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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:51 pm 
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Oh that is a posed.

I loved first to third year in secondary school - I spent all my free time reading. So many books read (and in some cases reread). School was interesting and no pressure.

Then their is the university years. I did a course in a small department, at most 6 people per year. It meant a good cohesive group of friends . Also when I first traveled overseas as we had to visit the lands studied. That meant two excellent summers seeing the eastern Med.

Late 20s when I got the opportunity to work abroad. France, States, India and Australia. I worked hard and played hard. I had to give that up as that way lay madness, workaholicism and alcoholism.

Then there is now. Interesting job that gives me a chance to learn. A good group of friends you you know will be there for you if needed. All with similar interests where with saving up, we can plan and carry out decent holidays to see the rest of the world.

This is a question I have asked myself numerous times. Truthfully I wouldn't change now because it would mean losing a good group of friends.

But thinking of the above I think that time working in Paris, the start of that job odyssey working abroad. So so much packed in. So many pure haapy memories. Many to do with food, drink, friends and the city. Coming out of a Karaoke bar at 3 in the morning, looking up and seeing Notre Dame sitting in serene majesty. Travelling the Metro dressed up for Halloween and actually scaring someone. A crazy St Paddies Day. Introducing our French colleagues to the concept of a Christmas doo. The free Sundays in the Louvre. God I love Paris.

Thanks for the question - its brought back some good stuff that should be remembered.

So what are your memories from your favourite time of life.

Edited to add.
It took so long to write that TM got in first.
So his question - never enjoyed them. But they do have their place and play a good part in forming a sense of community.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:15 am 
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On School Sports days, I bloody hated them. Basically a day every year where I was forced to do something I was terrible at in public. Would you take a kid who was terrible at maths and force them to do mental arithmetic in front of the whole school + parents? Of course not, it would be considered cruel. being rubbish at sports was actively upsetting my daighter (Coming a clear last every time will do that) so we just took her out of school on sports day. My wife took her cycling instead so rather than hang about for ages to do 3 short sprints she spent several hours cycling. If it were up to me and there was an instastance on some form of public sports day I'd reduce the races in favour of collaberative team based events (Such as team sports or team based tasks)

But I suppose that is my wooly liberal thinking.

Memories from my favorite time of life, tough one, either from when I was younger, eating junk food and too much sugary drinks with friends and spending time up to the wee small hours playing video games, board games & watching bad films or when I was in my 20s doing what I nicknamed "Endurance Drinking" that is the sort of day that starts as a boozy lunch and carries on until closing time, often between several pubs, usually in the sun in a beer garden and where you are never hammered just stable at a nice drunken haze. Good beer and good conversation.

Same question

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:18 am 
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PieMan70 wrote:
On School Sports days, I bloody hated them. Basically a day every year where I was forced to do something I was terrible at in public. Would you take a kid who was terrible at maths and force them to do mental arithmetic in front of the whole school + parents? Of course not, it would be considered cruel.


Ditto. I never understood it, even as a kid. The only time I enjoyed it was when I convinced the aforementioned Nice PE Teacher (I wish I could remember her name) that I could be reserve long jumper. Otherwise I hated it.

Favourite time of life - probably school holidays from 8 to 12 or so: endless days to spend reading. Brilliant.

Who's your favourite superhero?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Green Arrow, before the TV series came out and made him cool :longwink: . The idea of a hero who is not that great, isn't a genius or superpowered I find immensely appealing. In fact he isn't that good at being normal. He's extremely depressed (even suicidal at some points) can't hold down a job, can't keep a stable relationship, screws up the lives of so many close to him and makes terrible decisions. BUT through it all he strives to be a better man and really wants to help everyone who suffers. That's a hero in my book.

I was going through some old junk and found my reading diaries from the end of primary school. It seems at the time I was really in to Horrible Histories, Asterix, Discworld and D&D. What were you reading a lot of at ages 9-12?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:44 am 
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Let's see... 9-12 pretty much covers middle school, I think, so it would be: Roald Dahl, the Anne of Green Gables books, probably the Hobbit, Margaret Mahy, Alan Garner (Weirdstone, Gomrath and a lasting obsession with The Owl Service), probably some Nicolas Fisk. Classics like The Secret Garden. Joan Aitken, I think. Ghost stories. And towards 12, any Point Horror books I could get my hands on, along with Agatha Christie and possibly some Stephen King, though I think I probably started those in early teens.

