Having been tagged by David Gilmour, below are my five things:
- I spent a year in prison. Every Wednesday evening 7.00 – 9.00 teaching guitar in Saughton. What struck me about the prisoners was how calm they all seemed and how kind they were to one another. When my time was up, I never returned. I hope the same is true of those I met there.
- I have punched more people in class than I can remember. Fortunately, for my continuing employment in East Lothian, all punches take place in the Five Winds School of Tai Chi Chuan, in Meadowbank Stadium, where I have trained for 15 years and taught for 10.
- Aside from teaching, the job I have most experience of is green-keeping (6 x 9-week summers at Winterfield Golf Course, Dunbar when I was a student). Despite such exposure to the game, I have never struck a golf ball – although one has hit me. That explains everything.
- My favourite game is chess and I always have 20 – 30 correspondence games going online at any one time. I seem to get no better at it, but the beauty of the geometry and variations keeps me hooked. Ironically, in my first ever live tournament at the age of 43, I was beaten by a wizard called Jamie Hook (who was in P7 at the time) in around 18 minutes. I’m relieved to say that he seems to be a rising star. Watch Kasparov having a similar experience here.
- According to his obituary in the Western Reader (in 1937) my maternal great-grandfather, Frank Mooney, worked for Celtic Football Club – on the charity side and with the boys club. If you want to test whether talent can miss out a generation, just pass me the ball.