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The infinite meme of joy

June 14th, 2006 (12:23 am)

current music: Sandy Denny: 'Solo' - among many others

From osymandias, rustica, wryelle, the_marquis, aranelcharis and doubtless many more:

1. How do you define your nationality/heritage (e.g. English,
British, American, Southern, British Asian or whatever other word/phrase suits)?

British; and then Northumbrian, in the broad Forth to Humber sense.

2. If you were being sent to a desert island and could choose between an
unlimited supply of books and an unlimited supply of writing materials,
which would you take with you, and why?

I'm tempted to say that I would write but on reflection the books would be better at keeping me as sane as I am.

3. Would you rather lose your hearing or your sight?

My hearing, even though I have lost it on one side once eleven years ago and it wasn't a positive experience.

4. What is the earliest major news event you can remember?

Edward Heath leaving 10 Downing Street in March 1974 after failing to build a majority coalition following the inconclusive February general election.

5. Do you have any phobias?


6. Which five people (living, dead, real, imaginary) would you invite to
a dinner party?

All dead: Robert Holmes (greatest Doctor Who writer), Elizabeth Elstob (early C18 Anglo-Saxonist), the Yongzhen Emperor (anyone whose motto is 'Perturbed by day and night' gets my vote), Jamie Allen (official piper to the first duchess of Northumberland, so could provide the music, but was light-fingered so I'd have to keep an eye on the cutlery), Mary Collier (C18 poet and washerwoman).

7. If you had to place yourself on the political spectrum in terms of
centre/extreme left/right, with appropriate modifiers and a get-out clause
for anarchists, what would you say?

All my conservatism leads me to vote for parties of the left, so difficult to define.

8. What's the best place you've ever visited?

Can't answer this one - too complicated!

9. What was the moment in your life when you were most nervous (that
ended up having a good outcome)?

My job interview for TGW in September 1999.

10. What would you like your Patronus to be? Why?

Not JKR's most universal concept, I think, though it works well for Harry Potter, so I'll move on to...

11. DW question: which is YOUR Doctor

Tom Baker

12. Who's the most famous person you've ever met? What happened?

Does collaring Douglas Adams count? I asked him why he wouldn't novelise his Doctor Who stories, and he gave the standard answer which can be found in many printed sources. Otherwise chatting with Kate Adie, David Bellamy and Matt Ridley about issues of the moment at the TGW Newcastle launch; and being surprised at Colm Toibin's lack of interest in pronunciation of his surname in Dublin.

13. Which book would you most like to have written? Why?

I would like to be able to sit down and write one novel in the not-all-that-well-defined, but continually evolving, world which I've been developing since I was seven.

14. Which instrument would you most like to be a virtuoso on?

Don't know enough about music or musical instruments to say.

15. Have you ever used a Brutal Honesty meme to be mean about somebody?

I'm not familiar with them, and I wouldn't hide behind one.

16. What's your favourite food?

Nothing at the moment; I'm feeling very full...

17. And your favourite alcoholic drink?

Red wine, with a bias towards merlot at the moment.

18. Do you believe in love at first sight?


19. Which film would you most like to have directed?

I'd need to go away and think about this one.

20. Which sport would you most like to win an Olympic gold medal in?


21. If you could put yourself as any person/type of person in any place in
any period of history, who/what/when/where would you be, and why?

I can see myself as an eighteenth-century landed gentleman with an estate somewhere in the north of England but with good coach connections to London, with a parliamentary borough or two in my pocket where I could return either myself or a deserving friend, an intellectual and down-to-earth wife to keep me drifting off into too many impractical philosophical speculations but who would keep me focused on what mattered, and a loyal but independent staff.

22. What's your favourite piece of religious/spiritually-inspired art, music
or writing? (Interpret as you will)

None, really.

23. Tell me about 3 journals on your flist that you find particularly
interesting (either for style or content), regardless of whether I've got
them friended or not.

Not applicable - everyone is interesting.

24. What's your favourite piece of clothing that you own, and where did you
get it?

Don't really have one...

25. Which places would you most like to visit?

Los Angeles; New York (again); Herrenhausen, Hanover; Jerusalem

26. Tell me something else about yourself.

My favourite schoolteachers (in order of my meeting them) were Mrs Hicks, Mr Bibby, Mrs Crouch, Mrs Marriott and Mr Hobson.

EDITAnd now in colour.


Posted by: Марья (dreiviertel)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)

21 seem to suit you so well! If only people could be transported to the historical period they feel an affinity with...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)

It probably says all sorts of doubtful things about me, but it was one answer that I could faithfully give. I would be a benevolent landlord as well, and wouldn't uproot people from their homes to live in model villages either.

Posted by: Марья (dreiviertel)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 11:18 am (UTC)

It conveys a very positive image to me - I think you'd make an ideal country gentleman of the type you describe.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)

I'm glad you think it's positive. I do too, really - but I feel besieged by hostile forces at the moment, and fear that they may have too many points.

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)

I, too, like your answer to no 21.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)

I'm very pleased by that - it's reassuring.

Posted by: BegemotR (begemotr)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC)

This is a very accurate description of how I see you - as if the gentleman had only come to Oxford temporarily, to visit old friends.

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC)

I concur, if anything I would say you have many similarities with Mr Darcy, but without the stiff-necked pride/arrogance in your wealth and position.

Posted by: skordh (skordh)
Posted at: June 14th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)

How would you vote in Parliament? Presumably more Tory / independent country gentleman than Whig?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 15th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)

I think that's a correct assessment, though I'd have voted with the Rockinghams over American independence rather than support George III and North, but later I'd have stayed with Shelburne after the split in the 1782 coalition, been in opposition to Fox-North, and then supported Pitt.