The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
Much as you were too polite to admit it, I'm sure that those of you who read my recent "Who Am I?" review were disappointed that I didn't disclose any intimate and embarrassing details, not consciously anyway. So to make up for any such disappointment (or dispel any consequent relief) here's an update of one I prepared earlier, with the addition of a few questions that have emerged in challenges since it was first written to bring it up to the full 57 varieties.
01. What time is it?
~ High time I stopped responding to challenges like this.
~ Duncan - my second name but the one by which I've always been known. torr to my offspring, and to Ciao.
03. Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
~ Neither sure I had a cake nor whether it had candles on. Memory fades at my age, especially after a birthday dinner preceded by a beer or two, washed down with vintage vino and rounded off by the odd digestif (and even the even one).
04. Hair colour?
~ Dark brown, but my mirror seems to think it's grey. Cameras often make the same mistake, I've noticed.
05. Eye colour?
~ Not always red. Usually, despite how it looks on the Ciao pic, blue. But that's without the special contact lenses.
~ Six foot on the rare occasions that I stand up straight; twelve foot when I stand on my head. Provided I get up there quickly.
07. Writing hand?
~ Both - mostly, I type.
08. Can you pat your head & rub your stomach?
~ Certainly; in which order would you like me to do them?
09. Can you cross your eyes?
~ Yes, and dot my tease.
~ No, not even Edinburgh.
11. If money was no object what cosmetic surgery would you have done?
~ I would have the smirk removed from Dubya's face. And whatever that horrible expression is from Blair's.
12. How much do you love your job on a scale of 0-5?
~ Used to be 5, though the office politics turned it a bit sour towards the end. It's still 5 now I'm more-or-less retired, because I only do things I enjoy. If you don't love your job, I would suggest you either learn to love it or stop doing it. You're wasting too much of your life otherwise.
13. Favourite colour?
~ Royal Blue when I'm at Stamford Bridge. Otherwise, probably more like purple. The spectrum is a bit of a disappointment to me, though. How wonderful it would be if there were more colours to choose from.
14. Home County?
~ Born abroad, lived in nine different counties. Currently Kent, but I'm only just beginning to feel Kentish. Most of my life, I've thought of myself as a Londoner, if anything.
15. Current Relationship Status?
~ Still with my first wife, much to some people's surprise (at her patience even more than at my constancy, I expect). "Oh, I do hope it lasts," said my mother at our twenty-fifth anniversary.
16. Do you agree with open relationships?
~ I doubt that they require my agreement.
17. Have you ever had an open relationship?
~ Pass. Do passes count?
18. Favourite food?
~ I'll eat almost anything, except for silkworms, bulls' testicles and sheep's eyeballs. "I haven't tried it because I don't like it," as my elder son used to explain as an infant when offered new eating experiences he didn't quite fancy, on being asked the inevitable parental question: "But how do you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it?" For preference though, I like traditional French cuisine eaten in France itself.
19. Been to Africa?
~ Only a day-trip to Tangier from Southern Spain. To me, it's the least attractive of continents, with the possible exception of Antarctica.
20. Been to Camden?
~ Lived there, just round the corner from Mornington Crescent tube station. Unless you meant Camden, New Jersey, which I've only passed through. Similarly Camden, New South Wales (my thanks to Luci Elkiedee for reminding me of this one).
21. Loved somebody so much it made you cry?
~ Only my children. Generally, I love love most when it makes me laugh.
22. Been in a car accident?
~ No, I always look like this. Actually, yes, all minor shunts, nothing worth relating here.
23. Do you swear?
~ See answer to 25 below.
24. Do you mumble to yourself?
~ No. I speak to myself loudly and clearly, laughing politely when I think I've tried to crack a joke.
25. Person you talk most on the phone with?
~ These days I seem to talk mainly to machines, which is just as well because I usually end up swearing at them.
26. Croutons or bacon bits?
~ Bacon bits - essential for certain salads and for pasta carbonara done the way I like it. Croutons are good with some dishes, but never essential.
27. Sprite or 7UP?
~ Never thought much of the Sprite - an imitation sports car, under-equipped and under-powered. Don't think I've ever driven a 7up. Or did you mean those fizzy concoctions you use to dilute beer into shandy when you don't want to leave the pub but are beginning to worry about the breathalyser, in which case it hardly matters, they're all as bad as each other.
28. Favourite Movie?
~ Anything with the Marx Bros, Mae West, W C Fields, Mel Brooks, the Ealing Comedy regulars or the Carry On crew. Plus a few oddities like Zazie dans le Metro and Modesty Blaise. Oh, and a lot of less serious stuff too.
29. Favourite Holiday?
~ For interest: Russia and China via the Trans-Siberian railway. For excitement: the back-roads and jungles of Chiapas in southern Mexico. For enjoyment: camping in central France - canoeing, mountain-walking and eating and drinking magnificently every evening. New Zealand has a lot to recommend it too. All written up on Ciao (nudge, nudge).
30. Favourite day of the week?
~ These days they're all the same to me. Often, I don't know what day it is. Except match-days, of course.
31. Ever experienced Deja Vu?
32. Favourite Toothpaste?
~ Are you kidding? Toothpaste is white stuff I smear onto a bleary brush and thence onto my fangs when I'm half-awake in the morning or half-asleep at night. I don't know what brand I use, let alone whether it's my favourite.
33. What goes on first, bra or knickers?
~ Being a man I only notice the order in which they come off.
