Having set up this bit of fun yesterday, one of the people I tagged who is Caroline at http://itshowlifeis.blogspot.com has challenged me to answer the questions myself. So here goes and this is what I have to do.

1) Answer the 10 questions and consider the mission.
2) Tag a blogger or two or more to do the same
3) Come back to my original blog post and tell me you have done the questions and answers.

I have tried to make the questions Ok for those who watch the television programme and those that don’t.

1. What one thing about being a parent makes you scream “Get me out of here!”

One thing! That is a bit limiting. I think it varies too according to what age your children are. Right now, the squabbling between me boys drives me insane so let’s stick with that one but I can give you more if you ask nicely, lots more …

2. What skills, if any, do you have that would be useful in the jungle?

I can cook. I would probably make people laugh even when things got bleak.

3. How are you likely to annoy people in your were stuck with them for 3 weeks?

Probably over-analysing things and talking too much. Or if I got in one of my dark days, that would be a pain in the arse to them I am sure.

4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?

Spinach and walnut soup. I knew I had entered an alien universe when I went to Cambridge University but the soup pretty much confirmed it.

5. What luxury item would you take into the jungle with you?

My laptop as would need to blog for sanity’s sake.

6. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

It depends what you mean by daring. Physically, it would be when I walked on hot coals. Despite being a total wimp really, I do seem to have taken on some challenges. These might include going to an Oxbridge college as a working class kid, taking on challenging jobs and taking on step-parenting without really knowing what it would entail not to mention parenting itself.

7. Who would you miss most if you went into the jungle with a bunch of strangers?

My family. I have felt much less lonely since I moved in with my Dad. Despite the fact Him Indoors drives me to distraction, I miss him by about 10pm on the nights I am away from home. The children I think, no absolutely the children, the good bits.

8. What celebrity alive or dead would you like to have with you in the jungle?

Freddie Mercury to really question him about his philosophies on life

9. What would scare you about being in the jungle?

All the frightening animals. Knowing me, I would also be terrified of not saying the right thing and not being liked.

10. After leaving the jungle, you go to a luxury hotel. What would be the first thing you did on reaching your hotel?

Read the newspapers to find out what people were saying about me.

11th mission should you choose to accept it is to tell us why the person who tagged you is a star. (For the uninitiated, stars play a big party in the television programme)

Oh, now I get why darling step-daughter tagged me. She wants me to say nice things about her. Now to be serious I met this girl when she was 14. Despite her circumstances which were far from ideal, she had a ladylike quality about her and sort of glided like a swan through all the shit surrounding her. in fact, an awful lot of the time she reclined on a sofa as if she was on some chaise longue in Downton Abbey. She had style and poise despite the fag hanging out of her mouth.
Although me coming into her life sort of meant she would lose her Daddy’s attention in some ways, she did do all she could to encourage the relationship appearing to genuinely feel that I would make her Dad happy. I once heard her telling her little sister “Look, Dad loves Kate, that is what you have got to understand and that is a good thing”.
When the relationship had early hiccups, she would ring me up and try to get things back on track.
I loved cooking with her, being creative and she does not know it but there is a huge part of me that would like her to be my own daugher. I sort of get her and I think she gets me too.
She has gone on to create a family unit coming through some really awful challenges along the way with not enough support offered from people who should have known better. That is a huge achievement of which she should be really proud. So these days she is a wife and mother and karma has also delivered her to status of stepmum too which wickedly amuses me no end. She is now about the age I was when we met so realizes that her telling me it was great I dressed young at the grand old age of 29 was going to bite her on the bum one day.
She listens, she stops me feeling isolated and she is a friend, a different sort of friend but a friend all the same.
She is a warm-hearted, ready to help others even when she has her own troubles, very forgiving, highly intelligent and does a fine line in Baileys in coffees when he going gets tough.
Oh and she promised me a night on cocktails if I said all these nice things and I can’t think what sort of wicked stepmama she got these sort of habits from …

Now, let’s tag 10 bloggers and ask them to join in with their own answers.

1. http://pinkoddy.wordpress.com
2. http://funkywelliesrandomthought.com
3. http://butwhymummywhy.wordpress.com
4. http://myprincesskingdom.wordpress.com
5. http://mum2four.co.uk
6. http://reluctanthousedad.com
7. http://adventuresofamiddle-agedmatron.blogspot.com
8. http://katetakes5.blogspot.com
9. http://daddacool.co.uk
10. http://mishmashmum.com

The rather wonderful Caroline Flack who blogs anonymously as MishMashMum has tagged me asking 10 deep and meaningful questions.

