Friday, June 1, 2007

8 random things

Having exposed my eyes to the tagging concept on Topsyturvydom, herewith eight random things about me.

1. I discovered recently that I can only see in two dimensions. I always wondered what people were on about when they talked about depth. So to me there is no difference between 'small' and 'far away'.

2. I'm a quarter Japanese. My grandfather on my dad's side is from Kyoto, but I only met him once, have never been there or been very interested in Japan. I can remember him boarding the Brighton Belle.

3. I once appeared naked before an audience. My friend Ian Smith was peformimg a one-man show comprising a monologue by the Minotaur, at a festival called the Elephant Fair in the West Country somewhere, c1985. This was on an open-air stage, with audiences of around 50-100. At the end, Theseus appears and has three lines to say (all the word 'Yes'). This should have been a lithe, well-muscled dancer called Nick the Nose, wearing a loincloth and brandishing a comedy plastic sword. For some reason Nick hadn't made the event, so I stood in with my non-lithe, poorly muscled body but with the loincloth and sword. After doing this about 4 times for the final show I simply decided to dispense with the loincloth.

4. I have a story in a real book: Brit Pulp. And another one in a semi-pro magazine, and a self-published poetry collection of which only the title remains bearable: Dream Silt Dredger. All this in the 80s/90s.

5. I can't drive, swim, ride a bike, play an instrument, speak a foreign language, sing, dance, play sports, ride horses, ski, knit or tell jokes. In Junior School, we made a simple computer where we each made a card with a hole in it for 'yes' and a sort of U-shape open at the top for 'no' in answer to a series of questions. The teacher would push a knitting needle through the holes and pull out all the cards with the holes/yeses as a basic kind of data retrieval.* The questions were all things like 'Can you swim', 'Are you in the Scouts' and I had to put 'No' for all of them. Barely qualifying as a life-form by mainstream criteria, I can nevertheless cook, do marketing, charm people, love, make people laugh without telling jokes, do crude gardening and DIY and find valuable books in charity shops.

6. I have a tattoo on my left bicep, a skull with the word 'LIVE' underneath it. It cost £10.

7. I've come to distrust personality type tests, though I used to be keen on them. In MBTI I'm INFJ and the 'introvert' bit does make sense to me (probably stemming back to that cardboard computer thing.) I've thought of myself as pretty much every Enneagram type and come to loathe it as a practic/se of pathologising one's own personality. With a gun to my head (a new age gun firing crystals from incense cartridges) I'd say I'm a 5.

8. If I ever get a peerage and need to be, say, Earl of somewhere, I'd want my hometown Portslade...

You might like to think of yourself as tagged for this too (ie write 8 random things about yourself on your own blog or the medium of your choice; condensation on a bus window works well.)

* It sometimes seems that one of these powers our email system at work. (Heroic efforts are being made...)


Jen said...

In random thing no. 5, the system to which you refer is the glorious Edge-Notched Card system (one of the very few things I remember from Library School) and you can read all about it at

Rob Spence said...

"I have a tattoo on my left bicep, a skull with the word 'LIVE' underneath it" But WHY? I think we should be told...

Mister Roy said...

a) because a man injected colured inks into my epidermis
b) because to my 18-year-old mind it seemed like a good idea, thinking along the lines that 'we must die, therefore we should live fully' (whcih at the time meant drinking plenty of Bostik-flavoured beer...)

Rob Spence said...

OK, we're getting there slowly. Right- tattoo because you were young, you were drunk etc etc...
But why LIVE?

Mister Roy said...

...that's the 'therefore we should LIVE fully' bit. (Not 'live' as in 'live at the Lyceum', a common misunderstanding I wish I had foreseen.)
Perhaps I'll have an explanatory footnote tattooed on my elbow!