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.