Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The EOTWQ Wears Its Disappointment Like A Badge Of Honour

1] The actor Nigel Havers is pictured here showing off the tattoo he had inscribed on his arm for the BBC4 'twixt-comedy-and-chat show, I've Never Seen Star Wars, in which Marcus Brigstocke invites out-of-touch celebrities to sample staples of prole, youth or cognoscenti culture they'd hitherto avoided or about which they'd dwelt in blissful ignorance. In a memorable display of damn good sportness, Havers got a tat, found that he adored The Simpsons, was pleasantly surprised by a Big Mac, and HERE found a route into The Smiths. Naturally, such a high-concept show had me considering what might be the gaps in my own popular culture experience, although I get little further than the title because I actually have never seen Star Wars.
So Question 1: Dislocation - which apparently essential cultural experience, one that simply everyone else has done/read/watched/tasted/etc, has managed to pass you by?

2] Still with BBC4-related quizzery: last year, back in the days when I (shudder) contributed to Guardian blogs other than RR, there was a film blog asking for suggestions of "TV shows you'd like to see re-made for the big screen." The idea I posted was "Flight Of The Conchords: The Musical - directed by Michel Gondry." Many months later, I sat down to watch an episode of the second FOTC series, and the director was of course Michel Gondry. Now, it's not likely anyone got this idea from my one post on that Guardian blog but I did wonder about what the process and resulting kudos might have been if I'd been more active in turning my idea into this actual (if relatively small) cultural product.
Thus Question 2: Voice In The Wilderness Which of your achievements should have guaranteed you riches, glory or fame were it not for the conspiracy of a mocking Universe?

3] This question rips off a question ejaydee posed on the mothership earlier, asking what is the thing people are least proud of having done. Since a particularly lurid confession might place the 'Spillers in exactly the same moral quandary as Montgomery Clift in I Confess, I'll adapt the question:
Question 3: Shame. (a)If you could erase one thing you have done in your past, what would it be? and (b) Which one thing could you have done that you most regret not having done?

4] It's not all about the politics of despair even in cruelty week, though. Question 4 sheds a little nightlight on the quiz.
Question 4. Fleeting Innocence You can answer this in your guise as a parent, grandparent or former child, or a combination - which is/was your favourite children's book?

5] In honour of the RR social and reflecting on the ale-laced memoirs of those who attended, as a follow-up to the discussions on dinner party politicking and etiquette in last week's EOTWQ, and because I bizarrely found myself at the Queen's garden party last Tuesday (the explanation of why I was there makes it less bizarre but it's too boring to go into right now), we close this oddly emo-flavoured quiz with a multiple choice.
Question 5: The Despairing Quest For Acceptance. You have the choice to be dropped into one of these social situations - in which one would you feel most comfortable?
(a) Drink down the pub
(b) Foody dinner party
(c) Queen's garden party
(d) Just you, a tumbler of something free-poured, and your tunes
(e) An after-hours shebeen/lock-in/drinking den/speakeasy
(f) A big family do


gremlinfc said...

Before I embark on me answers I have a question: Who is that TWAT with Havers?

Blimpy said...

1. I have never been ice (or roller) skating! Is that cultural?

...I'll do the rest tomorrow, they are very nice and deep, and it's late. Good work '1366!!

Blimpy said...

I've never seen "I've Never Seen Star Wars", but I have seen Star Wars.

May1366 said...

The twat (gremlin, you say it as you see it and I saw it and he is one) is the tattooist.

Catcher said...

1. I've never been to an opera. I'm not a fan, but that's precisely why I'm embarrassed about it, I should really have tried it by now, especially after years of prodding and invites.

4. Anything by Roald Dahl. I read them all a hundred times, particularly 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' and 'Danny The Champion Of The World'.

2 and 3 will probably lead to a night of darkened-room, ceiling-staring introspection (so thanks for that, May), after which I'll get back to you. 5 is tough in a different way. Who else is there? What's my mood? Can I overthink it any more? I'll go for a variation on A and D, a pub with a me-friendly jukebox would be ideal.

gremlinfc said...

Sorry - for a minute thought it was Pete Twatterty but looks like it might just be the geezer from the tatooists...
1. it feels like I am the only person who does NOT do Facebook / Myspace / twitter etc and not only that I REFUSE to participate in that whole egotistical nonsense - e-mail and texting suffice - I don't need to let the whole world know I have just farted and oh look I have got 3and a half friends - whoopee - here's some pictures of me pissed last week.
2. When I was (considerably) younger I started writing a diary / book about my childhood relationship with football as a Leeds fan and then developing as a Player and then onto a Coach of youth and non-league football as I am now. It was tentatively titled:
"My Life As Paul Madeley".
Unfortunately some bleeding upstart ARSEnal fan had a similar idea and published "Fever Pitch" just as I was finishing the tome. I still have a read now and again and think to mesen : money's not everything - besides I wouldn't want to never work again...
3. I would very much like to erase the time I slept in instead of going to a trial for Donny rovers as a 16 year old. Or maybe that's (b)...I should have gone on the County Tour to the annual Skeggy tournament when I was 16 too.
Actually (b) is a tricky one because there's the "should have gone out with*******" thought, but if you have kids / partner etc then that's a bit rotten...However, my biggest regret is NOT making the most of my time living in Deutschland as a 20-21 year old and only making a handful of appearances in the Regionaloberliga...could have done much better, but that German beer is SOOOOOOOOO nice...
4.Favourite Book: right - several-
"Stig of the Dump" - read it to both kids.
All the "Topsy & Tim" Books - i absolutely ADORED them. They are incredibly hard to come by even on t'Interweb. Good, clean , innocent fun.
5.In the following order:
(e) An after-hours shebeen/lock-in/drinking den/speakeasy = with friends and some acquaintances , very nice and cosy and takes me back to living on the "frontline" in Steel City , late 80s.
(f) A big family do = in theory great stuff, lots of reminiscing and familiar faces to share the night with. Only problem is family also has a flip-side - cousins you can't stand / detest, squabbles which along the years have become grudges...Anyone remember David Jason's series "A Bit Of A Do" several years ago? That's what I mean...
(b) Foody dinner party = Mrsgremlinfc is a WONDERFUL cook and these are some of our best evenings - 8 selected folks round the table and chinwagging into the Dawn Chorus...and we never move from the table, love it.
(d) Just you, a tumbler of something free-poured, and your tunes = like my own company but it's a rarity as I prefer to mix with others (usually). Plus noone objects to my music!
(a) Drink down the pub = hate pubs , don't drink , can't stand the places. Give me a posey coffee bar ANYDAY, preferably Italian where they KNOW how to make variations on a cup of coffee.
Or alternatively a German "Eiscafe". Toll!
(c) Queen's garden party = fat chance but would want to punch many many people.
Any chance of a "Northern" RR / Spill get2gether?

TonNL said...

