…not electronically though I may deserve it, but by Elizabeth Baines. See her post, explaining the set up, here. Briefly, I have to share eight random and/or embarrassing facts and/or moments about myself with you, then tag eight more people to do the same thing. It’s a sort of pyramid shaming device, which looks as though it might be quite good fun, though I’d always thought that writing fiction was the most efficient way of broadcasting this kind of information. (See the details on cruising in Rome in my story in NW15 for proof of this.) Still, I’m ready to give it a go, a little later than promised. Here are the instructions:

“Each player starts with eight random facts/habits or embarrassing things about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.”

Here goes:

1. On particularly hot days, particularly when I’m invigilating exams, my Birkenstock sandals fart.

2. I was once arrested for stealing a milk bottle (full) from a step. The fine was £6 plus the cost of a bottle of gold top. I later used the summons to make a very badly-rolled joint.

3. I have bags full of second-hand clothes in my wardrobe, bought at the local Sunday market and never worn or, indeed, looked at a second time. I must throw them out.

4. I can’t bear Joseph Conrad.

5. As a student I once said that I really liked Heinz spaghetti with lots of grated cheese in it, claiming that it was as good as ‘the real thing’, which I’d never actually eaten. I recklessly offered to prepare it for a bunch of friends, who said yes. I’ll never forget the sinking feeling as I dished it out from the pan. One of them, now famous and a bit of a foodie, has had the generosity never to mention this. (He may have forgotten.)

6. Rings make my fingers look infantile.

7. I was deflowered by a man of the cloth.

8. When I was nineteen I turned down an offer from Lawrence Ferlinghetti himself to work at City Lights Bookshop. I’ve never regretted it.

I’m not sure I can think of eight people. Let’s see.

David Isaak
Kay Sexton
Vanessa Gebbie

No, I can’t. That’s it. But I’ll keep on thinking.

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8 Responses to Tagged…

  1. Thanks, Charles – that was great. But you know, I remember thinking Heinz spaghetti with cheese was bliss!

  2. So I wasn’t alone! Phew…

  3. Chancelucky says:

    I guess if we ever meet, I’ll never stand behind your Birkenstock’s especially after you’ve had Heinz Spaghetti.Given that gustatory confession, it’s fascinating that you wound up living in Italy. I assume they don’t have Heinz or Franco American Spaghetti O’s there, but who knows.I’ve been asked to do this tag thing a few times, but maybe this time I’ll give it a go.

  4. Go on, give it a try! I promise never to stand in front of you…I know English people here who used to bring cans of Heinz baked beans back every time they went home. I make do with Marmite for those (rare) moments of foodie nostalgia.

  5. Tyla Tingle says:

    Okay, this is incentive enough to develop a blog!!!! And, as I learned this summer, Italy also does not have Alfredo sauce. They do however, like the idea of Alfredo on the pasta. Love you, Giuseppe!

  6. Ms Baroque says:

    And people wonder why I don’t wear Birkenstocks! Still, at least they’re not Crocs…

  7. Kay Sexton says:

    Ha! I used to get the Kelloggs Cornflakes craving in France, but even when dear friends brought the cornflakes, the milk was never right, or the sugar was wrong, or something … Rings (and fellatio) seem to be a theme of these blog-indiscretions, Donna Storey posted a doozy of a list over at Sex, Food and Writing!

  8. I have the opposite problem of trying to reproduce my favourite Italian meals in England. I can understand that fresh ingredients might be less, well, fresh if they’re flown in from Kenya. What I can’t understand is how pasta made by the same company I use here, with tomatoes canned by the same company I use here and tuna (OK, a different company but the same ocean) make up a dish that tastes entirely different. Neapolitans would say it’s the water. By the way, you may not know this, but the pasta sold in packets with Loyd Grossman’s name and face on the front is made by one of the very best pasta producers in Italy. If you don’t believe me, grit your teeth and buy a packet…

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