You have been an FT member for a long time now. What brought you here in the first place and why did you stay?
Like many others, I stumbled across the site by accident. Did a couple of quizzes, thought this was a Very Good Site and filed it away for another day. Once I revisited, I was hooked. I love FT because it isn’t trivial! Sounds like an oxymoron, but some sites focus on the banal and the LCD mentality (lowest common denominator
) but with FT I am constantly learning new things. I am impressed with the high standards set for the site, and of course, the friends I have made. There is something for everyone here. agony
Tell us something about your background - are you from a big family or a small one? Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sydney, Australia, in the western suburbs, a working-class area. My parents were quite well-educated for the time (both finished high school). My father began as a clerk for a trucking firm, but graduated to be a transport manager. My mother was a stay-at-home-mum until I was in my twenties, then she began a clerical job which she did until she was 81, when she became ill. I’m the eldest of four: one brother and two sisters. One of my sisters is FT member, tomkincat1, but she hasn’t been on here for a while. My mother (the late lozzarob) was an amazing woman with an incredible general knowledge. She led the family team in an annual trivia night and they won for six straight years. The seventh was won by the rest of the team in her memory the next year. She was also a fiercely competitive scrabble player. So with a background like this, it was inevitable that I would end up (a) a librarian (they are usually know-it-alls) (b) a teacher and (c) a FunTrivia devoteePagiedamon
Are you married, single or divorced? Kids or pets?
I have been married to Greg for almost 39 years. We have one daughter (FT member saintly_frog) who has just finished Honours at the Australian National University and is about to commence her first “real” job.
I have had a succession of pets – dogs and cats. I have always loved dogs, having had one in my grandmother’s house where we lived for a few years after I was born. We didn’t have many dogs; my father refused to build side gates to keep them in, until we got Paddy, a red-heeler cross. We always had cats, though, and they included the redoubtable Sheba who was, to quote my mother “a nasty old broad”, who hated everyone and hung around for 18 years. agony
What were your dreams when you were a kid, and have you fulfilled any of them?
I wanted to be a ballet dancer, although I had all the grace of a young hippo and have never had a ballet lesson. I devoured every ballet book in the local library instead. This early introduction to the library was probably the reason for the career I eventually chose. I also wanted to travel, but this was a rather abstract concept then, not really a burning ambition. I did always want to go to Canada, because my father was stationed there during the war, and he loved Canada and said that was the only place he ever wanted to travel besides Australia. I finally got to Canada about five years ago, and travelled down the Icefield Parkway and then to Vancouver Island and Comox (co-incidentally where Dad was stationed). It was magic, and was everything I had dreamed of. Pagiedamon
What is your real-life occupation? Do you enjoy it?
I trained as a librarian and worked in mostly public, but also special, libraries for almost 30 years. I was a specialist Children’s Librarian for a number of years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I became a library manager when I moved to Canberra, and was able to work part-time after my daughter was born. My career goal had been to be involved with our national children’s book awards. I was fortunate to be named as the ACT’s (the state where I live) judge for the Australian Book of the Year Awards. This was for a two year term and involved reading every children’s book published in Australia for the previous year, and writing a report on each one, finally submitting your own shortlist. The judging took place at the annual Judges’ Meeting, lasting four days, at which each of the contenders was thoroughly discussed. There followed a period as guest speaker at schools, libraries and meetings, and then you did it all again the next year. It was a heady time and the pinnacle of my career. After that, I needed another challenge, so I began a post-graduate degree in teaching, with a view to becoming a teacher-librarian, thus combining my two interests. It was fortunate that I did this, because the public library where I worked had yet another review, at which time it was decided that a senior librarian/manager who wished to remain part-time did not fit their needs. I got an offer of a part-time Teacher-Librarian position the next day, so I took that as a sign.
So began my next career. Primary (elementary) school and I were not made for each other, so I was fortunate to gain a position at a senior College, where the joint-use school library and the public library were shared. There I stayed for the next thirteen years, teaching English and Library Studies, and working closely with students to help them gain the research skills crucial in this digital world. Somehow I survived the Education Department’s policy of moving all its teachers for the sake of it, but was told that I had to change schools last year. I did not want to be anywhere else, and as I had been thinking about retiring in the next year or so, I brought it forward, so that I retired in July 2013.
