Seven random things about me:
I know how to hand cut and braid kangaroo hide because I was lucky enough to learn it at the feet of a 94 year old saddler who was from three generations of saddlers. He was a lovely old man and used to tell me stories of his life as we sat outside in the shade of a beautiful tree and did our work. He also had a tame magpie who would bite my ankles till I did Ttouch on her until she was so relaxed she had crept up into my lap and fallen asleep, and she decided I was ok after that.
The best moment of my horse-riding life might have been this time, I was maybe 17, and I was galloping a palouse pony down this sandy hill bareback and he tripped and staggered forward for a few hair-raising strides and tipped me off, but I ran alongside with my hands stilled gripped in his mane and vaulted back on at full gallop. No-one saw it, sadly!
I have a Second Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, that I earned after 7 years of training and grading. I was 39 when I passed that grading. I started by going to a self defense course and found I was good at it and loved it and it went from there. Andrew, my hubby, who was already a Black Belt in Karate came along too and we trained together at home and passed all our gradings the same day apart from our Black Belts, where I pulled a muscle in my calf halfway and had to redo that grading a few weeks later.
When I was a teen I got a ten week old puppy called Keech who was a Kelpie (local herding dog) crossed with who knows what. She was so beautiful, with her broad head, black and tan coat, gold-flecked brown eyes, and tall pointed ears. She was my heart, my sister, mother and friend, for fifteen years. She had love for everyone and yet was always dignified. She taught me so much, and still comes to me as my Guide in my Druid journey meditations. All my dogs since have been like my children, but Keech was/is a soul mate.
The very first ever novel I wrote was in the evenings and weekends when I was doing my teaching degree. It was a swashbuckling sword and sorcery with a very feisty female lead character, and it was funny and quite rude too! It was a great relief after my days of trying to be something I was not. I banged it out on the little orange typewriter my grandmother gave me many years before when I said I'd decided to be a writer. I'd get quite involved. I remember one night I was madly typing some exciting fight scene and a piece of wood fell out of the fire behind me and I nearly hit the roof, I jumped so hard!
When I was in my twenties and early thirties I never cut my hair, so that it grew till it was to the backs of my knees. I nearly always wore it in two long braids like a viking, but when I took it out it was like a river of gold and bronze. I felt like my hair was my strength like Sampson did. Maybe it was. It was only after I cut it that I got sick! It's growing again now and I keep saying I will only grow it to my shoulderblades, then trim it, but I haven't for a long time and it is on the way down my back again...