1. Do you like blue cheese?
I do. I like cheese very much generally. I like blue cheese a lot. Particularly sweeter blue cheese. I am very fond of the quote from Lenny Henry's Chef "Blue cheese; the perfect combination of bug and cow."
2. Have you ever smoked?
I have never had the habit of smoking tobacco. For a little while when acting in a play I tried out a pipe. I have smoked the occassional cigar but usually only so I could share one with a couple of attractive girls I know who like them. I don't think I've ever smoked a cigarette.
3. Do you own a gun?
I do not own a gun. Nor do I think it likely that I ever will. My step-dad owned one or two rifles. I quite enjoy target shooting and clay pigeon shooting and I'm not bad at it. I think it strange that a meme should ask if I've owned a gun. It is a rare thing in my culture. It's like asking if I've ever owned a donkey.
4. What is your favourite flavour?
I joke with My Lovely Wife that every thing tastes better with cardomon. I like the taste of slow cooked lamb, or peppermint, or beer. I like sweet things. But my favourite taste is the taste of a passionate kiss.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor visits?
No and I try to put the medical team at their ease.
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
That I regret not having a traditional hot dog when I was in New York but that was probably a good idea on health and safety grounds. I prefer a sausage in a bun to frankfurter in a hot dog bun. The idea of a hot dog is surely greater than the actuality of a hot dog whereas a sausage in a bun is surely the greatest of humanities achievements.
7. Favourite Christmas movie?
It's A Wonderful Life or Die Hard.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Rum but I make do with coffee. No, but seriously, I prefer tea in the morning along with a pint of sparkling water.
9. Do you do push-ups?
Yes, I do, at the gym. I can't say I care for them overly much, or they for me.
10. What’s your favourite piece of jewelry?
My favourite piece of jewelry that I own and wear is a pair of cufflinks that my wife bought me as a wedding present. My second favourite are some cufflinks that my daughter bought me as a birthday present. I'm not much of a jewelry person other than cufflinks.
11. Favourite hobby?
12. Do you have A.D.D.?
13. What’s the one thing you hate about yourself?
Oh, if only there were one thing.
14. Middle name?
I think it essential to have one. Mine is a closely guarded state secret and I go by the initial of D.
15. Name three thoughts right now?
How odd the financial reporting at work is and what is it that I'm not seeing that makes it make
Leadership from a distance.
16. Name 3 drinks you drink regularly.
I'd like to say rum, whisky and daquiris but we are not Hemmingway. We love adjectives too much.
17. Where's the question?
If this is a question, when was the answer?
18. Current hate right now?
I am trying not to hate anyone at the moment. It is difficult because I think many people are reveling in three things that I despise:willful ignorance, destruction and shifting the blame and they are doing all three at the same time and doing it for selfish reasons. But they won't be persuaded by my anger, wrath will not turn aside wrath, so I must do the work of trying to understand the emotions that lead them to be lazy and violent and irresponsible without losing sight of the fact that that is actually how they are behaving.
19. Favourite place to be?
I really like living in Edinburgh - I think my favourite place to be is the Meadows, in the early morning, on my way to an adventure of any duration, that will end with me returning home.
20. How do you ring in the New Year?
Usually with a bottle of champagne and a flask of whisky, standing on the Meadows watching the fireworks over Edinburgh Castle.
21. Where would you like to go?
I'd like to visit San Deigo. Not that I partiucularly wish to visit San Deigo but many things in my life would make more sense if I had been to San Deigo.
22. Name three people who will complete this?
I have no idea.
23. Do you own slippers?
I do but I don't wear them often.
24. What colour shirt are you wearing?
I am wearing a shirt that is multi-coloured. It has thin stripes of white with dark blue, light blue, deep red and mauve.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
I do not think I have ever slept on satin sheets. Are they easy to wash?
26. Can you whistle?
Yes, loudly. You just put your lips together and bellow.
27. Favourite colour?
28. Would you be a pirate?
No, I have no love for violent criminals who disrupt global trade.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Flowers on the Wall by the Statler Brothers
30. Favourite girls name?
Other than the names of my daughter I like Charlotte and Sophia.
31. Favourite boys name?
Other than the name of my son I like Thomas and James.
32. What’s in your pocket right now?
A ten pound note.
33. Last person that made you laugh?
K who is the junior sales and marketing person at work.
