10. My favourite foods

Ah, brinner.

My favourite food has to be cereal! It’s my go to when I can’t decide what to eat. Sweet and crunchy and satisfying. I usually have some muesli in the cupboard that I reserve for brinner, but in a pinch my morning Sultana Bran works equally well. If I’m planning ahead I might even have yoghurt and banana to have with the muesli. And I always have nuts and dried fruit in the cupboard, so I’ll throw some of those on top – practically gourmet!

I looked through the past couple of months of photos and found a number of photos of the variety of brinner I’ve had recently.

9. What’s in my handbag

I’m a fan of the hold-all handbag. In fact my current bag is small by my standards, hardly holding anything at all!

Contents include:

  • Scarf in case it gets cold
  • Fold-up-bag
  • Kleenex
  • Hand cream
  • Passport
  • Pouch for paracetamol / ibuprofen / tampons
  • Pouch for my earphones
  • Other pouch for my other earphones
  • Pouch containing USB watch charger  x2, lightning cable x 2, micro USB cable x 2, display port-HDMI adapter, display port-VGA adapter, 35mm-lightning adapter, pen, pocket knife, flash drive, spare Apple pencil nib, sim-slot extractor tool
  • Glasses and case
  • Sunglasses and case
  • Battery pack
  • Multi-tool
  • Key holder
  • Key card for work
  • Wallet containing debit/credit cards, money, vouchers, most-used loyalty cards, lightning cable, car keys, lipgloss, Trackr
  • Wallet containing less-used loyalty card
  • Hairclip
  • $20 Kathmandu voucher

I usually also have my phone and iPad in there, and also a snack and a water bottle, but I tool those all out last night to use/eat/drink them.


8. Someone I admire

I’ve thought heaps about this one. I don’t really go in for hero worship, so when I think about people I admire, they are people I know. But then I try to narrow it down, and I can’t. I admire all the people in my life – that’s why most of them are there! I decided a long time ago that I don’t want negative people in my close circle of friends – I am choosy about who I share my precious time with. So I would have to say that I admire all the people I purposefully spend time with.

If I had to pick someone well-known – someone who has done something of significance, of course the obvious choice is Steve Jobs. His company has had a profound impact on my life personally, and on everyone around me. But he is gone, so I can only admire his past endeavours. So my replacement for gone-but-not-forgotten Steve is Jony Ive.

The guy is a design genius. Without knowing him personally, all I have to go on is what what I’ve read about him … and from all accounts Jony is focussed, driven, and extremely talented. His talent doesn’t mean that everything he created is perfect – and that’s part of what I admire. He is always looking for the improvement, to make it better. The case in point is the hockey-puck mouse. This thing was unusable! It was a design dud. And when questioned about it, Jony doesn’t justify or deny – he reflects on what people have said about his design and comments that it’s an opportunity to do it again, better. I think there is still a way to go with the mouse design, keep going Jony!

I also admire that he avoids the public eye – he doesn’t appear on stage at Apple events, preferring to be in the background with the rest of his design team. It is said that he is profoundly shy. He submits to design videos that describe how his products are made, but doesn’t appear live. Fair enough! I admire this. And the videos are so endearingly earnest, so funny.

7. My 5 favourite songs

I have confessed this before…I am not really that into music. I pretty much listen to the same few musicians on repeat. Most people consider my choices to be tragic … whatever.

So I’m not sure I could name five songs that I would consider my favourites. So instead, here are five songs that are on hard rotation in my iTunes library.

Dixie Chicks: I’ll Take Care of You

Walk the Moon: Shut Up and Dance (thanks to my grandchildren)

Ed Sheehan: Thinking Out Loud

Taylor Swift: Welcome to New York

Adele: Someone Like You

6. What I am afraid of

Not a lot actually. I am not overly fond of dogs and heights, but there is nothing I can truly say that I fear. Which isn’t to say I don’t worry about things, it’s just that I have a rock-solid faith that everything will be alright in the end.

