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Saturday, 1 June 2013

25 Random Facts About me that You May Not Know.

I was recently invited to take part in a ‘chain’ event on Facebook. It looked harmless enough, except to the paranoid types. Basically, the idea was to list 25 random facts about yourself; things that people wouldn’t necessarily know. A bit of fun, provided the subjects don’t provide info of use to those intent on identity fraud, of course.
Trouble was, in order to partake, it was necessary to take a particular route through the FB labyrinth. And it turned out that, for reasons known only to FB, my route wasn’t so much blocked as lacking a starting point. So, unwilling to be defeated, and being pressed for some participation, I thought I’d do it here instead and provide a link to the post on FB.

So, here goes.

25 Things you probably don’t know about me (and, just as likely, didn’t want to!):

1.     I was once told off by the Queen Mother, via her Aide de Camp, a General.
2.     I didn’t learn to swim until I was 16 and in the RAF.
3.     Jake Thackray, the folk singer, once bought me a beer in The Red Lion, Colchester.
4.     I had to be escorted from a factory via the back way after delivering unwanted news to a large bunch of
5.     On a school trip, I had to run back 3 miles to retrieve a piece of photographic equipment I’d left on rock on the North York Moors.
6.     My real father died 3 weeks before I was born.
7.     I was chased off the racetrack at Brands Hatch by stewards when they discovered I had no press pass.
8.     My first published photograph was a front cover on the professional British Journal of Photography.
9.     I had to be stomach pumped at the age of 17 after a particularly heavy pre-Xmas drinking bout with my brother, Barry.
10.  I fell into the boating lake at East Park in Hull when I was 5, watching a water ride.
11.  I spent some of my childhood living in a converted railway wagon, still on its wheels, on the cliff top near Hornsea.
12.  I photographed my first wedding during a blizzard at a church in Leconfield when I was 19.
13.  Tom Stoppard described my radio play as picaresque during an interview at the BBC and I had no idea what he meant.
14.  Striking dockers threatened to chuck me in the River Crouch at Colchester after a slight misunderstanding.
15.  A colleague and I were chased through the streets of Armagh in Northern Ireland after we took photographs at an ‘anti internment’ meeting.
16.  Riding round the wall of the boating lake in Pearson Park in Hull, I fell into the water and had to be dried by the fire in the first aid hut.
17.  Asked to take a bird into school to mount its skeleton for a biology lesson, I was refused my request to take a dead swan I’d found on the banks of the River Humber.
18.  Morecombe and Wise posed for photographs for me on 4 occasions.
19.  I caused our French teacher to burst into tears and upset the boys in the class as she was very pretty and we were then taught by a stern German man instead.
20.  I enjoy listening to Shirley Bassey.
21.  Rod Stewart once bowed and raised his multi-coloured top hat at me backstage at a pop festival and I failed to take a photograph of him as I didn’t know who he was!
22.  I read every book in the camp library at RAF Lyneham.
23.  I was once given a lift by 3 nuns.
24.  I once stole a keyring with a tiny penknife attached but felt so bad I had to go back and replace it. I was about 12.
25.  The Railway Children, with Jenny Agutter as Bobbie, always makes me cry when she meets her father at the station.

So, there you have it. A few things to reinforce your opinion that I’m…well, whatever you thought I was before you read this lot.


I hope I’ve entertained you with this absolutely factual list. Please feel free to comment.
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