Friday, May 16, 2008



Today is my 40th birthday and I am indulging myself :) Here are some unknown facts about me.

Royal connections...
I have seen Prince Charles (from a great distance), had dinner with Princess Ann (I sat next to her head of security at a Glasgow fashion show--just call me the bulletcatcher), and I almost ran over Prince William on the corner of Bell and Market Street in St. Andrews with the stroller. It was raining.

Famous Faces...
I've seen Sean Connery, Dennis Quaid, Robbie Coltrane, Jack Nicklaus, Tony Jacklin, actually pretty much any golfer from 1989-2002. Pity I have no interest in golf. And I used to live on Kenny Logan's family farm in Stirling.

  • My maiden name is Beddow and I come from a line that traces back to the same town where I was born to at least the 1600's. I also have Oakley, Dougherty, Morgan, Mepham, Meadows, & Corfield in the family tree.
  • I'm related--distantly--to Steve Heighway, one of the greatest soccer players Liverpool FC ever had. Go reds :)
  • In the 70s, my dad--a legend in his own mind--made a record with Sean Cannon who went on to join The Dubliners. Me and some friends went to see The Dubliners play in Dundee, and though I suggested we try to meet the band after the concert because of the family connection, my best friend, Mary, (from Cork) didn't believe me, so we left. LOL. She was kicking herself by the time she realized I was serious.
  • My aunt is a published author of a book about my hometown. Broseley--The People and The Past. It is full of old family photographs and details about the old days.
  • My brother is an award winning banjo player.
  • My mom always wanted to write a book--I feel like I stole one of her dreams while she stayed home to look after other peoples' children.
  • The most intelligent person I know is my elder sister who left school at 16 with no qualifications.
  • My younger sister was born 6 days after me and we always shared birthday parties growing up. Happy birthday, sis! My first memory is crying my eyes out on the day she was born, and my second memory is getting drunk on sherry when I was about 3 years old. Not sure if the events were related, LOL.
  • I have 10 nieces, 8 nephews, and 2 great nieces/nephews. When I was born, I had 7 grandparents and great-grandparents, alive. Now I only have one, my favorite, Grandad John.
  • I was really good at video arcade games as a teenager. And pool. And field hockey (I played Left Inner).
  • At one point when I was a kid, we had 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 tortoises, 4 guinea pigs, 27 rabbits, 13 bantam chickens, and numerous goldfish. Can you imagine?
  • We moved from Ironbridge to Broseley when I was 6. My parents still live in the same house although they are planning to move.
  • I lived off Penny Lane in Liverpool in 1987.
  • This is me at a fancy dress party in St. Andrews 1990/91. See I was a wizard before it was cool :) The joy of friends with Facebook...argh.
  • And this is our Ph.D. supervisor. Prof Ian Johnston.

  • I used to scuba dive but I developed an irrational fear of cylinders--really.
  • I love to travel, but I never left the UK until I was 21. Then I visited my friend, Mary, and another two buddies in the south of France. I was too shy to strip on the beach (the French were relieved), but it was awesome.
  • The best boss I ever had was at Stirling University.
  • I started seeing DH in 1992. Even though he didn't have a job he followed me to Ontario when he finished his Ph.D. in 1995. How cool is that? We got engaged in 1996 (he proposed to me with an emerald ring at 7 a.m. on my 28th birthday) and we married in 1997. Every year it gets better.

Forty years goes fast when you are having fun.


  1. Happy Birthday Toni! How romantic that DH proposed that way! And I'm glad that your years have been great.

  2. Happy Birthday Toni! Sounds like you've lived a great life with many MANY more wonderful years ahead!

  3. Looks like you've enjoyed yourself and had a lot of fun! That's so awesome! Happy B-Day!

  4. May the next 40 plus years be just as good, Toni!!

  5. Happy Belated Birthday, Toni! I loved reading about you and looking at your pics.

    Hope you had a great day!

  6. Wow, what a lovely story of your life. Belated happy birthday Toni :)

    Here's to many more fabulous and special memories.

  7. A very happy Belated Birthday, Toni! I'm so sorry to have forgotten! I love your pics and "related facts", lol! You've had so many adventures, and you have a lovely family. Being in your forties is great fun - you're old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway! :)

  8. Anonymous3:03 am

    Boy !! Is Jamie like you !!!

  9. Thank you, everyone :)
    Who is anon I wonder ?? :) She is purdy good looking ;)

  10. Happy belated Birthday!!! Great post. My memory is so bad I'm lucky if I remember where I live talk about the interesting people I've met or exciting things I've done.