Experience has shown me that, no matter how bad something feels at the time, I can move through it and come out the other side. Not only that, but sometimes things work out better than before.

This faith makes it hard to be fearful – if I know everything will work out and it will probably be better, what have I got to fear?

4. A picture of me 10 years ago

December 23rd, 2006 – Yosemite National Park. Tree-hugger.


This photo was taken on a road trip I took with Simon all around the US – we started in LA, then drove all around California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and then Missouri, Tennessee, Washington DC, New York and Niagara Falls. It was an amazing time – so much fun! It was a really happy time in my life.

Day 3: My favourite quote

This one is easy! I have two connected quotes, both from Steve Jobs’ Stanford University commencement address. They both speak to me – they remind me of periods in my life when I’ve had to shift my thinking to be able to move forward.

Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.


Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

These words remind me that I don’t need to be overly concerned with what other people think of me. Sometimes it’s hard to take an unexpected path – people judge based on their values and what they know is right for them, and so think is right for me.

It’s important to me that I make decisions for myself based on what I think is the right path, not what I think is proper or expected.

With this attitude, I have been strong enough to make difficult life decisions that have been right for me and those I love. If I quiet the din of life, my inner voice always guides me in the direction I need to go next.

Day 2: 20 facts about me

Compiling this list was harder than it seems!

1. I was born at Calvary Hospital – a Catholic birthing hospital in Christchurch. It’s called Southern Cross Hospital now.

2. I was born Brigid Susan Thompson.

3. I’ve changed my name several times in my life – I’ve been Brigid Thompson, Brigid Jeavons, Brigid Gosset, Brigid Thompson (again), Brigid Crone, Brigid Thompson (again), Brigid Frayle.

4. This year I legally changed my name from Brigid Susan Thompson to Bebe Brigid Thompson – but I’m still known as Bebe Frayle because of being married.

5. I spent a lot of time as a child worrying about nuclear armament. I once wrote a letter to Hamish Hay , Christchurch’s Mayor at the time, to ask him to help stop nuclear war.

6. In 2002 I weighed 125kg. I currently weigh 75kg. At age 15 I weighed 45kg. It’s been a life-long struggle.

7. I have a birthmark on my left thigh.

8. I gave birth to my son 10 days before my 16th birthday.

9. My school leaving certificate notes my last day of school as 14th November, 1988 – my son’s birthday. In reality I was asked to leave school months earlier but they kept me on the books until the last day they were legally required to.

10. I had my daughter 3 years later, just after my 19th birthday. A lot of people thought she was an “oops” baby. She was planned – I didn’t want my son to be an only child.

11. I have three degrees – Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours, Master of Arts, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Teaching to round things out.

12. My first proper job was as a tutor at the University of Canterbury at age 27. I was a late bloomer!

13. My second proper job is my current job.

14. The first computer I ever saw / touched / played with was an Apple IIe. It was magical, and kick started my passion for all things Apple.

15. The first computer I purchased was a MacIntosh Classic, for $1,500 in 1995. Also magical.

16. I became a grandmother on my 36th birthday. When my kids were young I used to joke about being a grandma before I was 50. I try not to joke about becoming a great-grandmother before I’m 60.

17. I’ve had sultana bran and a cup of coffee almost every breakfast for the past 15 years.

18. I never cared much about material things growing up, but I always wanted a diamond ring and a brand new car. Now I have both.

19. I met my husband on a blind date on 1st March 2009. We got engaged on 1st March 2010 and married on 1st March 2011. He’s the man of my dreams.

20. I love to write lists. They create order out of chaos and help me to feel calm.

Day 1: My blog’s name

The Secret Life of Bebe.

I guess it’s designed to be ironic, since posting on the internet is kinda the opposite of secret. The idea is that it’s all the things I’m thinking that you wouldn’t know unless you read the blog. So my inner thoughts. Something like that.

And it just had a nice ring to it when I was kicking ideas around.

So that’s it in a nutshell. The secret life of me.