30 Things About Me You Never Knew

I thought it would be good idea to share a little bit about the person behind Hope Fitness. To let you know who I really am and how I tick. This is me. Enjoy...

1. I am 100% brilliant at being average

Jack of all trades master of none is absolutely written for me. I do a bit of this, a bit of that and can usually do a fairly decent job of most things that I turn my hand to but I am never brilliant...except at being average. This is demonstrated perfectly by my GCSE results that I got at the end of school. I got a clean sweep of B's. No A's, no C's, just B's. What does that tell you?!

2. Not a big fan of Christmas

It's not the concept of Christmas that I despise, it's the other stuff that goes with it. The materialism, the gluttony and the anti-climax. If I could have a quiet Christmas that starts on the 24th and ends on the 26th, remembering why we celebrate Christmas, and enjoying some quality time with each other then I may just change my mind. Until then...bah humbug!

3. I never cry at films

I love watching films but a film has never, ever made me cry. Some say my heart is made of ice but I disagree. I have watched films that have had a profound effect on me, made me feel sad, made me feel happy, made me feel excited but not one has made me shed a tear.

4. I used to be really scared of dogs

Now, I own two labradors, Lucy and Chase, and have completely and whole-heartedly overcome my fear. Up until I was about 30 I would have crossed the road rather than walk past a dog that was on a lead, I was so petrified of dogs. It used to drive me crazy when dog owners would say "but they won't hurt you". It wasn't until I lived with a dog that I managed to overcome my fear and now I would consider myself a dog lover. Embrace your fear, it's the only way!

5. I hate heights and scary rides

I have never been to Alton Towers and I never intend to if I can get away with it. You will never find me at Go Ape.

6. I can sail and windsurf

Every weekend from May to September my family spent sailing round the East coast on our 32ft Westerly Fulmar, called Kodiak, up until the point when Dad sadly passed away when I was 16. Every Summer we used to sail across the North Sea to Holland and Belgium and spend three weeks sailing around the dams and canals. I have RYA qualifications in both dinghy sailing and windsurfing but can't remember what level I reached now.

7. I can play the piano and the saxophone

I reached Grade 6 on both of these instruments (and the recorder!) while I was still at school and I still continue to play the Saxophone in the Suffolk Concert Band, the Ipswich Community Wind Band, Stacks of Sax and also in a scratch band called the Windjammers. I am currently re-learning the piano after receiving a digital one for my birthday and hopefully one day I will live in a big enough house that I can buy a grand piano.

8. In 2007 and 2015 I ran the London Marathon



As part of my 30th birthday celebrations (and pre-40th) I decided to take on the mighty challenge of the marathon. The first time I completed the course in a slightly disappointing 6 hours and 13 minutes on one of the hottest ever days in April but I raised nearly £3000 for St. Elizabeth's Hospice in Ipswich and the experience was amazing. The second time my time was 5 hours and 57 minutes and the experience was less than amazing. The conclusion...I am not a marathon runner. Will I do it again one day?....never in a million years!!

9. I hate running

I am a personal trainer, that regularly advocates running to all my clients, all my fitness classes and also on this site. I also regularly participate in Kesgrave parkrun. But I actually hate running. I have also run the London marathon....twice! But I still hate running. I do it because I know that it is good for me and is good value in time vs calories expended. I still hate it though.

10. I put on 9.5kg when training for the Marathon

I must be the only person in the world who can do this. I blame the stress of the training although it was more likely the cake and copious amounts of pasta!

11. I have a degree in IT and computing

This was in a previous life before I had children and a change of career. I also have a Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In fact, I received a scholarship for Women in Engineering from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Incorporated Engineers. The IT comes in useful though when I'm designing websites and other stuff. I am also really good at fixing stuff, usually by switching it off and on again!

12. I am officially a geek

When it comes to TV, film and books, I love all things sci-fi, fantasy and vampires, especially vampires. In fact, my skin is so white and allergic to the sun I wonder sometimes if I am a vampire!

13. My name is Angela, and I am a list-aholic

I love, really love, writing lists. I have lists for everything. To do lists (lots of those), shopping list, meal planning list, birthday list, christmas list, holiday packing list, address list, people I need to tell I've moved list, class lists, blog post lists, books to read list, films to watch list, things I want list, things to do this year list and on, and on...