She tells me these are the rules of the game.

1) Answer the 10 questions
2) Tag someone to do the same
3) Come back to my original blog post and comment that you have done so in order for us to find out who has been tagged and therefore find out more about our fellow bloggers!

1: Describe yourself in seven words:

Shy, warm-hearted, passionate, moody, driven, creative, witty

2: What keeps you awake at night?

As a teenager, it was listening to my radio under the covers. At college and in my twenties, it was lustful thoughts of various crushes. Since becoming a Mum, it is children. Even though I am way past the babies and toddlers stage, my children do like their cuddles. I enjoy them too so have no problem if they creep into bed with me (don’t tell the parenting police!) It is fine unless two get on either side of me and fall asleep at which point I end up crushed in the middle. Him Indoors also keeps me awake when he puts on the light to read in the middle of the night or when he snores. Sexual shenanigans.

3. Who would you like to be?

A confident version of me with a meaningful role in life. An author that can write well about issues of concern to women.

4: What are you wearing now?

Jeans and a glittery top under a black jumper. Trainers. Knickers unlike many mums tagged apparently. And a duvet when I have finished this post.

5: What scares you?

The idea of losing a child or children.
It also frightens me how you can be really close to someone and not know them at all and be very badly let down. This has happened to me twice or maybe three times and leaves me with issues around trust.
I am not great with mice, rats and snakes.
Public Speaking is a bit of a fear although I have got over that to an extent.
I also worry about not fulfilling my potential although a big part of me probably thinks it is too late now. I really don’t want my epitaph to be “She was mediocre”.

6: What is the best and the worst thing about blogging?

Blogging is a sanctuary where I can be myself, warts and all. My blog always accepts me as I am and the great thing is that an awful lot of people out there seem to like what they see too. For someone very lacking in confidence, that is a real boost and has changed my life for the better.

The worst thing about blogging is that it distracts me from pursuing other writing and trying to make money from my skills (assuming I have some)

7: What was the last website you looked at?

Netmums where I was looking at the Nearly New boards and arranging a collection of something rather lovely which I am sure I will reveal in a future post.

8: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

7 weeks ago I would have said to lose weight but hey, that journey is a successful work in progress with one and a half stones gone already. What I would love to have is charisma and more confidence.

9: Slankets Yes or No!?

Yes as you might have guessed from a previous answer.

10: Tell us something about the person who tagged you?

Mishmashmum is a blogger who tells it like it is. She is a thinker and a feeler. She listens, she questions and she challenges. Like many of us, sometimes she struggles and sometimes she celebrates. She is all that and Olly should consider himself a very lucky man. Her blog is rather superb so give it a visit http://mishmashmum.com/

Right, time to pass on the baton to

http://ourpeagreenpod.blogspot.com

http://www.chickenruby.com

http://theramblingpages.blogspot.com

http://mrsshortiesmind.wordpress.com

http://mummyplum.blogspot.com/

Will leave it at 5 so that there are others left to tag.

Well, what about my answers? Did you like them?

Welcome to a Listography where we don’t have to think. This is great news as last week was a tough challenge thinking up 5 dates never mind 5 disastrous ones at that.

1. Halloween Carrot Cupcakes – I guess from this we can take it that I have lots of foodie readers and that I like to keep my blog topical when it comes to food if nowt else.

2. Savoury Dutch Pancake Recipe – Well, this goes to show my blog can be savoury as well as sweet. I quite like that idea.

3. Lincolnshire Hot Pot – more food. Is it any wonder I am weighing in stones overweight? Quite nice to see Hot Pot in the week where we lost the wonderful actress and singer, Betty Driver. She played Betty Turpin the long-suffering barmaid and cook at the Rover’s Return in Coronation Street.

4. Blog Hop Tuesday – this pleases me as will hopefully mean more people get interested in joining in with the Getting Your Groove back blog hop I launch every Tuesday. It is all about mums getting a sense of self in the midst of juggling work, parenting and the rest. If you have lost your va-va voom or never quite found it, if you want to rediscover or reinvent yourself, this is the blog hop for you. The good news is there are others on the same journey more than willing to offer support and ideas.

