If you follow me on Instagram then you may well have read this already…and if you don’t then you really should – you can find me here.
Anyway, lots of people are joining in with these posts about 20 things and I thought it might be nice to share my 20 facts over here on the blog too, and I’ve added in a bit more detail here too. So here goes…
1. I’m actually called Sarah-Jane although no one calls me that (apart from my mum if I’m in trouble).
2. I was named after Dr Who’s assistant, Sarah-Jane Smith. My mum was actually so convinced I was going to be a boy that they hadn’t thought of any girl’s names. I was going to be Luke Matthew but then I turned out to be a girl and my dad was a big Dr Who fan so Sarah-Jane it was.
3. I was born and brought up in Blackpool – it wasn’t as exciting as you might think. I didn’t even go to the Pleasure Beach until I was about 14!
4. I danced in summer shows at in the famous Blackpool Tower ballroom for two summers when I was a teenager. The backstage is tiny and I don’t know how they fit everyone in when Strictly goes there.
5. I was head girl at secondary school. I had to apply for it like a job and be interviewed by the head teacher.
6. I’ve worn glasses since I was 7 – without them I can’t see much past the end of my nose! At first I only needed them for watching TV and reading the blackboard at school but my eye sight got steadily worse until I was in my twenties.
7. I worked in France for most of the first half of my twenties. I mostly worked on campsites but also worked in a ski resort and spent one winter working in an industrial laundry!
8. I moved to Scotland for work when I was 25 and ended up staying there for 14 years. I originally moved to work for the company I’d been working for in France. When I left there I worked for HBoS for a few years and then I decided to train to be a teacher.
9. I’m scared of birds (but only if they fly at me). And balloons (but only when someone, usually one of my kids, grabs them).
10. I’m allergic to pretty much anything with hair, fur or feathers. I also had really bad hayfever until the last couple of years. I hardly had any symptoms when I was pregnant and it hasn’t come back as bad as it was before.
11. I passed my driving test first time when I was 17 but didn’t get my own car until I was 25. I used to drive my mum’s car, and then drove vans and company cars when I was working abroad. I’m old enough that I didn’t have to take the theory test.
12. My first car was a J reg Vauxhall Nova that I bought for £150 – it had four different keys (one for each door, one for the boot and one for the ignition!) It got stolen on the first New Year I lived in Scotland. I didn’t notice for two days and the police found it written off in a field.
13. I’ve got a brother who is exactly two years older than me – our birthdays are the next day to each other. We should have been about three weeks apart but he was early and I was late. When we were little he used to open his presents on my birthday because he couldn’t understand how he was older if my birthday was before his!
14. I’m a French and Spanish teacher. I didn’t do my teacher training until I was 31 and I only learnt Spanish myself after I had qualified as a French teacher.
15. I haven’t worked as a teacher for 21 months now. If we hadn’t have moved I probably would have gone back after a year of maternity leave but we came to England instead. I’m hoping to go back to work soon but just waiting for the right job.
16. I can play the ukulele (badly). Here’s a very silly video I filmed years ago… (and how young did I look before I had kids??)
17. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 32 and had resigned myself to the single life. We met at a comedy gig in London when I was living in Scotland and he was living in Manchester. We got to know each other online after we met for the first time (including three weeks while I was only holiday in America). We met up again a couple of months later, did the long distance thing for another six months then Barry got a job in Edinburgh and moved to Scotland to live with me.
18. I was friends with Benedict Cumberbatch at university but I haven’t seen him for about 16 years. I did have a dream the other day that he came to a university reunion though!
19. I have given blood 15 times and my blood group is O+.
20. I’ve been in 10 pantomimes and 10 musicals – I love performing and can’t wait until I have enough time to get back on stage again. The first one was Alice in Wonderland when I was four and the most recent was Aida in 2014.
So there you have 20 things about me – did any of them surprise you? If you feel like writing 20 things about you then do join in and let me know so I can have a read.