only you

Here’s a game for a late summer’s afternoon:

How are you different from every other reader of this blog?

I’ve been reading a book (well, a chapter of a book) on cultural diversity and the overlap and divergence between dominant cultures and ‘co-cultures’. I’ll write more about it over the next couple of days, but we need to start with differences.

The game works like this: you offer something that you think makes you different. Other readers are invited to challenge you. So, if I say ‘I know how to dance a Highland Schottische Pousette’ that stands until my warden logs on and says ‘I do too! think of something else.’

Please join in, and pass word on to anyone who might be willing to play (especially those who might challenge existing statement of difference).

My opening bid is in the comments. You are welcome to offer more than one statement if you want to stress your uniqueness.

60 thoughts on “only you”

  1. I stood on the summit of Goatfell when I was six – and have, somewhere, the photo to prove it!

    [editor’s comment: this claim to uniqueness it duly contested. See below…]

  2. Oh – can I add this:I have spoken through a loudspeaker system on the back of a lorry to 2,000 people in the Black Park, Dunoon….

  3. I play underwater hockey… And I was involved in creating an environmental state law in the USA (and have newspaper clippings quoting me to prove it!)

  4. I walked up the pier at St Andrews in cap and gown, singing ‘Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary full of Grace … Star of the Ocean, Pearl or the Sea, pray for the wanderer, pray for me’ as the official pier walk came down it.

    This week I became grandmother to twin grand children.

  5. Okay, I’ve eaten a Mexican salsa whose primary ingredient was insects… and I liked it!

  6. Rosemary, your uniqueness is safe, but I have walked the same pier, equally bedecked, to give the Pier Oration on Saint Andrews day before leading the procession in Strathspey step along the top of the pier.

    (edye: ick!)

    I like this game. Keep going…

  7. I (could once) run class 4 rapids in a kayak/canoe.

    I also went up Goatfell as a kid – but I was probably about 8-10 when I did it.

    And I have picked cotton – though it had been processed a lot by the time Levi Strauss Inc. sold it to me ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I’ve never married a man, passed through Dunoon on a lorry or been in Czechoslovakia – and I’m very unlikely to become a grandmother.

  8. What do you think, all. Does my cott’n-pickin’ claim count or does Alistair win on cleverness?

    (there are a few readers of this blog who I thought might more legitimately challenge it…)

  9. Now wait a cotton-pickin’ minute…. did I hear my legitimacy being questioned? Let me buttress my claim before anyone else tries to demolish it.

    The Levi Strauss store in San Francisco spans several stories and has an enormous range so, by the time I had selected the colo[u]r (blue), style (505) and size (omitted to protect the innocent) and then returned them (wrong size), I felt I fully understood why Johnny Cash felt it was such a big deal that he had never picked cotton. Although, maybe if he’d had that gruelling experience, he’d have stayed out of prison like me and my cott’n pickin’ brethren and sistren?

  10. but did your fingers bleed, and did you sneeze at the pollen and did you get whispy bits of white heaven everywhere?

    come on sisteren & bretheren. Who else has been to the Levi store in San Fransisco so that we can discount the pretender’s claim?

  11. I decline to comment on the extravagant claims of folks raised in foreign climes on the grounds that their exploits are always going to sound more glamorous than things you can do here. Harrrumph.
    Congrats, Rosemary!

  12. I too have picked cotton in the Levi Strauss store in SF, so we can discount the pretender. I have drven across the Golden Gate Bridge in an open top sports car, wearing shades, with the theme music from Bullit playing on the CD fantasising that I was Steve MacQueen. And I was brought up in Cowdenbeath!

  13. I’ve never picked cotton, but I’ve picked apples for money – 2s a bushel as I recall. Sadly I lacked the voluminous skirts and directoire knickers required to transport a pound or two home at the end of the day.

  14. I have picked bog cotton on Iona. And got muddy in the process. Does that count?

    I was also, once upon a time, a Fencing Instructor at the age of 17. That’s the sport, btw, not the wood and nails kind. Oh, and I was on the staff of the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970 (wearing blue mini-kilt, white shirt and long white socks – mmm, lovely!) to score at Fencing and plugging people in. (Foil and Epee is done electronically.)

    This is fun!

  15. I’m seriously impressed by anybody who could process along the pier at more than a timerous walk, glancing in fear at the drop, that’s what!