34. Best toy as a child?
35. Worst injury?
I once broke my thumb, but perhaps the worst injury was my right knee when I fell off a ladder six years ago. That slowed me down for years.
36. Where would you love to live?
If not Edinburgh then Barcelona, Orkney or the Far North of Australia.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
38. Who is your loudest friend?
An old friend from university who has gotten me through more difficult times than I had any right to expect of her and has a track record of saying the wrong thing very loudly.
39. How many dogs do you have?
I have no dogs. I do not think I will ever own a dog. I do not hate dogs but I do not love them either.
40. Does someone trust you?
Yes, but I can't tell you who.
41. What is your favourite movie?
The Duellests by Ridley Scott, staring Keith Caradine and Harvey Keitel and based on the Joseph Conrad novella.
42. What’s your favourite sweet?
Trebor Extra Strong Mints
43. What’s your favourite sports team?
The Scottish Rugby Team
44. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Flowers on the Wall by the Statler Brothers? Something from my wedding and Sit Down by James.
The 30 days:
Day #1: Your favourite play
Day #2: Your favourite character
Day #3: Your favourite hero
Day #4: Your favourite heroine
Day #5: Your favourite villain
Day #6: Your favourite villainess
Day #7: Your favourite clown
Day #8: Your favourite comedy
Day #9: Your favourite tragedy
Day #10: Your favourite history
Day #11: Your least favourite play
Day #12: Your favourite scene
Day #13: Your favourite romantic scene
Day #14: Your favourite fight scene
Day #15: The first play you read
Day #16: Your first play you saw
Day #17: Your favourite speech
Day #18: Your favourite dialogue
Day #19: Your favourite movie version of a play
Day #20: Your favourite movie adaptation of a play
Day #21: An overrated play
Day #22: An underrated play
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favourite couple
Day #27: Your favourite couplet
Day #28: Your favourite joke
Day #29: Your favourite sonnet
Day #30: Your favourite single line
It was the first Shakespeare play I was in. I played Leonato, governor of Messina and father of Hero, the wronged herione of the play. The production was staged in a courtyard garden at Aberdeen University. In early summer. I was 20. Given a run up I can probably still perform the opening scene.
A memorable event in the production was the actor playing the Friar forgetting a line. These things happen - but as the line he forgot was his speech at the aborted wedding of Claudio and Hero halfway through the play where he recaps the plot of the first half and lays out the plot of the second half it was quite some line to forget. I launched in to perhaps the greatest piece of improvised dialogue I have produced starting with "What I think the Father is saying to us is..." and summarised the Friar's speech and my own interuptions to is.
Straightaway after to the University library to borrow the largest bible we could lay our hands on and stick a copy of the text to the middle page.
A few years before Kenneth Branagh had released his film version. I love the sunshine of it. And Emma Thomson.
I like the play because I was in it and I have a fondness for things that I've done. It's funny. I also like it because it is a funny but quite serious critique of double standards of sexual morality set on a sunny day in Italy.
B- Biggest fear: being rendered inoperable by depression
C- Current time: Tolkein Time - Eleven-ish
D- Drink you last had: Coffee - I drink too much coffee, I need to stop,
E- Every day starts with: The Captain awaking and giving his traditional morning warcry.
F- Favourite song: Sit Down by James
G- Ghosts, are they real?: No
H- Hometown: This is a complicated question for me to answer. I was born in Birmingham, I spent most of my non-adulthood in Aberdeen, I have formative affiliations with Adelaide and Townsville and my home is in Edinburgh and almost certainly will remain so. I mean, you would need to offer me either a job writing energy policy for a major government or a seven figure salary to get me to move.
I- In love with: My Lovely Wife, she is both my Robin and my Tracy.
J- Jealous of: slightly jealous of people who do not have children.
K- Killed someone?: No, I've come close.
L- Last time you cried?: I can't remember. Not recently I think.
M- Middle name: William but will also answer to Decoration
N- Number of siblings: Jings. 3 brothers, 1 sister, 2 step-brothers and 1 step-sister who I like and spend time with, some (4? or maybe 2?) step-siblings who I met once or twice and haven't seen in maybe 30 years.
O- One wish: to be a Culture Mind - which would allow me to sort some stuff out.
P- Person you last called: My Lovely Wife
Q- Question you're always asked: "Dad, are you awake?"
