Ok so not my normal ‘thang’. Usually this would be an hyperbolic wander through a shimmering, iridescent, heartachingly beautiful or mesmeric piece of sonic wonderment. Instead, I treat you to, er, the facts behind the Nordic northwind that is DervSwerve.
A cohort of blogger-pals have been challenging each other to answer a series of random personal questions. Always one to rise to the
bait challenge, I’ve answered the call of one Angela Stratta, she of Cappuccino and Brioche fame, found the postcard and answered the q’s.
So voila, here it is … a blog about, er,
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I would love to say it’s this …
but it’s this
Who are you named after?
I was named after the daughter of the much revered Tom O’Higgins, former Irish Government Minister, Presidential candidate and Chief Justice of the Irish Supreme Court and European Court of Justice!
My parents were both living and working in London at the time and Mum, who was in a constant state of homesickness from the day she emigrated to the day she finally returned home for good, used, when she could, to buy a copy of the Irish Independent. In one pre-natal edition, she saw a photograph of the then Minister O’Higgins accompanied by his daughter Derval, and thought it was such a lovely name that she bestowed it upon moi! Which was lucky for me given that my Dad wanted to name me Brenda! Brenda? Do I look like a Brenda?
Do you like your handwriting? Do you?
Both my mother and her sister have beautiful handwriting. I obvs inherited the paternal gene – dab hand with a paintbrush but with a pen, not so good!
What’s your favorite lunch meat? Why only lunch I wonder?
We-ell, I guess it would have to be baked ham. I’m not a huge lover or eater of meat having more of a predilection for game, poultry and fish, but ham is easy isn’t it. And if freshly cooked onsite by a decent deli like Fallon & Byrne, it is usually super flavoursome, succulent and moreish. Ham is also extremely versatile and complementary to many other foods! (Sounds like a line from a Food Board promo don’t it!).
Longest relationship? With myself, or possibly my mother, depending on where you stand on foetal status.
Do you still have your tonsils? I believe so. Like I don’t go looking for them or anything, but every now and a misty cold day, they make their presence felt a la very sore golf balls. Like Alice, I lived next door to severe tonsillitis every year for twenty four years. Then one Winter … pffzt zzzp … they just cut out and gave up the ghost. Intermittent annoying golf-ballitis recurs, but not very often and it’s more bothersome than painful.
Would you bungee jump? You might as well ask me if I’d walk out in front of a car! I hate heights, I hate flying, I don’t jump, the wind makes my hair flap into my face and the cold makes me wanna pee. So, no, no, no, no, no.
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I don’t even untie them putting them on never mind taking them off! Life’s too short!
Favorite ice-cream? Don’t eat a lot of the stuff but I distinctly remember as a child, developing a long-distance, unrequited love affair with Pistachio ice-cream courtesy of a plethora of American TV shows. When I did finally make it across the Atlantic at the tender age of 12, that was one of the first things I asked for … and oh boy! OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY! Long distance love became love at close quarters.
While it goes without saying that my mid-Summer go-to is everyone’s favourite, golden-oldie HB’s Maxi Twist, I have recently developed a penchant for some of the newbies like Nobó’s Salted Caramel or Chocolate & Toasted Almond. However, my ice-cream heart will always belong to Pistachio!
What’s the first thing you notice about people? Call me superficial but their general appearance, the overall package. After that it has to be their eyes and what they say to me or not, about the internal workings.
I’m not looking for labels or shoes with such a shine that one can see their reflection, but the way someone dresses, how they carry themselves, their gait, their handshake and whether or not and how they look me in the eye, will sway my initial judgement of them.
Football or baseball? Er, neither. I’m Irish so don’t know the first thing about baseball and much to the annoyance of most of ‘footie’ fans, I call it (looks furtively around) – SOCCER! Tbh the only reason I call it that is to differentiate it from Irish GAA football, which is of course, ten times more entertaining, especially as the players can ‘elbow’ each other, which invariably leads to a few on-field fracas!
My favourite sport is Hurling – the fastest field game in the world – which if you’ve never heard of it, never mind seen it, then feast your eyes on this esp from 44.10 to 44.37 … All Ireland Hurling Final 2014, Kilkenny v Tipperary
What color pants are you wearing? Cripes, a policemen wouldn’t ask me that. If you’re talking in terms of ‘lingerie’, let’s just say that I’m more a Bridget Jones than Victoria’s Angel kinda gal. If you’re just plain ole’ asking me if I’m wearing strides today and if so, what kind, then the answer is yes, and they’re dark blue fine cords of the vintage College professor type!
