  foot massage, hand massage and head massage.  If I could work out a way to get the hands, feet and head massaged simultaneously, I think I’d be in heaven.
  97. I don’t enjoy shopping… or shopping malls.  At all.
  98. I much prefer rain and overcast weather to blazing heat.
  99. My great-grandfather (on my dad’s side) was the mayor of Morecambe (England) and was awarded an MBE by the King.  As a sentimental creature, I’d love to do a family history tour on that side of the world… and I’d love to get my hands on that long-lost medal.  Nobody in the family knows what happened to it.
  100. I draw.  A lot.
  101. Dreams for the future:  to publish an illustrated book… and to write and direct a film (which Nick will shoot and edit).

So, there you go.  I know this was rather long-winded and I hope you weren’t bored!

If you have some random-facts-about-YOU… I’d love to read those too!  I really am very genuinely interested and fascinated in the diversity of people and stories!