More about me

1. I use my left hand to write and to hold a spoon; however, I use my right hand to sew, cut, iron, clean, push or pull and do pretty much everything else, so I guess I'm not really either left-handed or right-handed.
2. I'm 5'6".
3. My skin is very fair and gets sunburned very easily.
4. I was born in the country that invented the miniskirt, during the "Summer of Love".
5. The no.1 song on the week I was born was "Whiter Shade of Pale".
6. My birthday marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
7. I have the same middle name as Tarzan's girlfriend.
8. My first name is Claudia because of Thomas Mann's Clawdia Chauchat
9. My parents also considered Barbara (I'm glad they went for Claudia).
10. I'm the only woman in the whole family who doesn't have Maria somewhere in her name!
11. My mother and my middle sister share first and middle name.
12. My mother is a retired teacher and librarian and my father is a retired air force officer and aeronautical engineer.
13. My parents are still my heroes.
14. I have two sisters.
15. Both my adored sisters are younger than me.
16. My eyes are moody greyish-green (as for my sisters': one has the bluest true-blue eyes and the other the sweetest hazel eyes).
17. I've lived in three different countries, two of them English-speaking.
18. My mother-language is not English, it is Portuguese.
19. I struggle to verbalize satisfactorily in any language (undiagnosed dyslexia?!).
20. I'm married and have only married once.
21. My husband and I met at university, in Monte da Caparica, near Lisbon.
22. We got married by the sea, on a cold and beautiful December day, in the year the Soviet Union collapsed, the last palindrome year in the 20th century.
23. We had 40 guests at our wedding and the best wedding cake ever!
24. I attended university full-time for five years and got a pretty comprehensive degree in Computer Engineering (BSc + MSc). Total misfit.
25. My husband has spent his whole adult life learning and teaching in universities.
26. We've got two young daughters: Ana and Clara.
27. Both were born in the same hospital, in Lisbon, Portugal, five years apart.
28. They are my heart and soul, my reason for living.
29. I've got triple nationality and so do my daughters.
30. My husband has double nationality.
31. I'm fluent in two languages but can get by in four.
32. My husband speaks four languages fluently and can get by in six.
33. Much to my sorrow, I have no nephews, nieces or godchildren.
34. I had a pretty hectic career in IT for fourteen years.
35. Now I'm taking a break from IT. Kind of.
36. I've had two diagnosed major depressions. Now it seems I just have chronic depression.
37. I love reading novels, biographies and history books.
38. I love poetry.
39. I'm a reasonably good family cook (not very inventive but always resourceful).
40. I play the piano. Classical repertoire.
41. I love to swim.
42. I got my driving license at 17.
43. I failed my driving test twice.
44. I bought my first car and started driving at 23.
45. My blood type is a common and generous O+
46. I've had to have surgery twice:
47. To have a lump removed and
48. To fix a broken bone on my right hand.
49. I believe in God but not in religion.
50. I don't really believe in Astrology but I know that my sign is Gemini. I have found a puzzling underlying truth in some of the basic traits of each sign, though...
51. I've lived in eight different places: four houses with a garden and four flats.
52. I lived in Portugal for most of my life.
53. I'm now living in rural England, having moved here six years ago.
54. I lived in Beavercreek, Ohio, in the good ol’ US of A, during the Reagan years.
55. I like tradition but I'm also in favour of constant improvement.
56. I voted Labour in the last two general elections. Before that, I backed the Social Democratic Party in Portugal. In 80's America I was all for Gary Hart.
57. I enjoy travelling. Not the hitchhiking and backpacking type though, really enjoy comfort and security.
58. I dream of “doing” Route 66 someday, preferably while I can still enjoy it.
59. I've visited Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Scotland and Canada.
60. My favourite cities are Paris, San Francisco, Vienna, Berlin, Lisbon and Edinburgh.
61. I find that the most beautiful place on Earth is wherever my heart is.
62. My few friends are friends for life.
63. Generally, people seem to think of me as a sensible and dependable person.
64. I am naturally reserved and reclusive.
65. I like to be helpful.
66. I believe I can make a difference.
67. I enjoy following up on economic, social and political issues.
68. I usually read two daily newspapers: Guardian(UK), Publico (PT).
69. I usually read two weekly newspapers: Observer(UK), Expresso(PT).
70. I smoked for seventeen years.
71. On average I used to smoke a pack a day (20 cigarettes).
72. I never smoked at home, though.
73. I stopped smoking in 2003.
74. I love classical music, especially during the autumn, when it becomes indispensable.
75. I love opera (mostly Puccini, Verdi and Rossini but I’m also enthralled by Wagner).
76. My favourite tenors are Placido Domingo and Rolando Villazon.
77. My favourite soprano is still Maria Callas, although both Angela Gheorghiu and Anna Netrebko are also immensely enjoyable.
78. I love rhythm & blues.
79. I love photography.
80. I love watching movies.
81. Ten of my favourite movies are: Casablanca, Hannah and Her Sisters, The English Patient, Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Amelie Poulain, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Fanny and Alexander, Trois couleurs: Bleu.
82. I appreciate good architecture and design.
83. My all-time favourite designer is Le Corbusier.
84. Two of my favourite architects are Franks: Lloyd Wright and Gehry.
85. Three of my favourite painters are Van Gogh, Dali and Magritte.
86. Four of my favourite composers are Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Bach.
87. Five of my favourite directors are Woody Allen, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ingmar Bergman, David Lean and Alfred Hitchcock.
88. Six of my favourite authors are Paul Auster, Ian McEwan. Alexander McCall Smith, Nick Hornby, David Lodge and Milan Kundera.
89. My favourite poets are Edna St. Vincent Millay, Phillip Larkin, Sara Teasdale, Robert William Service and William Wordsworth.
90. I love moussaka!
91. My ideal breakfast is a fresh plain croissant and a single espresso.
92. I hate milk.
93. I’m not a big fan of chocolate.
94. I seldom eat meat.
95. My all-time favourite cheese is the Portuguese Queijo de Castelo Branco. Divine.
96. I'm mad about Haagen-Dazs (Cookies and Cream) and Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice-cream.
97. My favourite dessert is cassata.
98. I'm not much into wine but I do like a full-bodied red wine with a special meal every now and then (Alentejo's Monte Velho from Herdade do Esporão is my favourite).
99. I’m an early riser but because my mind works better in the evening, I always stay up late and end up sleeping very little.
100. I've come to believe that happiness, or at least peace, is to be found in the simplest and smallest of things; I've become a fervent adept of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

My creation