Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh dear, I've been memed again

Oh dear, I've been memed again, this time by Dot. Thank you Dot. Previously, Kenneth Moore memed me and I sort-of responded here, but in a mildly uncooperative way, in that I didn't pass on the meme to any other poor, unsuspecting souls. I explained my reasons in that previous post, but put simply, I was a teenage chain-letter destroyer. Fearless and uncooperative I was in my schooldays, no matter how dire the threats!

And so now, in my older years, I've become a black hole for memes, sort of. They stop with me. But I don't want to let Dot down entirely, so I thought I'd do a little blog on her meme-theme of telling people 7 things about yourself that you probably haven't mentioned before. So here goes. First up, my favourite book...

The Oxford English Dictionary, all 17 volumes of it. Being the book-lover in our family, I inherited it from dad when he died back in 1986. At the time dad died the very last volume, Supplement Sc-Z, hadn't been published but was about to be, and dear old dad on his death bed looked me in the eye and said "you will get Sc-Z, won't you son?". Yes Dad, I did, as soon as it came out. It cost $375 for that one volume, and I would have paid ten times that price for it! I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful thing the OED is, but along with Shakespeare and the King James Bible it's the greatest thing published in the English language.

And now, my second most treasured book – Grandma's copy of the Complete Works of Milton.

My grandmother, Margaret Coutts, did her Arts degree at Sydney University early last century, and this copy of Milton is the one she used in her studies – and it's also the one that I used when I studied Milton's poetry at university in the 1970s. It was so special to me to be able to use the very same book as Grandma used. I never really knew her – she died when I was four years old – and this book is my only real connection to her, and so I treasure it.

And now for a complete change of pace. I used to be a motorcycle road-tester for many years. This photo (above) of me giving a Harley Davidson a hard time actually gives a misleadingly macho impression of my tastes in bikes, even if it is one of my favourite action shots from the time.

That's because the big in-joke at the magazine I worked for was that I loved motor scooters. This was in the 1980s, when scooters were totally unfashionable, but I loved them for whizzing around my crowded, narrow, inner-city streets. And so they changed my title at the magazine from 'News Editor' to 'Scooter Editor'. While I tested anything and everything that was on offer, if a scooter appeared it was mine! This photo is my favourite, of a Mighty Tough Vespa beating me up. Now that scooters are so popular I like to think of myself as being ahead of my time!

As well as being a former motorcycle road tester, I cheerfully admit to being a former long-haired hippie way back when (this is a photo from Hobart, Tasmania, circa 1976). Not any more, alas, my family's famous male-pattern baldness genes have seen to that!

How many is that? Favourite book, second favourite book, macho bikie, closet Vespa lover, rehabilitated hippie. That's five. I've run out of photos, so two more.

If I could travel anywhere I would love to see the United States, all of it – except the cities. I don't really like cities, but I do love countryside and small towns, so that's where and how I'd like to travel as soon as I get the chance. Pam and I would hire a car, and drive. Probably head for Louisiana first, then take it from there.

And finally, my big problem as a traveller is homesickness. I always miss being home terribly when I'm away. Deep down, I'm just a homebody. I love cooking in the kitchen, pottering in the garden, reading in the shade. And I start to miss all three as soon as I begin any travels.

So that's as good as I can do, Dot. And please, if anyone else ever thinks of meme-ing me, be prepared to be disappointed!


Liss said...

What a wonderful display - love them all!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Love the long hair!!... ~bangchik

Dot said...

lol Jamie, I'm not disappointed at all! It is a bit like a chain letter isn't it, but I do like reading everyone's reveals.

You must be one heck of a scrabble player with the complete Oxford Dictionary! There must be some wonderful little used gems in there. And I love that you used the same book as your grandmother for your studies, what a lovely connection.

Your pics with the bikes are fantastic and you're right, you were ahead of your time. Do you own a scooter now?

I see that you were reluctant but thanks for answering the meme. I really enjoyed getting to know the bike-riding, traveling homebody, bookworm hippie Jamie a little better =)

life in a pink fibro said...

LOL. I'm not that good at memes either. Nor chain letters for that matter. At least memes don't come with the 'you will cause the end of the world if you don't pass this on' clause that chain letters often carry. You put such a lot of work into this meme... I wonder if I can come up with something to make you work even harder! (cue: evil laugh)

@jencull (jen) said...

I laughed when I saw the title because that is exactly how I feel. Sometimes I do them, sometimes I don't but I cringe either way. What is the right etiquette?? Anyway, you look like a really cool biker dude and this was a great way to meet you:) Jen (visiting from Weekend Rewind)

Maxabella said...

I'm so glad the meme didn't stop with you, Jamie. What a great way to learn a little bit more about you (you long-haired hippy!!) Love your Grandmother's copperplate and the fact that she went to university (one of only a handful of her generation) is marvellous. x

Naturally Carol said...

I have always been a destroyer of chain letters too. I think because the first time one came I followed and never got any of the thousands of postcards people were meant to send me. I dump chain emails too,with good reason, they contain links that go to a third party to gather email addresses! Learned a lot about you today...some we have in common!

Joni Llanora said...

That wasn't disappointing at all! I recall looking forward to a new volume of an encyclopedia collection every month when I was a kid. My mum can only afford one at a time so it was such a big deal for the family when we finally got the Z. Thanks for sharing.

ClaireyH said...

I have been memed for the first time this week...three times, it was kind of exciting, and kind of not.

I love old handwriting and that one of your grans is a real gem.