Friday, December 15, 2006


Ooh, this one's dangerous. I know my blog is supposed to be terribly serious, waxing about the waning of the world, gibbering about God - that sort of thing. But how could anyone resist such a charming invitation as this? - especially when it's from Maggi Dawn, who's in the midst of writing a book right now. Not that I'm implying blogospheric procrastination or anything like that. (Though that's what would be going on if it was me.) Anyway, here are my Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me, a questionable idea inspired by (the) Roger von Oech. They're not as deep as Ruth Gledhill's. But then the task wasn't five useful things, was it, he asks in feeble self defence?

1. When I was two I was monstered on a park bench by three German Shepherds (of the canine variety). I don’t recall my grandmother being too effective at shooing them away. Life has turned out pretty well for me since then. Considering.

2. In 1969 I abandoned Manchester United and started supporting Dumbarton, who now languish in the Third Division of the Scottish Football League. It’s a long story involving dubious ancestry and a knack for lost causes. But we’ve just drawn Celtic away in the next round of the Scottish Cup, so glory is only 90 minutes away. Honest.

3. When I was thirteen I wanted to be a park keeper. No, I haven’t got a clue why, either. But I still have an instinct to pick up litter. Then again, I never bother to mow the lawn until reminded. It wouldn't have made a day job, that’s for sure. Back then, I never even considered Ekklesia, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, theology, journalism or the like. Unfathomable, huh?

4. I used to work with Alexei Sayle before he became an alternative comedy headliner. He was a part-time filing clerk while I was an editorial assistant at a now defunct London publishing company. One Christmas he got the booze and I got the crisps for the office party. Didn’t stop it being a bit rubbish, but that’s what office parties are for. Graham & Trotman finally sent him off the rails, and the rest is history.

5. I have this thing with deadlines. And I don’t just mean those ones. F’rinstance… I inexplicably declined a ticket for what turned out to be The Smiths’ final gig before they split, and then for what turned out to be Miles Davis’ last ever concert in Britain. I also missed Sir Michael Tippett’s final Proms appearance because of a major train delay. I am determined not to miss the end of Yes, shameful though it is to admit in polite circles. Carpe diem.

Right, it's the season of goodwill, so I tag Jonathan Bartley, Johan Maurer (or Dima), The Weary Pilgrim and Tom Allen. Er, how come the bloggers I know are mostly men? Hmmnnn...

[Picture: Alexei Sayle on an average day or Maggi Dawn on an indescribable day, (c) BBC]

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