5. Get thin Freshers – Well, I guess I am on a journey to get to a reasonable size again even if not thin exactly. The Freshers bit means I went to university and have blogged about it. After all, way back in those days, I was a size 8 and thought I was fat. Oh to be so fat again.

So there are my 5. Have a go at Listography over on the Kate Takes 5 blog yourself.

You have a choice now. You can join the grooving mums some of whom are trying to get fit and healthy or you can think blogger it and indulge in the recipes for the lovely dishes outlined above. Which will it be?

The Gallery theme this week is Inspirational People.

Who has inspired me?

There is the teacher at school who did not have a television and challenged my thinking.

There is the solicitor who fought miscarriages of justice.

There is the lovely Freddie Mercury who I admire for his creativity and his willingness to live his life his way.

I could talk about my late Mum who inspired me to blog in the first place. However, I tend to write about her as part of the Little Legacies Project organised by Penny at the Alexander Residence blog.

So family wise, here is an inspirational person.

Mum always said she would be happy if I worked on the Pick and Mix in Woolworths. I think if anything my ambition frightened her a bit. In reality, she need not have worried as I did not achieve much in the end.

The photograph below is my lovely Dad. He always encouraged my ideas about what I might achieve. He is a decent man and I strive to be as good-hearted and true. He always believed in me and used to tell me to walk tall as I am as good as anybody. Dad has travelled the world and understands about different cultures. When Dad talks, it is always good conversation and plenty of laughter too.

I now live with my Dad and as I attempt to revive myself after the first 10 years of parenting, he inspires me to work to be the best that I can be on all fronts. He has developped a keen interest in my blogging and social networking which is not bad at all for a 84 year old. He teaches me that it is never too late to learn or to try new things. His example has also demonstrated to me that although never the same, there is life after loss.

In the last couple of years, several people have said I inspire them. How I do this when I am a stay at home mum battling huge weight issues and struggling to get back whatever va-va voom I had in the first place, I have no idea. However, it does please me that people make changes to their lives saying they were inspired by something I did.

Finally, if you want to check out some really inspirational mums out these making massive positive changes, do read the stories linked up to the last 3 weeks of #groovingmums blog hops.

http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/getting-your-groove-back-blog-hop/

http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/getting-your-groove-back-blog-hop-all-mum-bloggers-welcome/

If you fancy joining the #groovingmums, you are most welcome this week http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/are-you-a-grooving-mum-could-you-be/

Lots of great things have come my way since I started blogging.

Blogging has helped me actually do what I want to do which is to write every day. Blogging has helped me deal with the emotions surrounding my mum’s illness and death. Blogging has introduced me to a new network of cyber friends. Blogging has brought a number of freebies my way.

However, the most important thing that blogging has done for me is to make me feel less alone and different.

Before going to school, I was the adopted child so different to those in the local community.

At primary school, I had really old parents so was different to the other kids.

At secondary school, I loved learning and was often top of the class, marking me out as a swot or whatever term of abuse the other children wanted to hurl my way.

At university, I was the one from Yorkshire when everyone else seemed to come from London or Surrey. I was also the obvious working-class kid too. Different again.

When working in charities, I was the one with the degree from a posh university.

In the Maternity Ward, I was different as my husband already had children to other women.

At the school-gates I was the “outsider” and the one who had given her children funny names.

In mummy social groups, I was the one who said what I thought and was ostracised as a result.

The first blogging post that touched a nerve with mums I knew was about a Pampered Chef evening. It appeared I was not the only one who was thinking the products were over-priced. I was also not the only one who was secretly giggling at how some of the words the demonstrator was using could have shown up equally well in an Anne Summers do.

When I spoke about my struggles with motherhood, another mum I knew told me she had thought she was the only person in the world who felt like that. This was the first time that I realised through blogging, I might help others.

I know now that I am not the only woman who hates the way her body looks after children. I am not the only woman who really does not see the point of make-up. I am not the only woman who struggles with her child’s special needs. I am not the only woman who has found step-parenting challenging. I am not the only woman who is shy and struggles with self-esteem. I am not the only woman who has struggled to find her way after post-natal depression. I am not the only woman who still grieves years after loss. I am not the only woman found it hard to bond with one of her children. Knowing there are others like me makes me feel OK about being me.

Blogging or rather those who read and comment on my posts have made me feel less isolated and that actually although I share much with many of you, I remain a unique person who has something to give that matters.