Thursday, 24 April 2008


I’ve been tagged by Patricia Debney, the delightful Canterbury Laureate, to list six random things about myself. Random. As in strange (modern usage)? Or things which just whizz through my brain while I try and think of things I might actually want readers of this blog to know about me to make me seem more interesting / amusing / strange as in my strapline?

OK then, while I sit here with the best of Top Gear as company while I wait for the boys to get home from Frisbee (the OH is catching an early night – don’t know how she can go to bed when it’s light – that is actually a truly random fact about me: I can’t possibly go to bed when it’s still light outside, it’s just against some fundamental human law which I formulated when I was about six. ‘Mum, I can’t go to bed, it’s daytime…’ I had clearly better never spend the summer in Finland…) here are six not quite random things about me:

1. I have empty space in my brain where the sense of direction should be. I routinely – no, instinctively – turn the wrong way when eg coming out of restaurant loos and end up in the kitchens / a totally different bit of the restaurant where everybody seems to be eating sushi as in some parallel universe / outside in the cold, dark night…

2. Because of the above, I always leave ‘getting lost time’ whenever I go somewhere for the first (second and third) time(s). This is often used up. Especially in Margate. Have you ever been to Margate? It swallows you into its arcane system of ‘you can’t go down here, love’ roads.

3. I refuse to get sat-nav because I need to keep trying to grow the requisite bit of my brain, otherwise it will be nothing but a little black hole into which a nice lady (are they all ladies, GPSes? I’ve only ever heard ladies) tells me to go down yet another improbably weed-grown alley. They do this – all new Sainsbury’s delivery drivers unfailingly ring us up to say they’re lost because the GPS keeps telling them they’ve got to us when they’re sitting on a back lane which is parallel to our road but which is quite definitively not our road.

4. Unrelated to driving or senses of direction, I speak fluent Welsh. Or at least, I did when I still lived there. Given that I have not lived there for twenty five years, I understand fluent Welsh but occasionally find that – embarassingly – I can’t remember the word for something really obvious like ‘home’or ‘run’ or ‘face’. Mind you, that’s not wholly surprising to people who know me well. I often forget the English words for things like ‘home’ etc. My family are star interpreters of words like ‘thing’ ‘whatsit’ and ‘y’know’.

5. If I hadn’t gone over the time allowed, I would have won the Welsh under 16s stock judging championships at the Royal Welsh Show 1978. As I went over the two-minute time allowed for delivering my reasons why I had placed a ring of six British Fresian dairy cows in a particular order I was docked points. I therefore didn’t win, though my reasons were, according to the judges, the best. This wouldn’t have been an issue – moral victory etc, who cares about tropies – except that I therefore did not get an all expenses paid trip to Jersey to represent Wales in an international stock judging competition. Sadly, this did not teach me that brevity is the soul of wit. Or even make me keep my utterings pithy. (You lot should know, you read this blog.) I’ve still never been to Jersey.

6. I deeply hate patterned carpets. I’m not a big fan of carpets in general – I prefer wooden floors with rugs here and there. But I absolutely hate patterned carpets. At one stage in my life I had a bedroom carpet which was swirls of gold, black, orange and green. I’m still recovering.
The only fitted carpets in our house are in the attic, the boys’ domain.

OK, not absolutely random – more thematically related as far as 1 -3 are concerned, but interesting…no?

Right, I now have to tag other people and give you the rules.

The rules are:
Link to the person that tagged you - i.e. me.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about you in a blog post.
Tag six people in your post.
Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know your entry is up.

So, I’m tagging Aliya (or Neil I suppose), Akasha, Karen, Tim, David and Leigh


Aliya Whiteley said...

I'm rubbish with rules, but I have responded! And I, too, am directionally challenged. Luckily Hubby can find a Sainsburys in Milton Keynes by using only zen navigation. He is incredible.


Love it Alis! Especially the Welsh bit. Strangely though I too had one year of dairy cow-ing in high school. Have written about it, so formative....Anyway.

Good fun.

Tim Stretton said...

I've responded too. If you want to share in my new-found wealth and read about vomiting in a flowerbed, come on over...

KAREN said...

Thanks for the tag, Alis. I'm with you in lacking a sense of direction, and on carpets - in fact we're getting rid of our last one tomorrow and putting down a wooden floor in the front room!

I'd love to be able to speak another language :o)

KAREN said...

Actually, I thought this sounded familiar...I was tagged to do this one a little while ago, which is here! I'm not sure I can manage another six :o)

Akasha Savage said...

Hi Alis. Loved all the random things about you. I too was tagged on this a few months back...but I will respond and try to think of six random things about me that I didn't write about last time.

2KoP said...

Hi, Alis. I'm following the tag back to six degrees of separation: you tagged Akasha who tagged Bill Cameron, who tagged Julia Buckley, who tagged Cindy Fey, who tagged me, Susan — all writers! This has been a blast. One of my six random things is the photo negative of yours: I have a great sense of direction, but only a vague knowledge of geography. Fortunately, virtual traveling doesn't require a sense of direction or knowledge of geography, so come visit me in Evanston, Illinois via my blog. By the way, we call my husband's GPS "Gypsy" and we have all wood floors except for the oriental print runner on our stairs.