I got tagged by both Gyppo Byard and Kevin Musgrove, for which I feel very honoured. At first it worried me in the same way that chain letters worry me, but it seems that it's just harmless fun. I’ve got to “reveal six random things about myself”. In what sense of the word “random” they are random if they’ve been chosen by me, I am unsure, but here goes:
1: I painted my toenails scarlet
(Or: I painted my toenails, Scarlet... if you’re reading this). This follows on from one of Gyppo’s random facts. I did it at a party, for a laugh, but it was just a few days before I was due to travel to India for a friend’s wedding. The friend was at the party and said “Please, in the name of Lord Krishna, remove that nail varnish; many people will see your feet at my wedding and they will think that in England I associate with eunuchs”.
2: I got a Blue Peter badge
The circumstances surrounding its acquisition are too painful to recall, but I was in my mid-30s at the time and by then had come to sufficient understanding that the camera doesn’t love me, and vice versa. But I couldn't get out of it.
3: My dad used to write articles for Mayfair
A discussion at Gorilla Bananas’ place reminded me of this. They were about steam trains, racing cars, weapons and stuff like that, in the days when “men’s magazines” were supposed to of general interest to men. He had a stack of them in his study, though I suspect that I was the only one that dog-eared them. (I still don’t know if he ever knew that I knew about them!)
4: I’ve had Electroconvulsive Therapy
I feel a bit awkward saying this, not because I'm embarrassed (though I probably should be) but because it might come across as some bizarre attempt at one-up-man-ship after MC Ward and Mrs Pouncer's courageous revelations about their lives. But if I can get a laugh out of it - and the cure is surely more gag-worthy than the malady - then that's justification enough for me. Actually it was one the things instrumental in turning my life around. (Don’t try it at home though, kids.)
5: The Most Famous People I’ve seen are:
Denis Norden (in a shop); Alexei Sayle (walking down a street); Ben Elton (in a bar); Queen Mum (she visited a summer camp place where I was); Derek Taylor, the Beatles publicity manager (I knew his son); snooker player Steve Davis (standing next to him at a urinal - I wanted to look over and see if all the wealth, fame and adulation of the nation's filing clerks had made his penis permenantly engorged, but I didn't have the nerve). Sad to say I exchanged precisely zero words with each of them.
I was a nervous and suggestible teenager and was convinced that the world would end in 1984. This wasn’t just because of Orwell’s novel but also because when on a skool trip to the London Planetarium an incautious boffin said something about all the planets getting in line at a moment during that year. I became convinced that nuclear warfare would somehow also be a feature of this year and therefore planned which university to attend based on being directly under a bomb (dieing quickly rather than of protracted radiation sickness). This took me to Sheffield, which, as it had no industry left to speak of by the time I got there, would actually have been a really stupid target, unless the Ruskies disliked Arthur Scargill as much as Thatcher did.
Ooerr, that was a bit scary. I believe that I’m required to reiterate the tag rules, so here they are: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write 6 random things about yourself. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted. The 6 people I nominate are Can Bass 1, Daphne Wayne-Bough, The Dotterel, Ellis Nadler, Barry Teeth and Andy from Csíkszereda Musings.