Monday, January 14, 2013

The Versatile Blogger's Lovely Blog

I have to finally confess defeat.

Last October, Paul Waters, the writer, kindly nominated me for two awards: The Versatile Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award. I consider the nominations an honour coming from someone with Paul's background and current output. You can check him out here.

To actually claim the awards two sets of conditions had to be fulfilled. And therein lay the problem. The first condition was to nominate 15 other blogs for the awards (and they in turn would have to nominate a further 15 and so on) and the second condition was to share 7 random things about yourself.

I fell at the first fence and couldn't come up with 15 other bloggers on whom I could rely to pass on the obligation. Unlike many other bloggers I only follow very few other blogs and even then don't have any contact with most of those bloggers.

The 7 random items was not a problem and you can see those below.

So I took my case to conciliation and arbitration, with Paul in the chair, and the finding was that the 7 random items would suffice and I could display reduced size award logos in one blogpost only but not on my template.

So here are the awards

and here are the 7 random things about me:
  1. Slept overnight in a police cell in Longford
  2. Was stood up by Hoppalong Cassidy in Butlins
  3. Skipped a visit to a bra factory in France to visit the local newpaper
  4. Got a French computer in Paris to respond to English language voice commands.
  5. Bounced the President of Ireland (Mary Robinson) off a VIP luncheon guest list in London.
  6. Lived on Yeats's Isle of Inisfree (for a week)
  7. Accepted an offer from an RUC man to look after my (southern registered) car outside the Guildhall in Derry for a whole day
Thanks Paul.


  1. Oh - I scrubbed up nicely for that photo. See that hat on the desk? It was worn by Spike Milligan. I read the detailed entry written inside the headband.

    As for your list - I recognise some of the stories, but I want to know more about the derry guildhall story and the Mary Robinson affair. I met her once in London. I wonder was it on the same trip. She was visiting a London secondary school at which the pupils had 50 different first languages. The head teacher was a bloke from Belfast.

    And thanks for featuring me on your illustrious site.

  2. @blackwatertown

    You certainly did. And I'm proud to have Spike's hat on my site.

    Re Mary Robinson: The year was 1991 and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was being inaugurated in London. The Minister for Finance (Albert Reynolds) was Ireland's Governor and was the approriate person to attend a working lunch organised by the Bank's President (Jacques Attali).

    However Mary Robinson was in town on her first trip outside the country as President. She had been one of the adjudicators of the Bank's logo competition (Vaclav Havel was another).

    Attali was very status conscious and preferred to have a Head of State at the lunch rather than a mere Minister for Finance, so Mary was invited instead of Albert.

    I put my foot down and reminded them that it was a working lunch, that Mary was a non-executive Head of State like the Queen of England, and to cap it all was not the Bank Governor. I said her attendance at the lunch would cause a constitutional crisis in Ireland. So she got bounced and Albert attended the lunch.

    I should mention that the Taoiseach (Charley Haughey) was very reluctant to let Mary travel. She had already announced that she intended to expand the role of the Presidency and that was enough to make any Taoiseach nervous. England was a particular problem where he felt she might start stirring up the Irish emigrants there.

    The guest of honour/entertainer at the lunch was Rostropovich and while Mary might have appreciated him more than Albert that was not the point at issue.

    Re the Guildhall: I was co-chairing an EU Peace Programme Monitoring Committee in the Guildhall. I brought the car right up to no parking area at the front of the hall as I had a lot of stuff to unload. When I came out to park the car for the day, I asked the policeman on duty the way to the nearest car parking area. He said to leave the car where it was and volunteered to look after it. I was a bit uneasy as it was a southern registered car and I didn't know what his agenda might be. Anyway, I asked him if he personally would be on duty there for the whole day and he said not.

    So I told him to make sure to tell whoever took over from him that they were now looking after my car and he seemed quite agreeable to this. So I took a leap of faith and went in to my meeting.

    And the car was still there and OK when I came out at the end of the day.

    I should add that this happened in the period between the breakdown in the ceasefire (Canary Wharf) and the eventual signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

    Re other: Privilege to have you featuring on my site.