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#1041877 - Mon Apr 14 2014 02:18 PM Interview with Rossian
Pagiedamon Offline
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Registered: Sun Jun 15 2008
Posts: 2592
Loc: North Carolina USA
Pagiedamon
Please tell us a little about yourself. Married? Single? Children? Pets?


Iíve been single since divorcing my second husband nearly twenty years ago. I have two adult children from my first marriage and three grandchildren. I used to have dogs (one at a time) but for now I just have a budgerigar. My granddaughter named it Bluebell, because we thought it was female but it turned out to be male. By then his personality had shone through so he is now called Sid Vicious.


salami_swami
Your username is based on where you used to live, Ross-on-Wye. Were you born there? Do you miss it? What can you tell us about it?


I was actually born in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England and raised in Gloucestershire. I have lived in, or near, Birmingham (on two separate occasions), Bristol, Swindon, Exeter and Fleet at various times, but Ross-on-Wye was where I lived longest, for twenty-eight years. If anywhere is home, that would be it, as my mother, sister, son and one grandson all still live there. It is a small market town and a tourist destination, being a centre for visiting the Wye Valley. It is very scenic, and I do miss living there especially as many of my friends are still in that area.


Pagiedamon
Where do you live now? What are the pros and cons of your current hometown or city?


I moved to Wirral in October 2007. It's the peninsula which lies between the rivers Dee and Mersey Ė the ferry which Gerry and the Pacemakers sang about travels between Liverpool and Wirral. For me, the main attraction is being close to Liverpool, which is only a twenty minute train ride away, under the river, and I donít even have to pay a fare. Since Iíve been living here Iíve seen several concerts, including Squeeze, The Manfreds and Cliff Richard (well, I like him) and I shall be seeing The Eagles in June. Iíve also seen the travelling stage shows of Mamma Mia and West Side Story and some live theatre. While living in Ross Iíd have to go to Birmingham or Bristol to see anyone well known, either of which would entail a three hour minimum round trip. I also enjoy the art galleries, such as the Walker and Tate Modern (well, some of the exhibitions) while the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight is five minutes away. On the negative side, the Mersey is nowhere near as picturesque as the Wye Ė itís brown and muddy due to the tides, and is a working river rather than a leisure river like the Wye. I do enjoy seeing the ferries, such as the Stena Line to Belfast and the Isle of Man packet and I also saw the QM2 when she docked at Liverpool last year as my journey to work takes me alongside the river.


dcpddc478
If you won free tickets to visit anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go?


Iíve been lucky enough to visit many of the places I wanted to see, such as Dubrovnik, Switzerland, France and Italy, and Iím going to Russia later this year. Many of the usual holiday destinations donít appeal to me, as lying on a beach or by a pool in the sun doing nothing is my idea of hell. Give me a castle or a cathedral to explore any time. Anywhere with some history would appeal Ė maybe Prague or Pompeii, but what Iíd really love is to have some of the great museums to myself, or maybe with just one well-informed guide to explain everything to me, so I could see everything properly. Iíd start with the Uffizi, Hermitage and Louvre, if you can fix it for me.


stuthehistoryguy
Your profile tells us that "Supposedly, [you've] retired, but no-one told [your] boss!" From what field did you try to get out, and how do they keep pulling you back in?


I was bounced into retirement before I was ready as I was made redundant. There were good reasons for this, which I fully understood, but I had hoped to go on working for at least a couple of years more. I took the opportunity to move from Ross to live nearer my daughter (I did ask her first) and six months later found myself another job in the same field, on a part time basis. Having done that for two years, I decided Iíd had enough and retired again in May 2011. In late 2011 saw that a charity was looking for an administrator for a four month project so took that on. Needless to say, Iím still there two and a half years later, but it is only two mornings a week. To cap it all, the boss who made me redundant contacted me last year to ask me to take on some accounts work for him, so Iím now working for him again one day a week, thanks to the wonders of the internet (since the office is over one hundred miles away). The work I did for most of my working life was insurance broking, which I found enjoyable and satisfying. Helping people find a good deal and, even more importantly, making sure that their claims were paid when they should be (and fighting the insurance companies, when necessary) was part of the service. The skills of negotiation and organisation transfer into many other situations, of course.


dcpddc478 and Tizzabelle
Knowing what you know today, if you could go back to being 18 again, what occupation would you choose to enter and why? What would be your dream job?


