About Me: Who are Margot and Barbara?

Hello. I’m Elizabeth.

This page is a bit more about me. I’m 37, a mother of two and English.

Margot and Barbara is the distillation of many hours spent trying to make sense of my giant, sprawling list of interests. I’m a scanner. Multipotential. Dilettante. Whatever. What that means is that I will never find the perfect job, never settle down to just one thing. Never grow up. I’ve spent a long time and wasted a lot of tears trying to find the ONE thing that I was meant to do, but at the ripe old age of 37 I am at peace with myself. I’m fine. Great, in fact.

The initial reason for this is that a few years ago, I was given an article torn from the pages of a magazine. It was called “What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?”  and was my first introduction to the work of Barbara Sher ( www.barbarasher.com ) and my start on the journey towards accepting and loving being a scanner. I did grow up, and have two amazing children, and I’m still a scanner. There is no one thing that will be perfect for me. It’s just who I am – and that is actually a brilliant truth. Without the endless hunt for the one true thing that I should do for the rest of my life, I am actually free to pursue as many things as I like, and enjoy the process of discovery and learning for its own sake, not just in case it should be my career. Life is pretty long. We’re always being told that it’s short, but I plan to be around for at least 50 more years. That’s half a Century of discovery! It’ll do.

There are loads of great resources on the internet for folk like me (and you?) if you look for it. I suspect you already have. One site I came across recently is www.puttylike.com which I think is awesome, especially for those of you who are wondering if you’re a scanner too. The scanner community is a friendly one.

I guess for those of you not familiar with old BBC comedy, I should explain the title of this site too. Margot and Barbara are the two female leads in my favourite sit-com, The Good Life, produced by the BBC in the 1970’s.  Take a look here:   www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/goodlife/. They’re neighbours and friends, but polar opposites. Margot is a social climber who loves the finer things in life and Barbara is trying to become self-sufficient. Many of us have played that game “Which Friends character are you most like?” Well, this is my interpretation of that. In listing out all my interests, passions, work and hobbies, I realised that I am basically both Margot and Barbara. Haute Couture? Yes. Allotment gardening? Also yes. So, here it is.

Meet Margot and Barbara.

Margot Loves…fashion, beauty, perfume, spas, travel, restaurants and a spot of luxury.

Margot devours the latest glossy magazines, lusts after high heels and has an admirable collection of handbags.

As someone who has well and truly seen the back of her teenage years, you will not find mini skirts and sparkly lip glosses on these pages. More like anti-wrinkle cream and fashion for those of us who like to hide our upper arms. Plus reviews of anything I’ve tried.

Barbara Loves…gardening, baking, trawling antique and vintage stores, analogue photography, environmental issues and a bit of thrift.

Barbara grows vegetables, bakes cakes, goes for long walks, camps, rides bikes and religiously recycles.

Here is where you’ll find my writing about my allotment, cooking with my kids, a tiny bit of crafting and whatever I might find at the local antique place. Even if it’s Chanel, which Margot would simply adore too!

I also love to have microadventures; tiny adventures fitted around everyday life,  and I will share these with you too.

My other project is Sage & Thrift. We currently run a bi-monthly cookbook swap in our home town of Leeds and hope to expand that soon to include many other things. Once we find a tiny scrap of time hidden amongst everything else…

I hope you like the site, take a look around and come back soon!

Elizabeth x

19 Responses to “About Me: Who are Margot and Barbara?”

  1. Fantastic!

    The name suits you perfectly! And good luck with the challenge!

  2. What a brilliant introduction to who you are. I think trying to pigeon hole people is futile; to a greater or lesser extent surely we’re all a little bit Barbara and a little bit Margot? Good luck with your challenge!

  3. Hi Liz, I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog over the past month and keep coming back to read more. I’ve never heard of a scanner but have the distinct feeling that I am one too. Having spent the last 20 something years being told I am so good at things but why don’t I try harder and beating myself up about it I am now realising that I will always be like that. I can’t wait to look at the links to Barbara Sher and puttylike.com. It is so nice to hear you say you are happy just being you 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment – and I hope you find some useful stuff on the links. I think there are a lot of folk out there who have a similar history – we are constantly being told that we need to specialise and choose something and for some of us that day will never come. It’s a huge relief to realise and accept that!

  4. I’m 52 years old and had never heard of a scanner, but it’s me….I could never settle down to on thing, i always have to have something else on the go, and other ideas always popping into my mind. was always told to settle down and concentrate on one thing- but I never could and as such I have had so many jobs/careers.. and could never settle – though love the job I am in at present- ever changing days.. and very challenging. but still not enough. my Oh sighs when I say ‘I have found a course I fancy doing…’ , or ‘what about trying…’ I was always told I was a Jill of all trade but Mistress of none.. and usually as a put down…thanks for opening up a new world to the old bird… and for helping me find a whole new world of possibility..

    • Wow – you sound just like me! It’s FINE not to be a specialist – you have such a huge world at your feet once you realise that it’s ok to me just who you are. I really do recommend some of the other scanner books and links, they’re really useful in helping you to manage more than one interest at a time, and fitting it all into one lifetime! Good luck – and welcome to the club 🙂

  5. Hello. Thanks for the enlightening intro, I think I may be a fellow scanner!
    I’m always getting excited about the prospect of starting something new – crochet, chickens , sewing …. and rarely get further than just reading about them. I’ve just started a blog though and determined this will have more longevity than some of my other projects …. Good luck with your challenge and I look forward to reading about what you decide to plant this year.

    • Hello! yes, it does sound like you are indeed a scanner! Really amusing that you’ve tried so many of the same things as I have. I’ve had a quick look at your blog and it’s really great. I hope that you do carry on with it – and with the allotment itself!

  6. Just found you via Twitter, reading this I can totally identify, definitely feel like a scanner too, always changing direction, never able to commit to a specialism, etc… Thanks for the links, looking forward to checking them out, and will definitely be returning to read your future posts! Amy Xxx

  7. Hi Liz,
    Since I enjoy your site and blog posts, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.

    If you’d like to read and repost the award, here’s the link: http://bellaandwill.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/versatile-blogger-award/

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    Catherine

  8. This sums me up perfectly!! Why constrain yourself into any one type. Be eclectic.
    I’m now following your blog

    J x

    • Thank you for following! Yes, I think there are a lot of us multi-passionate folk about and once we get over the idea that we have to choose one thing, and embrace our personalities, its a great community to be a part of 🙂

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