Sunday, February 05, 2006

Four Play and Nostalgia

crockford bridge
Crockford Bridge, Addlestone, Surrey. MD worked in this vicinity in his youth.

Dr Jim has tagged me with this meme. I think I share the views of El Barbudo about these things but I’ve never done one before and besides Dr Jim is very polite so I’ll give it a go just this once. I’m not sure what it will reveal about me though…

Four Jobs I’ve Had
I’ve excluded my regular day job and training positions relating to it: here are four ad hoc things I’ve done over the years:

1. Gardner’s assistant at a government research institute that shall remain nameless. This was my first ever job at the age of 14 and it kept me occupied over several school holidays. I was paid six shillings and eightpence and hour which I thought was a small fortune at the time. I blew it all on model aeroplanes. It seemed like the majority of my co-workers spent most of their time avoiding work.

2. Petrol (gas) pump attendant at Crockford Bridge Motors, Addlestone, Surrey. This started out as weekend job when I was about 18. After awhile I graduated to car preparation and delivery. I loved this job and to this day have a repertoire of stories about the seedy side of the auto industry. My employers seemed to like me too and always had work for me in college vacations. I held this gig for six years which is good going by any standards. To this day I feel very nostalgic about this period of my life and I’ve posted a historic picture of CB above.

3. Temporary Post Office worker. This rite of passage for most students was quite fun and occupied two Christmas breaks. I loaded mail bags on Woking station and sorted packages in Plymouth. On both occasions I worked the night shift. Most of the time it was hilarious and the camaraderie was great. It did teach me to wrap parcels securely!

4. Rally driver. Well sort of, -I’ve got to brag somewhere. I got paid for petrol (thanks, MiniWorld) and received a jacket from the Mini Cooper register for competing in the 2002 and 2005 Monte Carlo Historique rallys as part of the Cooper Car Co team.

Four Favourite Films
This list is going to ensure I get classified as low-brow. I should point out that I’m quite up to watching stuff by Fellini, Antonioni, Bunuel and Eisenstein. In my youth I was a member of the British National Film Theatre and had a voracious appetite for the classics and art movies. But the flicks below are those that I do watch time and time again:
1. Seven Samurai –surely the best action movie ever.
2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly –the best western ever.
3. The Italian Job (1969) –how could I miss this one?
4. This is Spinal Tap/Dr Strangelove (joint fourth) –I can’t neglect comedies.

Four Places You’ve Lived
Now I'm pushing the envelope a bit here but...
1. UK, Provincial towns: Woking, Cardiff and Plymouth
2. UK, London: Finsbury Park and Docklands
3. USA: San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle (current abode)
4. Egypt (curiously enough the place of my birth and my home for the first 3 years of life)

Four TV Shows
I can’t say I’m very keen on TV these days, especially American televison which is so attenuated (in fear of lawsuits filed in the name of “decency”) and chopped up with (unspeakably poor quality) commercials that it’s virtually unwatchable. Programs, excluding The News, that I’ve watched avidly mostly in my youth, include:
1. The Prisoner
2. The Magic Roundabout (Dougal and I are kindred spirits!)
3. The Avengers (with Diana Rigg –series with other female leads were less interesting)
4. Monty Python/Fawlty Towers

Four Places You’ve Been on Holiday
I’ve been fortunate to have had great holidays in my life. Four particularly memorable places I’ve visited include:
1. Japan
2. Hawaii
3. Australia
4. Cephalonia, Greece (and before you ask, I have read Captain Corelli's Mandolin)

Four Websites You Visit Daily
1. BBC News
2. Mad Dogs and Englishmen (because it’s a portal to numerous blogs I like)
3. PubMed (it’s my job)
4. Google

Four Favourite Foods
1. Sushi –I can eat this anytime, all of the time and never have “food guilt”.
2. Fish and chips (very hard to find in the US: the chips should agglutinate when dropped out of the bag onto the plate)
3. Full English breakfast
4. Anything Greek or Mediterranean influenced

Four Places You’d Rather Be

1. Zanzibar
2. An island in the Ionian Sea
3. Maichu Pichu, Peru
4. Sydney, Australia

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