R- Reason to smile: Because today is Friday and tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday is my son's birthday and is awesome.
S- Song last sang: While We Were Marching Through Georgia (Hurrah! Hurrah!)
T- Time you woke up: 5.24 am
U- Underwear colour: My undrerwear is of Scottish decent.
V- Vacation destination: Catalonia
W- Worst habit: Not keeping a good list of things to do.
X-X-Ray's you've had: teeth, hands (both)
Y- Your favourite food: steak or perhaps My Lovely Wife's tiramisu
Z- Zodiac sign: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that astrology is bunk or if not bunk then the messages are not for us but another, better organised species, living around a star about 60 degrees around the galatic circumfrence from us.
Something I hate: Lychees. My mum once saved the life of a man who owned a lychee plantation. He gifted her department a shipping container of lychees. We were eating lychees for months. There is a limit to how many lychees one can eat and I know to the gram where my limit is and how far beyond it I've gone
Something I love: Law, I love jurisprudence, I love the mental discpline of legal thinking but mostly I love the concept of living in a lawful, law abiding polity under the law.
Somewhere I've been: London. I have mixed feelings about London. I enjoy visiting but one of shadow life goals is that I never, ever, ever want to live in London.
Somewhere I'd like to go: Low Earth Orbit - it would be fun to be an astronaut, if only sort of.
Someone I know: My daughter who is a great comfort to me in my old age and a fine person.
A film I like: Love Actually.
If anyone else would like a letter, leave a comment!
Something I hate: Red Sauce. I have never liked tomato ketchup. It's one of perhaps only three foods that I struggle with. If something has been touched by tomato ketchup it is contaminated.
Something I love: Radio - it's such an information dense medium but also one that allows parallel processes. Some of my happiest memories are of doing something else whilst listening to Test Match Special or one of the Radio 4 commedies. The drive through the southern Highlands to Oban on honeymoon listening to The Now Show was positively dangerous.
Somewhere I've been: Red Centre, the colloquial name for the middle of Australia. I've been to Ayres Rock and Alice, to Coober Pedy and Port Augusta. I've seen water in Lake Eyre and the New Year in the desert. There is a great deal of not very much out there and it is all red.
Somewhere I'd like to go: the Round Tops, both Big Round Top and Little Round Top at Gettysburg. It's perhaps not the most important battle of the US Civil War but it is the most famous and I admire Joshua Camberlain. I would like to see where he won his Medal of Honour.
Someone I know: Robert
A film I like: Robots - an animated film about work and life and entrepreneurship, corporate ownership and the role of capital in society. It's a searing indictment of American capitalism which offers a typcially American solution of replacing the wrong sort of capitalist with the right sort of capitalist, Daddy Warbuck and Henry Ford instead of Gordon Gecko and Enron.
If anyone else would like a letter, leave a comment!
I do not think I have knowingly consumed marmite. I did not much care for vegemite. I do like gentlemen's relish. Ah, the salty goodness of anchovies on toast.
2. Marmalade—thick cut or thin cut?
Thin cut. Thin cut for the love of Dawkins. Have we lived and fought in vain?
3. Porridge—made with milk or water?
I make mine with milk. In the microwave because I live in the 21st Century and not some chocolate box version of a foreign country mis-named Scotland where you have to get up before you were born to make porridge over an open fire with a spurtle.
4. Do you like salt, sugar or honey on your porridge?
My prefered topping for porridge is maple syrup - because a) I live in a globalised economy with ready access to cheap products and produce from around the world and b) I like maple syrup on my porridge. The Captain does not. He likes it plain. He's weird.
5. Loose tea or teabags?
6. Where on your door is your letterbox?
It sort of spans the space between inside and outside. To be frank, I'm thinking of getting rid of it.
7. What's your favourite curry?
Usually either a lamb rogan josh or a lamb green herb, although there is a very good Indian restaurant in Birmingham where they do a rather fine lamb shank.
8. What age is the place where you live?
Built in the 1870's according to the title deeds, making it about 140 years old. Strangely, we are only the third family to live in it, which is nice.
9. Where do the folks running your local corner shop come from?
They are mostly university students, so from all over.
10. Instant or fresh coffee?
I prefer fresh but I have to be careful not to have too much caffeine, like I have today. WhoooHOOO.
11. How far are you from the sea?
Some four miles.
