1. I did a degree in computer programming in my 20s.
2. It took me 5 years to get a job as a programmer – and 2 years later I gave it up.
3. And did a degree in English and History instead in my 30s.
4. I'm not planning to do a degree in my 40s, but who knows what will happen in the next 2 years ?
5. I am planning to write a book (literary criticism) in the next 2 years. Not any more.
6. I read very fast – without any interruptions, I can read 100 pages of fiction in an hour.
7. I'm a proof-reader by nature as well as by employment.
8. I'm a pedant – and unashamed of it !
9. I spent the first 6.5 years of my life living in different countries because I'm an Army brat.
10. I enjoy Star Trek and Doctor Who, but I'm not a big fan of Science Fiction.
11. I prefer magic to advanced technology.
12. There doesn't seem to be much difference between the two these days – can you explain how email works ? I can't and I'm a former programmer !
13. My favourite dead fantasy author is J R R Tolkien.
14. But I don't speak or write Elvish.
15. My favourite living fantasy author for adults is Juliet E McKenna.
16. I've read The Lord of the Rings nearly 30 times in 23 years.
17. I once read it three times in the same year,
18. I haven't read it at all during 2006.
19. I always carry a pen with me when I leave the house.
20. I love cats.
21. My black cat, Shade, lives with my parents and brother in Gloucestershire.
22. I've got two younger siblings. My sister lives in Bristol.
23. Both my siblings write fan-fiction based on TV shows.
24. I can't write fiction worth a dime.
I now write "Doctor Who" fan-fiction - but no one pays me a dime for it.
25. I love poetry.
26. I founded the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship in 2002 and was President for 2 years.
27. I never watch broadcast television.
28. I prefer the radio and listen to Classic FM for roughly 18 hours a day.
29. I'm single.
30. When I was 14 I vowed never to get married and no one has persuaded me to change my mind.
31. If David Tennant proposed, I'd seriously consider it.
32. Ditto Johnny Depp !
33. I've spent the last 31 years living in two adjoining English counties: Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
34. I've been living in Oxford for 5 years but still consider Gloucestershire my home.
35. I suffered from depression for 2 years when I was in my early 20s.
36. I spent 9 months working at the University of Oxford. I should have left after four.
37. I have to read for at least 10 minutes before sleeping, no matter how late I get to bed.
38. I have to write something every day or I get withdrawal symptoms and become physically & mentally twitchy.
39. I go to the local library at least once a week (usually twice).
40. I'm very shy.
41. I started my Blog on what would have been the birthday of my late friend Margo; she was my best friend for 6.5 years.
42. I would love to visit New Zealand.
43. And New York.
44. I have to wear two different pairs of glasses.
45. I could never wear contact lenses and would not consider laser eye surgery.
46. Men do make passes at women in glasses ! ;-D
47. I hate hospitals but I've been hospitalised for surgery four times, including an operation to "fix" my left shoulder which I dislocated regularly during my early 20s.
48. I dislocated it a few days before my 21st birthday party.
49. I've visited Scotland and Wales, and lived in Northern Ireland, but never set foot in the Republic of Ireland.
50. I would like to live in Middle-earth.
51. I love watching animated movies of all types (CGI, stop motion, claymation).
52. I'm very proud of the success of Aardman Animation.
53. The Back to the Future trilogy is my favourite film trilogy.
54. I love listening to movie soundtracks.
55. I prefer the Harry Potter movie soundtracks to the actual films.
56. My first published paper was an undergraduate paper on Harry Potter.
57. I went to the Lord of the Rings Symphony Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in September 2004.
58. I'm a fan of the TV shows created by Joss Whedon.
59. I love the films of Julia Roberts, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp.
60. My music teacher told me I was tone deaf when I was 8.
61. My art teacher told me I couldn't draw when I was 16.
62. I'm good at drawing still life and landscapes but have little ability to translate a mental picture onto paper.
63. I don't "get" graphic novels.
64. Or audio books. I tend to tune them out as I do the radio. Big Finish have converted me into an audio book fan thanks to their "Doctor Who" range.
65. I read Macbeth at the age of 13 and scared myself silly.
66. So much so I still haven't watched the Judi Dench film version I have on DVD.
67. I can't stand horror films or books.
68. But I enjoy supernatural books by authors such as Charles Butler.
69. I'm not interested in Arthurian lore.
70. I love Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock.
71. There are a small number of children's fantasy books whose plots have remained vividly in my head for 25+ years.
72. I'm asthmatic.
73. And allergic to dairy products.
74. I don't eat meat (although I do eat fish) on medical, not ethical grounds.
75. I have brown hair, but when I was little and we were in Hong Kong, I had blonde hair.
76. The Chinese used to pat my head for luck when my parents took me out.
77. I have hazel eyes.
78. I cut my chin open on a metal road sign when I was 11 after somersaulting off a borrowed bicycle.
79. I once blacked out whilst cycling up a nearby hill when I was a student.
80. I've since given up cycling as it's bad for my health !
81. I was a "born again Christian" for 6 years in my late teens/early 20s.
82. I lost interest in God when I became an intellectual.
83. My dad taught me to read when I was so young I have no memory of learning.
84. He bought my first set of encyclopaedias before I was born.
85. I used to read the dictionary and the encyclopaedias for pleasure when I was a young child.
86. I wanted to be an astronomer when I was 8.
87. I did Latin at school for 5 years.
88. I wrote my own Latin motto (Disco legendo libros; scribendo cogito. - I learn by reading books; I think by writing.)
89. My birthday is November 8.
90. My favourite month is September.
91. Despite living in Hong Kong, I can't stand the heat.
92. I don't drive.
93. I prefer coach journeys to train journeys.
94. I flew alone for the first time in 2002; I went to Sweden.
95. To present my first Harry Potter paper at a convention.
96. I'm scared of heights, and fire.
97. I live in a book-filled attic.
98. I wish I had learnt to play the piano.
99. I've never been interested in horses or ballet and was a tomboy as a child.
100. I used to do amateur drama when I was in my teens/late 20s, and once gave a performance of a Christmas play whilst suffering from laryngitis !
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I have to confess to shamelessly stealing this idea from Mother Reader !
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
1. I did a degree in computer programming in my 20s.