14. I have always wanted a tortoise as a pet

This was of course before I became a dog-lover.  I was pretty much scared of every other animal as well. I always figured that a tortoise wasn't very scary because you don't really have to handle it and it was never going to catch me. I set up a special tortoise fund to save up all my pennies to get one. Never did though and now I think I've left it too late, it would probably out-live me.

15. My vices are pizza, chocolate cake and red wine

What more can I say...

16. I love all films

It is very unusual for me not to like a film. Before children I was going to the cinema at least once a week, usually more but now it's more a case of keeping up with the latest premiere on Sky movies and managing to stay awake. My top 5 films are; 1) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2) Moulin Rouge, 3) Inception 4) The Lion King 5) The Matrix.

17. I can't dance or sing

But I did once have ballroom dancing lessons. I even did grades. Gave it all up to become a brownie instead.

18. I love reading

I don't read as much as I would like but I'll read anything. I'm currently working my way through the Top 200 books in the BBC Big Read 2003 (love lists!). Right now I'm reading Treasure Island. My top 5 books are; 1) Lord of the Rings, 2) The Hobbit, 3) The Harry Potter series, 4) A Song of Ice and Fire series, 5) Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

19. I was a big Ipswich Town Supporter

My Dad was a big town supporter too but had no sons so as the eldest daughter I was forced into it really. However, I embraced it fully and had a season ticket for 17 years, and for the last 7 of those years I barely missed an away game. As a teenager I spent many long hours at the training ground hoping for an autograph and maybe a date with my beloved Craig Forrest. As a twenty-something I spent many long nights in Pals hoping for a glimpse and maybe a snog with my beloved Matt Holland. Those were the days...

20. Uncle Jim's Joke Shop in Colchester was actually owned by my Uncle Jim

Not sure if it's still there, probably not, and sadly my Uncle Jim passed on many years ago.

21. The thing I'm looking forward to doing most in my retirement is jigsaws

Love them but could never justify the time to sit and do one at the moment, unless it's a 35 piece Peppa Pig one.

22. My favourite flower is a poppy

Since they don't make good cut flowers as they drop their petals easily and you're not supposed to pick the wild ones I guess that makes me a cheap date?

23. I have met the band Blur

I went to Colchester Sixth Form college which is where Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Blur, had gone a few years previous. During my time there, Blur came and did a gig at the college as a favour for their ex tutor. I was a member of the college wind band at the time and we were due to do a number with the band during the gig. I did the rehearsal so I met the band but I didn't do the gig because I was a (mad) Ipswich town supporter at the time and they were playing Wimbledon at home that night.

24. My son is named after two of my TV heroes

When I was pregnant with my son, I was really into two series' on the TV at the time, 24 and Lost, where both leading men were called Jack; Jack Sheppard and Jack Bauer. It was meant to be.

25. Martin Bell OBE, former journalist and MP is in my phone contacts

Martin is the president of the Suffolk Concert Band so whenever I need him to do a duty such as; chair a meeting, introduce a concert, speak at an event or be a special guest, I just drop him a text. Me and Martin...BFF.

26. I have a butterfly tattooed on my right hip

I got this done during my rebellious stage. Although it is very small and most people don't know it's there, so not very rebellious at all really.

27. I was a child prodigy handbell ringer

I started off in the kids group of the Stratford St. Mary handbell ringing group but quickly showed natural flair and ability and was allowed to move up to the adults group instead. Not only that, I often used to play the big bass bells with Cyril and Don.  At 10 years old, I was the only child member in the group, in fact, I was the only member in the group that was under 40.

28. I proposed to my future husband on 29th February 2008...

...and we got married in an impromptu wedding three days later. As fortune would have it we were currently holidaying in Tobago, in the Caribbean. Cue white sandy beach, beautiful sunset, crashing waves and voila...we became Mr and Mrs Hope.

29. Incidentally, the West Indies is my favourite holiday spot

30. And one of the best Christmas' I ever had was spent on the beach on the beautiful island of Bequia

10 days later I was skiing in Meribel, France. Now that was a great Christmas.