The Famous Four meme

An age ago I was tagged for this meme by the lovely Niamh of Eat Like a Girl – and today I finally got round to completing it – hurrah!  So sit, back, relax and enjoy.

4 jobs I’ve held

1.  Criminal advocate After I left university I practised as a criminal advocate (barrister).  It was in the dying days of the apartheid regime and we still imposed the death penalty.  One of the things you do as a junior advocate starting out is to conduct pro deo defences – where the state pays you to defend indigent accused persons facing capital charges, so that’s how I came to defend 14 murderers in court over the course of 18 months.  Let me just say that a maximum security prison is not a place where you want to spend large chunks of your working life… And for those of you conteplating a career in law, let me assure you that it’s nothing like the movies would lead you to believe!

3.  Lecturer Having had enough of the heady world of criminals and court orderlies, I took up lecturing contract law to non-legal students for 8 happy years.  Possibly the best job in the world – if you need variety in yuor life, just try lecturing 18 year olds!  If anybody needs a law lecturer just e-mail me.

2.  Secretary When we came to the UK, it was with the intention of having a 9 month working holiday, no more, so I was only looking at temporary jobs.  The easiest field to find work in was secretarial and luckily I had a good agency who sent me off to a job at a Large Soft-Drink Company.  It was an hour commute either way for me, I worked for at least three different sets of bosses while I was there, everything seemed on the verge of chaos all the time… but I was flown Business Class across the Atlantic for 2 days to deliver a passport.  So you could say there were perks :)

4.  Knowledge management Since 2002 I have been in some sort of knowledge management role with 2 different firms.  Don’t know what KM is?  Click here.  It’s the way of the future…

4 places I’ve lived

Tricky, this one, because I have only ever lived in 2 cities!!  So forgive me if I stretch the definition a little…

1.  Port Elizabeth (at home with my parents) Man, I loved living at home.  How else would you explain the fact that I was only shoe-horned out at the ripe old age of 29??  Our house overlooked a valley, had a pool, lots of little sunny spots where I could lie and read in the afternoons, and enough space that nobody got underfoot.  Plus my laundry and the cooking was done.  Thanks mom!!

2.  Port Elizabeth (in my apartment next door to my best friend) So I finally left home and bought a little apartment (in a "townhouse complex", for all you fellow Saffers) of my own.  And within minutes, Nick had moved in with me.  When I came back from my overseas jaunt (see job 2 above) I returned here and found to my joy that my best friend had bought the flat literally one door away from me.  Fate works in mysterious ways.  I still miss that apartment and our Monday night supper club.

3.  London (on a friend’s lounge floor)  When we arrived in London in 2000, all we had was a suitcase each, some money to tide us over till we could get jobs, and the promise of temporary accommodation with our friend John.  We had expected to be sleeping on the lounge floor.  What we had not expected was that another couple would also be sleeping on the lounge floor – John’s sister and her husband – and that the girlfriend of John’s housemate would regularly be staying over – meaning seven of us sharing one tiny bathroom.  Nice.  It’s amazing we’re all still friends!!

4.  London (our little rented house in the Docklands)  In June 2000 we moved out of John’s house and into our current house – and that’s where we have been ever since! Most people living in London move on a regular basis, but then you get me and my limpet-like propensity for staying put. I love our area & our lovely neighbour with her adorable cats & our garden, and until we win the lottery and can afford a triplex apartment with a sea view, this is where I plan to stay 😉

4 places I’ve holidayed

1.  Chihuahua, Mexico We went there in Oct 2005 for our friends Adam and Iliana’s wedding and loved it.  I was intrigued how people would comment when we said where we were going "oh, so you’re going to the REAL Mexico" – as opposed to Cancun I guess.  The bus ride from El Paso was exactly as you’d imagine, with people boarding the bus to sell unidentifiable foods in plastic packets every time the bus stopped, and men dozing in their seats under their white Stetson hats.  The people we met were the warmest and friendliest I have ever encountered and the whole city had a strangely familiar feel to it – rather like a smaller South African city with modest ambitions.  Fantastic food and the best tequilas I have ever tasted.

2.  Mauritius When I was a student my dad had the "brilliant" idea of taking a cruise to Mauritius for Christmas – on the ill-fated Achille Lauro (dubbed the Ship of Hell by my brother and me)!  I can safely say that the cruise cured me of ocean cruises for life.  My brother and I spent almost the entire trip being sea-sick and too hot and as a result we re-christened my dad The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  But we did end up in Mauritius which was absolutely fantastic.  The people are amongst the friendliest in the world, the beaches are paradise and a trip into the interior from the coast is like entering another world. Highly recommended for luxury by the sea.

3.  Dubai Yes, it’s kind of tacky and exremely environmentally unsustainable, but there is something utterly appealing about Dubai.  I went with my friend Paul in 2005 and was prepared for the skyscrapers, the shopping malls and the gold souk.  What I was not prepared for was the beauty of the desert, the heady scents of the spice souk and the mad exotic hive of activity surrounding Dubai Creek in Deira, the older part of town.  It’s one of the crazier culture clashes I’ve experienced and totally alluring.

4.  Granada, Spain  I went with my two best friends and we rented a house in the Albaicin (the old Muslim quarter) with a roof terrace overlooking the Alhambra.  We walked the narrow streets and shopped in the bazaars by day, rested in our cool garden while the call to prayer sounded from the mosque, watched the sun setting over the Alhambra from the square outside St Nicholas’ church, drank sangria in tiny squares at night and then sat on our terrace watching the moon rise over the Alhambra at night.  It was as close to perfection as any holiday can come.

4 favourite foods

1.  Pizza Either paper-thin the Roman way, or chunky like in the south.  I don’t care – as long as the ingredients are good and I get it piping hot out of the oven.  Heaven.

2.  Foie gras My little vice.  It turns any meal into an ethereal treat.

3.  Broad beans In any form really – just lots of them please!

4.  Tacos al pastor – little tortillas wrapped around barbecued pork and pineapple with a spicy sauce.  It’s reason enough to go to Mexico!

4 places I’d rather be

Port Elizabeth with my wonderful brother & his family, getting ready to watch SA win the Rugby World Cup tomorrow 😉

Plettenberg Bay having dinner at Cornuti al Mare and looking forward to a long walk on Robberg Beach tomorrow morning

Granada, having dinner at a restaurant near St Nicholas church overlooking the Alhambra (do you see a theme here?!)

Having dinner with my mom who passed away four years ago today.  Mamma, I still miss you as much as I did that first night.

I can’t think of four people to tag who have not yet been tagged at the moment – but I reserve the right to add tags later this weekend. If, however, you want to do this meme, please consider this your tag and get writing!

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  1. says

    I lived in PE for a few years. One memory I always chuckle at is going to the Campanile Hotel each Sunday to watch The Avengers! Also my Passat catching fire outside Barclays Bank in Kempton Road!
    Very fond memories of PE.

  2. says

    Absolutely fascinating! I love Granada, how wonderful to live there – even for a short while. And foie gras….
    Someday, I’ll visit Dubai…