Tuesday, 23 September 2008

What's up book group?

I expected that last Brideshead post to be a quiet one...how wrong can you be? I've never been to a book group (though I did watch the C4 comedy series of the same name – very funny) but suddenly I feel like I'm in one...and hey. it's not half bad! In the past couple of days your comments on that bit of old tosh/classic novel (delete as appropriate) have been very interesting...and funny...and rude (mentioning no names...).

In the meantime I have been memed or tagged or whatever the correct term is. The delectable Barbara Smith has passed on this '6 Unspectacular Things about yourself' task. It's an odd one...I'm not sure what exactly counts as unspectacular...so here are 6 things about me that I don't think you know so far and that are not really to do with poetry or writing (except everything is always to do with writing for me...it can be a pain sometimes!). I hope they are of some interest.

1. I've always loved listening to music radio shows. When I was a kid it was anything (local radio or even Terry Wogan...is he still doing the breakfast show on R2...quite miraculous...). After that I listened to lots of different shows over the years as my music taste changed and rambled about. These days I listen to Mike Harding's folk show on BBC Radio 2 (usually on 'listen again'). I like his show because he's so enthusiastic and whilst I don't love every single track I'm interested in hearing all kinds of music within the genre (mainly because a lot of it is still quite new to me). I also like Stuart Maconie because he is a real music fan who puts music before his personality. As a rule I don't listen much to personality DJs (Chris Evans etc.) and oddly, perhaps, I was never a John Peel listener...I just didn't much share his taste in music very often. That's yet another thing I love about music...it's really hard to pretend you like something...a person can sit and pose with what they think is the 'cool' book to be seen with (whilst really daydreaming about 'Countdown')...but can anyone sit and listen to 'cool' music (or 'cultured' music or 'interesting' music) if they really don't like it? I know I can't.

2. I always dress unsuitably for weddings. I don't mean to – it just works out that way. I'm really no good at anything to do with formal attire and I always end up looking like I'm either there to serve drinks or to be part of some kind of cabaret entertainment.

3. I am the youngest of 6. I have 3 half sisters, 1 half brother and 1 adopted brother. My oldest sister is 21 years older than me.

4. I passed all my science O-levels but my understanding of the principles of physics is so appalling that it is a source of much amusement for my Beloved. And there are little men in the TV - I don't care what he says.

5. I can swim in that not-really-going-places way but I never could dive in to a swimming pool. I tried to learn but just couldn't make myself stop looking up as I hit the water. Ouch...and ouch...and ouch again. Interestingly the poetry postcard of mine that has sold the most is the one called 'Diving' (it is a love poem though...and nothing to do with that other kind of diving either, Ken Armstrong, before you say anything!).

6. I love photo albums and can sit for hours looking at ours. I'm not fussy though...I'll sit and look at other people's for hours too. I love them because family pictures can tell so many stories. I do wonder sometimes how that will change now most people have digital cameras and only the good photos make it into albums. Back in the pre-digital days we couldn't be such perfectionists – family albums were full of out-of-focus snaps and heads cut in half...the good old days...

Now I am supposed to list rules and pass it on and all that but...I'm not going to. Anyone who wants to have a go...feel free...otherwise leave me one unspectacular thing... or little detail of your life... in the comments. I thank you.


Poetikat said...

My life as a whole is pretty unspectacular, so I have much fodder to do this on my own blog, but I will tantalize you with this tidbit:

I floss my teeth every night in front of the "Jeopardy" game show. My routine fell short recently because it was rerun season over the summer. I can blame Alex Trebek for any plaque build-up.


Dominic Rivron said...

Six unspectacular things, eh?

1. I once had a guinea-pig called Lily. It was the usual case of child wants and adult ends up looking after. If you're an petless adult with a small child who wants you to buy one: be warned. DON'T unless you want one yourself. You'll be feeding it and cleaning up its poo for the rest of its natural lifespan.

2. My first car was a Lada. I never knew what people had against them. I think the motor trade just bad-mouthed them because they (a) didn't like cars to be so cheap and (b) they were so straightforward you could fix them yourself. Why do people not like things because they don't cost enough? Weird.

