Anyway, the Five Things was a while ago now, and I was then a very green and desperately earnest blogger who shrank and blushed at the unsolicited attention, even though hardly any bugger read it anyway, except darling rr who tagged me and lovely, loyal, dear Andy, with whom I enjoyed a follow-up conversation on the subject of Biggles.
I am still quite earnest. I reserve the right to remain so, figuring there are some bloody funny, witty, hilarious, satyrical, clever so-and-sos out there with whom I can't really compete so I think I'll carry on being rather serious on the whole. Does that constitute an Artist's Statement?
So, seven random facts, which I scribbled down last night after coming in from an evening out and a surfeit of fish pie and asparagus, chocolate mousse and kouign amann and of course a drop or two of wine. Some good advice picked up at Dick's once - write drunk, polish sober. Only I'll largely skip the second part of that.
1) I have always resisted having any kind of statcounter or similar here, thinking that would be conceding too much to the addictive, narcissistic, attention-seeking element in this activity which I fear is there for me at least, deny it how I may. I do, however, as a sop, sometimes sneak across to my profile page to see how many profile views I've had. When I did so last night, on observing the total was standing at 1,998, I went back and forth twice more to bring it up to 2000.
2) I have never eaten sauerkraut, or even choucroute, the Alsace-derived version by which a funny foreign dish is made acceptable to Gallic palates because it can be seen to have a French regional origin. One or two people have offered to prepare it for me so I may fill this gap in my gustatory experience, but so far they haven't delivered. I'm not sure I would like it, since...
3) ... I have tried to, but can't, like pickled things. I used to look longingly at pickled eggs in fish and chip shops, finding them utterly horrid the one time I tried to eat one. Pickled onions look positively ambrosial but make my eyes water (raw onions I also struggle with, so I am doubly handicapped here). I can only really enjoy gherkins chopped very small and added sparingly to a salad or sandwich with something very rich like pate or smoked salmon, which doesn't stop me reaching with my fingers into the jar of cornichons in the cupboard and pulling one out to munch on, only to be disappointed every time. Pickled walnuts sound delicious and sophisticated, but I find them fairly resisitible as they look a bit like something's droppings in a jar. This contrary seeking to acquire a taste for something I can't acquire a taste for is the antithesis to the old comic conceit, as expressed by Tom about pasta: I don't like it and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I'd have to eat it, and I don't like it.
4) I have been lurking on the blog of someone I last knew about twenty years ago. I am uncomfortable and slightly ashamed of this, and keep intending to take her off my bookmarks and not go back, but I don't. I am fascinated by how clever, funny, well-written, bitter and acerbic it is, so different from the person I thought I knew. I don't intend to reveal myself, and am very glad of the potential of a married name ( the taking of which, I felt, occasioned a few disapprovingly raised eybrows here or there at the time... the changing of the name, not the marrying of the husband, you understand) in the covering of tracks and burning of bridges. I have tried to write about this, and its ramifications, at more length, but am dissatisfied with what I've written.
5) I am the last of six children, three boys and three girls, with twenty years between myself and my eldest sibling ( blogged a bit but found life got in the way). My mother was 47 when I was born, my father 55. This may account for why large age gaps, between my spouse and myself (24 years) or between friends, bother me not at all. None of us siblings has ever fallen out with each other, though I can be an awkward and sanctimonious little cuss, and heaven knows we should have inherited a falling out gene from my mother and maternal grandmother.
6) Both the aforementioned eldest sibling and I sustained fractured skulls as very small children in life-threatening accidents. He fell out of a first floor window, and I think may have a plate in his head. I was run over by a car on Hemel Hempstead High Street and flew through the air with the greatest of ease. The West Herts Hospital failed to check my head until my mother, who had been a nurse, insisted, saying she could smell skull fracture. The x-ray revealed I did indeed have one.
The remaining four siblings survived their childhoods without broken heads.
7) I am torn between a) I hate letters torn open with fingers, rather than a letter opener, and b) I grew up under a box elder tree.
On review, I notice two of these are about blogging and two are about food, which may indicate something about the focus and compass of my life...
I shan't tag anyone, but anyone can pick it up if they want to.