I think the main thing regret that I have is not having the opportunity to go to university. It was much less common when I was at the right age and for me it was never really an option. My school, apart from one teacher, didnít suggest it to me and I donít think it even occurred to my parents. I left school at sixteen straight into the world of work where Iíve been ever since. I donít know that I have a dream job. The one I fell into suited me pretty well Ė it needed good administration skills, an ability to both talk and listen to people and being able to work to deadlines. And I did get my degree eventually by studying with the Open University in the 1970s, while my children were small.


stuthehistoryguy
What is the most significant thing that has happened to you in the past five years? By the same token, what is the biggest change you're looking forward to by 2020?


The significant changes were a bit longer ago than five years, Stu. Between 2001 and 2010 I had five operations on my leg to put right damage done in a car accident in the 1970s. The most serious of these operations was in 2007 as the first two had failed. In the midst of this I was diagnosed with a major illness in 2006 which, thankfully, was cured. Add to that the loss of my job and the house move, which were also both in 2007, so the last five years have been mainly a case of getting back on my feet both figuratively and literally. As for the future, I donít look too far ahead and prefer to go with the flow. Iíve learned that planning for the future doesnít work, in my experience.


stuthehistoryguy
When Paige asked me to take part in this interview, the first thing I thought of was how many points you'd earned me in Fantasy Knockout. What tips do you have for winning and having fun at FunTrivia's competitive games? For you, is there a difference between playing to score well and playing to have fun? How are these goals connected in your approach?


Youíve surprised me by saying that, since my perception is that Iím always rubbish when my tournament is chosen for Fantasy KO. The pressure of carrying other peopleís hopes is usually too much for me. I donít have any tips other than to play as often and as regularly as possible and not to mind if things donít go your way. Some of the games, like Mind Melt and Word Wizard, do throw up some oddities at times, which can be frustrating but are best laughed at. Scoring well is having fun Ė what more can I say? My competitive nature makes me want to do well at every game I play, but, mostly, Iím trying to do the best I can for my own satisfaction and not to beat somebody else.


salami_swami
Having won just about every badge out there, are there any badges you are particularly proud of? Any you are desperate to get your hands on?


Ascended has to be top of the list, as it was so hard to achieve. I took a lot of wrong turnings and had to turn back a few times, so it was an incredible feeling of mixed euphoria and relief to reach the end. Then, of course, I discovered Wes had built in a little twist in the tail, which Iím still trying to overcome. A Lucky Duck would be a very welcome addition to my profile, although the true answer to your second question would be Ďany badge or badgelet that you have but I donítí, Salami.


Tizzabelle
What is your overall proudest achievement on FT, and what aims do you have for the future?


Undoubtedly that would be my quiz writing. When I wrote my first couple, I never imagined that I would write over two hundred nor that I would have at least one quiz in every category. I remember thinking at the time that there couldnít be many topics left to write about, whereas now I realise that there is always a new angle. There are very few titles that daunt me, although Iíve probably written as much as I want to about sheep. As for the future, I hope I can continue to improve, and get that Lucky Duck.


Tizzabelle
I have been going to a regular pub trivia competition once (sometimes twice) a week for 17 years now. Are you a regular at these sorts of trivia competitions and if so, do you wipe the floor with your opponents?


When I lived in Ross, I did play in a team regularly and I still meet up with my fellow team members when I go back. Since I moved up here I havenít found anyone who shares my passion for trivia. As a team we did do pretty well, although there was one competition we always failed at. There was (probably still is) a quiz for the Children in Need appeal where we regularly finished second. What was even more annoying was that it wasnít even the same team that beat us each time. It became a running joke with the quizmaster highlighting our multiple failures each time we went.


Tizzabelle
No matter if I play or edit your quizzes, the quality always shines through. Were you always a writer of some sort or did you develop this skill as you wrote more and more for FunTrivia?