Those are the ones I remember reading often. Pretty sure as soon as someone else answers I'll realise I forgot something!

So, same question.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:26 pm 
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Ages 9-12 would have been the Chalet School series, Enid Blyton (esp. Famous Five, Mallory Towers and St Clare's), The Pullein-Thompson sisters and any other pony books I could get my hands on, Asterix, CS Lewis, Frank L Baum, Trebizon, Anne of Green Gables/Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm/Little Women/What Katy Did, Greek/Roman/Egyptian/Norse mythology (my favourite Uncle gave me mythology books for Christmas from the age of 8 up) and whatever caught my eye in the Puffin catalogue.

At that age, if you gave me money I'd spend it on books. I bought books with my holiday spends and read them while my brother and sister played in arcades. I came back from church fêtes with piles of novels that caught my eye (on a couple of occasions my parents confiscated novels that were waaaaaaaaay unsuitable), and it was about that time that my mum started letting me use her library card to take out books that weren't in the kids' section. My teacher in fourth year juniors (year 6?) brought in books from home for me to read, because I'd exhausted the school library.

Yeah, at that age I basically lived on books.

Do you still own any of your childhood favourites?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:26 am 
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Yes

I never throw away a book I bought. I still have all my books from that age. Quite a lot of Blyton, all my old Target books.
I stopped counting the piles (bookcases full with books side ways, and piled on top of the bookcases as well) in the back room, but there must be a couple of thousand.

I will never get rereading them. But you never know.

Ever lent out a book and never got it back. If so, what is the most grievous one missing that you do want back. For me (to answer ahead of time) it was Cetaganda by Bojold. The person left the country with it grrr.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:29 am 
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No one really requests lending books from me and people who try to lend me books are often people trying to foist there old copies on me they don't want back.

What I did have a lot when I was younger was computer games. A lot of my warhammer strategy games went completely missing as people who had them suddenly denied their existence

Same question.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:51 pm 
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I'm on my third copies of Pride and Prejudice and The Robber Bride, and my second copies of Uhura's Song, The Handmaid's Tale, The Midwich Cuckoos and Nineteen Eighty Four. The latter was replaced after my brother dropped my first copy (that I'd had since my early teens) in the bath :evil: . Someone still has my copy of The Penelopiad, which really grinds my gears because it was a beautiful edition. I've pretty much stopped lending out my favourite novels. I'll tell you to read Atwood and Austen, but you're not getting your hands on my copies. I do have a very small list of people I'll lend other books to, and I happily give away books I probably won't read again.

People do tend to press a lot of their books on me, though. I feel really dreadful about it, because my review TBR pile is always full, and I squeeze in books I've bought between them, meaning I take ages to read books other people lend me. I keep those very carefully in a special pile of OPB (Other People's Books).

Same question :bigsmile:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:45 pm 
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I never got my copy of Nightmares and dreamscapes back from a schoolfriend and had to buy another one. I really should have known better after the state Four past midnight came back in :cussing: I tend not to lend books out these days, though certain trusted people are allowed. As long as they wash their hands first :lol:

I do get rid of books I won't read again - theoretically they don't get bought unless I know I'll like them, but those bookshop tables are so tempting...

(Back on childhood reading - I really should have mentioned Enid Blyton. I really loved the Famous Five and the Adventure books. I also unforgivably forgot Diana Wynne Jones, although that might be because I'm still reading them!)

Same question!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:47 pm 
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When I was in sixth form I lent my copy of Splinter of the Mind's Eye (Star Wars novel) by Alan Dean Foster to my friend who was in hospital with leukemia. He never came out of hospital. I never saw the book again. I have no idea if he ever read it, I hope he did, but I cannot think about that book without thinking about him.