12. Have you travelled via Eurostar?
I have not.
13. If you were going to travel abroad, where's the nearest country to you?
England. I do not recognise the unilateral declaration of independence made by the so called Kingdom of Fife.
14. If you're female (or possible even some males) do you carry a handbag?
I often carry a handbag - I'm helpful that way, if my wife needs me to carry her handbag I will.
15. Do you have a garden? What do you like growing?
I have a small garden that is stuffed full of shrubs. I am working on it's 3rd and 4th dimensions. It needs more flowers.
16. Full cream, semi skimmed or skimmed?
I prefer full cream. My wife prefers skimmed. We compromised on skimmed until the Captain was born, when MLW discovered he needed the cream for the vitamins and now we have full cream.
17. Which London terminal would you travel into if going to the capital?
Depends a lot where I was coming from and which capital I was going to.
18. Is there a local greasy spoon where you live?
Not particularly. I live in a posh bit of Edinburgh. Even the greasy spoons use olive oil.
19. Do you keep Euros in the house?
I currently have Euros, US dollars, Australian dollars in the house.
I also have about 100 billion Euros worth of New Greek Drachma which I unwisely offered to look after for my friend Yanis in case he needed them. They take up a lot of room.
20. Does your home town have a Latin, Gaelic or Welsh alternative.
No, there is no where like Aberdeen.
21. Do you have a well known local artist or author?
How local do you want? I think there are two just round the corner.
22. Do you have a favourite Corrie character?
I like Andrea Corr.
23. Are your kitchen sink taps separate or a mixer?
My kitchen sink taps are a mixer - another product of the 21st century I am happy to adopt.
24. Do you have a favourite brand of blended tea?
25. What's in your attic if you have one?
I have a sort of loft. The pluarality of the volume is taken up by Christmas decorations and the water tank (which I want to get rid of).
26. If you go out for a cream tea, what jam do you like on your scone?
Depends on my mood and what jam is on offer.
27. Talking of scones—scon or scown? Jam or cream first?
28. Barth or bath?
The large container for cleaning small boys or the small Roman city?
29. Carstle or castle?
30. What flavour of crisps do you favour?
Thai sweet chilli
31. If you go to the chippie, what do you like with your chips?
32. Take away, take out or carry out?
33. If you have one, what colour is your wheelie bin?
I do not have a wheelie bin.
34. What colour skips does your local skip hire use?
I neither know nor care.
35. Do you celebrate Guy Fawkes?
I'm not a big fan of catholisism, terrorism, tyranny, state sponsored torture, absolute monarcy, the death penalty, ultra-montainism or treason. So it's difficult to pick a side here. Also, Edinburgh saves its fireworks for Hogmaney and the Festival.
36. Dettol or TCP?
I don't mind, just so long as you don't put coke in it.
37. Do you have a bidet in the bathroom?
No one lives in my bathroom.
38. Do you prefer courgettes or aubergines?
That really depends on what I'm using them for...
39. In the 'real world', do you have friends of other nationalities? Which nationalities?
From memory, English, Australian, USian, Irish, Londoner, German, New Zealander
40. Do you have a holy book of any sort in the house?
In terms of foundational texts of world religions I'm pretty sure there is a Christian bible somewhere and I may still have the Book of Mormon. There may be others. Or none.
41. Do you prefer a hankie or tissues?
42. Are you a fan of crumpets? What do you like on them?
I prefer totty to crumpets.
43. Doorbell, knocker or both?
I prefer knockers to doorbells. (Fuck me, I've turned in to Sid James).
44. Do you own a car? What sort?
I do not. If I did, it would be like I like my women, small, compact and battery powered.
45. What sort of pants do you guys prefer? Y fronts or boxers?
Technically I believe they are called trunks.
46. Anyone still a fan of suspenders?
47. Do you have a favourite quote from the bard?
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
48. Do you like toasted muffins?
Yes - often as part of a bacon and egg sandwich
49. Do you think a traditional trifle should contain jelly?
I do, but it should also contain plenty of custard and sherry.
50. Do you attend regular religious worship? Of what kind?
I do not. I am a lapsed, or perhaps resting, evangelical atheist.
I do like Monopoly, and for several reasons.
Firstly, it’s a much more interesting game if you play it by the actual rules and auction any property that anyone lands on.
