Monday, December 14, 2009

The Hardly Magnificent And Somewhat Pedestrian Seven


Over the last couple of weeks two fellow bloggers - my good friends Poetikat and AngelMay - have been kind enough to ask me to participate in the "Seven Things" meme which is currently doing the rounds. I usually try to keep my head down in the face of such revelatory entreaties, but it's Monday morning, it's raining outside, and the only real alternative is to write and address even more Christmas cards. So here goes : seven vaguely interesting things you may not know about me.

1. My first ever job was as a trainee press photographer for the local Halifax Evening Courier. Having been offered the job some six months before I finished school I used to go into the newspaper offices during the holidays to get myself familiar with the routine. Three weeks before I was due to start work I received a letter from the Editor saying that they had to withdraw the job offer due to "financial pressures".

2. I met my life-long best friend when I was 18 and she was 15. I was the Chairman of the local Young Socialists and I persuaded her to become a member ..... and to go out with me. We were married six years later and she is still my good, lady wife 43 years later.

3. During the early years of my life I had a wide variety of jobs. These included being a bus conductor, operating the rain machine on a film set, planning for the evacuation of London schoolchildren in the event of the flooding of the River Thames, and answering letters from the public on behalf of the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

4. During the 1980s I acted as a consultant and "expert" for the European Commission in Brussels. I wrote and edited their regular publication for European trade unionists and traveled on a fairly regular basis between Yorkshire and Belgium. This coincided with the time of my deafness when the doctors wouldn't let me fly and therefore I made the journey by train and boat.

5. Many years ago I started to write a book - on the back of a postcard. It was a political thriller set in the world of European Union politics. I sent the postcard containing the first installment (written in rather small letters) to my good friend and chess partner Martin. Over the following year or so I sent him a further couple of hundred postcards with  further installments of the story. Then I ran out of either postcards, stamps or inspiration, and the project was never finished.

6. Throughout my life I have had a fairly bizarre diet which has excluded all vegetable (other than potatoes) and which is based on very plain and simple food. This is nothing more than a complicated food fad - but it has left me with a cholesterol level that is the envy of all my friends.

7. I am currently addicted to computer-based jigsaw puzzles. I relax at the end of each day by converting a work of art into a computer-based jigsaw and slowly reconstructing it whilst listening to whatever music happens to be my current favourite. (I am currently, for example, reconstructing John Constable's Salisbury Cathedral From The Meadows to the sound of Nigel Kennedy's Blue Note Sessions).

And that is about as much revelation as anyone can take. As we are now towards the end of this particular meme I will excuse myself and not pass it on to seven other bloggers : I suspect everyone has either had a go at the task or successfully kept their heads down

THE FAT DOG IS WALKING AGAIN
Amy continues her virtual coast-to-coast walk, getting involved in an argument about the westernmost point in the USA and finding herself in the midst of a Jules Verne novel. The latest installment of Fat Dog To The Big Apple - Postcard From Cape Blanco - is now available.

24 comments:

  1. Alan - thanks for not passing it on. I dread to think what revelations I would be forced to make.

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  2. You've certainly had an interesting life, Alan. I'm intrigued about the non-vegetable diet. Could we hear more on that one....
    I'm also glad you're not passing on the meme on the basis that I like secrets.

    'My Christmas Reading'
    http://tinyurl.com/ydzcty8

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  3. Val : I think I agree with you, secrets are much better. Now about my diet .... ah, now that's a secret.

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  4. Spoilsport! How can I get thin without help ... grins

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  5. Being addicted to computer puzzles is a serious addiction. Have you ever gone to Computer-puzzleholics Anonymous?

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  6. This is a great list, not pedestrian at all!

    Number 2 is absolutely charming. I love the idea of writing a book on postcards. And I too like to do a computer game and listen to music, just to de-stress--mine is usually a match 3 sort of thing--it is remarkably effective at achieving relaxation!

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  7. That was a thoroughly interesting and entertaining list, Alan. Mine is up and not nearly as intriguing as your diet or other things. I think secrets and mystery are necessary. Have a good week.

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  8. It sounds as though you have led an interesting enough life without becoming a member of the paparazzi! Not a somewhat pedestrian seven at all. But you? Run out of postcards? Never! (or did you just decide to hang on to the best ones?)

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  9. The book written on postcards is SO you, Alan. Thanks for the Monday morning smiles.

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  10. Frankly, Alan... I think you are an extremely interesting person. Thanks for sharing with us. However, I do wish you would explain how you can avoid all vegetables and still keep your cholesterol levels down. (My doctor keeps nagging me about taking Lipitor.)

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  11. I,m surprised they needed a rain machine anywhere in England at anytime!

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  12. Willow : do I detect an accusation of eccentricity in your comment.
    Tony : This was back in the early 1970s before global warming.

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  13. Hah! I, too, spend waaaay too much time doing online jigsaw puzzles.

    Ah, well.

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  14. What wonderful revelations. It looks like you have had some diverse experiences that center on the writing of the word. I received a similar award, but I am going to wait to try my hand and finding seven things to share. My wife says I tell everyone just about everything so I really won't be able to find anything new. We will see. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Love the postcard book. Does it still exist anywhere? On line jig saw puzzles? You don't say!

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  16. Young Allan's modesty does not permit him to reveal the true genius behind his novel on a postcard.
    The picture on the front of the postcard held relevance to the instalment on the reverse.
    It is a truly gripping yarn and I have all the cards in a Swiss bank vault as a legacy for my descendants.

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  17. Martin : You only say that because you are about to beat me at chess (again).

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  18. Really nice Alan!The number 2 is the best!:)

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  19. 43 years...how wonderful! The Mister and I celebrate our 26th this week!

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  20. "Kept their heads down." Good one. I feel that way myself most of the time.

    Of course, I want to know more about the work on the film set with the rain machine.

    We are on a diet quite the complete opposite of yours, Alan. We are eating copious amounts of every conceivable fruit and vegetable we can find. It's amazing the positive changes that have occurred as a result.

    I say, you best get cracking on resurrecting that political thriller. Right everyone?

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  21. I definitely like No 2! ..awwwww...so so sweet!

    ..of course, i also like the one about writing a book, and on a political thriller at that (!) on post cards.. now how did you do that?? ;D

    ~Silver

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  22. Wow Alan that's a varied work life you've lead. Such a shame you didn't finish the book and I suppose it's sitting somewhere in your friend's shoebox instead of on your computer?

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  23. My 9 year old will be thrilled to hear of your vegetable-free diet. I can hear an 'I told you so' coming on.
    x

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  24. nosy parker that I am enjoys such peeks into someone's life! great fun! quite an interesting collection of jobs - never encountered a real life rain-maker before!

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