1. Crossed the Atlantic in a boat.
-when I was five. Went over in early August, back in late September. Late September Atlantic is such that my brother and I amused ourselves by putting our bathrobes on the floor at one end of the cabin and sliding down to the other. The very idea now makes me blanch.
2. Wrote letters in Latin to a friend.
-in high school. Sounds geeky, but it was all 'OMG we have the KEY to the language of the ANCIENT ROMANS we are writing in a language that's 2500 years old OMG this is so COOL!!!' Fangirl Latin, yes. (The Chinese here present can stop looking at me with pity. I was 14 and didn't know about Chinese in those days.)
3. Spent the night in an old schoolhouse in the mountains of Castile.
-a small subsection of 'bicycled the pilgrimage route to Santiago da Compostella.' We were in the mountains, night was coming on, we asked the people in this small town could we make it to the next town and they implied we didn't want to make it to the next town. There were no fondas in the place, is how small it was, but the woman who ran the bar and one of the village elders put their heads together and said we could sleep in the schoolhouse. The next town turned out to be deserted and falling into ruin.
4. Read half a dozen (thick) library catalogues from the Vatican library.
-written in Latin in the 18th century by a chatty little cardinal who was thorough my god was he thorough in his descriptions of everything including the marginalia. With a quill pen by candlelight. One is abashed by the industry of 18th century scholars.
5. Called a friend's mother to tell her he was dead.
-not something I ever want to do again. Fortunately not many people are likely to get themselves gassed by a malfunctioning water heater in the bath in Trieste, which was Richard's version of Ten Things You've Never Done.
6. Gone to live on the other side of the world when I was 40.
-of course most of you aren't 40 yet and might well do this.
7. Had a poet as a nanny.
-Margaret Avison, not that you'd have heard of her. Helped look after us on the above-mentioned trip across the Atlantic, since there were four of us, aged 7, 5, 3 and 18 months, and my mother was mad but not that mad.
8. Met Rudolf Nureyev.
-along with a hundred other autograph seekers at Maple Leaf Gardens. But I got his autograph. His hair was salmon coloured, FTR.
9. Been in a French hospital.
-Heaven. Simply Heaven. They give you wine with your meals and a choice of at least two entrees.
Mhh, no, I didn't think there were ten.