Same question.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:39 am 
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I lent out my very first copy of Dracula to someone and never got it back. I did end up owning a few different versions after that, but that first version still haunts me. It was a paperback that I got from a school book club (it may have been the Puffin club...you had to buy stamps and when you had enough for the book you wanted, you exchanged your card for a new one and the teacher ordered the book for you and it came to the school) and it had a colour illustration of a Lugosi/Lee inspired Count on the front on a black background and the title in drippy blood rent type. I miss that cover.

Same question!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:24 pm 
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Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure some of Mum's collection of Agatha Christies are ones I bought in charity shops. But I've got the facsimile editions they published recently, so I don't care!

What's your favourite drink on a long summer evening?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:56 am 
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Non Alcoholic - I've actually taken quite a shine to Iced Tea of late. Keen to give cold brew coffee a try too. Alcoholic - a decent golden ale or IPA, preferably something hoppy like Joker from Williams bros.

WHat is your favourite drink on a cold winter night when the rain is falling in lead sheets and you are tucked up warmly indooors

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:38 am 
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A giant mug of hot chocolate (made with milk and actual real melted chocolate). Preferably with a stupid amount of cream/marshmallows. :bigsmile:

What's your ideal temperature for a summery day?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:36 pm 
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Depends where summer is.

In the UK anything above 20 to 23 is nice above is to warm. I am not sure if that has something to do with incipient humidity or not.

Much further south high 20s low 30s is very nice.

I don't know if that has to do with humidity, or a psychological reason that summers should be cooler in the UK than more southerly climes.

barbecues - like them or food poisoning waiting to happen?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:03 pm 
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Love them, as long as the person in charge actually knows how to cook, otherwise the food poisoning is a real threat. There's something wonderful about spending the whole day outside with friends and family just eating, drinking and enjoying each other's company. If it lasts long into the evening (preferably with a campfire as the night draws in) then even better.

Same question.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:45 pm 
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I do love a barbecue, but only if some effort has gone into the food, rather than just trotting out some sausages and burgers and a few chops or something. I like to do selections of kebabs, ribs, marinated aubergine and courgette, meat with sticky glazes brushed on constantly while cooking... one of my specialties is home made donor kebab, lovely spiced lamb mince in a big flat block that I slice into strips after barbecuing. Lovely.

Do you have a barbecue speciality?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:07 pm 
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Does eating it count?
If not - I used to do quite a mean minted lamb strip thing, but haven't tried doing it for quite a while (no BBQ)

Have you ever eaten a BBQ in unusual circumstances?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:19 am 
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Does in torrential rain with a rain poncho strung up over it as a makeshift shelter (complete with head hole as chimeny) count? We played fireball that day as well because I was young and stupid.

Same question

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:35 am 
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Does being socially shamed into eating a barbecue count? When we all went over to Menorca for my sister's wedding, Mr M and I had planned to spend the one evening without a family event going out for dinner together - it was our first holiday together. We'd spent the afternoon up at my parents' villa. They were "popping round" to see my b-i-l's mum, and suggested we come and say hello on our way to walking down to the restaurant.

We walked in to find a massive, full-on barbecue taking place. Turned out they were celebrating her brother's recent marriage with their entire extended Anglo-German-Spanish family. Dad introduced us, then drinks were pressed on us, despite demurral. Then my arm was grabbed and we were led round and introduced to about thirty people. Then we were abandoned at the far end of the garden with a bunch of complete strangers. We made polite chit chat for half an hour and tried to extricate ourselves. As I tried to say goodbye to my b-i-l's mum (neither he nor my sister were actually there!), she said, "but you haven't even met the hosts yet! I can't believe you're going to leave without at least talking to them!" So I was led away, with Mr M giving me PANIC!eyes, and introduced to more strangers. Who were in the kitchen cooking. Then someone else arrived and she left me there. I got roped into getting plates out of the cupboard. I politely tried to explain that it was our first holiday together and we were planning on a romantic dinner, to be met with appalled faces and, "but we've put on plenty of food for everyone! You can't leave now!"

So we each grudgingly ate a burger, while the chateaubriand we'd planned on eating mentally taunted us. Eventually I found my parents and they helped make good our escape. The chateaubraind was excellent. Didn't have room for pudding though :(

What's the most awkward social event you've ever attended?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:25 am 
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That sounds awful. Glad you made it to the restaurant in the end!

