31 facts about Annie Hamman you didn't know...

Tamara Laporte of willowing just set an example by posting on her blog "31 things you did not know about Tam". She invited everyone to participate and I thought to share my untold truths with all of you:

1.       Age difference between me and my husband is 28 years. I have always loved older men and have had few crushed on teachers in college. But they ignored me. Sigh…


1.       I was born and grew up in USSR in a Muslim republic (Kazakhstan), where people spoke language that has its roots in Arabic and have looks like Chinese people. We drank tea in piala – a large patterned bowl that you would only eat your soup from. And if you visited Kazakh family, they would only pour it a little at a time – a sign of respect. The moment you drink that little – they jump in – and pour some more! Here are some Kazakh girls:

2.       I am 4th generation left-handed on my mother’s side.

3.       When I was 17 me and my friend Tanya decided to dip into an icy cold river (-40C) all year around. We dag up a hole in the ice that was a meter thick, and every morning 4 am we would go there in all the hale and snow, dip in in our swim costumers, get out, get dressed and go to school. We ran a fever for 3 days and then our bodies got adjusted. We did it for 2 years and felt like super-humans! It's not me on a photo, but it looked something like that:

4.       I used to be vegetarian for 8 years (no meat, no fish), eventually I became very defisient in iron and had dark circles under my eyes. Today I eat meat, but avoid wheat, sugar and dairy.

5.       As a child of musicians I was forced to play piano and attended music school 3 times a week since the age of 6, and had to practice 2-4 hours daily. At the age of 10 I started getting panic attacks from stress and psychologist advised my parents to not force me to music. Fortunately they agreed. I hate music to this day and seldom listen to it.

6.       I have 2 tattoos which I got in spur of the moment at the age of 30, while passing tattoo parlour. One is abstract line under my waist at the back and another is 2 butterflies in front, very low. :)

7.       I was raised in a socialistic regime in a family of atheists. Both me and my brother became Christians in our early 30s.

8.       Most favourite dish that I miss from my culture is called Beshbarmak. Pieces of sheep and onions were boiled in their own sauce and layered over steamy sheets of square pasta that looked like lasagna. The dish was eaten with hands, while sheep fat would drip and splash everywhere… Gross and barbaric, but delicious!

9.       I have high pain threshold, which means I don’t feel pain easily. It makes me miss on lots of health problems over the years, and they get noticed only in advanced stages. I usually see puzzled doctors faces who ask: “Why are you not in agonizing pain?” Hmmmm?

10.   I lived on Micronesian Islands for a year when I was 27. These are tiny islands in the Pacific ocean, you have to go there by air from Hong Kong. It rains 365 days a year, but people don’t wear umbrellas. They gave up. Women there look like they came off paintings of Gauguin. They go barefoot and wear long floral skirts and hibiscus in their ears. I painted this painting on canvas board while being there and dragged it all the way to South Arica with me. Transport of it costed me nearly as much as Gauguin original would cost:

11.   I have problems with sleep and back pain. I often feel fatigued during the day due to lack of sleep. Art helps me to get through many bad days.

12.   I used to be in filming industry, making music videos for musicians and behind the scenes documentaries, like for Christian movie “Ordinary People”, directed by my husband.

13.   I have a degree with distinction as a primary school teacher. I never worked in that profession as my nerves could not take it dealing with noise in classrooms.

14.   My parents had dark complexion but I was born with white hair and blue eyes. Apparently my mother asked a midwife: “Are you sure she is mine?” Midwife was really offended. My eyes turned brown at the age of 1. I have my father’s skew bottom lip. :)

15.   Due to 4 endometriosis operations that ate up almost both of my ovaries I was considered infertile, until I got pregnant at 35, on a set of a Christian movie. Miracle Tallulah was born 9 months later.

16.   My maiden name is Anna Alexandrovna Karimova. Middle name in USSR is the name of your father (in my case – Alexander). My brother’s name respectively Mark Alexandrovich Karimov. And sister’s Eugenia Alexandrovna Karimova.

17.   I was married before my current marriage and my earlier art was signed as Anna Lang. It was not a good art, do not look for it!

18.   I love gardening. I used to grow roses and planted over 100 bushes in my garden. I also went through the stages of orchid growing (unsuccessfully) and landscaping with succulents. I grew that rose:

19.   I am half Jewish, by my mother’s side, and used to speak and write Hebrew in my teens which I learned from books on my own. I was also Hebrew teacher in my town at the age of 18. Since then I did not use and entirely forgot the language.

20.   I am crazy about genealogy and dag up a family tree up to 1700s!

21.   I travelled around the world extensively at the age 21 to 28, and from my point of view the most beautiful place in the world is Cape Town:

22.   At school I was extremely shy, intravertive and unpopular. That awkward kid that reads books all the time and excels at poetry reciting in literature classes.

23.   My father was an alcoholic and neither me nor my brother never tasted alcohol until our early 30s. This was our silent protest against alcohol in general. These days I can occasionally have half a glass of wine, but if I try to have more – my blood pressure drops and I pass out. It seems one need to develop an alcohol tolerance since your teen years!

24.   I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type ll few years ago. I used to be on antidepressants but last 2 years I manage it without drugs, and only with the right lifestyle (healthy eating, exersise, routine, painting.) The moment I brake any of the 4 - I kind of relapse. 

25.   I lived in Amsterdam for over a year in 1999 and meet millennium celebrations in the central square in front of Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky. At some point the crowd became too large, uncontrollable and everyone started to panic. I got almost squeezed to death in it.

26.   I used to have style and fashion blog for a year. Every day I came up with entirely new outfit, took and photo and placed it on a blog. 365 outfits! Kind of like 365 faces. :)

27.   I have an excellent photographic memory, an ability to vividly recall images from memory after only a few instances of exposure. Probably some type of eidetic memory.

28.   People whose name Anna in USSR are never called by their full name. In my family I was called Anya, Anushka and Nuyta. Somehow became Annie in South Africa and it stuck.

29. Nearly 20 years ago I had a short-term modelling career. I got bored sitting for hours in casting queues. Also, I was too short (6'5') which made it too tough to compete!

30.   Tallulah was born at home in a warm inflatable pool with hypno-birthing techniques. It was an easy and quick birth which was filmed on camera by my husband. Apparently midwife and doula laughed a lot, as I was in my own hypnotic zone and saying lots of ridiculous and inappropriate things!

31.   For a while, I used to be a red-head. :)