(with apologies to Aliya Whiteley)
I know that I've made it as a blogger now that I've been 'tagged'. This requires me to list six random facts about myself. The 'tagger' is none other than Alis Hawkins, known to regular visitors as the author of the recent Macmillan New Writing title Testament.
The rules of tagging are thus:
Link to the person that tagged you.
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.
I'm never very good either with team games or rules, so I'm disregarding numbers four and five. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to be tagged is welcome to do so, and I am delighted to respond with my own Six Facts...
I finished 83rd out of 90 in the 2007 Arundel 'Sprint' Triathlon. This was a curious definition of 'sprint', one which I pondered for most of the 1hr 38mins it took me to complete the course (excluding the embarrassing moments where I struggled to heave myself out the pool, my arms having turned to jelly during the time it took me to swim 400 metres).
My greatest athletic achievement was in 1983, when I came fifth out of eight in the Sandown High School sports day javelin--with a throw of 3 metres 1o centimetres. Three of the other contestants registered three foul throws, so on my last effort I threw the javelin at the ground in front of me, thus making a mark in the ground and securing a legal throw.
2. I am a millionaire
This morning I received an email from Nigeria. The family of a deceased general is unable to access the money he had salted away in his account and need assistance in moving it out of the country. His family have promised me $4.5m if I launder the money through my account. This seems an excellent and well-thought out plan, and as the email ends 'God bless you' my associates are clearly trustworthy. I will be transmitting my bank details immediately.
3. Physical conditioning
When I was having treatment for an injured Achilles tendon a few years ago, my physiotherapist said I had the least flexible ankles she had ever encountered. I was oddly heartened by this judgement.
Ankles may have been responsible for another of my 'embarrassing sports moments'. Again at Sandown High School, my team swept up the basketball court in a move of flowing precision--at least until the ball was slipped to me, and I squandered possession with a negligent pass. My PE teacher, the notoriously short-tempered Mr Munn, bellowed "Pervert! Pervert! Pervert!" in his rage. It was only subsequently that I realised that with his Scottish accent he was in fact shouting 'pivot', but the damage was already done. Pivoting was never my strong point, and now I have a physiological explanation. (In the very unlikely event that Mr Munn is reading this entry, I have a personal message: you sadistic bastard. I should have conveyed the sentiment at the time).
4. Counting beans
In the remote contingency that anyone out there requires training on English local government finance, I am probably your man. For some reason I am much in demand at the National School of Government where I lecture on the topic a couple of times a year. I also have a column in the Local Government Chronicle where I try to write an amusing article on local government finance every couple of months (believe me, this is as challenging as it sounds).
5. Love at first sight
I read my first Jack Vance book, The Face, at the age of 14 in 1982. My reading until that point was noteworthy only for its voracity, and I had never read anything like this before. (The second Jack Vance book I read, I checked out of Shanklin Library. Entitled Servants of the Wankh, it caused the teenaged me some embarrassment as I placed it, face down, before the librarian).
6. Love at second sight
My first proper kiss, with a girl called Suzanne at the age of 16, came at a friend's party in Bembridge, Isle of Wight. It was in part fuelled by the illicit alcohol on offer, and ten minutes later I was sick in the flowerbed. This was an apt metaphor for the relationship which followed, and indeed several subsequent ones. Lucky I'm now a millionaire and can afford the therapy which will allow me to leave these traumas behind...