Five things you (probably) don’t know about me

Phil tagged me to find out five things most people don’t know about me. It feels a bit like one of those round robin emails I always delete, but this online verson seems to be receiving positive responses from a surprising range of people. Look – in terms of Five things tags, I’m 2 degrees of separation from Tim O’Reilly!

So, here are my five things:

1. I’m a physical freak
I have an area on my forehead where my skin is fused to my skull. You can see it if I raise my eyebrows. My memory is that it was caused at my nan’s when either my nan or my mum opened the dining room door as I was crawling towards it. But seeing as it happened when I was a baby, I’m reliant on my dad to post a comment to set the historical record straight if required. And yes, I am a bit more vain than most people who know me would expect ….

2. Computers bored me stupid as a teen
My mum got the family a BBC B when I was about 11 or 12, and taught herself enough Basic to build programs for the French classes she taught at Arden School. Tom soon learned how to program the PCs in WHSmiths to fill the screen with “Tom is ace” and variants before disappearing off into the world of Elite. I on the other hand couldn’t see the point in learning how to use a keyboard (Typing wasn’t a class O-level students were encouraged to do), let alone how to code. More fool me. I still haven’t got into gaming mind you.

3. I’ve (probably) broken the law
I had my first driving lesson on Ewyas Harold Common in my mum’s MGB GT age 15. Still love driving, still love Herefordshire, still love MGs…..

4. I’ve been a league-level canoe polo player
I was a member of the St Andrews University canoe polo team and played in the Scottish league. I wasn’t very good, but I made up the numbers. I could just about manage an eskimo roll if required. Actually, more often than not it was a case of releasing my spraydeck and doing an emergency exit.

5. I’m scared of flying
Yes, quite an admission from someone who loves to travel far and wide. During the world tour with Hazel I got most used to it, but nowadays the excitement of every big trip carries with it the flying fear factor. I find that browsing the duty free shops plus the routine queuing for overpriced coffee and cake helps keep the adrenalin under control in the departure lounge, and then a a good book carries me through to the start of the in flight entertainment and through those odd occasions when the in flight movies let you down and the PC games require a level of comprehension and coordination beyond me. The return flight fright is generally offset by having new trip friends to talk to, but I always keep a good book in reserve just in case. In fact, making sure I have enough to read on any trip is A Must. I’ve learned the hard way to make it frivolous fiction or spritely autobiography rather than a weighty tome of an “I *ought* to read this” nature.

Feel free to add in a comment with any other gems you feel fellow readers should know about me.