The census lady came the other day; she followed hard on the men from Darty delivering our new washing machine and earlier we had had the plumber checking on our temperamental heating. This makes for a very exciting day in Maumont, a tiny hamlet with 12 houses and nothing else apart from divine views, a few sheep, some splendid cows and, before Christmas at least, ducks.
Being counted makes us feel official, although the form is a bit complicated and all in French of course. Whenever I get things like this to fill in I feel like making them more interesting by adding a few juicy details or attempts at humour. As many of you readers don't know me that well it might help if I gave a few examples of what I might put if I could...
Title: Mrs but really I prefer not to use one, don't like Ms and was too lazy to ever be Dr or Prof. I am Mom or Nanny Jean when a title is really required.
Forename: Jean but have to change that to Jeanne in France otherwise they think I'm a chap. Also known as Jeanie to some, Fiddly tid shortened to Fid to my Dad when he was alive and, sorry, Silly fat f***er to my husband as a term of endearment.
Surname: Trainor but this is really my husband's name. I was Mackay but that was my Dad's name; my Mom's name was Jones but that was her Dad's name - you get my drift.
Sex: Yes please
Address: Birmingham, UK and Maumont, Hautefort, France. Birmingham - large tunnel back, just Victorian, three story house. Maumont - one down, two up stone Perigourdian cottage with barn, of indeterminate age but old.
Date of birth: 10 April 1949 - It was Easter Sunday, it was in hospital and I just count as being a bulge baby. I was an accident
Marital status: Married to Stewart for 41 years, nearly 42. I was 18, he was 24. We are Derby and Joan now but have had a few roller coaster rides over the last four decades. Always wobbled off together thankfully.
Dependents: Officially none but there has been Sam, now married to Julie and living in France, Dr Sam actually and he teaches at Lille University; Joe, IT expert extraordinaire lives in Amsterdam with Scoobie his dependent dog; Luke just married to Aleks with two teenage step-children, Hannah and Chelsea, he is training to be a drugs counsellor and he lives in Birmingham as does Jess, married to Tom with Harry aged 4 and Danny aged 1, she has just started working as a business manager for a domestic abuse service. We are hoping to become dependent on them one day.
Education: Started at 4 over the road from where we lived, got moved to another school at 8. I wasn't a neat writer so I didn't shine. Passed for grammar school at 11 but not the posh one, came about 20th in everything throughout my time there but then, due to what must have been a clerical mistake, got three Grade A A levels. Went to Birmingham university after I got married so missed all the social life and probably an awful lot of trouble. Did Medieval and Modern History and got a 2:1 and then went on to do a Post Grad in Medieval Society and Culture, passed the exams but then got pregnant before I finished the thesis so became a ma not a M.A.
Occupation: Retired thank goodness. In this order have been: sweet shop assistant;sexually abused office worker; urban studies research assistant; admin officer for RoSPA, Business Manager, Deputy Director and Acting Chief Executive for NHS Confederation, the CBI of the NHS; Partner, owner and Managing Director of my own company, Health Links, an events organiser for the health service. Was also Chair, (not Chairman- prefer to be a piece of furniture rather than a proxy male)of an NHS Trust and Vice-Chair of a PCT(Primary Care Trust).
Health: they never ask this but just in case: crap - cancer; prognosis - not sure I will see the 2012 Olympics
Politics: Don't ask this either, but very disappointed and let down Labour
Religion: None unless atheism counts
Ethnicity: White but really a sort of pinky beige, taupe maybe, certainly not the colour of my compression stocking. Brummy through and through with hint of Scottish about two generations ago.
That's it and hope I get to fill in the next one in five years time.