Thatís very kind of you, Tizz. Iím blushing. I wouldnít necessarily say that I was a writer, but I have always been a reader and that taught me a wide vocabulary and how to put a sentence together. I remember my mother being very frustrated by my ability to be lost in a book Ė I wasnít ignoring her, but I just didnít hear her. I discovered how irritating it was when my own daughter was the same, and she now goes through it with her own children. My education was also at a time when grammar was drilled into me. I did write stories and poetry at school, but not since, and my work involved writing numerous letters. My insurance boss says he never sends me an email without reading it three times before he sends it to make sure itís up to standard. Not that I openly criticise him, but he says he can sense the waves of disapproval. My granddaughter recently won a poetry competition, which was for ages eight to eighteen. She won her age group - for eleven to sixteen year olds, and her poem was also chosen best overall and since she is only eleven this was a great achievement. It supports my theory that reading is the key to opening up the imagination.


salami_swami
What is your favorite quiz of your own? Of someone else's? Is there a FunTrivia author you're particular fond of?


Of my own Iíd probably choose ĎWhat I Bought on eBayí. This gained me my first ever Editorís Choice but the main reason is that itís the first quiz of mine that took on a life of its own. When I started writing, I intended it to be just about foreign words but it insisted on becoming a quiz about Ďfalse friendsí. Itís probably also the first quiz where I allowed some personality to come through. Iím also quite fond of ĎThey Think itís all Ovineí which I wrote when eburge dared me to write about sheep and sport in the same quiz. I really enjoy ĎDear Athenaí by jouen58, which showed me how to put together a quiz which wasnít just Ďwho wroteí or Ďwho sangí. There are numerous authors I like, but Iím always happy to see something new from shipyardbernie, who writes mainly about music from my era.


salami_swami
What was your reaction when you were asked to be an editor for Sci/Tech? Are you glad you said yes?


My first reaction was blind panic. Becoming an editor was never one of my ambitions and I would not have offered or put myself forward for the role, but receiving a direct request meant that I had to give it proper consideration. I thought long and hard about it, and Iím grateful to those editors who took the time to write to me with advice, guidance and encouragement while I was trying to come to a decision. In particular I have to thank Wes who continues to help me when I need a guiding light. Four months later I wouldnít go so far as to say ĎI donít know what I was worried aboutí, but I hope Iíve settled into the position. On balance, I would agree that Iím glad I took it on, but you can test that decision by sending me a quiz of yours to edit, Salami.


stuthehistoryguy
I know you're a big cricket fan, particularly in terms of international competition. Can you give this hopeless American a primer on why you enjoy the game and how a novice might deepen his appreciation of these noble contests?


Thatís probably the hardest question of all. Selling a game that lasts five days, with breaks for lunch and tea, and which can still end without a winner is a tough assignment. What fascinates me is the strategy of the game and how the balance can change over the course of several days. The captain has to make decisions which can change the course of a match either way and there are individual battles between batter and bowler. Test match cricket is the ultimate test of character when itís at its best.


Tizzabelle
What are rossian's guilty pleasures? A particular trashy television show that you wouldn't normally admit to watching? Eating ice cream with mustard? A subscription to a mindless magazine? Union Jacks painted on your fingernails? A secret altar devoted Sir Ian Botham or similar, perhaps? (By the way, we have the Ashes ;))


Youíve only borrowed the Ashes, Tizz. Theyíll be back home soon. I donít have any trashy TV to confess to, as I mainly watch only dramas and sport, but I have to own up to an addiction to some of the games on Facebook. Mostly I wean myself off them after a couple of months of wasting far too much time. Is that shaming enough for you?


dcpddc478
If you could have lunch/dinner with any three people, from the past or present, whom would you choose?


Iíd love to meet Benedict Cumberbatch and talk about how heís coping with the fame ĎSherlockí has brought him. He seems genuinely charming and I hope I wouldnít be disappointed. Iíve always been fascinated by John of Gaunt, so Iíd ask him as well. As only the third son of Edward III he should have been forgotten, but he was the common ancestor of the Lancaster, York and Tudor monarchs of England. For my third choice Iím going to cheat a bit (OK, a lot) as Iíd like to bring my grandchildren back from twenty-five years in the future so I can see how theyíve turned out. By then, they should be settled in careers and (probably) family life and, while itís possible that I might still be alive by then, Iíd like to know now that their lives have gone well. I know that makes five people and bringing three of them back from the future is unlikely, but then so is asking John of Gaunt and I suspect Benedictís not going to turn up any time soon either.


dcpddc478
Do you think world peace is possible?


