Les, the Stupid Evil Bastard has passed an internet meme on to me, demanding I post 8 facts about myself.

Apparently before I do so I have to post these rules

We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. (however, see later)
Don’t forget to leave them each a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


Eye Colour No one can tell me what my eye colour is. People say “Of course they can- come here.” Then the look at my eyes, and decide its such a mish mash of colours they can’t. You know when you mixed play-do or plastecine together as a kid, and you always got that funny colour? Well my eyes are the iris equivalent- not brown, not hazel, not quite green. In fact, who knows.

Trained as a student counsellor. When I was at Plymouth Polytechnic I trained as a counsellor. I had a shift once a month in the ‘Nightline’ office (a converted 2 up 2 down), for any student who needed to talk to some-one. The main skills you need are to be non-judgemental, and not to give solutions- just let the person talk, and ask them questions to help them resolve the situation themselves. Most people know the answer- they just need to be able to talk things through.

I can recite ‘Jabberwocky’ in less than 30 seconds. This is the poem Alice discusses with Humpty Dumpty in ‘Through the Looking Glass”. It’s been a favourite of mine for about 30 years, and at the age of about 10 I had it commited so well to memory that I could get through all 28 lines in half a minute. Apparently it’s garbled to a listener- but I can assure you I do say every word.

Taught myself to program BASIC at the age of 11 from a book inthe school library. Some of you will be saying “What’s Basic?” It was an early computer language, that still survives in a much mutated form within Windows. Others (the more computer literate will be saying “so what?”. I would like to point out that this was 1980, and Sir Clive Sinclair was still a year away from the ZX81, the first ‘home computer’ to acheive any sort of market in the UK.

Taught myself to juggle in a week. When I was about 22 I decided I would really learn- I knew the theory, and had tried before, but I’m not a sporty/co-ordinated type. So I too three pairs of balled up socks and just repeated the pattern until I started to catch them. Next day I bought 3 haki sacks and practised about an hour each night until I could juggle. My kids are amused by it, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Used to Fence. As in sword fight. For a couple of years as a student- I even competed at the national student championships one year.

Threatened famous people for money. Not as bad as it sounds. As a Tax Collector in the Home Counties, a number of our ‘customers’ are in the public eye, and I have told a number of well known people- both by phone and face to face- what legal action I would pursue if they didn’t cough. (The Official Secrets Act prevents me from naming names).

Type my name ‘Ian Hopping’ in to Google and five of the hits are actually me, including a letter I wrote to a compute games magazine in the mid eighties (all the other 4 are web stuff, with my name at the bottom, so don’t count as a fact for this meme). Let’s face it we all do it sooner or later- Google our name. I was shocked to find that some-one (?the publishers) had transfered the lettera page of a long defunct magazine to the Web.

The problen is now, the other 8 Blogs. Les has already tagged all the blogs I regularly visit, as most of what I post is on message boards. If I think of anything, I’ll let you know. If you want to be tagged, post a link- a lazy man’s (i.e. me) tagging.