3. I dislike strawberry yoghourt. I will eat it: I went to the sort of boarding school where you were trained to eat muck three times a day from an early age.

4. I was born in Lincolnshire.

5. I never carry a handkerchief.

6. I used to smoke, but gave up.

Rachel Fox said...

Kat - tantalizing indeed! Flossing is very unBritish you know (none in Brideshead!). We pride ourselves on our dodgy teeth.

And Jeopardy...we don't get that here either. Is that the one he watches in 'Rainman'?

Dominic - I worked for the agency that did the advertising campaigns for Lada for a short while. A lot of the work was counterattacking when the press ran 'Ladas are so rubbish' articles.


Poetikat said...

Rachel, Exactly. It's a high-intellect (I know. Why do I bother?) trivia game where the answers are given in the form of a question. For example, She won an Oscar for her role as Isak Dinesan in Out of Africa. "Who is Meryl Streep"? (That one just popped into my head).

Actually, I am quite good with trivia - or I was until menopause set in.


Rachel Fox said...

I too am quite a trivia freak. I ran a pop-pub quiz with a friend for years! It was fun and we got paid and I met my man there - what a good deal.


hope said...

1. I have freckles and no desire to cover them up. An in-law gave me a sign which reads, "A face without freckles is like a sky without stars."

2. I hate large crowds. Maybe because I'm short. Maybe because my eye level leaves me looking at things I'd rather not see. :) [Don't start Ken!]

3. I've never been to a rock concert because my hearing is so sensitive I literally cannot tolerate loud noises! During a childhood hearing test I heard such high tones the woman remarked, "You have hearing like a dog". {Careful Ken}.

4. I'm the only one in my family who never smoked.

5. I don't drink. I don't care if you do, as long as you don't drive afterwards. :)

6. As a little girl I fell in love with Sean Connery. Oddly enough, I still think he's sexy. Even bald. {I just know Ken is itching to tell me which Irish actor I've overlooked}

Sorlil said...

I love looking through photo albums also! Unspectacular fact - if I could own a wild animal I would keep an otter. I've loved them ever since reading Gavin Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water as a kid.

BarbaraS said...

Ah the swimming, I agree there. If I was on a ship that went down, I'd probably either freeze to death or be ate by a shark!

Jim Murdoch said...

1. My first job was as a draughtsman – I got 98% in my Engineering Drawing O-Level. (That should count as two but we'll leave it as one).

2. After I read The Hobbit I sat down and began to write a sequel oblivious to the fact there already were, er, three.

3. I began going bald at secondary school. {I think I might need to warn you off there, Ken}.

4. I have only been to one pop concert in my life – Blondie about five years ago – and I left halfway through their set (straight after 'Maria') because I was sick of the audience singing louder than Debbie Harry.

5. I once rewrote Monty Python's 'Cheese Shop Sketch' and set it in a Jobcentre – chedder became labourer (you get the idea) and the unemployed guy ends up shooting the man behind the desk to get his job.

6. I have never been to a professional football match in my life. And I don't see that changing.

Poetikat said...

This is going to sound quite odd, but in reading Hope's response and her asides to Ken, I started to suspect that she was in fact Ken's wife! (Of course I checked her profile and was rather surprised to find her in the US). Ken, you'll have a good laugh over that, I'm sure.


(So, how come you know so much about each other?)

Rachel Fox said...

I think it is more to do with one of Ken's comments back at the Brideshead post - very funny but very cheeky! I believe he does have a wife in Ireland (well, I think it's just one...you never know). She must be a very patient woman.

hope said...

Ken and I share the same, sometimes skewed, sense of humor and I could just "hear" him making remarks as I typed. I'm sure his wife has a sense of humor as well. :)

I've had my hubby around a long time: met him at 16 and have been married to him for 28 years. Check my blog later today and you'll see what a rugged guy I married.

Thank you Rachel for keeping all married parties married to the correct parties. ;)

Dick said...

Too interesting by half, Rachel! These aspects of self are meant to be utterly beige but I found myself absorbed in each one.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Dick. Yes...I have many, many faults and weaknesses but no-one's ever called me dull (and lived to tell the tale...).