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|Bitterne Parker: Stephanie Chapman|
|Sunday, 02 November 2014 00:00|
The Qs & the As
What’s your link with Bitterne Park?
I’ve lived here since 2010, my children go to school here, and I have a number of lovely friends here.
What’s your earliest memory of the area?
It’s a very vague memory, but my uncle used to live on Priory Road back in the 80s/90s. I remember coming up to the triangle with him to pick up a few bits and pieces from the shops. I didn’t think about it again until we moved here and I recognised it.
How could the area be better?
It’s possibly a small thing, but I am constantly disgusted by the amount of dog poo left on the pavements. My children have become expert turd dodgers when we are out and about! Please, please pick up after your dogs, people.
‘I’ve got heaps of stories swilling around in my head and I take inspiration from everywhere’
Tell us something we probably didn’t know already about Bitterne Park
Bitterne Park is a geocaching goldmine! There are loads of caches around: some are easy to find, and some are really tough. I’m not saying where, though, you’ll have to find them for yourselves!
What’s good – or not so good – about the wider city?
The traffic is shocking, and that’s coming from someone who grew up and learnt to drive in London. But on the flip side, I love the community feel that Southampton has. In London you’re very, very anonymous, but it’s the opposite here, and I like that people genuinely care about each other.
What’s your passion in life?
Writing. I’ve written various blogs since I was a teenager and have spent the vast majority of this year writing my first novel, which has been an amazing adventure. I’ve got heaps of stories swilling around in my head and I take inspiration from everywhere. The chances are, if I know you, a part of you will feature somewhere in something I’ve written.
How do you put bread on your table?
I earn a little bit from my blog - advertising and hosting content for brands. People also pay me to tell them how to run their social media accounts. But I’m hoping my book will get picked up at some point, that’s the dream.
What has your career taught you?
If you love it, keep at it. Write for yourself. Grab all the experiences you can, because you never know how or where inspiration will come.
What really gets your goat?
I’m putting on my freelancer’s hat here: people who don’t pay their invoices. It’s infuriating, disrespectful and just the bane of every freelancer’s life.
How do you relax?
With music. And a nice glass of wine. I borrowed a ukulele from a friend and am having a lot of fun playing that, as well.
Which is your favourite pub?
I like the Butcher’s Hook. I also like the Southwestern Arms. And the Hobbit can be fun, too.
What are you drinking?
I’ll have a glass of wine, please. Or a nice ale.
What do you listen to?
Anything with a beat and a bass line! Putting on some headphones and getting lost in a playlist is one of my favourite things to do. I use Spotify to find new music pretty much daily and I’ll listen to anything from dance to rock, britpop to funk, bluegrass to current chart music. And if I can sing along, so much the better!
Can you recommend a really good read?
‘Love, Virtually’, by Daniel Glattauer is one that I really enjoyed. It’s so romantic. I heard it on Radio 4 a while ago and picked it up in the library recently.
What’s a great day out?
Locally, I like to go to the beach. I particularly like Calshot or Lepe. Take a picnic and sit and watch the waves and the ships and skim some stones. I love the sea and find it really clears my head. Not so locally, I love to go back to London and mooch around.
What scares you?
I’m not at all keen on spiders, and I have an irrational fear of anchors.
What would you most like to change - in the world and in yourself?
I’d love for people to be more understanding of each other, and certainly more tolerant in general - and I include myself in that.
What’s on your ‘bucket list’?
To travel. A lot. Sometimes with my family and sometimes with my friends. But mainly I’d like to see a lot more of Europe. I’d love to spend weekends in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. I want to see the northern lights and I’d love to take the children to Lapland.
Tell us a joke
This is one my daughter told me on the way home from school a few weeks ago:
How do NASA organise a party?
First they find space, then they planet.
Finally, what would be another great question for other Bitterne Parkers?
If you could try your hand at anything, what would it be?
Thanks so much for taking part!
Stephanie blogs at http://imcountingufoz.com
Tune in next time when another Bitterne Parker answers our searching questions.
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