Iím not sure itís even possible to have a lasting peace within your own family, let alone the world. And I'm definitely not a beauty queen...


Tizzabelle
What would be the most surprising thing we could learn about rossian?


Although I pride myself on being efficient and organised, my sense of direction is hopeless. I got lost in Birmingham (on foot) since I used the Post Office tower as a landmark for the place I was going to and completely forgot that I had to come back again, when it would be behind me. I ended up in Leicester once, sixty miles from where I intended, by heading north instead of west. The jewel in my crown is driving around Barry Island about six times, trying to find the road out. My daughter and her younger half sister (not mine Ė same father) were less than helpful, pointing out all the sights weíd already seen several times before. Donít ever ask me for directions and thank goodness for sat nav, although Iíve managed to go astray even with the benefit of that installed in my car.


Thanks to everyone who participated.
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#1041878 - Mon Apr 14 2014 02:33 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
salami_swami Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8760
Loc: Colorado USA
Great interview! It's nice to know someone is as bad as me with directions. wink

And I'll get a quiz submitted to you, don't you worry. I have worked with every editor on here, and I would like to keep it that way. You just happen to edit one of my most difficult categories, and I hardly ever write there. But I still need it for pangalactic... I keep postponing the thought of it, since I've had several get sunnies and not count towards it. wink
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#1041880 - Mon Apr 14 2014 02:39 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
guitargoddess Offline
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Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 38499
Loc: Ottawa Ontario†Canada†††††††††
Great interview, it's nice to know rossian a bit better smile
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#1041881 - Mon Apr 14 2014 02:50 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
dcpddc478 Offline
Learning the ropes...

Registered: Wed Jun 09 2010
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida USA
Wonderful interview...if you get into those museums, let me know...I'd love to tag along...can we add the Smithsonian and the. Vatican Archives:)

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#1041882 - Mon Apr 14 2014 02:54 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
jabb5076 Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
Posts: 316
Loc: Georgia USA
Great interview, and for Heaven's sake, can someone tell Terry to give her the Lucky Duck!

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#1041883 - Mon Apr 14 2014 02:55 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8760
Loc: Colorado USA
No, no lucky duck for Rossian! I'm proud of having a badge she doesn't have! wink
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#1041914 - Mon Apr 14 2014 09:42 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 23203
Loc: near Stafford, Virginia†USA††
Originally Posted By: salami_swami
Great interview! It's nice to know someone is as bad as me with directions. wink


Hmmm...you'd never make it in Dallas, salami!

Great interview, rossian.
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#1041917 - Mon Apr 14 2014 10:28 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
eyhung Offline
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Registered: Fri Mar 02 2012
Posts: 134
Loc: California USA
A very nice interview with one of the most gracious and accomplished players on the site. Thanks for the read!

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#1041925 - Mon Apr 14 2014 11:35 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
ozzz2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 19569
Loc: Sydney NSW†Australia††††††††
Great interview, and lots of fun to read. Some great questions by your inquizitors, too.
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#1041951 - Tue Apr 15 2014 02:00 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
rossian Offline
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 2983
Loc: Merseyside UK†
Quote:
Wonderful interview...if you get into those museums, let me know...I'd love to tag along...can we add the Smithsonian and the. Vatican Archives:)


Funny you should mention the Vatican Archives. About four years ago my son-in-law spend two weeks in Rome researching in those very Archives (he is a mediaeval historian, in case you were wondering how he managed it). For the middle weekend, my daughter flew out to join him. No prizes for guessing who was left looking after the grandchildren while both parents were seeing the sights of Rome, although my son-in-law still insists it was work. That wasn't so much rubbing salt in the wound as pouring a whole Siberian salt mine over me.
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#1041952 - Tue Apr 15 2014 02:25 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8760
Loc: Colorado USA
Originally Posted By: dg_dave
Originally Posted By: salami_swami
Great interview! It's nice to know someone is as bad as me with directions. wink


Hmmm...you'd never make it in Dallas, salami!

Great interview, rossian.


