Saturday, 1 November 2008

Random factor

I've been tagged before, but not like this. Gadjo Dilo has thrown down the gauntlet, and the challenge is to reveal six random things about yourself. I thought I'd be extremely random and do it without thinking, and to a deadline. I've got to be out in less than half an hour at a choir rehearsal (Cantemus, live in Bridlington Priory if you're in the area) so I can't beat about the bush...
  1. I'm left-handed. Although, as I've discovered since breaking my right hand, I do an awful lot of things the opposite way round. About the only thing I seem to depend on doing left-handed is writing (with a pen, that is) and I've probably lost the ability to write anything other than my signature by now;
  2. I once shook Paul McCartney's hand. I was impressed with Macca, actually. We (that is, the Liverpool Phil) did his first classical piece - the Liverpool Oratorio (surprise, surprise). In spite of teams of hangers-on and flunkys (and, of course, security) he was the most down-to-earth guy imaginable. Carl Davis, the conductor, reckoned meeting him was like seeing 'Nelson's Column come to life' but after the performance, I was making my way off the platform and he was standing at the bottom of the stairs, alone. I offered my hand, and he took it and we exchanged words like a couple of old friends;
  3. I used to be an RE teacher. I chose RE because I had decided to become a secondary school teacher, and it was the nearest to my degree subject, philosophy. And, at the time, the National Curriculum was closing its iron fist around every other subject and I figured (rightly, as it turned out) that there'd be a bit more freedom with a subject like RE. I've no regrets, but telling people what you did for a living was usually the biggest conversation killer going, akin to people finding out they're talking to a priest;
  4. Talking of priests, Richard Coles (ex-Communards, Bronski Beat) sang at our wedding. He was curate of St Botolph's at the time. And for an ex pop-star, he's a formidable musician;
  5. The first LP I ever bought was by Gary Glitter. Later, at Uni he was doing the Christmas gigs and I thought 'what a showman'. He was good, no doubt about it - then; and,
  6. I've written a book, called Writing Therapy. (And it's to be published soon). Actually, that's a shameless plug, but it did come into my head randomly after writing about Gary Glitter. Hmmm.
And Eddie 2-Sox, Team Gherkin, Ian, Dave, Nota Bene and Hadriana - you're all now 'it'.


  1. Coo, I'm impressed - Paul McCartney, eh? Doesn't come much more 'legendary' than that. I like these memes - they always show us a real glimpse of the person behind the blog. Thanks for sharing.


  2. You have some wonderful memories here. Paul McCartney is by far the best. Glad to hear that he is down to earth.

  3. Great randomness! Thank you.

    you thin teaching RE is a conversation-killer?

    Try being an ex-RE teacher, missionary, divorced with some mental-health problems - people run AWAY from me!

    I'm not joking!

  4. Quite interesting bits of randomness.
    Can't wait to read your book!

  5. Fascinating stuff, Dot! Macca always got a bad press from the supposedly "cool" people, but I'm glad that you found him so pleasant. And Richard Coles is now a C of E curate? He did seem a cut above most other musicians of his genre, come to think of it.

  6. Mmmm, writing therapy, eh? Tell us more.

    Paul McCartney - I'm impressed! I remember his Liverpool Oratorio and being very jealous that it wasn't a Manchester one so that we could do it instead.

    Jose Carreras blew me a kiss as he walked past me on stage once (I was in the backing choir), is that good enough?

  7. There's a little more, WM, on the blog of the same name. That should put you off buying it! (And, yes, a blown kiss from Jose definitely counts).

    No longer a mere curate, Gadjo, but a fully-fledged Anglican priest and currently chaplain to the Royal Academy of Music.

    It should be out by mid-December, Z&T.

    Actually, that sounds really interesting TG. Tell us more!

    The whole McCartney experience was something special, Caroline. And yes, the man's a legend, Kitty.

  8. Great list of random things.

    Tall Girl has a very fine RE teacher. They call it REP (a bit to much like RIP for my liking!) The P being Philosophy.

    I'd like to know more about your book :)

  9. Have just read your comment so will go and look at your other blog for the book :)

  10. How dare you break the hand that Paul McCartney shook?

  11. Glad to see that the plaster on the hand is not interrupting the brains random thoughts! I too had body contact with a famous Paul, but not quite as famous as yours! I had my hand on Paul Young's knee at the front row of his concert as he sang "Wherever I Lay My hat"! Never quite gotten over that really!

  12. Philosophy is a tough subject! I did some at college - drove me nuts!

  13. Saying you taught RE may have been the biggest conversation killer, but the mention of shaking Sir Paul's hand surely got the conversation going again!

  14. Well, yes AM, it did; but there's only so much Macca you can take!

    You're right, Scarlett. I'm still not sure I understand it, and I've got a degree in it. But maybe that's the point! (Incidentally, one of the questions on my finals paper was 'Is the King of France bald?' I kid you not!)

    We're here with bated breath, TG.

    I know, Cheshire Wife. I washed it, too!

    I don't think Sir Paul would have been quite so forthcoming with my hand on his knee, That Girl. But you never know...

    Thanks, Auntie Gwen.

    The book-blog is at Suburbia. Hope that helps.

  15. Great random selection!
    Despite everything, I too have fond recollections of the Gary Glitter Christmas gigs at Uni.
    Good luck with the book!

  16. I'll keep an eye out for your book, The Dotterel and buy it if I am organised! I've done the tag...maybe not so exciting as yours? But hey it's done. Hope your hand is healing fast.

  17. Ah yes, I also had to grapple with the same presupposition complexities (that there is a king of France) during my studies in artificial intelligence. And good luck with the book indeed - tell us more about it when you get the time!

  18. Many congratulations on your book! How exciting for you!

    And wow to meeting Paul McCartney!!

  19. Very interesting answers (esp. N3 & 6), I am now going to check out your writing therapy blog!

  20. Very good randomness. A RE teacher, eh? I can well believe that would be a conversation stopper at parties - unless you were chatting up a nun or something. You could bond over the scriptures.

    Is Writing Therapy fiction?

  21. I'm very impressed. There are very few things I can actually do in less than 30 minutes, and you came up with a spectacular, random list in less time that it's probably taking me to comment.

  22. And with a broken hand, too, Tricia. (Aren't I clever?) Actually, it was the only way I could do it. If I'd given it some thought I'd still be thinking, and itn wouldn't have been written.

    Yep, it's my first novel FF. And it's about writing a novel, too.

    Thanks, DJ. Hope you're not disappointed.

    Thanks, Cas. Don't know which is the more exciting really.

    You're the first person I've told that to who has had the remotest idea what it's about, Gadj. I'm impressed.

    Great randomness, Hadriana. Thanks for taking up the challenge.

    Cheers, Kevin. Do you want it in the library?

  23. So glad I've found another lefthanded-er. Aren't we supposed to be more creative or something? Paul McCartney eh? Very impressive. Random things . .

    1. When my son was two we found him in the back garden eating a slug.

    2. I once shook hands with Elizabeth Taylor. Her eyes were an astonishing violet, but her handshake was very limp.

    3. In my early twenties I was travelling home from a date when fire broke out in Kings Cross underground. Fire has always been my room 101 but it's true that everything slows down when you're in real danger. And your body protects you by going into shock. My life was saved by fireman who threw me across a barrier, breaking my ankle. I got up and ran without even feeling it.

    Big congratulations on the book. When is it out?

  24. December, so I'm told. The King's Cross story sounds seriously frightening, Jane. You're right, though: adrenalin's a wonderful thing.


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