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The Archers, Flying Saucers and a Commune

December 20, 2007

Matthew Hodgson has been pandering to my ego of late, and has now put me on a list to identify eight things about me that most people would not know. I was asked for five a year ago more or less to the day so this must be some new Yuletide tradition for the blogosphere. In summary the original five were:

  • My achievement in being expelled (briefly) from every educational establishment I have attended
  • Never having filled in a timesheet in seven years employment in IBM
  • Being the only person in history to avoid participation in all seven annual cross country runs at my secondary school
  • The appraisal which criticised me for being too focused on profit, not on creativity & innovation
  • My belief that anyone making any noise while attending a performance of Wagner should be garroted.

Now coming up with another three is not easy. If you speak in public a lot then you tend to reveal a fair amount about yourself and providing a daily blog for some eighteen months also requires a degree of personal disclosure. In other words I am not sure how much there is left that is unknown other than the dark secrets which will go to the grave with me, or at least they will if I have anything to do with it. So it took a bit of effort but I came up with these:

  • Wherever I go in the world I do my level best to listen to the daily 15 minute episode of Archers on BBC Radio 4. This, the longest running soap opera in the history of broadcasting is older than I am. The every day story of country folk is a defining artifact of middle class Britain and continues to fascinate across multiple generations. It is now podcast which makes my life a lot easier.
  • For the best part of three years in my life in the mid seventies I lived in a religious commune in Wick near Bristol, but was a leader of the covert group of carnivores who sneak out from time to time to a nearby pub to consume steak. While there I was subject to community discipline for slapping one of the children who had just thrown a kitten down the stair well (three stories in a Jacobean mansion which was the commune’s home). The kitten survived and to the despair of some of my more new age compatriots I became a surrogate father figure to said child thereafter. This period probably accounts for my hunting down of new age fluffy bunnies in later years.
  • A long time ago I used to belong to a UFO society and once led an expotition (this is the correct spelling if you recall your A A Milne) to the top of a remote mountain in North Wales where we camped for two days at the intersection of 15 lay lines in the freezing cold in the hope of spotting a flying saucer or two. We actually disturbed two poachers but were disappointed, we had thought the moving lights of their torches were the landing lights of aliens and suffered greatly as a result of enforced two day diet of baked beans, Coca-Cola and bread.

Now I am meant to pass on this demand request to eight other people so that they too can suffer the necessities of recall. So here goes:

  1. My favorite science blogger, Thinking Meat. Mary never fails to provide a series of ecletic links to all manner of interesting material
  2. Aiden Choles of The Narrative Pulse, and also Narrative Labs (he can delegate to his co-bloggers if he wants)
  3. Kim Sebecca, to take her mind off CBT cameras and surveilance in general
  4. Jon Husband on the grounds that he is there, and has a curious background
  5. Edwin Zwart on the basis that he has just started blogging and needs to understand what he has got himself into
  6. Grandad of Head Rambles, who is consistently the most savage of humorists and must have some interesting skeletons in there somewhere
  7. Nancy White who is always interesting even when I disagree with her
  8. Patti Anklim who does not blog as often as she should, given what she has to say

I don’t think I have tagged any of the above before on one of these memes so I feel slightly less guilty in consequence. I will also find out if they area reading this blog on a regular basis …..

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