Just saw a blog from my friend and baby body language expert, Vivien Sabel entitled 10 things you didn't know about me. She had been tagged and encouraged to participate by others who had done the same. I decided to be brave and join in too so here goes!
I know my life is such an open book that many of you will know most of this but you never know!
1. Family: I was born in North Belfast and moved to West Belfast when I was 6 years old. I am the oldest of a family of 3 with 2 younger brothers. I have 3 children, twins (Eoghan and Aine) aged 15 and Cara aged 4. I also have 2 lovely nephews, Daire and Fionn.
2. Parents: My parents are still quite young (both are 63 years old). They both developed disabilities at a very young age. My mother has fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. My dad was in a serious motorcycle accident over 30 years ago and was seriously injured. The brachial plexus injury he sustained has resulted in chronic pain and disability. He has recently been diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
3. School: I attended an all girls convent grammar school, St Dominics in Belfast and achieved 12 O Levels and 3 A Levels. It was an excellent school and I have many many happy memories. However, my experience was that how pupils were valued by some teachers was based, not on ability, but on parental social status. This has influenced my values and beliefs to this day.
4. Further Education: I went to Queens University Belfast and gained a Degree in Pychology and a research based Masters Degree in Medical Science. I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work several and later did my Post Qualifying Award in Social Work. I have completed Family Therapy Foundation and Intermediate level training.
5. First Job: I worked part time in the audio visual department in Boots in Belfast for 4 years during my university years. On my first day I didn't realise you had to put albums into their sleeves and sold everyone album sleeves only! Needless to say I got a bit of a ticking off when they all returned them the next day!
6. My Fears: I am not as confident as I may appear although have conquered the crippling shyness I experienced in certain circumstances when I was younger. When I was sent to the canteen for my first tea break on my first day in Boots I was too embarrassed to walk in among strangers, so sat in the toilet for half an hour! I am also seriously claustraphobic and will avoid concerts, underground trains and lifts at all costs.
7. Sign Language: My interest in Sign Language started about 20 years ago when I started working as a volunteer for Sense NI. This involved helping out on holidays and saturday clubs for deaf blind children. I stayed with Sense for a number of years and completed BSL Stage 1 and later Stage 2.
8. My Other Job: As well as being the founder and owner of Sign2Music I also work job share as a Manager in a government Agency working within the Youth Justice field.
9. Failure: I have never failed an exam in my life but failed my driving test 7 times!
10. Claim to Fame: My recent appearance on the SevenThirty Show was not my first appearance on TV! I was on Songs Of Praise when I was 12 with my school choir, singing 'O Come All Ye Faithful', looking gorgeous with my ringlets! I also featured on a BBC Newsline trailer with Donna Traynor and the rest of my BSL class. We all stood together and signed 'Your BBC, Your World'. Cringe!