Last thing you ate? Lunch, consisting of one small tin of tuna in sunflower oil, served with half a tub of M&S cottage cheese w/pineapple and a Pink Lady apple, chopped. All washed down with two glasses of very cold filtered water. On an eat healthy buzz!
If you were a crayon what color would you be? Purple.
Favorite smell? Ooh, now that’s a tough one. I love the smell of grass – freshly cut, or late at night after dewfall, especially during the heart of the Summer. I also love the smell of incense, peonies, vanilla and cinnamon. Foodwise, it’s got to be toast, coffee and oranges!
But, I think the smell I adore the most is that of the sea … especially during the changing tide when everything from seabed to seaweed and salt is at its rawest and most intense.
Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? A colleague with whom I’ve worked for many years but from whom I’ve been recently separated by reason of our being relocated into two different buildings. She phoned me to compliment me on my recently published interview with Irish music star Imelda May for the UK online publication, The Monitors.
Hair color? Bit of an enigma my hair. I had fair chestnut hair until I was around 18 at which point it crossed over to the dark side and I became what’s known as a ‘brunette’, the then by-word for ‘boring’. Not what you need when you’re already hormonal, insecure and bespectacled. This led to several and often hilarious experiments with washes, tints, Glints, Henna and the like until at the ripe old age of 22 I discovered the world of ‘highlights’! (Cue, lots of woo-ing).
Since then I’ve gone from brown with copper highlights, to brown with an aurora of highlights to full on red, a phase which saw me dabble with every shade from Boleyn-esque strawberry blonde to Cluedo-esque Miss Scarlet.
Then around 2009, after several ‘lively debates’ with my then hairdresser (long story), I began the blonde experience. The transformation took well over a year and an even greater financial investment, but to this day, despite the odd deep dive into a mad as a hatter variation on the theme, I remain a ‘having more fun’ Blonde.
Bet you’re sorry you asked!
Eye color? Also something of an enigma … Grey/green colour, which varies depending on mood & environment, with yellow flecks inherited from my grandfather.
Favorite food to eat? White fish – Hake, Turbot, Sea bass, John Dory; French Cheese – Comte, Reblochon and Pont l’Eveque; Stuffing, preferably home made.
Oh and jellies – of any description!
Scary movies or happy endings? Neither, don’t really do movies!. When I do, they tend to be quite idiotic like ‘Ice Age’ or ‘Despicable Me’. Do books though, if you’re interested? Any takers?
Last movie you watched? ‘Malificent’, ‘cos I’m a total child.
Favorite holiday? The most memorable place to which I’ve ever travelled was Vevey (home of Nestle chocolate) in Switzerland. That first nocturnal view of the Alps from a moonlit balcony combined with the feeling of shrinking like Alice, into inane insignificance, will stay with me forever.
My overall favourite place though is Rosscarbery, West Cork; nothing will ever compare. It can’t. When it comes to natural beauty, a treasure-chest of memories, and a complete feeling of being ‘at peace’, no other place on earth can compete with my spiritual and familial home.
Beer or wine? Wine if I must, Sancerre for preference or if the only way is red, then a Barolo or Rioja. Gin is my go-to, the default being Bombay Sapphire with Schweppes Bitter Lemon or Fever-Tree Light Tonic and a slice of lime. Lots of ice is a must – even in -7 Norway!
Night owl or early bird? With the little sleep I get, night owl for sure. Usually still trying to get to sleep when the early birds are scrabbling for worms.
Favorite day of the week? Never gave it much thought. Definitely not Monday. Probably Friday …
Three or (four) favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?
The admirable Tanya Tonks Mawer who has shown such resilience and strength of character by handling all life throws at her with a few pinches of salt and a bucket of humour.
Stephanie Gaunt, cos I believe there’s a lot more to her than being a Battleaxe!
Shelley Wilson, whose blogging is just inspirational.
& get her before she’s so famous that interview requests will be considered only via PR Catherine Curzon
Who were the last three people to follow your blog? No idea. I still don’t know how to figure out the people behind the ‘handles’ and avatars.