I don’t usually take part in these blog tagging things, normally because they tell you to write about yourself. Now I’ll admit that a lot of things I write (here, on the work-type blog, on BiNS, on the Birmingham Post blog, wherever anyone lets me) are tinged with personal thoughts, experiences and the like â€” but they’re not about me.
I’m quite a dull person, much happier cocooned away in my own world of rarely-completed conceptual art and worrying about where the next fiver is coming from than doing anything as extrovert as diary writing. That said, having spent a good portion of Saturday willingly annoying Michael by calling him: first Mike, then Mick, then Mickey, I feel I should play along with his game too.
So the concept is, seven facts that people don’t already know about me. Let’s go.
- I don’t listen to Radio 4, hardly at all.. It’s a heresy to admit it in some circles, but I don’t listen to Today, or World at One, nor intriguing documentaries about the plight of indigenous peoples. I’m so rarely in the mood for that sort of stuff and habits long-formed are for music radio, or football-based speech. I don’t get on with recorded material, time-shifting audio doesn’t move me. That said I’ll listen to Hitchhikers over and over again, keep up with the Archers, and I’ve got Radio 4 on now â€” I’m too busy to get up and switch over.
- I have seen Star Wars â€” well, a bit of it. I’ll often tell people that I’ve neither seen, nor have any interest in Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Lords of the Rings â€” and it’s true. I’ll accept that Star Ward has has a huge impact on popular culture (so large in fact that I now see no reason to watch it, the plot characters and iconography are freely available), but I missed the time and there are so many more interesting things to be catching up on. But when about tenÂ on holiday at a Pontins hotel in Margate they showed Star Wars One at midnight, in the ballroom, on a projector screen no bigger than a double bed-sheet. I watched a bit at the start â€” robots in a desert â€” dozed off bored, and was put to bed.
- Although an atheist, there was a time when I went to Church twice a week. I went to a Church of England School in Handsworth, St Mary’s, the churchyard of which has many of the Lunar Society buried in. It wasn’t a particularly religious school, certainly not Christian religious (more Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, everything but), but we did have to go to a proper Church service on a Wednesday. Couple this with my joining the Boys Brigade (mainly to play football), and its compulsory attendance at Perry Barr Methodist Church on Sunday, and I was numbing-my-bum on pews for at least two hours a week up till the age of 11.
- I had to have remedial spelling and handwriting lessons at secondary school. Odd for a person who has moved from journalism to publishing to writing down almost all my thoughts on the Internet, but sure enough I was taken out of Geography lessons on Tuesdays and given whatever was the literacy equivalent of electric shock treatment for an hour. It didn’t work, and I still don’t fully understand what an ox-bow lake is.
- I was invited to join the Central Kids Televison Drama Group, but didn’t go. I showed no mean talent for acting in my youth, and was sent a letter inviting me to go to the TV studios on Saturday mornings to do drama stuff. My dad told me I could choose between that and football, so my drama career was over. It was the route that a kid from school took to being in Crossroads and eventually becoming the “did she just shake her tic-tacs at me?” guy â€” I coulda been a contender!
- I used to support the Villa. Indeed, yes, I know. While I was born in the shaddow of the Trinity Road stand (or at least within earshot of the roar of the Holte), I was brought up a Blues fan by my Dad who had spent his formative years living in St Andrews Road. But in the coming years I was brainwashed into becoming claret and blue by my Granddad (Mum’s side) and uncles â€” Villa winning the League and then the European Cup (I have a photo of me with it) as I was growing up didn’t hurt either.By 18 I had a Villa Park season ticket (even so I still spent some Saturdays on the Spion Kop).My best mate, guitarist in my band, and bluenose killed himself a few years after that â€” I went to a very dark place, and when I came out I supported the Blues. Maybe something to do with attempting to replace him, and I’m sure psychiatrists would have a field day if I believed in them.
- I don’t like vegetables. A hardship for a vegetarian, but I don’t like carrots, peas, any type of beans, swedes, turnips, parsnips. I like fake meat and fruit. It’s Linda McCartney sausages and tinned tomatoes for tea.
I’m meant to nominate seven other people to do this now, but I did this because I felt like it (and a sort of Rabbit Hole Day entry a bit late) so although I’ll list them I don’t care at all if they do it. Julia Gilbert,Â Abby Corfan, Danny Smith, Stuart Parker, Mark Steadman, TWM_Driver (now he has no buses to write about) and Deirdre Alden.