Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I've now been tagged by Rothschild Orchid AND Elephant's Eye, so I really ought to get on with this. You probably know the rules by now: I have to buy seven people a bottle of vintage champagne and then they have to choose seven people to take on a balloon trip. Only joking!
To participate, you need to:
Link back to the person who tagged you
Reveal seven things about yourself
Choose seven other blogs and post a link to them
Tell each of your choices they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
Inform the tagger when your post is up
So here are my seven things. Personally, I think you'd find Rothschild Orchid and Elephant's Eye's blogs much more entertaining, but here goes.
1 My father is a jazz musician. He still plays, even though he's over 80. He's the sort of musician who can play any instrument, but he's best-known as a trumpeter and trombonist. Lately he's taken to playing cornet. He says he likes the cornet because it's light enough to hold in one hand, which leaves the other free to hold a glass of red wine. He once played the Cavern in Liverpool with Bobby Mickleburgh's band and noticed that a group who called themselves The Beatles were the interval act. He didn't stick around to hear what they were like, though, as he was in too much of a hurry to get to the pub for a break. Here he is in action. No glass of red wine is actually visible, but I bet it's there somewhere.

2 I once met Princess Diana. She came into the Evening Standard offices, where I worked at the time, to say hello to her "neighbours" (the Standard offices are on Kensington High Street, very close to Kensington Palace). She was on good terms with the then editor, now Sir Max Hastings. She was even more gorgeous in real life than she was in photographs, and every bit as charming as her public image. We discussed our mutual crush on Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. A few months later she was dead.
3 I'm not agile enough to play sports well and my hand-eye coordination is rubbish. But I like watching cricket, or even just listening to the Test Match Special commentary on the radio. I couldn't explain the game to anyone to save my life, but there's something about it I find utterly beguiling.
4 It is a truth universally acknowledged that I can never quote accurately from memory even the best-known works of literature. (I remember the gist of it, but not the exact words.) I can never remember the words of songs either.
5 I can't count. I've just written out the numbers for the answers to this meme and put down "5" twice. This is absolutely typical of me. I said to someone the other day that I was the sort of person who adds eight and seven and gets 15. I was quite astonished when they said that was the right answer. How I ever passed O level arithmetic is a mystery.
6 Most of my family claim to have had a supernatural experience. I never have, unless it was passing O level arithmetic.
7 I knew Gordon Brown at university. There's nothing so worrying as finding that the people you knew as a student are now running the country.
OK, that's it. I've decided on a new twist to the "choose seven other people" bit. Knowing my luck, if I forward a meme on to someone, they'll reply that they've already done it. So this time, I'm going to ask seven people to volunteer for it. Let me know if you want to take up the challenge.