5 Things Most People Don't Know About Me

5 Things Most People Don't Know About Me

Somehow, I've blinked and find myself a 45 year old wife, mum and business owner. The question is - where did the years go?!  I swear, yesterday I was leaving school and poof here I am today, well and truly adulting.

As I have indeed hit the adulting phase of my life, I've decided to do something suitably mature and launch an Oak & Porter Blog.  Do people still read blogs?  Who cares - I'm gonna roll with it anyway!

Let's start by keeping it real with 5 Things Most People Don't Know About Me. (Oh, I'm Heather by the way - hi!)


1. I proudly wear hearing aids:  This is a pretty new and fabulous development. I realised in my late 20's that my hearing wasn't what it should be but it wasn't until covid hit and face masks became a thing that I realised how much it had declined in the intervening 15 years.

My dad had had cancer of the larynx when I was six weeks old (kudos to Mum for keeping the ship sailing) and has a quiet voice as a result of the surgery. Because of that, lip reading when we're in noisy environments has always been second nature so I thought nothing of it...until the ability to do it was taken away and I realised - crikey...I can't understand anyone!

A diagnosis of viral nerve damage (who knew that was a thing) and a couple of hearing aids later and - oh my goodness - literally, life changing.


2.  I hated being pregnant:  Sadly, I did. I love our children beyond all measure but I had the same condition as Kate Middleton - hyperemesis gravidarum - which basically means that I spent both pregnancies with either my head down the toilet, walking around holding something to throw up into or feeling horrendously nauseous.

My first pregnancy was the worst of the two with no medication relieving it. "Glowing" wasn't on the cards for me; instead I adopted a pallid green/grey hue! Fortunate to avoid depression, I steadfastly ticked off every day that passed with relief there was one day less remaining. Sad, really.

But then came the day our eldest was finally born...ten days late, naturally! Let me tell you - when you've spent 9 months being sick roughly ten times every morning (unfortunately, I kid you not), waking up the next morning feeling normal again with your incredible new baby in your arms...well, that's the greatest feeling on earth.


3.  No regrets:  As I've gotten older and wiser, I've come to realise that one of my core values has always been to live with no regrets. I'm not sure where it comes from - there was no defining moment - but when I look back at the crossroads in my life, I realise now that the driving force in my decision making was always that I'd rather try than live a lifetime with the agonising thought - what if?

This subconscious mindset has given me the push to make some pretty bold and joyful decisions in my life that I'd do all over again in a heartbeat: I wouldn't be married to my wonderful better half; we wouldn't have emigrated to Australia in the noughties; we wouldn't have moved back 20 years later; our youngest wouldn't be part of our fabulous little tribe; I wouldn't have been a stay-at-home mum those first irreplaceable years of our sons lives; I wouldn't have had a decade long career as a photographer having had no experience in photography or business ownership when I set up shop; I wouldn't have opened Oak & Porter on our return to England and I wouldn't have gotten my first tattoo aged 43.

Honestly? The idea of looking back at the end of my days having not ticked that one off my bucket list was more agonising than having it done! And even though I probably verged on being too old for this particular debut, I did it anyway - on the underside of my forearm for all the world to see - and I haven't regretted it for a single second :)


4. I had a lucky escape on our honeymoon:  This is the tale of how I had a falling out with a quad bike while spending an otherwise very lovely month in New Zealand. Yuuup, you already know this isn't going to end well, hey?!

Towards the end of our honeymoon we booked an off-road quad biking tour on the South Island. About half way through we'd reached a track that hugged the edge of a scarily steep hill. The guide told us how to deal with the descent and we set off.  Easy...except that my quad bike didn't do what it was supposed to do - doubtless human error but let's blame it on the bike rather than the author, OK?!

It became apparent pretty quickly that my bike wasn't gripping the track. Instead, it was slipping it's way down the hill, the breaks seemingly ineffective.

Being faced with the prospect of going over the almost sheer drop to my right and most likely leaving my new husband a widow, I hoped for the best and took my chances with the ditch to my left.

Unsurprisingly, after a short distance the quad bike flipped, taking me with it and depositing me back on the track, trapped beneath it.

Fortunately, someone was shining down on me that day - it took a few people to lift the bike off me but once they had, I miraculously walked away. Yes, I was left with pretty spectacular bruising, pain almost everywhere and hips that haven't been quite the same since but at least I lived to tell the tale.  Also, I don't like quad bikes.


5. I'm a published poet:  Literally, no one knows this except my husband and parents so this is a big share!

This goes back to when Princess Diana died. We all remember how shocked the country...no, the world...was, right? My mum saw an article in a national newspaper asking for poetry submissions for a book to commemorate her life and said I should write something. So I did. And it was chosen.

I couldn't tell you a single line of it now but I remember enjoying the process of getting my thoughts on paper. Perhaps I'll get the book down from my parents bookcase sometime and take a look at what my 19 year old self had to say.


So there you have it - my first post done and dusted! Thanks so much for hanging out with me today - how'd I do?!

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