  16. I have climbed underneath Dunoon and Rothesay Piers clad, not in cap and gown but safety helmet,hi vis jacket and safety boots checking the integrity of the structures. I expect some poor engineer has done the same at St Andrews. Rosemary and Kimberly, you had no need to fear.

  17. I would be more impressed at someone going under the [solid] pier at St Andrews than by them going under the pier at Dunoon.

    I have done traversed the said pier in the company of our host doing a strathspey step. I have no pictures to prove it.

  18. While we’re talking about piers: I have picketed the pier-end at Ardnadam, singing through a megaphone (“I’ll be watching you”) as American sailors came off-shift from the nuclear sub base at 8am on the morning of 6th August.
    But I must desist. I am giving away too much!

  19. I have had to sign the Official Secrets Act. But I can’t tell you why.
    And I have been mistaken for a prostitute. Twice.

  20. Now that I understand that ‘picking cotton’ refers to catching and shearing some little cotton-clad critters, I see the error of my ways. My experience was indeed very different from a real-life cotton picker and I am not safe in assuming that I have been innoculated against the felonious habits of which Mr. Cash sang.

    Gotta dash – I hear the train a comin’…

  21. Ruth’s comment has been saved from the Spam filter — though it contests my cotton claim and I was tempted to leave it there. See above.

    So, my new bid is: as a teenager, I was familiar with the etiquette of calling cards and knew the language of fans (one of the many dead languages I learned and forgot).

  22. I have jumped out of an areoplane over St Andrew’s – and lived! (I had a parachute)

  23. Ahh, Kimberley, both times it happened in Brazil. A geological hammer was a useful in self defence!

  24. I have been interviewed on Moldovan National Radio, and asked (at the youthful age of 38) as a (and I quote) “young person from England” to give a message to the young people of Moldova. Fortunately it wasn’t live so they had the chance to edit out my snort.

    Mind you, the first time I went to St You-know-where’s I was told how nice it was to have a young person coming to the church, so I guess I ought to be getting used to it.

  25. Mmm, let’s see . . .

    I went to college in Ohio.

    I have also married a man (I admit the singular may not be a fair contest for Kelvin’s claim), but alas, no for page spread.

    I have read ALL of Moby-Dick.

    In my early twenties I spent four (consecutive) years living in four different countries (more or less one per year).

  26. I was honorary postmistress for a day in the town of Nagahama in Japan and have the newspaper clippings to prove it.

  27. Attend both St.Silas and a Christian LGBT group. Should I participate in Saturday’s Pride then I will have marched in both an orange walk and a gay pride parade.

  28. Sorry, Morag, but I too have been mistaken for a prostitute… at seven in the morning in Scotland.

  29. I commented learnedly and authoritatively on Irish television on the 1981 attempted military coup in Spain – without having a clue about what had happened!

  30. but Edye, I know you lived in the wrong bit of town!

    Ryan, I do hope you march in Pride this weekend. Something must redeem your dodgy past…

    I’ll talk a bit more about co-cultures tomorrow (I hope), but this game has definitely been worthwhile.

  31. While working for the Indiana Department of Highways in construction, I drove cars with blinking lights (fun for an 18 year old, even if it was because it was going extra slowly), climbed up the sides of asphalt trucks to stick giant thermometers in to check temperatures, flagged traffic, determined and marked where they needed to jackhammer holes in a bridge, and tested concrete. I also looked like a mushroom in a hard hat, but never mind…

  32. I too have eaten Mexican insects (grasshoppers), but not as a salsa, so perhaps the claim stands.

    And I join the growing throng of women mistaken for prostitutes. I too live on the wrong side of town, except it’s the South Side of Chicago, where any woman standing on the corner near my house could be taken for a prostitute, especially in the early morning hours.

    I once got drunk on aguardiente in Medellin, Colombia but had to hide the wicked hangover the next morning to go with my friend, an elementary school teacher, to watch her students perform in a Colombian Independence Day celebration.

  33. Maureen, have you found that once you’ve had one, the rest seem rather amusing… so far, I’ve had chocolate ‘chirp’ cookies, french fried hornworms, chocolate covered bees, stir-fried mealworms and the already mentioned Jumil salsa. Hmm, thanks, I’d forgotten about that.

    How were those grasshoppers? And, more importantly how was the agardiente… sounds far more scary.

