Monday, 28 April 2008

Six Random Facts

I know a number of MNWers have done this one on their own blogs, but I don’t have one of my own (said sulkily, with arms folded and a frown) so I’ll have to use this one, if that’s ok.
Declan over at Crime Always Pays has tagged me with the following meme, so with so many better things to do than this, here goes anyway:
Link to the person that tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about you in a blog post.
Tag six people in your post.
Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the taggee know your entry is up.

1) I’m a coeliac, which means I can’t eat wheat, oats, bran, barley etc. which is a real pain when you’re looking for something handy to eat when out with the family or friends. And people assume it’s a lifestyle choice as opposed to an illness.
2) I taught myself how to play the piano when I was younger – though only mastered one piece of music – The Lonely Man Theme from the Incredible Hulk, by Joe Harnell. Still, that’s good enough for me…
3) The first proper book I wrote was when I was twenty about two psychiatrists, one of whom is a patient in his own asylum. The mad one was called Devlin. It was turned down by one publisher and, thankfully, I never sent it to another one after that. Nothing like being easily discouraged. The book was called One So High – and I might use that name again, too.
4) I have a scar on the top of my head from when I was six months old and got burned in a fire after faulty wiring in a heater set my cot alight. My Grandmother rescued me.
5) I started studying Biological Science at University for three months. Then, one Friday, while dissecting daisies in Plant Biology, I caught myself on and transferred into English. The university would only let me transfer if I sat the Christmas exam in English without having attended the lectures and passed it. Luckily for me, the main question on the exam was on Philip Larkin who I’d studied for A-level.
6) I used to take very bad panic attacks – and still do sometimes – which mean that, among other things, I wouldn’t fly anywhere. After going to a fear of flying course taken by a lovely woman from Liverpool called Stephanie Swain, I’ve managed to start flying again.

As I couldn’t be bothered to search out six blogs to tag, I suggest instead that any six MNWers who want to play give us six random facts about themselves instead. This of course also saves me having to leave six separate comments on aforementioned six random blogs, which perhaps defeats the purpose – I should have included a fact about how lazy I am too…


Doug Worgul said...

1. Left-handed. (Though I play golf right-handed. Except that I don't play golf.)
2. Took up the saxophone at age 34. (Mid-life thing. I'm over it now.)
3. Played one semester of varsity ice hockey my freshman year in college, but lost my eligibility after failing two of my first four classes. (Probably a good thing.)
4. The first-born of three. (Curious how many of you other MNWers are first-borns...)
5. Never been outside the continental United States. (Except to drive through Canada briefly on the way from Michigan to New York.)
6. I'm quite a good cook. One of my signature dishes is Spaghetti Smothered in Onions. (Recipe upon request.)

— Doug Worgul

David Isaak said...

Hi, Doug. I'm first-born of three also. Two younger sisters. But I wasn't raised with them. So I'm arguably also an only child. Sorry you asked?

(Is there a theory lurking behind this question?)

Brian McGilloway said...

Hi folks
Sorry to throw a spanner in the works of your theory - I'm the youngest of four - two brothers and a sister.

Tim Stretton said...

First and only child.

I remember entertaining myself as a kid by making up stories (obviously a habit which continues to this day). There may be something about the imaginative self-sufficiency forced upon only/eldest children which is good grounding for a writer.

But since I'm a naturally anti-social character (my nightmare: surprise birthday party) this might have been the case in any event.

Alis said...

Yep, I'm a first-born (of two) too and living out in the sticks needed plenty of imagination to occupy me while my brother was doing boring boy things!
There is something in this birth order and profession thing. i remember reading years ago the psychological profile of fighter pilots - they were overwhelmingly first borns who had a good relationship with a father figure and (not surprising) had high self confidence. My first born son fits all of that, he's also visuo-spatially v. adept so I hope he doesn't suddenly develop a yearning to fly around at high speeds killing things...

Eliza Graham said...

I'm a firstborn and had, at time, a rather lonely late childhood/early adolescence, which I filled with reading. My brother, like Alis's, was always out and about doing male stuff.

Aliya Whiteley said...

I'm your classic second sibling. I had to have whatever my older brother was playing with. I had to hang around with him, and beat him at games and get better marks at school. I was a nightmare.

Interestingly, he still believes that I don't actually write any books at all and that there is another Aliya Whiteley out there who gets books published merely by chance. Perhaps this is his revenge on me.

Frances said...

Can we have Doug's spaghetti recipe?

Doug Worgul said...

Here it is, Frances. Simple and delicious. Also smelly.

Slice 6-8 peeled yellow onions as thinly as possible. The thinner the better. This will result in a huge pile of sliced onions, and a great many tears. Also your hands will stink for several days after. Not to worry. It'll be worth it.

In a large heavy pot, saute the onions over medium-high heat in about 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. It's something of a challenge; stirring this many onions. They keep wanting to escape the pot. Keep stirring, turning them over every few minutes, until they begin to get that nice gold color.

When the onions have caramelized around the edges, add two cups of good dry white wine. Simmer over medium-low heat until the wine is cooked off. This is a good time to finish off the remaining wine in the bottle.

Serve the onions over spaghetti with chopped fresh Italian parsley and lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Your house and all its contents will reek of onions for days. Not to worry. It'll be worth it.


Frances said...

Thanks, Doug. I'll let you know how I get on (we seem to have got a long way away from 'six random facts')