1. Jazz music, just can't get into it, same goes for opera btw...

2. The invention of "Mouse Ball Cleaining Fluid", the idea was to sell some cheap cleaning fluid in very small bottles at very high prices, claiming to be the one and only perfect, scientifically tested MBCF around, just as a friend of mine and me had thought of it the optical mouses were introduced...

3. Nothing at all

4. the Bob Evers series, legendary Dutch series of boy books (age 12+) (original series from the 50's/60's: 32 books), great adventure stories, written with a great sense of humour as well...

5. Having a nice couple of pints with friends in a fine pub!

nilpferd said...

Nice questions, May..
1. I'm a bit of an iconoclast, as I'm sure I've mentioned, so besides my ignorance of numerous sixties and seventies rock/prog/R&B/pop bands I suppose on the 'Spill I'm most often made aware of not having watched a single TV series or game show made after 1994. And of the 30 highest grossing films of all time, worldwide, according to Wikipedia, I've only seen Shrek 2, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.
2. Obviously, my as yet unrealised design for tin's presidential library.. that guy just can't seem to get elected, it's killing me..
3. a)I think I must have quite successfully repressed all the things I would have wanted to erase, as I can't think of any..
b)Again, I've been pretty assidous in following any dreams I might have had, in a round about sort of way, so no complaints here either, really..
4) I think The cat in the hat, which I hardly got my hands on as a kid in school, but whose tantalizingly glimpsed pages promised a fascinating world of wierd and wonderful goings-on..
5) It's funny, I'm not really a life-and-soul-of-the-party type, but I do like large gatherings, so I'll pick f), although any attempt to get the whole Nilpferd extended family together at one table would ruin any slim chance there was of meeting the 2010 CO2 emissions targets..

tincanman said...

1] cultural experience [that's] pass[ed] you by
Animation films/shows

2 & 3
I think I'd be more comfortable lying on the couch

4] favourite children's book?
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
- ''It says so much about the circle of life, youth, parenting, and our responsibility for our parents as we grow older. The message is so simple yet so profound. Love You Forever is a great gift for anyone with a child, or even for your own parents.'' [O Magazine]
- Joey performs a dramatic reading of the book at Emma's first birthday. [Friends]

5] in which [situation] would you feel most comfortable?
(d) Just you, a cuppa, and your tunes

Abahachi said...

1. I don't go to the cinema much, and dvd purchases tend to be either foreign films or TV series, so there's a long list of supposedly essential films that have passed me by. Especially struck by the fact that I've missed Tarantino completely, with no regrets on the basis of everything I've read about his films.

2. I think I've mentioned before that I thought of an idea for a historical comedy about three months before Blackadder arrived.

3a. Oh dear. Back in the days when I was editor of the samizdat sixth form newsletter, I once wrote a 'humourous' piece mocking the voice and attitude of a girl in my class (she did actually once serve me cucumber sandwiches on the croquet lawn...). It was funny, and she took it in good part (though i believe she ended up joining the army, possibly with the aim of exacting revenge at some point in the future), but I do feel that, of all the things I've ever written about people, that one was cruel and unjustifiable. Sorry, Caroline.

3b. Taking up an opportunity to spend a few years in Germany.

4. Spent most of my time as a child reading, so the list is very long indeed. Great affection for Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine series, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, the historical novels of Rosemary Sutcliffe and Geoffrey Trease, Swallows and Amazons was an absolute Bible... Special mention for Michael de Larrabeiti's Borribles books; not especially well known, absolutely brilliant series about feral children with pointy ears living wild in London and conducting violent campaigns against the evil giant rat-like Rumbles of Rumbledon Common. The winner: the brilliant The Mouse and his Child by Russell Hoban, a beautiful and heart-breaking story, wonderfully written, with hilarious allusions to Samuel Becket and Schopenhauer for the adults.

5. So, May, you're a BNP councillor? As to the question, I think it all depends on whether I know anyone at these different events. If it's a matter of where I would most like to spend time with old friends (or 'Spillers) then it has to be the pub, followed by dinner party. If I have to choose where to interact with complete strangers, then not interacting wins hands down, followed by dinner party if I can be in the kitchen doing the cooking so not having to make small talk, followed by pub. Never been to a speakeasy; might be fun, but my over-aggressive super-ego will probably have a miserable time worrying about the illegality. Never ever Queen's Garden Party, and if I could avoid all family get-togethers I would...

ToffeeBoy said...

Still reeling from the news that my daughter has passed her driving test - at the first attempt, aged just 17 years and five months. SHe's just gone out to the shops with younger daughter. Proud and utterly terrified!

Excellent questions, May. Hope the answers do them justice ...

1a. Undone - music festival
1b. Unread - Lady Chatterley's Lover, Wuthering Heights, War and Peace
1c. Unwatched - Pulp Fiction
1d. Untasted - meat, not since I was 4 anyway

2. My abortive career as a musician. Number 29 in the NME Indie Charts - should have led to glory.

3a. Looking back on it, that murder back in 1976 was probably a bad idea. Regrets, I've had a few ...
3b. Trained as a teacher.

4. Easy! Tom's Midnight Garden.

5. Very much depends on the company. b, c and e are definite no-nos. a and f could be fun depending on who's in attendance, so, boringly, I'll opt for d. Sad, innit.

Oh, did I mention that my daughter passed her test????

Abahachi said...

MrStepAbahachi failed his on Monday - but on the bright side, we've just heard that young Jasper has been selected as one of the pin-ups for next year's local pet calendar (we have a pet food manufacturer in town, still desperately currying favour after some odour issues last year...).

May1366 said...

ToffeeBoy - congratulations to your Toffette. The blustery confidence of youth, eh?

Abahachi - didn't you know I was a BNP councillor? Actually, representative in the mayoral assembly, to be precise. I'm surprised you didn't notice it - I even stood under my assumed name of May1366 on a platform of greater recognition for Swamp Dogg, Sonny Criss and Tony Joe White. Leadership was very unhappy about it, especially when I ditched Nick Griffin as my plus one for the Palace. I told them, "I'll have you know I've been ejected from better parties than this." Then, one the Palace lawn, when I goosed one of the ladies-in-waiting who act as decoy queens by wearing the same colour hat as the Queen and moving faster than her so the crowd spreads out, I was able to tell the sergeant-in-arms, "I'll have you know I've been ejected from better parties than this," when he tossed me onto the Mall.

ejaydee said...

1. Music festivals, Shakespeare, I wish I could still say Titanic but unfortunately I ended up seeing it. In general though, I like to try everything that doesn't demand too much effort (i.e. camping out at a music festival), so I know what a Big Mac tastes like (at least I think I remember), but I never ordered it, in the days when I went to McDonald's. Not a Cola person either.