    I would like to think of the prostitutional attraction as a special glow, which occurs globally rather than by geographical location, which for me, as KB knows, was the south side of Glasgow, where the new BBC Scotland building now stands.

  34. Sarah SSM, been doing that all my working life. As an 18 year old blacktop, soils and concrete testing. Civil engineering is what I do. Here in Scotland, before that England and Norway. Unfortunately not Indiana (do you think she wants me, as the song says?)

  35. Let’s see. I must protest my sister’s claim to fame as I have done the same (#40 – playing with dump trucks). Now she must play again.

    I wouldn’t eat a bug. I’m too scared to step on one. I haven’t picked cotton in Scotland, but I have chased painted sheep. What fun. I have also dreamt of dyeing (dying?) my hair red and cutting it so it’s spikey, piercing my nose, and moving to Scotland as it’s my favorite place on earth. Don’t ask about the change of appearance… I never understand my dreams anyway.

    As for what makes me unique… I gave birth to a 3 pound little girl who saved my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great game. I’m going to check back tomorrow just to read your wonderful comments.

  36. Liz, what a fabulous retelling of a scary birth.

    I think you should do the hair (and if you do, you’ll fit in perfectly with some of the local readers of this blog).

  37. Ooo, I’ve been too busy. I missed this one!!!

    I’ve perched on the roof of a Swaledale farmhouse in a snow storm, holding onto a bucket of concrete whilst trying to catch (goal-keeper style) roof tacks being hurled from the track below by my sister. I was up there because she could throw tacks and mix concrete better than I could, and she was down there because (for some unaccountable reason) she’d managed to convince Dad that she didn’t much like heights, particularly in a snow storm. Sometimes, I miss her!!!!!!

    (There was no room, on this occasion, for anything remotely resembling a strathspey…..!!!)

  38. Graham, do you look like a mushroom in a hard hat, too?

    Katye, were you mending the roof with concrete? Love to hear that story!

    I was going to try again by mentioning my job taking telephone surveys, but I see my sister Liz has been here (#46). I’d forgotten she’d worked for the state highway department briefly. And I, too, dreamed of dying and spiking my hair -fuschia, though – to scare my mother on my return from my junior term in France. Also dreamed of moving to Scotland. Would still love it!

    Try, try again…

    I was a member of a competitive boomerang team that spun off our city’s Ultimate Frisbee team.

    I lived in a room senior year of college that was deliberately built with odd angles rather than as a rectangle.

  39. P.S. I just have to say I love picturing my sister with spikey red hair and a pierced nose, living in Scotland! All while chasing sheep, of course.

  40. Liz, no need to step on the bug, just throw it in the blender. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I have chased sheep too, but the birth of your miracle baby stands.

  41. Sarah, I’m ready – how about I’ll come visit, then we’ll go get our hair dyed and then we’re off! I would love to move to Scotland. Wishful thinking…

    By the way, Corey (my oldest son) is trying to get a Frisbee Golf club going here at the high school. Following in his aunt’s footsteps. Somewhat…

    Have a wonderful day everyone. Thanks for the lift in spirits!

    And how am I going to get the bug IN the blender? I think I’ll stick to screaming and running away!

  42. Sarah SSM, Nooooo! More like Marlboro Man minus cigarette and with safety helmet at a rakish angle! I also tell fibs (sometimes)!

  43. I have worked as an accountant to one of those “make a million dollars in real estate” schemes. Note I say scheme instead of scam because I talked to the lawyers enough to know it was all quite legal. The salespeople were unethical quite often though.

    If that doesn’t do it, I have one other: On Friday, I had exactly 250 unique visitors to my most recent (and poorly written) Harry Potter fan fiction story. Ah, the glories of being a beginning writer.

    And I have eaten insects, sometimes on purpose.

  44. Sarah SSM: Yes, you’re right. I’d like to hear that story too. I guess that would be cement, not concrete. The existence of two young children and one too many late nights leads the mind to search for words it once knew and can’t possibly seek to remember any more. (And it probably explains the reason that said sister was mixing the stuff and I wasn’t!). Worrying that, for a time, I ended up working around construction sites, isn’t it……

  45. Kimberly, does that really say 3 September 2008 at 5:18AM?? Not even #1 son gets up at that hour!!!!

    And yes, I guess that’s why I still give space to a hi-vis jacket and a hard hat! Blown my cover, haven’t I?! You should see my new protective boots – REALLY trendy (not!).

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