Secondly, it is a source of great joy that it can be used to wind up my mother (who is not a particularly gracious loser. I recall, one occasion where one of my siblings having decided he’d had enough and wasn’t going to win sold his entire portfolio to me for $€£1 thus altering the entire balance of the game and enfuriating my mother.
Thirdly, on a family holiday to Spain before the Captain was born we picked up a Spanish language travel. We could remember the rules well enough but had some difficulty working out which were the Chance cards and which Community Chest.
I love Murder Mystery dinner party games and it’s a great sadness to me that I don’t do this more often. The games themselves are usually quite silly (or I am actually much, much worse at them than I think I am) and it’s fun to see your friends dressed up and taking on roles.
Anything that encourages a little preparation for social dining is a good thing in my book.
I’ve just bought a Mah Jong set in China Town in Singapore. It is in a small box, classic red Chinese (or Chinoiserie) woodwork with gold decoration. It looks lovely and suits the sitting room where it now lives next to the smallest of my Happy Buddhas.
My grandmother, who lived in Singapore for a while, was a mad Mah Jong player and every time we visited we played. When I was 12 I was moderately competent. I can’t remember anything more than the general scheme at the moment. I’m looking forward to re-learning the rules and how to play.
The rules that came with the set are utterly unreadable. I can’t follow them at all. I’ll need to find a version on the internet.
Anyone visiting my home is going to be pressured to play mah jong.
(If anyone would like a letter, please comment below.)
I will say nothing about failures to communicate resting with the person trying to send you a message.
These are the rules.
1. Leave a comment to this post.
2. I will give you a letter. (Edited to point out, only if you ask for one, you can comment without having to do this yourself)
3. Post the names of five fictional characters whose names begin with that letter, and your thoughts on each. The characters can be from books, movies, or TV shows
f4f3gave me a D.
Dan Dare – pilot of the future. Basically, a Spitfire pilot in SPAAACE.
When I was a boy I, and both of my brothers, had a weekly comic. We’d read ours and then swop. I had The Eagle, with Dan Dare. Rugged, fair play and wavy eyebrows. I remember more about the feeling than I do of the stories. I enjoyed the anticipation of the episodic nature of each story.
Years after I moved to Australia and stopped reading the Eagle I came across a Dan Dare story where one of his own crew sells out humanity to the Mekon. The sense of betrayal still makes me want to hit people.
Dave Lister – the last human. Basically, a scouser in SPAAACE. Through a series of accidents Dave manages to end up the last living human being, many millions of years into the future and a very long way away from home. He lives in a large space ship with huge resources available to him. It ought to be paradise, but the type of paradise that would drive a normal man insane with ennui or drink or doughnuts. So the ship’s computer provides Dave with a roommate, the holographic computer generated ghost of his former roommate, who is vain, stupid, cowardly, anal, petty and cruel. The struggle to live with such an unappealing character keeps Dave sane in the face of the bleakness of being alone.
D’artagnan - basically Luke Skywalker in FRAAANCE. Not quite. He’s less involved in a fight between good and evil than he is a minor player in a fight for priority between two sets of toffs. D’artagnan sets off poor but proud to become a famous warrior. Arrogant, chauvinistic, heroic, politically compromised, handy with a rapier he works as a spy and agent for the what passes as the government of France. Although not actually a member D’artagnan is by far the most famous member of the most famous threesome in history.
I think also of interest as a historical romance set many hundred years ago written a few hundred years ago.
Diziet “Dizzy” Sma, basically, M in SPAAACE. Dizzy is a handler for Special Circumstances, the militant wing of the Culture. Her job, when we encounter her, is to manage the relationship between Special Circumstances and the mercenary general who is hired to do jobs that the Culture finds distasteful, of doubtful morality, difficult or desirable to disavow. Why the Culture can’t ask one of its Ships to run a simulacrum of the mercenary I don’t know.
The Daleks. Nazis in SPAAACE. That’s all you need to know. The main adversary of enigmatic time travelling hero, the Doctor Daleks are perhaps the most famous British science-fiction villain of all time. The Daleks have a terrifying combination of a genocidal superiority complex, resting on a deep-seated inferiority complex and near invincible* armaments. They are mutant warriors encased in a tank armed with a death ray. Racial purity, extermination and living room are their main pre-occupations. Death rays, multi-functional sink plungers and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope are their main weapons. And Fear. Responsible for more nightmares than Tim Burton the Daleks have rolled their way through the fevered imaginations of small children since the 1960’s. Fear and Surprise. No, not surprise.
