Whilst I was researching the audio series about Yorkshire I'm producing, called White Around Yorkshire, I was looking at Barnsley-born writer Joanne Harris' website. On it, she's got a list of "101 Little-Known Facts …" about her... and I thought what a great idea.
So, as not to copy exactly, I've gone for 46...
1. I was born in Doncaster Royal Infirmary just a tad early.
2. I was born in the same year as my home county of South Yorkshire – 1974.
3. I’ve worn glasses since the age of 7.
4. Without my glasses, I can only see things in focus 5cm away from me.
5. I have 4 dogs – but Maisie (right) is really my dog.
6. I can’t stand musical films… why oh why have you just broken into song???
7. The first single I ever bought was an ex-jukebox copy of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in 1982.
8. I’m left handed for writing, but ambidextrous for everything else.
9. I’m numerically dyslexic, and often get numbers in the wrong order when reading them out.
10. In fact I can’t spell either.
11. I do usually spell words with all the right letters, but not necessarily in the right order…
12. I suffer from SAD in winter.
13. My inability to spell was the initial reason I switched to Google Chrome as a browser… it has a built-in spell checker…
14. I just spelt “ambidextrous” correct above without the spell checker – but I’ve misspelt “spell” every time.
15. I was a Doctor Who fan in the days when it wasn’t trendy… #truefan
16. In the 6th Form I forsook A-Level Maths to record game shows in the common room.
17. I was told “You won’t get far forsaking A-Level Maths to record game shows” by one teacher.
18. I was accepted with an unconditional offer to the University of Wolverhampton on the strength on those game shows. Hah!
19. My favourite sit-coms are Bewitched and Open All Hours.
20. I used to suffer badly from Raynard's Syndrome, where the extremities suffer adversely to the slightest cold.
21. I now suffer from Vitiligo – the progressive depigmentation of parts of the skin, which explains the white patches on my hands, face… and other places.
22. 1% of the world’s population suffer from Vitiligo… including Michael Jackson - when he was alive.
23. I love to play Badminton, in which being ambidextrous I have two backhands and two forehands. That confuses new players…
24. I believe in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.
25. I am a regular singer at karaoke, with fairly mean renditions of “Common People”, “Disco 2000”, “Hotel California”, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” among others…
26. I’ve been practising “Total Eclipse of the Heart”… but haven’t premiered it yet.
27. I’ve flown in a helicopter with the door off…
28. I can remember Walkers Snaps being 8p.
29. I’m very good at picking quality wines – be they red or white…
30. All my cars have been called Murtel – apart from my new one, which is called Tabatha…
31. When I feel low, the music of Debbie Gibson lifts me up.
32. I have a deep love of railways – and the start of a railway journey is one of the great sensations in life.
33. I hold an Armthorpe Comprehensive School sports day record which can never be beaten – the record for never, ever competing in the school sport day…
34. I can recite all the words and lyrics to the Warner Bros cartoon “What’s Opera Doc?” in perfect sync to the screen action.
35. I rinse the kettle out every morning and replace it with fresh water before making a cup of tea.
36. I say “cup” of tea, but I drink out of mugs.
37. I’ve owned 4 cars in my life – a Peugeot 205, a Ford Fiesta, an apple green Nissan Micra – all called Murtel – and a new sky blue Nissan Micra – now named Tabitha.
38. I can’t play an instrument, but I’m very musical.
39. I started to play the cornet, but gave it up before secondary school. (Perhaps I should start again…)
40. My father-in-law and I once pushed a piano ¾ mile along the road to get it to my house.
41. I do a mean air-piano to “Bohemian Rhapsody”
42. I love girl’s names to end in an “a” sound; I think it comes from “Bewitched”…
43. I was the first British writer/journalist to explore the newly-reopened St Olav’s Way between Sweden and Norway.
44. My first video camera was the Amstrad Fidelity VMC100 Videomatic...
45. I can touch my left ear with my left hand… with my arm going around the right side of my head…
46. I’m often listening to the 00:48 Shipping Forecast.