And why not? Can't be any worse than here.
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#1041968 - Tue Apr 15 2014 03:50 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13908
Loc: Georgia USA
I enjoyed your interview rossian! smile
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#1041983 - Tue Apr 15 2014 04:19 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
Creedy Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 03 2010
Posts: 877
Loc: Coffs Harbour NSW†Australia††
Rofl on the getting lost! That happens to me all the time. The worst was getting lost in a village that only had a population of 300.
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#1042286 - Wed Apr 16 2014 08:52 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
satguru Offline
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Fascinating, I'm now able to see you in full 3D!
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#1042328 - Thu Apr 17 2014 05:01 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
stuthehistoryguy Offline
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Registered: Fri Aug 20 2004
Posts: 1302
Loc: Omaha Nebraska†USA††††††
"...lying on a beach or by a pool in the sun doing nothing is my idea of hell." Not sure I'd phrase it like that, but we're in the same ballpark. I have never understood how people can sink thousands of dollars into a trip and spend it laying around or shopping. I want an adventure, not my typical June Saturday with improved scenery smile

So tell me: what is the most intriguing strategic decision you've seen in cricket? (Hey, I made a whole quiz of these for baseball - share!)
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#1042407 - Thu Apr 17 2014 11:27 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
rossian Offline
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Loc: Merseyside UK†
Stu - I will offer you the Headingley Test Match of 1981, because Tizz will enjoy re-reading it. England looked doomed to defeat, having been made to follow on (i.e. take their second innings straight after the first since they hadn't scored enough first time around). The odds against them winning were 500-1, but Ian Botham scored 149 not out from an apparently hopeless position. Despite his heroics Australia needed only 130 runs to win - which should have been a doddle for an international team - but were all out for 111, with Bob Willis, the England bowler taking eight wickets for 43 runs.

If Australia hadn't enforced the follow on it is probable that they would have been so far ahead that England would have had no chance. The match changed the series, with England winning the next two tests as well and keeping hold of the Ashes (which Australia currently have on loan).

You probably won't understand a word of that, but it is just one example of how a wrong decision can change not just a match but a series.
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#1042410 - Thu Apr 17 2014 11:31 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 23203
Loc: near Stafford, Virginia†USA††
Originally Posted By: rossian
keeping hold of the Ashes (which Australia currently have on loan).


Didn't they beat you for it though? Or has the Ashes always belonged to England?
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The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
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#1042422 - Thu Apr 17 2014 01:20 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
rossian Offline
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 2983
Loc: Merseyside UK†
They didn't so much beat us as thrash us into the ground, Dave, so the Ashes are currently in the possession of Australia. They will be back, though...
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#1042430 - Thu Apr 17 2014 04:51 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
ozzz2002 Offline
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Posts: 19569
Loc: Sydney NSW†Australia††††††††
The 'Botham Test' is a sore point Down Here. At the start of the last day, England were 500/1 to win, and a couple of Aussie players got in a spot of bother for having a few quid on the opposition. A half-hearted enquiry found that they had done it just as a bit of a joke and that it could not be deemed as 'match-fixing', or even bad sportsmanship.

The Brits keep the Ashes trophy at Lords, the home of cricket in London- they say that it is too fragile to travel. Personally, I think that that excuse is a load of piffle. smile
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#1042840 - Mon Apr 21 2014 08:49 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
zorba_scank Offline
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Registered: Tue Feb 20 2007
Posts: 1932
Loc: Mumbai India
Loved your interview, Rossian. Now your 'Lost in France' etc. series of quizzes make perfect sense. wink
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#1043734 - Mon Apr 28 2014 11:53 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
reedy Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 28 2003
Posts: 61
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
A great read! Nice to get to know you a bit better. I really should read more of these interviews (yours is only my second).
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#1055065 - Fri Jul 25 2014 06:45 PM Re: Interview with Rossian
Jakeroo Offline
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Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 2064
Loc: Alberta Canada
Rossian: you are perfect. In many ways, I wish I could be you. Thank you so much for allowing yourself to be part of an interview.
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#1055160 - Sat Jul 26 2014 06:47 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
veronicavee Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 29 2013
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Great interview.

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#1055181 - Sat Jul 26 2014 09:09 AM Re: Interview with Rossian
rossian Offline
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 2983
Loc: Merseyside UK†
Quote:
Rossian: you are perfect.


Thank you Jakeroo. I must remember to tell my children that...
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