Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My seven!

My friends are probably aware that I am somewhat anti tagging. In fact I wrote an article on that vey subject called BBOB. But I liked the look of a new one which appeared via my blog yesterday.

I have been tagged by my new friend UL and charged with the task of writing 7 random or weird facts about myself At first I thought -Me? Weird? Never. But the more I thought about it the more weird things popped into my head. Then I had to cut it down to seven! Here goes.

1. No, I can’t admit that! I’ll think of a new number one later!

2. When I was young I was an Omnibologist! Bet you don’t know what that is! Well, it was a pretentious word for a bus spotter! My fellow spotters and I set out the see every one of the 450 buses in the Southdown fleet. And to prove we had seen them we had to look in the drivers cab where was written the date the bus was last repainted and the type of paint used! And we wrote these dates in our little books! We also took photos wherever possible.

3 Talking of photographs, when I was a teenager I spent most of most of my free time in my darkroom where I developed my pictures. Now you are thinking ‘what a nerd - he should have been out chasing girls’. Now let me tell you something. Once the red light was on outside my darkroom, I enjoyed total privacy. No one dare come in for fear or ruining my black and whites. Except my ‘guests’. I didn’t have to chase the girls! They wanted to know all about my enlarger and they came to me!

4. When I was very small my little friends and I used to go off and play in the fields for hours on end. You could do that then. Well, we spent most of our time in the Diplocks Fields and spent ages sitting around a stagnant pool - a very deep one - called the Armchair Pond. Like most small towns it gradually became a large town, and the countryside I once played in became housing estates. Anyway, twenty years after those happy innocent days, I bought my first house - on the exact spot where the Armchair Pond had been. I dug a little armchair shaped pond in the garden as a reminder of what was there before.

5. This is weird. For the first 40 or so years of my life I never read a book. Not one! At school my worst subject was English. Grammar was a mystery to me. And now I spend hours reading book after book, and sitting at my keypad writing into the early hours of the morning. I get angry when I hear people say ’different to’ instead of ’different from’, and ‘me and my friend’ instead of ‘my friend and I’

6. I won a talent contest when I was 17. I sang ‘Old Shep’. It was held to raise funds for a dog rescue centre. Old Shep is a song about shooting a dog! Hopefully no one noticed! Since then it’s become a reluctant party piece. I’ve sung to small gatherings the world over. Whenever I’m with a group of friends enjoying a tincture, I seem to sing it! New Year parties, BBQ’s, weddings! Mind you, my kids always dash for the door!

7. Years ago I wrote a list of the music I want playing at my funeral. Well, I won’t be there and I dare not leave it to anyone else. My biggest fear that some one will play Old Shep as I slowly descend into the ground, or ‘The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round’ at the service. Now and again I update it as my circumstances change. But woe betide anyone who ignores my wishes. I’ll come back and haunt them!

Back to number 1! I have always enjoyed cooking for dinner parties. I was in my 26th year of selling cars when I suddenly decided I would open a restaurant in one of the busiest parts of Eastbourne. I didn’t buy a ready made business either. I got an empty property and designed it from scratch. I’d never been inside a commercial kitchen and had no idea about sourcing ingredients, but I went ahead anyway. It is a fact that two thirds of restaurants don’t make it through the first year, and almost all new openings are by experienced restaurateurs. So basically, the odds were stacked against me. But it worked, and 6 years later I sold it as a successful going concern.

So there you go! 7 weird facts! I am now supposed to nominate 7 more people to have a go, but I’m going to break the rules. Ever the rebel! Instead I’m going to ask for volunteers. Seven if possible. Over to you.


  1. Wow Keith, those are some weird facts all right! They are very intriguing though. You seem to be an interesting fella!

  2. Very interestingly wierd sir I will think about it and possibly I will come up with something but like you said who me wierd lol?

  3. Wow, that was very interesting Keith. It's the first time I have heard of an Omnibologist turned car-salesman turned Chef turned 'writer after forty years of no read-no write'. Eh, excuse my language Sir; English is really not my first language :)
    Omnibologist, huh, very interesting, you almost had me googling there! And Keith you have had success after success, your writings are superb, I would love to sample some of your cooking. Oh I missed out the singing talent ...that's genius. And creating your own funeral music, hilarious. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Maybe I will make a list of my own.:) It must be wonderful to live close to where you were once raised, I think that's a privilege. You know I was cracking up when I read your comment on making pennies for gum balls, that would have been so much fun. I loved the link you send out too. I am glad you decided to respond to the tag even though it's completely against your principles. I know you a little bit better now, and honored really. Thank you.

  4. Omnibologist indeed! Know what you mean though. We used to sit outside our local church, writing down the index numbers of passing cars. About one every hour or so. Now, you'd need a shorthand writer to do it!

  5. you get more interesting every time I come here!

  6. okay, i learnt a new word..omnibologist...!!! and a guy who cooks, sings, writes...that's cool...(am i permitted to use the word 'cool'?)
    nice tag and i like the name'armchair pond-so very original and after reading all these tags, i'm beginning to think that normal is 'weird' and weird is getting to be 'normal'..:)
    have agreat day - s

  7. I've been here a couple of times and read your interesting facts. Like you, tagging doesn't interesting me. Your tag however, does interest me! Have a good day, Cheffie!

  8. A great list, for someone who hates to be tagged...!

  9. Hi Keith,

    You know what? I really want to hear you sing "Old Shep" in person some day. It seems like I can't convince you that you need to come to Nebraska to start our Talk Show, so that probably means I'm going to have to come to you. I should do this because I've never set foot outside the United States.

    I have your address. One of these days I'm going to surprise you. When I do, be ready to get sauced and sing "Old Shep."

    As for the not reading for 40 years -- This actually doesn't surprise me. I have students who work harder to NOT read than they would if they just picked up a dang book. I will say though that I think sometimes our brains just aren't ready for certain things until we are of a more mature age. Maybe that's the way it was for you. Obviously it didn't hurt you any. You are a voracious reader and a fine writer now.

    And, I love the idea of gettin' in on in a dark room. When I was in high school, and I would work in the dark room I often thought about how fun it would be to have an encounter there. I was a dirty horny little teenager. For shame.

    One thing is certain though -- You are SO weird. That's why I'm so very fond of you.


  10. Keith I will forgive this, I know some of these meme's are rather fun. I think you are truly an unique person and I like that about you tremendously, you rock, you cook, and your thoughtful and compassionate so there I said it. BTW I enjoyed a spot of tea yesterday and thought of you.

    Have a great weekend boyo.

  11. Wow, I thought you would have been a big reader fronm early on. All very interesting my friend.



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