2. Barack Obama got in there just before I could.

3. I'll copy, paste, and elaborate a little bit on the story I recounted on the mothership. So this friend of mine had "gone out" (we're talking 13-14 years old here) with this girl named, guess what Aba, Caroline. I guess it didn't work out. Caroline was a gymnast, probably a good one, and she was a 'late developer'. So we started making comments to ourselves ("haha, she's so flat chested"), Mean Girling poor Caroline, in what we thought was the privacy of our own stupidity, but I guess we weren't that careful. Then came that day, it was supposed to be the day we looked at sex education in biology class, but our biology teacher didn't show up that day, so we were instructed to look at the first chapter in groups and then write some kind of report. Caroline was sitting in the row in front of us, next to my good friend Alexandra, and my friend Benjamin started to say something about how uneasy Caroline seemed discussing puberty, etc, when she turned around, tears on her face, telling Benjamin to stop talking about her, and then she turned to me..... and begged me for help, asking me to tell him to stop. A real bully would have taken pleasure in that, but it's one of the worst moments of my life. I still think about it regularly.

ejaydee said...

3.b) I hope it's not too late for that yet.

4. I couldn't pick one favourite, because I don't remember that well. I know I liked Max et les Maximonstres, known to you all as Where The Wild Things Are, but favourite?

5. It's one of d (if the tumbler is filled with a non-alcoholic drink), e, or f. The first 3 would be dependent on the company. A big family do is what I'm most accustomed to, I've been to a speakeasy (legal), but not that often.

Sorry Caroline.

Japanther said...

xcellent Q's, wonderfully written May, and while yourself and Nilpferd are here, thanks for the jazz recommendations, I went record shopping yesterday and made good on a few of them, all sound ace on first listen, but need to live with them a while...

..and congrats to Toffeedaughter, I took my first test at 17, nearly that many years again later, I still haven't passed!

1. This sounds like my kind of programme, my lack of basic popular cultural experience is almost a running joke in the office, I've never seen Star Wars (any of them), or the Matrix for that matter. I've never had a Big Mac (it's too BIG!) and never had a cup of coffee either. I went into Starbucks for the first time this year and found it a living hell!

2. Why fruit flavoured cigarettes sold in singles to attract kids never took off, i'm not quite sure....

3. I have a similar tale of being mean that involved 3 of us running away from a 4th mate who we didn't want to hang around with any more (we were about 15 at the time). We made sure he was left behind in the shop and bolted, so that when he came out of the shop all his "mates" had disappeared. The thing is that it worked and he did stop hanging around with us. He had been my mate since we were about 9 or 10 and he was a nice bloke. I felt guilty at the time but went along with it and still feel guilty now after all these years. Sorry mate!
b. hmm...will have to think about this one, probably too many things....

4. I was a Roald Dahl kid too. Danny The Champion Of The World was my absolute favourite.

5. I (really really) miss pubs. We have fake "English style" pubs over here, that are usually on the 10th floor of a modern building but miraculously change into Ye Olde Inn when you get out of the lift! They have English beer and sell crisps and all that, but it just ain't the same. Ahh......
These days though there's not much I like better than a beer (or glass of white) a depressing book and a nice slab of wax rotating on the turntable.

severin said...

1) I have never eaten an oyster. Does that count? Oh, hang on, I’ve never seen Citizen Kane either. Oh and I’ve not seen The Wire, Lost or The Sopranos.

2) I’ve mentioned this before but back in the late seventies a friend of mine hung around with a band called The North London Invaders. She told me that they needed a name-change and did I have any ideas? Hmm, I’ll need to think about that one I said. I hesitated and was lost. They renamed themselves Madness and the rest was geography.

3] Sorry, every possible answer to this one brings me out in a cold sweat.

4) Andy Pandy And The White Kitten. Then, later, all those books about Jennings and Darbyshire.

5] Slightly ashamed to admit that it’s “D”. I really must get myself to the next R/R social.

ejaydee said...

I have a theory that a 14-15 year-old boy is the worst person in the world, after murderous dictators.

tincanman said...

What about a man who hasn't learned from his mistakes as a 14/15-year-old?

ejaydee said...

Well, that's the murderous dictator!

tincanman said...

I'd be a good dictator, I think. I love epaulettes. Sometimes I wear them at home watching TV.

a frustrated architect said...

Watching TV!! Get off your fat butt, you wannabe, and storm a TV station, or something!
Deliver a speech on a tank!!
Arrange an arms for cans deal!!!


tincanman said...

But there's no TV station near me. I'd have to take a bus. And with my allergies...

a frustrated architect said...

*demonstratively rips up tear-stained presidential library plans*
(secrets photocopy behind picture in living room, though, just in case)

tincanman said...

How is it demonstratively if no one sees you?
tree falls in forest, etc

of all the architects in the world, why me said...

Well, if you could all see me I wouldn't have to describe it to you, would I?? And apart from that, it's demonstrative if I say it's demonstrative, OK??!!!

Oh, why don't you go and iron your epaulettes..

tincanman said...

We need abhachi to explain the history of epaulettes. I suppose at one point they may have been made of cloth, but i only wear metal ones. Beautiful, gleaming, highly imposing, metal ones. Made from pure gold that I have stolen from the peasants. So it is the polishing of them I am doing as I watch my Eastender of an evenings, not ironing.

a good architect turned bad said...

*evil plan hatches in fevered brain of spurned architect, in which Tincanman will be electrocuted by his gleaming epaulettes*
Architect rubs hands while face is lit from below, although it is during the day and no lights are on, and emits hair-raising cackle.

Nya hah hah haaah!

*hair rises*

tincanman said...

You'll be a penniless architect if you don't get some work done. Go draw a straight line or something. I'm off to fix a child's ^&%$% bicycle.

And apologies to May 136? for hijacking his thread. It was nilferd's fault, but I'll take the fall for it because I'm a big person like that. Morally big. I work out, you know.

clueless architect said...

draw.. a.. straight.. line...

*scratches head*

*sucks end of pencil*

straight, right...

*shuffles papers*


*fiddles with ruler*

Oooh Kaaayyy..

*head falls onto desk. The sound of wood being sawed follows*

treefrogdemon said...

Any teacher will tell you that girls are worse...(well, unless they teach in an all-boys school I suppose).

1 I've never seen The Sound of Music or eaten a BigMac; and I'm strangely ignorant about popular music from the early 70s, as documented earlier. Jazz I just don't get. Have tried.

2 In my youth I tried various ways of becoming famous and (just for completeness) rich too. I thought I'd be an artist, then a poet, then a folk singer, then an actor, then a journalist. Finally I wrote a novel and got an agent who liked it but (you've guessed it) nobody else did. I think I'm going to have to settle for the vicarious mother-of-musician glory...yes, the CD is nearly ready...they want it for their tour of Louisiana at the beginning of August!

