Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I'm sure I did this before...

Sandra, bless her, has tagged me with a meme. This is the first time in ages someone has done such a thing to me, and I'm not entirely sure I haven't already done it, sometime way back in the dim and distant. That's the problem with heading into your fifth year of blogging - you start to see the same old coming around again and again, like a persistent floating jobbie in the swimming pool of life.

But it's fun, in a sort of masochistic way, so I'll do the best that I can. Apparently I'm to regale you with sixteen fascinating facts about myself - things you couldn't possibly know unless I'd told you already in a late-night booze-fuelled toot-talking session. Or if you've read them here before.

So here we go:

1 - I'm allergic to mushrooms. Symptoms vary, and range from headaches and mild nausea to projectile vomiting. People ask if I'm allergic to any particular kind, to which I tend to answer that I don't know since I haven't experimented. Would you?

2 - My parents first met when my father, fresh out of National Service, took a job selling cooked chickens from a van, working for the father of my mother's best friend. I didn't find this out until after they died.

3 - Whilst on holiday, when I was twelve, I broke my right tibia falling off a cliff. Not realising anything was seriously wrong, I climbed back up the cliff and walked a mile to where the family was staying before being taken to hospital for x-rays.

4 - I had to have the fracture re-broken and set two weeks later because the cottage hospital in Golspie hadn't done it properly first time. I well remember the doctor looking straight at me as he grasped my leg and saying: 'This will hurt.' He was right.

5 - I went to school with Joss Whedon. Yes, that one.

6 -My first paid writing was a Tharg's Future Shock - It's a Cold World - published in 2000AD magazine, in December 1993.

7 - I have designed and built courses for International Carriage Driving competitions.

8 - At school I was briefly in a rock band. We never played a gig, never even practised together. I was meant to play bass, but couldn't get hold of one to play that term. We split up after a bitter argument failed to settle what we were going to be called.

9 - I have travelled steerage on a passenger ferry through the Inland Sea in Japan. This mostly involved sharing a cargo hold with about three hundred Japanese peasant farmers. We each had a space about one foot by five, and a thin grass tatami mat, to ourselves. I spent most of the journey on deck watching the stars.

10 - I was captain of the Aberdeen University archery team.

11 - Along with Mike McLean, who is responsible for introducing us, I was an usher at Stuart MacBride's wedding. We presented him with a rubber chicken to carry back down the aisle once the ceremony was finished.

12 - James Oswald MP, one of my ancestors, has a statue in George Square in Glasgow.

13 - Another of my ancestors, James Oswald, was a celebrated composer.

14 - The Jameses in my family have historically done well for themselves, whilst the Richards have been wastrel ne'er-do-wells who blow all the family cash.

15 - My mother wanted to call me Richard.

16 - On September 11 2001 I was staying in a little town in British Columbia called Hope.

Well, that lot's taken rather longer to think up than it should have done. Once I hit publish I'll immediately think of hundreds of more pithy and interesting anecdotes, but right now you'll have to make do with what you've got.

I'm supposed to tag sixteen other people, but since I don't know sixteen people to tag, I won't bother. These things usually die with me, anyway. If you feel like telling the world sixteen strange facts about yourself, then be my guest.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Ellen said...

I have a photo of the statue mentioned in item number 12...taken whilst on a drunken tour of Glasgow sometime in the 80's...

January 07, 2009 2:40 am  
Blogger Vincent said...

You went to school with *the* Joss Whedon? Did you ever give him a wedgie?

Were all your ancestors called James Oswald? Is your imagination an aberration in the family line?

January 07, 2009 8:45 am  
Blogger JamesO said...

I always thought it would be fun to be stopped and questioned by the police whilst standing under my namesake's statue following a drunken bender. But then the thought of spending any time in Glasgow police cells might make the joke seem a little thin.

As for family names, there are Jameses, Richards, and Georges aplenty, so not much imagination I guess. Things are getting better now, with Peter, Duncan, Julian, Timothy and Christopher added to the list.

And to be fair, whilst I went to school with Mr Whedon, I don't really remember him. He was only there for two years, and though he arrived the same year as me, he was a few years older. So it's far more likely he'd be giving me a wedgie. Except that I had my leg in plaster following that fall off a cliff, so everyone treated me much better than the rest of the new boys.

January 07, 2009 12:32 pm  
Blogger Sarah Higgins said...

All very impressive! Made me laugh loads. I love Joss Whedon's brain but not much else.

I won't take it upon myself to reveal sixteen facts about myself - it feels a bit like inviting yourself to a party that no-one could quite be bothered to invite you to...

Besides, I've only been blogging for four days, so there is no-one to read it.

January 12, 2009 1:00 am  

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