Sunday, 22 July 2007

8 more things...

Following my inability to run quickly enough to outpace being tagged, I present eight random facts about me which might be moderately interesting. For those of you who fall asleep before finishing this post, thank my tagger, Anna MR, for curing your insomnia, or otherwise send curses for the recurrence of your narcolepsy.

Here are the rules. Play by them or flex them as you see fit:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Post these rules and eight random facts.
3. Tag eight other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Now, anyone who has noticed the brevity of my blogroll will realize that this last point might be a little taxing, as it appears that in addition to my tagger, I have only six friendly acquaintances in the entire blogosphere. I shall therefore name only one victim at this time and withhold naming my other seven tagees until I have sufficient friends for when I’m feeling particularly vindictive.

Here goes then. 8 facts about myself.

1) I spent a night at Osaka airport (incidentally, the most pleasant airport at which I have spent a night) before an early morning flight. As I presented my ticket at the check-in desk, it occurred to me that my tickets were for the previous day’s flight. I spent a few moments trying to work out how that could have happened before coming to the inescapable conclusion that I’d been a complete numpty and turned up on the wrong day.

2) In Moshi, Tanzania, there is a police report which records me to be a member of the tribe of Sheffield Wednesday. This followed an extremely excruciating process of my trying to explain in bad Swahili to an incredulous cop that I didn’t have a tribe. Having already used England and British to describe where I was born and my nationality, it seemed I wasn't allowed to reuse them as my tribe. Nor would my surname do. So I resorted to my local football club, which was satisfactory.

3) I prefer Yorkshire puddings that didn't quite rise as intended. Seeing as it took me 18 years to learn to love gravy, I developed a taste for soft, doughy puddings (they are so much easier to swallow than the dry, crispy, well-formed ones).

4) My grandmother challenged me to a drinking contest on her 80th birthday. I didn’t accept, mostly because I am far too courteous for things like that but also because I knew she was capable of drinking me under the table.

5) The only time I recall being certain that I was about to die was when I was being dragged along in the Zambezi river and had been submerged for probably about twenty seconds. I couldn’t tell how close or far from the surface I was, and any swimming action was totally futile against the strength of the current. In a moment of pristine mental clarity, the like of which I have not subsequntly experienced, one clarion concept isolated itself from the general panic swarming around my head. But for the fact that the river spat me out shortly afterwards, it seemed that my final thought upon this life was destined to be “Bugger”.

6) I used to work with some vicious visible lasers and had some rather funky red lab specs to keep me from going blind. After a day-long stint in the lab without any blue light, I emerged into the corridor, removed my laser specs and stared at the notice board. The blue notice board. It was blue, really blue. BLUE. Amazingly BBBLLLLUUUUEEEEEEEE. I felt like I seeing something from another planet and was for some reason compelled to touch it to make sure it was really there, was actually real and solid and not some figment of my imagination. It was fuzzy, furry, but real enough, and jaw-droppingly blue. It was only after perhaps half a minute of my fondling the novel blue-ness of the board that I realized my supervisor was standing behind me observing the scene and shaking his head sadly at the sight of yet another graduate student coming apart at the seams.

7) I made a speech in very bad Swahili to hundreds of schoolkids whilst a chicken, which had just been presented to me as a gift, helped itself to my upper arm. I couldn’t tell if the kids were laughing at my poor Swahili, or the sight of the daft white woman not even knowing how to hold a chicken…

8) One of the most memorable things I’ve seen in ages was a group of seagulls during a storm a few weeks ago. I was sitting in the office in which I work, on the 20th floor, watching the storm approach from one side of the building, listening to the rain and then the hail bouncing off the windows as the storm engulfed the building. The fork lightning stabbed through the sky from a starting point somewhere beneath me. As the storm lifted, I noticed a clump of birds flying in a strange manner. It took some moments for me to realize they weren’t actually flying, they were being hurled around the sky by the winds, completely without control. The sun was low enough in the sky to lend a yellow glow to the gulls. They looked magnificent against the dark stormy background. The whole thing was breathtaking and I wish, I wish I had have had my camera with me that day.

Woo hoo! And now that’s done, I tag Kindablue, a previous tagger, in revenge for the earlier incident.

Everyone else, consider yourself warned...


DJ Kirkby said...

Number 6 and 7, oh so funny!

trousers said...

What a wonderful set of random facts! I'm particularly tickled by the tribe of Sheffield Wednesday, and your would-be final thought of "Bugger."

Fact 6 reminded me (obliquely) of when I did photography as part of my college work, and hence spent long stretches in complete darkness (in the darkroom, naturally). Once, a fellow student accidentally set off a flash unit in there. We quickly realised that it burned the resultant image into the retina quite vividly.

This led three or four of us to spend stupid amounts of time in the darkroom. For example, if you looked down at your feet and set off the flash unit, then looked above your head, within a couple of seconds you'd have the odd spectacle of seeing a very clear image of your feet up above you in the darkness.

It was bizarre, no end of fun and no doubt very bad for the eyes.

KindaBlue said...

Ah. This must be karma.

I'd better start thinking of interesting things that have happened to me, then.

Anna MR said...

Ah, But, you are a gratifying blogger to tag, somehow, and I have a feeling this will start to happen to you with mind-(your mind)-numbing regularity. Like housut (aka trousers), I in particular loved the tribe of Sheffield Wednesday. Brilliant, brilliant, the sort of thing that just couldn't be made up.


Pixie said...

You are just so funny, and so nice to know. And I'm just so thankful I wasn't named.

But Why? said...


For taking such evident pleasure in my misfortunes, consider yourself tagged (unless I've been beaten to the task)!


I sometimes reflect on what my final thought of "bugger" reveals about me. Under the circumstances, which were something like paying $70 for a day's white water rafting, I felt rather daft at paying for the opportunity to cause my own death. Having lived to tell the tale, I rather wish my final thought were somewhat grander, such as reflecting on my inability to bring about world peace. But it seems that "Bugger" it is. Love your darkroom story - you must reveal all sometime...

Yup. Thinking hat on. I am expecting great things(!)


Thanks. At the time, I remember thinking it would be much easier and give me more street cred if I was of the tribe of Manchester United, but I couldn't bring myself to voice the lie - wrong side of the Pennines an' all that...

Pixie, pixie, pixie - your turn will come (in fact, I believe you have already responded to a similar tagging). Rest asured you are on my future hit-list.

Hugs 'n' Snogs all,
But xx

DJ Kirkby said...

'thanks' for the tag, I will get you back! *makes note to self* There are just not that many interesting things about it is good that this is a random fact post. I will probably put this up as my Lazy Sunday post.

But Why? said...


I have no doubt you're doing yourself a disservice - I shall be popping round on Sunday armed with tea and biscuits to see you prove yourself wrong. Ooooh - things to look forward to!!!!