3 a)Hmm, some censorship will be in order here...I'll go for shopping someone to the deputy head for smoking. They made me be a prefect, though I didn't want to be, and why I should have done this prefectly thing I have no idea. Didn't know then, don't know now. Sorry, JB!
b) this would be not going to uni to do theatre studies; although if I had, I wouldn't have ended up with the children I have now. And I would never choose that.

4 Ah, the Arthur Ransome books - bought them as a child by saving up my pocket money, still have them and read them whenever I'm ill or miserable.

5 NOT the Buck House party, and luckily I'm never going to be asked: but any of the others so long as the company was suitably charming, stimulating, interesting and so on. (Of course d) is a shoo-in there.)
For f), I don't have a large family: the generation before me are all dead, and I only have three cousins, none of whom would be likely to attend; my brother and his unpleasant wife are in Australia. So the party would be me, my children and their partners (all of whom I adore), my grandsons, my sister and her partner, and my nephew. Perfect!

Abahachi said...

@nilpferd: you were considering providing support to this evil megalomaniac? Behold the first stage of his fiendish plans:


DarceysDad said...

1. Oh Blimey, far too many to mention. I've never ... [deep breath]:
- Bungee jumped.
- Been to Glastonbury.
- Watched "rugger" (I'm a League man).
- Ingested/injected drugs.
- Seen an opera.
- Been to New York.
- Been on telly. (Actually, that's not technically true, but only I know that the fat, pathetically slow photographer's runner jogging the St.James Park touchline one Champions' League night at the 'Toon was me.)
- Sung solo or played an instrument to an audience.
- Scuba-dived.
- Driven in mainland Europe.
- Seen Citizen Kane, Titanic, Gone With The Wind, etc., etc.
- Drunk properly expensive wine.
- Eaten oysters, caviar, foie gras, etc., etc., (ad nauseam!)
Nope, too big a question, that one.

2. We've previously discussed my rubbish failed attempt to write a novel. I've never had the talent for success on any kind of stage. I've never had a Eureka! moment. I don't have a decent design/inventive/exploratory brain. There are no famous, glorious warehouse managers, so I've switched to having my own business and I'll settle for riches ... still waiting ...

3.(a) Um, one incident towers above all others in my life, and I'm NOT about to divulge it. Suffice to say, it was in my teenage years, and if it hadn't been for the moral fortitude of the person with me, I would probably still be incarcerated now.
If there is a God, he has it in thick capital letters and highlighted on the clipboard awaiting my arrival.
To lighten the mood here, I will admit to grabbing my friend's crutches to defend myself - to his obvious detriment - when a practical joke at Uni met with incandescent fury from the sizeable patsy who realised he'd been had. I'm NOT sorry for the joke or its victim; I AM sorry I left Porky Dave to reap the whirlwind!!

DarceysDad said...

3.(b) There were redundancies in the offing at the company where my (different) best friend Dave and I worked. We discussed volunteering, and taking the money to finance a year out for an attempt at inclusion into the Guinness Book Of Records. The plan? Attending a league game at all 92 Football League clubs. Given that this was pre-Premiership days, when games weren't happening six days a week, this was going to take some doing. We discussed sponsorship, marketing, which charities to support, and so on. We even asked my then relatively new girlfriend (yes, DarceysMam, who was at the same company, but with much better prospects than us) if she would quit too and run an office base for the project. We planned a book of our exploits from the radio slots we thought we'd get. We were really up for the idea. Dave got his redundancy, but unbelievably I got promoted instead into one of the new more senior roles. I prevaricated and the opportunity passed. Coda? Two: Dave was dead within three years. The book was eventually written by a man who did complete the task. I own the book and it one of the most boring, awful pieces of work that ever got published. When I spot it on my shelf, it serves as a painful reminder of what could have been.

4. As a young child, Where the Wild Things Are; no question. Later, Ian Serraillier' The Silver Sword or John Christopher's The Death Of Grass. As a parent, most Raymond Briggs, and top of the pile is Dr. Seuss' Oh The Places You'll Go. Utterly lump-in-throat inducing, with a beautiful linguistic flow, but it doesn't sugar-coat life to be. Phenomenal.

5. In order of preference:
E-D-B-A-F-C. The lock-in is probably only top of the shop because of its unlikeliness!!

nilpferd said...

Aba- That will have been the scrums packing down in the first Tri-nations test in Auckland, I expect, not that I know much about rugby..

Japanther, you're welcome, happy listening!

Dr. Sane said...

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that bang ups
and hang ups
can happen to you.

GarethI said...

1. I've never seen, nor wanted to see, Grease and The Sound of Music.
2. If I could bottle the essence of getting along with your family, I'd be a very wealthy man. Even richer than Speng…
3. (a) I'm keeping to myself (b) I was about five or six and we were going on holiday by train. The driver – we were in the first carriage – asked whether I'd like to sit in the front with him. Mum and dad were happy for me to, but I was really shy and stayed with them. There was also the time I decided not to see Liverpool away at Derby. Derby 1-7 Liverpool.
4. Danny The Champion Of The World.
5. d-a-f(that'd be a good name for record label)-b-e-c

steenbeck said...

GarethI--Dafbec--that's a relative of mine I think.

These are wonderful questions--I read them last night and I've been thinking about them ever since. I've really enjoyed reading the answers today.

gordonimmel said...

@ Darceysdad, glad to see you mentioned the crutches episode in the pub. I wondered if you would. It was cruel and you should be ashamed!

@nilpferd, as a Structural Engineer I have soooo many jokes about architects not being able to draw straight lines. But I'll resist.

To the questions:-

1. Soaps, 'Reality TV' (- Big Brother, X Factor, Strictly...), opera, Jazz, oh and you're not going to find me on Facebook or Myspace any time soon.

2. I used to write song lyrics as a youth but the only time they were put to songs and recorded was in jam sessions in freind's bedrooms. Oh, and all that stream-of-consciousness writing I did in my early twenties instead of studying. One day I'll get it out of the bottom of the draw and have another look at it (it'll probably be absolute rubbish, mind).

3a. I was usually on the receiving end of the bullying at school but on a couple of occasions I found myself on the other side and suddenly found myself amongst a gang teasing somebody else.Like ejaydee, almost as soon as it happened I thought 'what am I doing? That's awful!' and the two incidents have stuck with me ever since.

3b. In this week when Henry Allingham finally died leaving only one British WWI veteran alive (Harry Patch) I regret not chatting more to the couple of WWI vets I new as a youngster. One was 'just the grouchy old man next door' but had been an officer in the Black Watch. He did once mention an episode in the last year of the war when he was marching up to the front passing crowds of retreating Portuguese soldiers. This is verifyable fact and probably occurred on the River Lys on 9th April 1918 (look it up) but I never really talked to him about it.
And later, an old bloke at my church showed me a photo he'd taken from the bottom of his trench at Passchendaele. Well, when I say trench it was actually a slight dip in the mud, which was obviously too waterlogged to be any steeper. But again, I had more important things on my mind (I was a very hormonal teenage boy - what do you think I had on my mind!) and I just swapped a couple of polite comments and moved on. I never got the chance to talk to him any more about it.

4. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I basically gave up reading fiction aged about 8 or 9 so I don't really have any favourite childhood reading. The only thing I can think of is 'Asterix' tho', since that's still enjoyable to me as an adult, I'm not sure if it counts.

5. (a) is preferable but it's usually (d) but that doesn't bother me. After that in descending order of preference it would be (f), (b), (e) and then the nightmare which would be (c).

barbryn said...

1. So many films I've never seen, with Apocalypse Now being perhaps the one I'm most embarrassed about. I've never read On The Road. I've never listened to a Pink Floyd album. I've never eaten fish (except fish fingers when I was tiny).

2. In about 1990 or thereabouts, I had this great idea that in the future you'd be able to have all your music on a sort of computer, and could access it all at the touch of a button, program playlists and so on. Being 12 years old and not very technically minded, I didn't pursue the idea.

Around the same time, I thought it would be great if you could type something on one computer and send it to somebody else's. Email had already been invented then though, so I'm not going to claim that one.

I also had question 4 and something very close to 3b on the EOTWQ that I've been mentally drafting, and it certainly hurts to see May1366 getting all the glory and fame.

3a) Staying with the "terrible things we did aged 14" theme, I "dumped" my first girlfriend by letter, with a second-class stamp. The stamp was more thoughtless than callous, but it was a pretty shabby thing to do all the same. Sorry, Laura.

3b) As mentioned, I had a question very similar to this. I'm going to save that one for another occasion, and go with not taking more psychedelic drugs, having more casual sex, and travelling more in my 20s.

4. In my capacity as a parent, I'm loving the current crop of books for pre-schoolers. Seem to discover a new classic every time we visit the library. Julia Dondaldson & Axel Schaffer are probably my modern favourites - The Snail and the Whale is even better than The Gruffalo, I think. Each Peach Pear Plum doesn't pall after 500 readings. And I'm delighted that daughter#1 is getting into Thomas the Tank Engine, though she's still a little scared of Where The Wild Things Are. I can't wait to read-aloud Whinnie the Pooh, the Narnia books, The Dark is Rising...

Abahachi, delighted to see you mention The Borribles. Mike Larrabeiti was a friend of my parents, and I read those books many times. I can't believe they weren't better known. Mike died last year.

5. In order: (d) no contest, (a) if it's a nice pub and good friends, (f) assuming it's my own family, (e) if there's live music and I have my fiddle, (b) see above comment re only ever having eaten fish fingers, (c) although I do quite enjoy playing croquet.

May1366 said...

Cheers, steenbeck - I hope people don't think I'm trying to scare tearful confessions out of them. I'm more interested in moments of embarrassment than outright horror: not emerging from the frenzy with a bloody knife in your hand and the blood of your work colleagues mingling with the water from the slashed water cooler, more emerging from the cells into the dock in a white curly wig and red cape and realising you've only gone and chosen the same outfit as your brief.

By the way, steen, you left a lovely message on the mothership about not being able to match my and Abahachi's eloquence which (a) as ane fule no is nonsense because we've all read your posts, which are thoroughly expressive and elegant, but (b) you do realise I was only coming out with that intellectual claptrap yesterday in order to have a sly dig at fyodora for trying to dismiss us all as a bunch of illiterate adolescent cyber-wankers. To be honest, I'd have been just as happy coming up with fish puns. (To be fair, fyodora seems to be a good sport) (and if she's a cultural snob, it's only because she's put the work in to become one, rather than having it handed to her on a silver platter.)

barbryn said...

@ lovers of Where The Wild Things Are. Spike Jonze/Dave Eggars film version due out in October. I'm excited...

May1366 said...

Quick one to barbryn - you're spot-on about The Snail and The Whale. I teach an online creative writing course and tend to find a weekly poem for the students to chew over. Whenever I post the text of The Snail and The Whale without explaining it's a children's book, I get people saying they were filling up while reading it; really, very beautiful.

tincanman said...

Why are so many children's book travel quests? Presumably something about young children trying to find their place in the world or meaning of life or something. A lot of them seem to be an animal going off in search of something.

Abahachi said...

A supplementary answer to Q.2, prompted by barbryn's comments; I once got half-way through designing a Borribles game (never quite decided whether it should be a board game or an RPG), on the basis that as a child I'd have liked nothing more than the opportunity to imagine living in disused warehouses and sewers, stealing fruit, cheeking policeman and attacking thinly-disguised Wombles with catapults and pointed sticks. However, the astonishing indifference shown to the books by the reading public suggests that this would have been a non-starter for fame and fortune even if I'd finished it. I now spend my time urging all parents to force it on their children, counting down the years until my niece is old enough for it (thus subverting my brother's parental authority, with a bit of luck).

debbym said...

Dislocation: Just about anything happening in GB after 1982, with particular emphasis on the Smiths
Voice in the Wilderness: Nope, that wouldn't have been me
Shame: a) Erase marrying someone I don't actually like (no, not a very good idea at all) b) Regret never doing anything sensible with my money (like saving some of it) when there was only me to pay for; very boring, but painfullly true...
Fleeting Innocence: The Hobbit (well, it made a change from Enid Blyton). I loved Asterix too, gordon, I used to try and get hold of the comics in other languages and see if I could still understand the jokes. With my own kids, we have unashamedly enjoyed the first Harry Potter volumes, and that nice Mr Fry often reads us a chapter or two at bedtime. I love the transition my son has made from enjoying the stories (a couple of years ago), to discussing things like how Ms. Rowling got away with the Sirius Black story line (now).
The Despairing Quest for Acceptance: Does a shebeen involve live music? Then I'm definitely up for that. especially if it can be combined with a) and it's a pub with Adnams on tap (Ali, where are you?!)

This is getting better week by week. Thank you, May!

CaroleBristol said...

Question 1: Dislocation - which apparently essential cultural experience, one that simply everyone else has done/read/watched/tasted/etc, has managed to pass you by?

All of those US import TV shows have passed me by. I have never seen any episodes of The Wire, The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives, Six Feet Under, Lost etc.

Question 2: Voice In The Wilderness Which of your achievements should have guaranteed you riches, glory or fame were it not for the conspiracy of a mocking Universe?

When I was about 10, I thought that it would be a really clever idea if tomato ketchup and brown sauce were sold in little sachets like hair shampoo was. My Dad thought it was a silly idea.

Question 3: Shame.

(a)If you could erase one thing you have done in your past, what would it be?

I once had a very inappropriate relationship with a married woman. I was in a relationship too and we both hurt our respective partners. My relationship survived for a few years longer but her marriage was destroyed. The memories of that time still bring me out in cold sweats.

(b) Which one thing could you have done that you most regret not having done?

