I’ve been tagged by one of the memes currently doing the rounds of the Blogosphere. The vessel by which the meme reached me is J. Carter Wood, over at Obscene Desserts. The meme challenges me to name eight random facts about myself, and then in turn tag another eight victims. Oh dear, the potential for the pretentious/boring index to reach new heights is dangerously high. Well, here goes:
- I despair about saying anything of interest when I realise that a Google search on the phrase "eight random facts" produces 123,000 hits.
- I still carry a faint scar that is now all but hidden in my left eyebrow. It’s the result of being hit and being tossed into the air by a car when I was about four or five. A lorry driver had stopped to let me cross the road, and a rather impatient motorist behind him decided he would pull out and overtake at speed to show his contempt for the lorry driver. Metal met flesh, which subsequently met asphalt face down. For years afterwards, I had nightmares of cars trying to run me over. I would hide in the dark shadows of alleyways, as the cars purred hungrily past, and would occasionally glimpse the sight of a lorry that carried an industrial sized meat grinder that was spitting out blood-drenched human bones. I was a somewhat over-imaginative child.
- One of my prized books is the facsimile fourth edition (published in 1972) of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. In 1972, I was living in Blandford Forum, which had a tiny bookshop run by a pair of little old ladies. I saw the book there and fell in love with it. It was priced at £12 (€18 or $24) – an impossibly huge sum for me at the time. In today’s money, that translates to between £106 and £230, depending on the indices used. I would go in there every Saturday for weeks and gaze longingly at the book. Finally, I succumbed and handed over my hard-earned cash. The little old ladies were pleased for me as well – one of them clapped her hands in delight; not because she had sold the book, but because she knew that it would be treasured.
- Le Morte d’Arthur is the book I am holding in this portrait of ourselves painted by Mary Grooteman.
- After leaving my parents, I have lived in a dozen places that I called home. Perhaps the most unusual was the caretaker’s flat in a disused hospital in London, which I inhabited for a short time with my then boyfriend during the late 1970s. I was into my roller-skating craze at the time, and we used to practise skating through the dimly-lit corridors.
- During my time with Shell, business trips harvested a total of 45 KLM houses (they are given to passengers who fly intercontinental First or Business Class flights). They now sit on top of the bookcase in the study.
- Now that I’m retired, people keep asking why I am not travelling the world. I point to the 45 KLM houses on top of the bookcase and say that I am now more than content just to potter in our garden or cycle in our area. I feel that I am just as much on vacation, and with a smaller carbon footprint to boot.
- I once had to take part in a team building exercise at work where we each had to make three statements about ourselves. Two were to be true and one was to be false, and much team-building, and of course, fun (because where would we be without fun?) was supposed to occur over the discussions about which were true and which were false. My three statements?
- "I’ve made love to a woman".
- "I’ve made love to a man".
- "I’ve had my tonsils taken out".
Dear me, but it took a while before number three was identified as the false statement…
I have failed to find a further eight victims to pass on this meme to. Those who spring to mind have already done it. So think of this of a bonus random fact – I make it a habit to break chains…