In recent years they have been over used to the point of nausea. In in recent series of Doctor Who it is an even bet that if you don’t know what is going on it is part of a series long story arc involving some convoluted plot by the Daleks to steal the earth, turn all humans into Daleks or re-paint the Tardis bright pink and use it to sell coffee. What ever it is, it has to be Epic. More EPIC than last time. More EPICALLY EPIC ™ than the last lot did. And it has to fail. It has to fail because their plan is so Epic that if they succeed then that is end of the universe. So it fails, epically. An Epic fail. There’s no surprise left and little fear. They turn up every time and every time they get their eyestalks handed to them using some Deus ex Machina contrived by the ultimate god in a box.
Daleks used to be terrifying. I now find them boring.
*I say near invincible because they get the living crap kicked out of them *every single time* by some eccentric hippy armed only with a screwdriver.
1. Make a list of 5 things you can see without getting up.
Very little unless I am wearing my glass.
My Lovely Wife – unless she is snuggled under the duvet, in which case I can only see her hair.
A print of the May Queen by Margaret MacDonald MacIntosh – I wish it were bigger.
The light fitting which I refer to as the Space Bagel
The bedroom door which I’ve never quite managed to fix so that it closes properly
2. What color is your hair?
3. What did you want to be as a child?
A nuclear physicist and then a lawyer.
4. What's was the last movie you've watched in the theatre cinema?
Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law – less steam punkie than the last one.
5. What do you hear right now?
Office background noise – I am aware of quite heavy footsteps and the fan from the colour printer next to my desk and the sharp rustling of paper.
6. What's your favorite guilty pleasure treat?
7. What are you thinking about right now?
My mind is a turbulent waterfall of creative alternatives.
I’m thinking about a meeting I have this afternoon to talk about energy. About a meeting I had this morning to talk about jobs and the Capt and his self-punishment regime. I’m trying not to think that people who don’t control check their own spreadsheet should be publically immolated for their own good.
8. Write the first word that comes to mind.
9. Dog person or cat person?
Neither – vehemently neither. I never want an animal in my life. I genuinely struggle to understand why anyone would want an animal unless they were going to eat it, ride it or go hunting with it. If I don’t look at you as if you were insane when you talk about your animals this is a mark of deep affection. If I *ask* you about your animals then I love you.
10. If you came across £2000 (or other currency) would you keep it or turn it in?
I think I might keep it. It would depend on the circumstances very much.
I would certainly keep 2000 Zimbabwean dollars
11. What was the last thing you bought?
A couple of pints in a pub in Edinburgh.
12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Australia, first class with MLW, Bluebird, the Capt.
13. Where do you see yourself in 2 hours?
Having a coffee with a lovely friend.
14. What book are you currently reading?
The Mammoth Book of The Year’s Best Science Fiction vol 17 ed Gardner Dozois, and Toast and Other Stories by Charlies Stross and a paper on defining recessions, and In the Black Labour
Interesting that the question is worded to exclude more than on book.
15. What are you doing this weekend?
Main activity will be lunch with a friend of mine whose husband is visiting from the states. I’ll take the Capt swimming. I might see dad too.
16. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
Most likely the guitar because of the portability and the versatility but if I could define a musical instrument as the human voice I’d really like to be a singer.
17. A quote that you like.
Our public servants serve us right. Indeed, they serve us better than our apathy and indifference deserve.
18. What are you doing tomorrow?
I’ll be at work during the day and then at Improv during the evening.
19. What were your favorite childhood activities?
Reading, camping with my brothers, walking along the beach, sailing.
Australian Sporting Colours
When I was ten my family moved to Australia. Emerald Green reminds me of the sporting colours of Australia, Green and Yellow (that’s Gold, Gold for Australia, not Yellow, and don’t you forget it). Having now spent many decades living in the UK it is nice to remember that once I played sport in a country that does sport properly. I miss Australia and I miss the members of my family who still live there.
Green Tree Frogs
One of my favourite memories is of finding baby Green Tree Frogs hiding the centre of bromeliaeds on the veranda of the our home in Townsville. They were a beautiful green colour and with their shiny eyes amongst the red tinged leaves and the dark water made them look like jewels.