When I left Uni I had a temp job working in a publishing house for a few months. It wasn't very well paid but it was a nice place to work. I was looking around for something else and took another temporary job for more money working for the old GLC.

My boss offered me a permanent job with a small increase in salary but I turned it down.

I hated the GLC job and left after three months. I should have stayed in the publishers.

Question 4. Fleeting Innocence You can answer this in your guise as a parent, grandparent or former child, or a combination - which is/was your favourite children's book?

Swallows and Amazons. I just adored Nancy Blackett, she was the absolute best ever. I so wanted to be her.

Question 5: The Despairing Quest For Acceptance. You have the choice to be dropped into one of these social situations - in which one would you feel most comfortable?

Well, it is either the Foody dinner party or Just you, a tumbler of something free-poured, and your tunes

I can be quite a solitary person at times so being alone with my tunes sounds a good call.

Shoey said...

1. Have avoidance of most pop-culture down to an art form.
2. Can't top cleaning the balls of mice, although a friend's relative is rolling in millions thanks to a musical toilet seat.
3. Refer you to the words of the laureate Darnielle from Quito, "Make amends to everyone I've wounded.". But you can't can you.?
4. Lord of the Rings, with Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brasingamen as a warm up.
5. Don't drink at home, alone, so would be the pub/bar or the annual family Christmas blow-out

snadfrod said...

Except when you don't,
Because, sometimes, you won't...

Morning. Divers answers:

1. I'm a tick in the boxes of Big Macs, Sopranos, Star Wars, festivals, recreational drugs, expensive wine and Twitter. But this, of course, may undermine the initial purpose of the question...

2. I've never been the inventing type, sadly. If i come up with an idea, I always immediately see the downside, too. And then I stop. One day my sketch about The Really Useless Kamikaze Pilot (each week he tries - and spectacularly fails - to die, each sketch ends with one single word of Japanese and the subtitle "Shit") will probably surface, but I wouldn't think of taking any credit.

3. I could very easily plead the fifth on this one, but how about: a) the time when me and a friend, both about 12, accidentally set a field on fire through some ill-advised deodorant-based experimentation. We ran for help and hung around, blaming it all on 'some boys' who we saw 'running away'.
b) Those other 'me's wouldn't be me, and me is happy being me, so there's no answer to that one.

4. I'm definitely a big fan of Oh The Places You'll Go, its just beautifully written. Scheffler and Donaldson are also very prominent in our house (we have a signed copy of Tiddler!), but our fave of theirs is 'Room on the Broom', just the most satisfying rhyme imaginable. I also love Oliver Jeffers' books for the sheer beauty of the pics, but I don't knwo if they'll stand the test of time.

5. I always feel trepidatious about any social situation, but always seem to manage to relax into them. They're all things I think I'd enjoy in one way or another, but my family is tiny so that one might not be so much fun. Chalk me up for an A or B, I guess.

May1366 said...

Shoey, just for my clarification - when you talk about "cleaning the balls of mice", you're talking about computer mice, right?

Chris said...

These questions, like goneforeign's, prompt more than a little soul-searching. I should have a go, though..
1. I did watch most of that series. The most interesting episode was the one where Rory McGrath (a comedy writer and minor polymath) confessed he'd never seen Fawlty Towers. After watching a couple of episodes (including the one everyone thinks is the funniest thing ever seen), he pointed out that we're laughing at someone with a mental illness, who also displays a strong racist streak, and gave it a low score. And I sort-of knew what he meant. Odd.
Anyway, the cultural experience that I've always deliberately avoided is opera: I just hate the voices. I find I also tend to ignore films that are described as a 'blockbuster'.
(I've promoted it before, I know, but I can't recommend The Wire strongly enough. If you appreciate well-rounded characters, utterly believable stories, allegory, humour, intelligent scripts and a complete lack of condescension, you owe it to yourself to watch it.)
2. Unfortunately, I can't claim ever to have had a revolutionary, potentially money-making, idea. I did propose to the Co-op when I worked for them how they could steal a march on Tesco home shopping, but they ignored me.
3. This really is the personal bit. I currently find myself on the outer edge of a seven-year relationship, so it's quite easy to get mired in those two questions. There is definitely something I could say in answer to a) but I'm trying to tell myself that regrets are pointless.
4. As a child growing up in the fifties, I loved the Famous Five. Although desperately middle-class, the stories were fantastic. Maybe the nearest to the Harry Potter phenomenon for a fifties child.
5. The closest to my comfort zone is probably d), but can I change the drink to a jazz cigarette or two? However, if e) includes the option of playing guitar with others and a discrete area for a private puff, I'll take that.

gordonimmel said...

Addendum to Question 1:-
Not sure if it counts as 'culture' but I've never got into Gambling. I've never taken a flutter on the Grand National, I've never bought a Lottery ticket (wouldn't have a clue what to do).
It's not that I have any kind of moral aversion to it, I just never grew up with it and it's never interested me.
The only time I did it was on a works night out at the dogs at Belle Vue in Manchester. I was more interested in the beer and food but somebody kept asking which dog I wanted for the Tot. I randomly chose a colour and ended up £5 richer at the end of the evening......
But it still never did anything for me.

Chris said...

I have one of those stories, too, gordon. I've taken part in office sweepstakes and bought one lottery ticket (it turns out that being absolutely convinced you have the winning numbers doesn't actually make it true) but generally avoided gambling all my adult life. When staying in Las Vegas (as a base for a flight over the Grand Canyon), I was amazed to see slot machines absolutely everywhere. As a last action before returning to SF, I put a quarter in a machine in the airport lounge (yes, I did say 'everywhere') and it won. I boarded my plane feeling like I'd won some sort of moral victory, which was nice.

steenbeck said...

THanks, May1366. It's just that, lately, I feel like I can't make it from one end of a sentence to the other with any meaning still in tact. Sometimes I'll read back something I've written and think...good lord.

Whereas your distinct style is so full of poetry, humor, and clarity... In thinking about this I actually thought about a lot of the different writing styles on RR, as revealed in the comments, and had a little blurb worked out for everyone... heh heh. All complimentary, I assure you.

As it happens, though, I am quite interested in the questions you posed on the mother ship. We have a whole list of films "I'm glad I saw but wish I hadn't seen." Films that are beautifully made and have a powerful message of some kind, but that leave your mind unshakably disturbed.

1. I'm actually surprised about the amount of things I've done--I consider myself completely culturally cut off from the rest of the world, but...I've been a vegetarian since I was twelve, but I'm pretty sure I had a big mac before that. I don't own a working television, but I've seen a lot of shows I'm half ashamed to admit to (I've seen a lot of Friends, for example) And of course I've seen Star Wars!! EVery one, in the movie theater, most of them. I've been to opera houses all over the world. Hmmm.

Never Bungy jumped, though, or seen any of those HBO shows, or gone sailing, or been a crack addict...