34. Favourite restaurant?
A little unpretentious place I discovered last a few years ago in the Auvergne. Four copious and superbly cooked courses plus nibbles, amuses-bouches, sorbets between courses, after-dinner coffee, chocs and goodies - all for under 25 euros a head. For an equivalent eating experience in England you'd be stuck with fuss and formality and about three times the price. Name and location supplied on request to special friends only. I know you're not all going to rush down there to spoil it, but somehow I don't feel I can take the risk. Meanwhile, I'm going again this summer; turns out you can stay the night and sleep it off for only 38 euros a double room.
35. Favourite Flowers?
~ Whatever you call those things my wife's growing in the garden. I've got to say that, haven't I?
36. Favourite beverage?
~ Lunchtime: traditional English hand-pumped ale. Early evening: Belgian beer, preferably one of the old monastic brews. With a meal: wine, type dependent on the food. Oh all right - anything alcoholic will do.
37. Favourite sport to watch?
~ Football, of course. Cricket too; it some ways it's a better game, but how long have you got with so much else to do? I enjoy my occasional outings to racecourses as well, but not, alas, as much as the bookies.
38. Preferred type of ice cream?
~ SueMagee's home-made. I've never tasted it, but the description in her review is enough to make my mouth water. Failing that, Pablo's (Blackpool) as it was in the 50s, Marine Ices (Chalk Farm) as it was in the 60s and 70s, sundry experiences in France and Italy since. Best combination: vanilla accompanied by a fresh lemon or lime sorbet.
39. Favourite Sesame Street Character?
~ Not sure I have one; in fact, I'm rather sure I don't.
40. Favourite Fast Food Restaurant?
~ Definitely don't have one of these. But I do like traditional takeaway cod and chips, wrapped in paper and liberally sprinkled with salt and vinegar, to be eaten messily with the fingers. Does this count?
41. When was your last hospital visit?
~ Can't remember. I steer away from them whenever possible. They can't be healthy; look how many people die in there.
42. What colour is your bedroom carpet?
~ Darker than cream, lighter than light browny-yellow. I dare not call it beige - the ultimate term of abuse so far as my would-be artist younger son is concerned.
43. How many times did you fail your drivers test?
~ Twice. Found the easy way in the end, which was to pass under the much less stringent standards required in Canada, and practise in England on an International Driver's Permit until I reached the requisite standard (or, rather, could plausibly pretend to have done so). I'm not sure it's still possible to do this - in case you were thinking of rushing off to Canada.
44. Who is the last person you read an opinion by before this?
~ Sorry, can't remember - I whipped around several of these challenge questionnaires to cherry-pick some questions I might be able to answer.
45. Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
~ Speeding. And I knew the damned camera was there! My plea of stupidity in mitigation was rejected by the court, or would have been if I hadn't just paid the fine, accepted the points on the licence and had done with it.
46. Which single store would you choose to max out your credit card?
~ Oddbins. More probably, I'd cross the channel and do it more cheaply there, but can't think of a specific boozerie for the purpose on the spur of the moment.
47. What do you do most often when you are bored?
~ I'm never bored. Can't imagine what I'd do if I were. Find something to do, presumably. Can't be that difficult, can it?
48. What is your major pastime?
~ Where would I find time for pastimes when it all goes on Ciao?
49. Most annoying thing people ask you?
~ "You don't really mean that, do you?" If I didn't mean it I wouldn't have said it (or if I did say it without meaning it I wouldn't admit the fact immediately afterwards), would I?
~ Whenever being in bed seems more appealing than what I'm doing, which is usually a late-night look at Ciao.
51. Do you believe in the crock of gold at the rainbow's end?
~ No, but a rainbow is worth more than any crock of gold.
52. Favourite TV show?
~ "Have I got news for you?" I quite like "Bremner, Bird and Fortune" too. And "The Simpsons". "Top Cat" and "Monty P" were my all-time favourites. Oh, and "Blues News" on Chelsea TV.
53. If your worst enemy was drowning would you save them?
~ My life-saving skills are lamentably inadequate, and would probably become more so in the face of this dilemma.
54. Some quickfire Q&As: ~
QA. An example of me caring for others is ~ Offering to buy a round.
QB. I think that I have the guts to . ~ Cook Tripes a la mode de Caen.
QC. People can count on me to .. ~ Do mental arithmetic.
QD. I get angry when ~ Something riles me.
QE. They said I did a good job when ~ I retired.
QF. One thing I have to overcome is ~ All obstacles in my way, or at least one of them.
QG. I am glad that I ~ Have no regrets.
QH. A good example of my ability to handle life is .. ~ My survival for all these years.
QI. A recent temptation I managed to overcome is ~ A missed opportunity.
QJ. One way I successfully control my emotions is . ~ Not very successful now I come to think about it.
QK. One important thing I intend to do in the next few weeks is ~ Decide what to do in the next few weeks.
QL. A value I try hard to practise is .. ~ The one I'm preaching.
QM. I cry when . ~ I've laughed so much it hurts.
55. Last person you went out to dinner with:
~ My wife. Sorry to be so predictable, but she is the perfect dinner companion, as well as perfect in every other way. Anyhow, she sometimes reads my reviews (don't you, dear?), so what else can I say?
56. Last Movie you saw?
~ Can't remember. I now have satellite (only way to get Chelsea TV), so there are about twenty terrible films to choose from every night. Often I can barely remember what I've watched ten minutes after it's over, especially if I've fallen asleep in the meantime.
57. Time now?
~ I don't know, I've fallen asleep in the meantime. About time I was doing something else, in any case.