Sunday, 15 May 2011


I am deeply indebted to Oscar Windsor-Smith for another coveted award - not only did I get an 'Oscar', a while back, but I now have a Versatile Blogger Award... thank you Oscar.
We are meant to pass it on to a million others, and also to divulge seven little-known facts about ourselves. The first I won't do - and if it's one of those things that visits at midnight and strikes one dead in one's sleep - so be it. The second, I guess I better had - or it would have been churlish to accept the award.

1. I once ate half a worm. My best friend ate the other half. It was a sort of bonding thing - we were six. I can let you know worms are very gritty. And a bit slimy too.
2. I had a common childhood operation at the age of seven. I smuggled my teddy into the room where I was sedated, no one noticed, and it came with me onto the operating table. Said teddy fell off said operating table in mid-operation. Surgeon was a father of small kids, and unthinkingly bent to pick it up... chaos ensued as he had to re-scrub...
3. I wrote my first play at 14 years old. Called "Randy Cilla and the Beautiful Sisters" it was a highly hilarious and rude reprise of Cinderella. The best character was Zipper (Buttons...?) or maybe it was The Hairy Godmother. I came close to being expelled from my boarding school for that masterpiece.
4. I had tea once with Dannie Abse. He was invited to the school to talk to us gels about being a poet. I informed him he wasn't much of one, because he said he threw his drafts away. I think we ate sponge cake.
5. My favourite short story, Cactus Man, written in 2004, explores what happens to the psyche of an adopted nice guy when he discovers his father was a rapist. Did that new knowledge allow a darker side of the bloke to manifest itself? In 2008 I discovered my own birth father could be a very violent far, I have not developed psychopathic tendencies.
6. I used to bite my fingernails. I was told not to, as it was unsightly and unhygenic. I bit my toenails instead. Not to be recommended.
7. I often wonder about that worm...


  1. There, that didn't hurt a bit did it? Thanks, Vanessa, now the world can see the real you at last. And you've provided the best belly laughs I've had today. Bless you for being such a sporty gel. The toenail business was a bit on the TMI side though. :)

  2. It's OK, the habit only lasted about half an hour. I'm not that flexible...

  3. I keep getting these awards and have now given up doing the pre-requisite actions - First, I can't possibly come up with another seven unknown facts about me, and also, if I do - I fear I'll bore my followers to tears and not have any left ;)

    But I'm pleased to see you did this part and enjoyed reading your facts, especially about you having tea with Dannie Abse.

  4. Gotta' love this. I'm wondering about almost getting thrown out of school for that story, though....hmmm. have they no sense of humour?

  5. Thanks Bluestocking Mum - it is a funny memory!

    Sue - the play was created for the school birthday celebrations - short pieces put on in front of a hall full of governors, old girls, staff, kids ...unfortunately, they didn't check to see that the work in progress was suitable. This wasn't... (actually, it might have been, but our ad-libbing got worse and worse during rehearsals and became an integral part of the whole (!))
    They refused to let me be confirmed, saying I had the devil on my shoulder. In the end I was confirmed separately by the Bishop of Bangor, who treated me like I was made of fire...

  6. Love the '...devil on the shoulder...' bit. I always say that I have a little gremlin/devil that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear to say and do outrageous and (allegedly) inappropriate things. The more serious the situation, the more it says: 'Go on, I dare you, Say it!'

    That bishop knew a thing or two, I'm thinking. ;)


  7. There's a song I used to teach the Brownies:

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
    Think I'll go and eat worms
    Long ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones
    See how they squiggle and squirm!
    Bite their heads off, slurp their juice out
    Throw their skins away
    Nobody knows how much I thrive
    On worms three times a day

    Which is now going to be buzzing around my head for the next day or two.

  8. Ah, I know that one. I was taught it in Brownies too, a squillion years ago. Whoever wrote the song hadn't tried them. They are full of earth!

  9. I used to sing the worm song but never knew the end. Story of my life.

    Vanessa lots of B celebs fly to Australia to eat worms live on telly, and worse. They probably get paid quite a bit but I'm sure your experience was more enriching.