2. heh heh--I'm allergic to a nine-to-fiver, so I've come up with quite a few schemes...I should be a well-known and well-paid children's book author and illustrator, novelist, filmmaker, perfumer, Sigh.

3. You know when you feel a little down, and you can't remember why, and in trying to place it you start to think of all these reasons you might feel down? This question is a little like that. Most of the things I come up with are "Bigmouth Strikes Again" moments--something thoughtless I said that I realized instantly was cruel & petty.

It's funny about bullying, though. I was never teased or bullied, but I had friends that were, and there's a shameful but powerful self-preservation instinct that makes you want to stay away from those friends.

b)See 2, above. I regret not pursuing any of those things that I've been quite passionate about in my life (Drawing, writing, filmmaking). But as a wise person told me about turning 40--instead of moaning about it, try to live now so you don't have even more regrets when you're 50.

I regret not swimming with David in the Atlantic last summer, because I don't like being knocked upside down by waves. But if we go back this summer I know I won't go in deeper than my waist again.

4) Oh so many--Joan Aiken, particularly the Dido Twite books, and the Go Saddle the Sea books.Where the WIld things Are, I love Ezra Jack Keats (Snowy Day) Tintin, Little Bear...too many

5. I'd like them all. I always surprise myself by how social I am. I don't go out much, but I almost always have fun when I do. I like drinking and eating and talking to people. In fact those are among my favorite things to do--glad to do it in a pub, around a dinner table, at a big family affair with a plate on my knees, chatting with the Queen (did your really meet the queen?), listening to music, or just having dinner with my family.

I would like it in a pub, I would like it with the Queen, I would like it with some tunes, I would like it with you loons.


Abahachi said...

Ooh yes, forgot about the Dido Twite books!

May1366 said...

Chris - love the poetry of your answer to Q3, and I empathise totally from similar experience. And I sort of see what Rory McGrath meant about Fawlty Towers, but from a man who used to get laughs from jokes about Venus Williams resembling a man, his comments require something of a double-take!

gordon - Gambling certainly counts. We're talking culture in its widest modus vivendi terms.

steenbeck - outstanding, a Dr Seuss answer to the drinking question! But did I fuck meet the Queen - somewhat like in Disneyland, when the princesses parade or whatever is about to happen, them who gave a toss got themselves into position to form a grassy corridor with two long human walls, each six-deep of Queen groupies. I was sat at a little table with my colleagues, drinking the iced coffee (which just tasted like normal coffee left to go cold), and when I went to have a squint, I saw a hat from about ten yards away, and that was it. I fear the moment was wasted on the likes of me.

ejaydee said...

See, the reason I would not issue a categorical "no" to the queen's party is the food. How was it?

Steen, let's see your blurbs, then we can compare notes.

May1366 said...

ejay - I have to say, poor. Good little cakes, but pretty dreadful finger sandwiches using not especially fresh bread. Choice of tea, apple juice and that disappointing iced coffee to drink. So-so tubs of ice cream and some lemon squash later on. OK, there were about 5000 guests but a nice Kir Royale or Buck's Fizz would've gone down lovely, and - hello! it was a buffet! Have these people never heard of spare ribs, samosas or patties? What was the point of the frigging Empire?

ejaydee said...

That's disappointing, sorry Liz, don't waist a stamp on my invitation next year.
Oh and, steen, nice 'plates on knees' detail, so evocative.

CaroleBristol said...

Chris - I sympathise with your relationship predicament.

About seven or so years ago I realised that I too was on the outer edge (lovely phrase) of a longterm relationship. I had to jump. I've posted about that before but my leap did lead to my present state of happiness with someone special to me.

steenbeck said...

Ejay, I'd post my blurbs but that would involve forming complete sentences, and I can't do that any more. Let's have yours, though, if you've got them.

Hopefully they'll be doggerel-stylee.

ejaydee said...

I think I learned these last couple of days, that I seriously need to reassess my musical tastes so I'll post this in a jazz style.

Steeeeeeeeeeeeeenbk. She writes. Writes. Writes, she does. Tap, tap, tap, tap, keystroke, keystroke. Cool, warm, joy, tap, tap, tap, she writes, writes wriiiiiites tippity tap tap, smile.

DoctorDarce said...

Hmmm, Shane and steen have kinda stolen my thunder here, but I've worked too hard on this today to simply dump it:

Oh, the places you'll go! Recommending to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are ten places to be won.
And the magical songs you can Dropbox wi'a mouse ball
will make you the sharingest RR-er of all.
Shane? You'll be famous as Dorian, Maddy,
with the world wide web listening to The Earlies.
Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.
I'm afraid that sometimes
you'll Spill lonely threads too.
Discs you can't spin
'cause WebSheriff poo-poos.
But on you will go
though the topic be foul.
On you will go
though the moderators prowl.
On you will go
though the CiFers howl.
Onward up many
a tangenital creek,
though your typing finger's sore
and your speakers are weak.
On and on webcore's bike.
And I know he'll ride far
to sort out our problems
whatever they are.
You'll nom remixes, of course,
that you already know.
You'll nim mash-ups
by many strange bands as you go.
So be sure of your dubstep.
Stomp with care and great tact,
and remember that Low's
a Great Shoegazing Act.
Just never forget to dond raucous and def,
And NEVER mix up your Ashleys and Geoffs.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
A-lists and B-lists almost guaranteed.
be your name FP or steenbeck or ejay
or SatanKidney, Japanther, maybe Beltway,
You're off to a new topic!
Today is your day!
Your guru is waiting.
So...get on your way!

steenbeck said...

Genius. Imay have Laughed Out Loud, but don't tell anyone.

ejaydee said...

Talk about stealing thunder!
Now somebody put this to music so we can record it as this year's RR/'Spill anthem!

gordonimmel said...

Dsd for the vacant Oxford Poetry Chair!

May1366 said...

Big D, little d
What begins with D?
Darcey's Dad, the Doge of Dudes
D - S - D!

steenbeck said...

Actually "genius" was meant for ejays jazz blurb, but...

DsD--genius! More laughing out loud going on over here.

AliMunday said...

I'm overwhelmed by all the talent above but I'm going to stick my two-pennyworth in, anyway.

1. Glastonbury (except on TV), Sex and the City, ER, Kung Fu films, House of Flying Daggers, beef burgers. And many more.

2. Me and my mate wrote something which could have been the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Harry Potter. We used to pass instalments (she would do one, I would do the next) to each other under the desk in English lessons. We wrote reams. But we thought it was rubbish. So we didn't do anything with it. Duh!!

3.(a) I was in Bristol, visiting my mum in hospital (she had terminal cancer). She was really out of it, I was really upset. I went home to Yorkshire on the Sunday night to avoid the Bank Holiday Monday trains, and knowing my brother would be there next day. She died on the Monday night - I should have been there. That's the big one on my slate at the Pearly Gates. Sorry mum.