Green Tree Frogs also remind me that I love nature. I love the theory of evolution and the economics of animals and genes making a living. I used to sit in our garden for hours watching ants or frogs or beetles go about their business.
Evening Sunlight Falling on the Meadows
I live in a flat that overlooks the Meadows in Edinburgh. This is a great source of joy to me and a great good fortune, mainly brought about by the financial prudence of MLW. I love the fact that we live in the middle of such a beautiful town, within walking distance of the city centre and my work and right next to a park full of vibrant people doing interesting things – or just laying about in the sun
At this time of year I am often looking out of my window at the falling sun striking the Meadows at a sharp angle. The area of the Meadows in front of our flat has a large shallow depression in it and is fringed by trees so the light falls unevenly on the grass. In some parts the light seems to be refracted from the Meadows as if it were falling through an emerald and the very air glows with a rich luminous green.
I can watch that for hours.
The Captain’s Sleep Suit
The Captain has an emerald sleep suit. The colour suits him and he looks mighty fine in it. It has robots on it and reminds me of when he was a Space Commander before he became a Real Life Boy. Sleep suits also remind me of singing the Jejama Time song at bedtime, which the Captain used to like but now he prefers The Captain’s Tackle is Naked and Free (Naked and Free Like He Likes)
For various reasons I won’t go into here the Captain is particularly precious to me.
I was a boy in the Seventies. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Sensitive warrior monk over cynical piratical rogue? – no, I just wanted a light sabre and an X-Wing. Keep your Millennium Falcon. I’ll have the single seat fighter and the Jedi mind powers, and the Light Sabre. In Emerald Green, because I am the Master now.
Condoniu is my favourite brand of cava. I like cava, I prefer it to champagne. Champagne in my view has disappeared up it’s own bubble. I like cava, I like Catalonia. I have relatives who fought to keep Catalonia free. I like the part of Catalonia where they make Cordoniu.
I have fond memories of a Condoniu tasting at Taste Edinburgh with two friends; two of the nicest people I know. Some people just radiate loveliness and these are two of them. One of the reasons I took up Improv was because I like these people so much. It was the last tasting of the afternoon and the chap running it was getting overly enthusiastic. A case and a half between eight of us later on a lovely warm Edinburgh summer’s day. Fantastic.
The label of course is emerald green.
Properly Cooked Peas
I love properly cooked peas. Peas just on the right side of under done. Peas that pop in your mouth with all the joy of bound up sunlight being released to scamper into your brain.
I lived for a while with some people who could not cook. Eating boiled to death, tasteless, texture less, bland gloop in front of a soap opera contributed to a soul death. I then lived on my own and could cook what and how I wanted. Now I live with MLW, the Captain and (in spirit) Bluebird. MLW cooks with soul and loves me. I enjoy food more now, especially peas.
My favourite dinner is steak with chips and peas. The popping moistness of the peas helps to refresh the palate after each mouthful of steak or potato. Lovely, food of the Gods.
The colour of properly cooked peas. Emerald Green.
The Green Lights
My pal M is in a band called the Green Lights. I really like that I have a friend who is in a band. I’ve very excited about the possibility of my improv group and the Green Lights doing something together next year.
You too can enjoy the Green Lights at
Green For Starboard
There is always a little red port left in the glass. On the other hand Green is for Starboard. I used to sail when I was a lad in Australia. In fact I owned my own racing dingy and racing cat and I was foremast crew on the best 12m racing yacht out of Townsville. I was responsible for not drowning, pulling some ropes, not blowing the $20k Jenniker out and sinking the yacht and making rum and cokes on long reaches.
Recently I took Bluebird sailing. We had a fab time and I was so impressed by how calm and good humoured she was when we capsized in the cold lake. She’s a star.
Green reminds me how much I enjoy sailing and how I hope to do more of it and pass on some skills and interests to Bluebird.
Wizard of Oz
Emerald Green is obviously the colour of the Wizard of Oz. I enjoyed all the Oz books and I sometimes wonder if I was the only person who read them in my generation. I had a little bit of a crush on one of characters which caused me some concerns when I was in early teenage because there were some transgender things going on, but I got over it.
I especially like the fact that people argue that the Wizard of Oz is a parable about the gold standard and not a slightly weird book written by someone with an eye for a good story and decent living with no heavy lifting.