It’s my turn, thanks to Mrs O’Neill.
1. My mother, as a “mature entrant”, and many other relatives on my fathers’ side including both grandparents, great-uncle and father’s cousins were all school teachers of one sort or another.
2. Two separate people, for some unfathomable reason, gave me presents of Grumpy Old Men books (the Official Handbook and the Secret Diary, since you ask) this Christmas. From this, you can probably work out a whole lot more things about me. You won’t, for example, bump into me in Ikea. Best stop there, I think.
3. I enjoy cycling, and get out on the bike nearly every weekend. The challenge now is to keep up with my sons (13 and 9), on the occasions when they come along. I have an ancient rusty bike, which has done thousands of miles around East Lothian in all weathers – often with a child in a seat before he got too big – and contains hardly any original bits.
4. I was fired from my first job as a 12+ hour-a-day waiter in a hotel on Bute for complaining that the hotel’s owner (motto: “What they don’t see won’t harm them”) hadn’t allowed enough food for the staff to eat.
5. I have been inside a nuclear reactor. Luckily it was shutdown at the time.
I will tag Alan Coady, Lynne Lewis, Karen Robertson, Barry Smith and Richard Wilson. Most of them have young children, and I won’t be at all offended – or surprised – if they give priority to playing with the Christmas toys!