I have just completed studies and have become a registered Civil Marriage Celebrant. I am currently completing a Funeral course.
I still have not quite realised that I am retired! I promptly took on a job at the local TAFE (vocational college) teaching library cataloguing. As I had to write the course as well, my two hour a week job took on a life of its own and swallowed all my available hours. As I am travelling later this year, I will not be teaching it in the first part of this year. I might have some time to do some relief teaching this year. I may actually set up my celebrant business. Or maybe some voluntary work in one of our national institutions… ren33
Tell me about your part of Australia. It is such a diverse place. Why do you love your bit and why should we visit?
I grew up in Sydney, lived in Melbourne for a while, with spells in Paris and the UK. I was dragged kicking and screaming to Canberra due to husband’s work. Canberra had a reputation as a sterile, deadly dull place with national institutions and no restaurants and nothing to do, and I was convinced I would never get a job. From the moment I set foot in the place I loved it. For residents, it has everything. It is small, clean, everything is close and there is so much to do. You are never lonely in Canberra as it is still small enough to get to know people, but large enough to have plenty to do, with clubs, interest groups and sports. It is a wonderful place to raise children, having excellent schools and many cultural and historical institutions. Why should you visit? Well, there is enough to keep a visitor entertained and informed for quite a while and it is easy to get around (see ozzz2002’s question). And the locals are friendly. Folk from the larger cities still regularly claim that the only two good things about Canberra are the roads out. But we don’t really need any more residents; the place is quite big enough, despite developers trying to make it into another Sydney or Melbourne.ozzz2002
I have visited Canberra many times, and it is a great touristy place. How many of the attractions have you seen? Places like Cockington Green, the Mint, Telstra Tower, the Parliament Houses, Questacon?
Ozzz, it is true that as a local you tend not to visit the things on your doorstep. I have been to most of the attractions, but some of them took me a while to get to. I have visited all of the ones you mentioned (we live quite close to Telstra Tower and often bushwalk there). The newest attraction is the National Portrait Gallery and it is magnificent. We always take visitors there and the exhibitions are always changing. Likewise the War Memorial, which would be on my Must See list. I was fortunate that as a teacher-librarian, I was able to access many of the behind-the-scenes areas of several of the public institutions, sometimes with other teachers and sometimes with students in tow. Questacon is a fantastic place to visit, as is the National Library, which always has some fascinating exhibitions. We are so fortunate that our wonderful Parliament Houses (old and new) are open to visitors .
Do you still have your very special dogs whose breed led to the adoption of your FunTrivia name?
The first Scottie I ever met was the Lovely Aimi McDonald (named for the character on At Last the 1948 Show. She was owned by my now-husband Greg and meeting her was the beginning of my love affair with Scotties (and him!) He jokes that I only married him for his dog. I currently have two female Scotties, (Saint) Fidget (nearly 10 yrs) and Kenzie The Wicked (3 yrs). Fidget was a hyperactive puppy who has grown into a sometimes timid adult. She does not like other dogs and growls and snarls when they come into her orbit, hence her other nickname of The Enforcer. Kenzie is the most laid-back Scottie I have ever met. She is a big, floppy smoocher who loves everyone. She also loves our loungeroom carpet which used to be white, and our sprinkler system. Husband says we have one dog too many and she’s for sale to the highest bidder. I also have a collection of Scottie Dog figurines. Maybe one sad day they will be my only dogs…ozzz2002
You have several quizzes online, mostly about Australian stuff, which is great. Do you have any more in the pipeline?
I am working on a “jeans/genes” quiz which was inspired by the “Jeans for Genes” Day. I am also planning some more “Packed to the Rafters” and some “Winners and Losers”. There are not very many quizzes on Australian dramas (or soaps, to echo some people’s view of them
). I think I have another Canberra quiz in me, and probably another one involving Scotties, and I would also like to do some on Australian literature. And perhaps one each on Scottish dancing and knitting.Pagiedamon
I know you've met some of the FunTrivia regulars in real life. Where did this meetup take place and who came? What was the best part of this experience?
