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.