Think the most awkward social event (excluding teenage parties, where as a non-drinker I didn't exactly fit in) would probably be a friend's daughter's christening. My friend is married to a vicar who's High Anglican, so it was the full-on bells and smells service. I'm an atheist, so that was never going to be easy, but it was the reception bit that was worst, as there's only so many polite ways to respond to 'I don't think I've seen you at church before?' from other guests. Ended up behind the bar (well, trestle table!) serving the wine/nibbles to people, and helping sweep up. Did not get thanked for this, so much as 'oh, is that where you were?'

We're not really that close any more...

EDIT: so I look like slightly less of a heartless individual, given that a christening is a very busy day for the parents of the child to say the least, we are less close for a variety of other reasons too. I don't mind helping out generally!

What's your favourite sort of social occasion? Big? small? loud? quiet? non-existent?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:50 am 
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I'm going to wuss out and say medium sized to small. say about 10-15 people, enough for a variety of company, not so much that you miss people. Generally don't like them too loud these days but the conversation would preferably be lively.

Are there any social occasions you actively hate?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:23 am 
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Work parties. One I went to just over a year ago was with a company that was making me a nervous wreck in a really loud club (so I couldn't hear anyone), I was on some medication so I couldn't drink and the food provided had no vegeterian choices as usual.
Because I wasn't running around drunkly dancing and raving my boss came up to me and said:
"If you're gonna be like that, why don't you just f***ing leave!"
Of course I couldn't when he was being like that and had to stay til really light in the most unenjoyable environment possible with people I hated.

What is your favourite kind of party?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:45 am 
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That sounds awful Hammard, I would expect better behaviour from a boss for starters (A colleague different story but still unpleasant but a Boss, even on a night out should maintain some decorum) and no Veggie option? Seriously this is the 21st century.

In general my favourite is one with good company and decent chat. it can go wild with singing & dancing, playing video games or just chatting.

Same question

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:50 am 
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I like smallish (8-10 people, I guess) parties where I know most of the people there (failing that, a decent kitchen to lurk in). Consequently I don't get out much :smallsmile:

If you were designing your coat of arms, what would you have on it? (No need for full on heraldic terms, I never remember which is gules anyway!)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:29 am 
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ALways tempted to go with Lord Vetinari's black on a field of sable but this is for your own. I'd be tempted to go with something either black & white or black & dark blue, possibly diagonally split. A Starfleet delta in one corner and perhaps a hammer in the middle. I would like to give this more thought, and learn to draw.

There is actually a Christison coat of arms (Presumably for the Christison Baronet which AFAIK I have no link to) but I am not as keen on it.
https://www.houseofnames.com/Christison-family-crest

Same question

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:42 am 
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A deep purple lozenge shaped escutcheon, with silver charges. The charges would be diagonal from top left to bottom right: a jellybean, a bat'leth and a book. The left hand side would have a sheep rampant supporter, the right a donkey rampant. I would shamelessly nick my motto from The Handmaid's Tale: nolite te bastardes carborandorum.

Ooh. Want to make this now :bigsmile:

Same question!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:44 am 
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I also have a coat of arms but once again it is a family I believe I have no relation to directly:
https://www.houseofnames.com/myall-family-crest

I think I go for something calmingly discocencerting, like a smiling kitten on a light blue background. Whilst they were staring at it I could smite them! :lol:

What was the last book you bought on impulse?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:07 pm 
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The Rook - Daniel O' Malley

I had a couple of hours to spare between meeting some friends after work and then going to see Derren Brown at the theatre but it wasn't worth going home after wards just to come back into town, so I bought the book to read while I waited in the cafe for the show to start. Good book as well, a fun breezy read.

Do you have a favourite artist/illustrator/ creative craftsperson whose work you would love to steal and hang on your walls?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:21 am 
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Not as such. When I get anything arty it tends to be because it invokes a memory or something - we often buy stuff on holiday as a souvenir, which tends to mean we have only one thing by a single person!

What's your favourite pizza topping? Any absolutely forbidden ingredients?

Whoops, we've had that one! Er... favourite dad joke?

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