There I was, happily languishing in obscurity, certain that this thing wouldn't happen to me, when rr went and memed me. This, it seems, is a kind of game of tag, where the person tagged (that is I, in this case) has to perform the forfeit of telling 5 things that people don't know about them. Like anyone else, I naturally have things few people if any know about me. There is usually a good reason for their not knowing, that is the things in question are/were sordid, painful, embarrassing, stupid or just plain boring. And I certainly can't compete with sexual cavorting with spies in embassies and the like! However, in the interests of being a good sport, and in acknowledgement of notice kindly taken, here goes.
1) When I was 5, I won a postal order for 5 shillings in a painting competition. My picture was exhibited in Berkhamsted Town Hall, and was titled "London". It consisted of a wide arc (London Bridge) being traversed by many little men sporting bowler hats and umbrellas. I doubt that it was an accurate depiction of the capital at that epoque: if the denizens of the city did still wear bowler hats, I don't suppose their arms were growing from the middle of their torsos.
The work is now lost.
2) When I was old enough to know better, I used to want to be Biggles.
3) On a birdwatching expedition to the Norfolk Broads when we were about 15, rr and I were fortunate in seeing all three species of British swan - Bewick's, whooper and mute, on one stretch of water.
4) While working in a shoe shop on the King's Road in the mid-eighties, I sold a pair of lemon yellow pixie boots to Grace Jones.
5) The first autumn we were here, Tom and I completely re-roofed the house, completely on our own, slates and batons, using a death-trap lash-up of borrowed scaffolding - rusting poles and pegs, rotten planks and bits of string - and a rather novel and acrobatic way of balancing on the timbers to avoid walking on the slates. In fact, everybody knows about this as we haven't stopped talking about it since. I can't think why, it wasn't courageux , it was just foolhardy. Tom fell off a ladder shortly afterwards, then went down with a fever and nervous exhaustion, and spent much of the subsequent winter laid out on the sofa - our only seating at the time - so I read "Vanity Fair", and many other classic English novels by firelight sitting in a laundry basket.
-Well, there we are. Unfortunately I can't participate in the next part of the game, which is to tag 5 other people who must also carry out the forfeit, because I don't know anybody. Or, more to the point, they don't know me. The other bloggers I read have either recently been tagged anyway, or are far too enigmatic or stratospheric to be importuned in this way by an upstart parvenu such as yours truly, so, alas, I must break the chain.
1 hour ago