3(b)See above.I should have stayed over and not given a thought to getting home / back to work etc. Got my priorities absolutely wrong.

4. Ahh good, more cheerful ... lots mentioned already, Weirdstone of Brisingamen etc, Tom's Midnight Garden, Lone Pine books, Stig of the Dump, Joan Aiken (e.g. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase), Carbonel (Barbara Sleigh), Borrobil (William Croft Dickinson), The Giant Under the Snow (John Gordon), The Enchanted Castle and others by E. Nesbitt, anything by Susan Hill, The Railway Children, Winnie the Pooh (are you bored yet?) and my all time fave,The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. Now made into a film (Moonacre) which I haven't seen as it won't be the same.

Modern childrens books - nope, I can't read the Whale and the Snail aloud, without crying. Same goes for The Mousehole Cat. I'm a twit, I know.

4. Probably a drink down the pub as long as it's with good friends and /or family, and some decent music. Same applies to a lock-in. We don't really 'do' family dos, I can't imagine going to Buckingham Palace and I would hate a foody dinner party. Being on my own with some great music and a glass of something is absolutely perfect as long as I have the option to go and find someone else when I'm fed up with myself.

nilpferd said...

Steen, DsD and May.. verrrry tempted to take your brilliant Spill-Seusses into Mara's class tomorrow morning for my weekly english lesson.. but I'm afraid they'll have me locked up..;-)
Reader, I laughed out loud.. several times, in fact..
And I think EJD deserves a big hand too, for his finely judged Steenography.. btw, EJ, I read an interesting article on the Copan housing block in Sao Paolo, do you know it?

ejaydee said...

Yes, it's quite cool, I think I ate on top of it, or at least a building next to it. I love the centre of Sao Paulo, it's so city-y.
This is part of it:
An urban river!

nilpferd said...

Looks very tempting, EJ.. might be our first port of call on the southern American continent, some day when Mara's a big girl..

Oh, and Ali- don't give yourself too much of a hard time about it- how can you possibly know something like that? Sharing the duties with your brother, one of you had to not be there at the time she died- it was you.
Lots of people don't have anyone around when they go, sounds like you did all you should have.

Dr. Shoey said...

I do not like that Steeleye Span,
I do not like it Speng I am,

would you like it on a train?
would you like it with art by Shane?
would you like it in a tree?
Or on a playlist from TFD?
would you like it on a boat?
Ok then, I'll get my coat.

tincanman said...

@ nilpferd
I read an interesting article on the Copan housing block in Sao Paolo...

Those taggers are getting so much more literate. Used to be 3 and 4 letter words. Now its whole articles.

DarceysDad said...

@ Shoey (and, since I clicked on Post A Comment, tincanman too it seems) -

I can wipe clean my screen, but I may have to ask gordonimmel for my old keyboard back if this cider soaks in.

AliMunday said...

Nilpferd, you're very kind. Thing to do is learn from it and not make the same mistake again.

Shoey - when Sam was younger I used to know 'The Cat In The Hat' off by heart. And Mr Munday once woke in the middle of the night, shouted 'Aha! Oho!'(from the 'Gruffalo's Child')and promptly went back to sleep.

Shoey said...

Donds to what Nilp said about Ali's brave post.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Ali - just read your comment. I sympathise as I had a similar experience with my mum although I was in the hospital at the time she died - just not in the same room.

My two brothers, my Dad and I were all there in the room and I think we all knew that there were only minutes left. We'd all said our goodbyes and then my dad said he needed to go and see one of the nurses about something but I knew that really he just couldn't cope with the final moments. I looked at my brothers and followed dad out of the room - a few minutes later we went back to the room to discover that she'd died.

I felt that I'd missed something but I didn't want the feeling to fester so I brought it up with my brothers straight away and explained why I'd gone with my dad. I'm so glad that I did that.

The important thing is that your mum had someone special with her at the end - just as my mum did.

AliMunday said...

Thanks Toffeeboy - you're right, of course. Sadly my brother wasn't there at the time either, although he had been there earlier. It's no good to dwell on it, mum was the most forgiving person you could imagine, so I know she would have understood. Onwards and upwards, as they say!

May1366 said...

Ali, I'll add my respects for your very moving post. There's no perfect way to lose someone but you're right that the person you're losing would understand the way your priorities fell. In his last week, my dad was adamant that I should stay in Liverpool, look after my family and not miss work to travel down to London - didn't stop the nagging feelings that I should have made the effort but, the way it worked out, I was able to devote time to being useful for my mum in getting legal, funeral, financial things in order. Positive's all you can be.

gordonimmel said...

Was it Maddy or maybe Toffeeboy who started to get paranoid a few months back that as soon as they mentioned somebody they then went and died?
I've a slightly guilty feeling that I've gone and done that by mentioning Harry Patch in my post upthread and then the last WW1 Tommy goes and dies.

@Alimunday, Toffeeboy & May, I'm lucky in that both my parents (and both of frauimmel's) are still alive tho' they're all getting more frail as the years go by (we've had a couple of scares this year BTW). But I'll try to remember your comments when the time comes.
Assuming I don't go first ofcourse. Shouldn't take anything for granted.

DarceysDad said...

It was ShivSidecar, Gordon, but he let us down when his popular mantra of "ThatcherThatcherThatcher" failed to produce the desired result.

nilpferd said...

I'm feeling very bad about this.. I just realised I told a lie about not having seen any TV series since 1994.. The GU Blog on Spongebob Squarepants has reminded me that I've probably seen every episode at least three times.

I've let you all down, I know that.


*Hippo slopes off sadly to swamp to be alone*

ToffeeBoy said...

@ nilpferd - if you've only seen one TV series since 1994, Spongebob is as good a choice as any!

sourpus said...
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sourpus said...

Dislocation: er...marriage is probably the big one (no idea why not except that I had always assumed it would just kind of happen and be one of the hardest things to avoid...der!). Also, foody-ism. I know that's not gonna make me many friends (do I have any left?) here at the Spill, but im afraid that was another meeting I must have missed. A close relation of marriage maybe?

2) Voice in the Wilderness: Oh tons of things, but im not done yet. I no longer believe in the mocking universe - its all down to me now.

3) My sex change...

Just kidding. I wouldn't erase anything but I do wish I had made more of an effort to believe that you CAN get what you want. I believed more than most, but I just didnt believe enough.

4) Fleeting innocence:

I havent changed my taste since kidhood really. I still love nature, musicals (good ones) and stand a very good chance of taking the PollyAnna award this year as well. The book from that time would probably be 'There is a happy land' by Keith Waterhouse. But we never had books in our house when I was a kid. We were more of a musical family.

5) The Despairing Quest for Acceptance: Definitely E. You'll still find me there quite regularly. Here in Budapest, its a breeze to attend such things - if only they could invent a bit more of an atmos to go with them...