Moving smoothly on in a geographical fashion...here's a meme I found over at Niamh Bagnell's Various Cushions. It's quite a fun set of questions and good for making a person think about where they've been and where the hell they're going (in my case - see post below...anyone not handed over their Irish expertise yet?). My answers in the early sections may make you wonder if I ever did anything as a child other than watch TV. I think I did read the odd book too. And I lived, evidently, in the stickiest of sticks.
So, (1) you must begin your post with a geographical joke.
I'm really bad at remembering proper structured jokes so you'll have to make do with this old one:
Bloke 1: My wife's gone to the West Indies. Bloke 2: Jamaica? Bloke 1: No, she went of her own accord!
Told you it was old.
Then (2) you must then credit the geographical joke to the source.
That one is such an old joke that it could have come from anywhere. In fact it's so old that there is a whole blog named after it (see here) full of other jokes in a similar vein (honestly there is). You can find absolutely anything on the interweb you know.
Next (3) in as few words as possible - explain your earliest recollection/ awareness of the following:
Europe This was looking at the map to see where all the other countries in 'It's a Knockout' were quite probably (TV was my life when I was a child, apparently...“and the Belgians don't stand a chance!”). Also a German teenager came to stay with us when I was about 5 (she was the daughter of a friend of my Mum) and she brought great gifts and amazing chocolate. The latter certainly made me more interested in the rest of Europe I must admit (though 'Fawlty Towers' confused me no end...'what war?').
America I probably became aware of America in the early 1970s. I imagine I first looked at the map to find the USA to see where Utah was (home of the Osmonds, of course! Stop laughing...).
Africa This took me the longest to think of – when was I first aware of anything to do with Africa? I suppose there was 'Daktari' and 'Born Free' but the thing I really remember is 'Roots' which came a bit later (1977). I did watch all of 'Roots' (glued to my seat - it was amazing) but even in that a lot of it was set in America, wasn't it? Beyond that the first time I really thought about Africa I suppose was when I met some Africans (and that was at secondary school). There was a family of kids from Nigeria at our school, plus a family whose parents were from Somalia. There were others who weren't African but whose Dads were working in Africa (in Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Saudi Arabia). Having Dads who worked abroad seemed to mean access to lots of cheap gold jewellery and stacks of cheap audio cassettes. I never liked the gold but I did envy them the tapes.
Australia Sorry, folks, this must have been Rolf Harris (I played 'Two little boys' over and over and over!). Plus I remember looking at the photo of my cousins who lived in New Zealand (the photo was in my Granny's house) and thinking how sun-kissed they all looked. Oh and I have a vague memory of a TV series about lots of children in a big rambling house that I thought was called 'the Young Australians' (but trying to find it online all I can find is a 1973 show called 'Seven Little Australians' and it might/must have have been that I suppose).
Asia I did a big project on India at school when I was about 10. Maybe that's the first time I really thought about Asia and where it was on a map. I still have the folder for the project...I remember I was desperate to get it to 100 pages and did a lot of cutting out of holiday brochures.
(4) Next say what is your furthest point travelled (from where you are now, I suppose).
North – St Petersburg (Russia)...though it was called Leningrad and it was in the USSR both times that I visited.
South – San José, Costa Rica.
East – Moscow, Russia (though once again only when it was the Soviet Union).
West – León, Nicaragua.
(5) What is the longest time you have lived in one place and where was it?
I lived in Leeds (West Yorkshire, England) for 9 years (but not in the same house...I moved 9 times in those 9 years!)
(6) And the shortest time living in one place and where that was?
I think this would have to be two months in a house in Arbroath (Angus, Scotland). We were in between houses.
(7) Give a brief list of places you have lived in, in rough order of appearance.
In my case they're all in England (unless otherwise bracketed) - Co Durham, North Yorkshire, Co Durham, Cleveland/Teesside, London, Madrid (Spain), Cambridge, Nottinghamshire, West Yorkshire, Angus (Scotland)
(8) And finally - how many addresses have you had?
Twenty-nine and I know this because a few years back I did a writing/memory exercise with myself where I wrote them all down and tried to remember as many details as I could about each residence (people I knew there, items in the house, what it looked like, things that happened there etc.). It was a really good exercise - I would recommend it.
And the title of the post? From this song of course (there's a song for every occasion...and I think I need to get out more...).
Originally from the north of England, I live in Angus, Scotland where I walk a lot, think a lot, listen to lots of music, sometimes write poems, sometimes read poems out to other people, sometimes write songs, read all kinds of odd things, watch a bit...oh and I look after my family too.
I sometimes organise poetry and music events - details are usually here (though nothing coming up in the near future). This year I went travelling with my family - photos and notes are here. Now we're back I have moved to a new regular blog - it is here.
More about the song
You can buy my book (published 2008) from my website if you fancy it (go to 'book' page) or from www.amazon.co.uk if you prefer the comfort of the multinational corporation. My book is printed on recycled paper and card. I have 12 different poetry postcards available too.