I went to a Sydney meetup a couple of years ago. It was very convenient for me, because I was in Sydney for a course at the time, and just around for another day. I met up with : ozzz2002, Copago, Tizzabelle, gtho4, and Eraserhead. It was a very wet night, with rain pelting down as only Sydney can, but we were dry and the company was warm. It was great to be able to meet people whom I felt I already knew, and to talk on such a range of subjects. No-one got upset when we talked lots of trivia; only fellow trivia buffs will understand! It inspired me to arrange a meetup for Canberra FT folk last year.sue943
Other than quizzing at FunTrivia, what are your hobbies?
I have always loved reading. I haven’t stopped from the time I first learned to read. I am fairly active (or was until a recent foot operation put me out of action and thus out of shape) and play squash (badly). I also very occasionally participate in a rogaine. It’s an Australian sport, a bit like long-distance orienteering. I LOVE trivia nights and get to as many as I can. I really enjoy Scottish Country Dancing, which I have done very sporadically for many years. Too sporadically, I fear, as the latest attempt aggravated aback problem, and I have been told “not to”, which is a bit like a red rag… I am also a keen knitter who is overenthusiastic and overestimates my ability to finish anything, so I tend to buy and hoard wool. I currently have about 800 balls, which will more than see me out! (or get sold on eBay) I enjoy hanging out with my Scotties, although I should walk them more than I do. And I have been fortunate to travel a bit, although I am a poor traveller who can’t sleep on planes/strange beds/ buses and who tends to panic when things go wrong. sue943
Theatre or cinema? Which do you prefer and do you have a favourite production or film that you have seen?
I enjoy both, Sue. I certainly go to more cinema than stage shows, as Canberra has a thriving but quite small theatre scene, so shows do book out very quickly. I can’t remember the last stage show I saw. As for films, I recently saw “August: Osage County” and loved it. I think there is Oscar material there. However, I also like a lot of the older films. Some favourites are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Dead Poets’ Society, and our number one family favourite, Miss Congeniality. I especially enjoy Australian films. I think our films have a wonderful sense of place and character. A recent Aussie film I enjoyed was The Turning, which is a presentation of Tim Winton’s collection of short stories of the same name.agony
Describe for us your perfect day - what do you do when you can do what you really want?
Having recently retired from (almost) full-time work, I should have lots of opportunity to do things for me, but some constraints prevent me from doing this. A perfect day would involve a massage – maybe someone coming to the house to do it, so that I could fall asleep straight after. Perhaps a snooze in the hammock in the back yard (because in my perfect day the weather would be too), followed by a light lunch prepared for me by someone else, and accompanied by a glass of chilled NZ sauvignon blanc. In the evening, join a group of friends for a game of Balderdash or cards. sue943
If you could have dinner with three famous people, living or dead, then who would it be and why?
• Cate Blanchett- Such a talented actress, but also very grounded and with ideas that are worth listening to.
• Julia Gillard- Our first female Prime Minister. I admire her achievements and agree with many of her views. I would like to know more about Julia the person and what made her successful.
• Judith Wright- An Australian poet, critic and short story writer. Her work reflects her love of her land and her concern for her environment. I love her poetry for its truth and its passion and its ability to capture what is truly important. She was a passionate supporter of Aboriginal rights and was the first patron of the population group Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population.sue943
Money and time are no object, so where would you like to take that dream holiday, and why?
I would have said “to travel to the Kimberley in Western Australia”, but that became a reality a couple of years ago, and was every bit as good as I had hoped. So now I would like to go to Machu Pichu. I have never been anywhere in South America, and from what I have seen and heard this is not to be missed. However, it will probably be a bit of a gruelling trek, so if money was no object, perhaps I could have easier access. But maybe then it would not be so magical..Pagiedamon
What are three things that we all should know about Scottie2306?
•I am a founding member of SPA (Sustainable Population Australia, formerly known as Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population), which is now a national organisation. http://www.population.org.au/
. In fact, it was founded in our living room…
•My favourite books are “The Little Prince” by Antoine de St Exupery , “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton.
•I think I am probably a frustrated author. I can write, but don’t have the imagination to think of a plot. Oh, and I talk. A lot. Thanks to everyone who participated.