So, here's my ABC - which stands, in case you wondered, for Autobiographically Blogged Confessional...
A – Age: 59 --- for five more days only!
I will be, as the mathematicians amongst you will by now have deduced, 60 on 14 July.
In fact I've already received my application for my winter fuel allowance. Am I at all depressed? Well, what do you think?
B – Bed Size: Super King Size - and, even with all that room (as David will unhappily testify) I still take up more than my half!
C – Chore you hate: All chores! That's why they're called 'chores'! The clue's in the word!
D – Dog’s name: I've never owned a dog, probably because when I was a small boy, some friends of my parents had a poodle who mistook me for a tree (or, possibly, a lamppost) and peed up my leg!
Favourite fictional dogs (mostly - but not entirely - with Disney connections): Lady and the Tramp (and their canine companions), the One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Old Yeller, Greyfriars Bobby, Rin Tin Tin, Pluto, Toto and, obviously, Snoopy...
E – Essential start your day: Tea, toast and marmalade.
F – Favourite color: The fact that I can't instantly name a favourite colour means I probably don't have one - other than black, of course, which is what I wear most of the time under the misbegotten belief that it makes me look slimmer.
G – Gold or Silver: I don't have much of either and rarely wear what I have. I occasionally wear the gold signet ring with a blood stone that my parents gave me when I was 21, a gold bracelet that I bought with birthday money when I was forty and a silver cross given to me, a few years ago, by our friends on Kalymnos.
Every now and again I wear my mother's wedding ring on a gold chain which was a birthday present from my friend Dave, twenty years ago.
And, of course, I constantly wear my white and yellow gold partnership ring - which matches David's and came from Athens...
H – Height: 5′10.5″ I fervently believe I used to be taller but have, in keeping with my advancing years, now started to shrink - except, needless to say, around the waist!
I – Instruments you play(ed): The recorder, tambourine and triangle - at school and badly!
If the human voice counts, I sang as a Policeman (in a papier mache helmet and with a rubber truncheon) in a school production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance ("Tarantara, tarantara!") and almost sang the role of Captain Corcoran in G&S's H M S Pinafore - until the music mistress had a breakdown and never came back!
Many years later - I sang and (sort-of) danced in To Sea in a Sieve, a musical play based on the life and verses of Edward Lear (right) written with my composer friend, Dave Hewson, and performed with Polly March (playing everyone except Edward Lear, including Queen Victoria and a parrot!) at the Edinburgh Festival and then at the Westminster Theatre, London.
I also sang a bit - in a Rex Harrisonesque fashion - in a show entitled, England, Our England, compiled and presented with my friends Ms March and Tony Miall which opened the St James's Arts Centre in Malta. The description 'international singer', would, therefore, not be entirely unjustified!
J – Job title: 'Writer'. It used to 'Writer and Broadcaster', but since I hardly ever get to do the latter nowadays, it seems a bit presumptuous.
K – Kid(s): None. Though, happily, quite a few of my grown-up friends fall into this category!
L – Living arrangements: Flat but the word 'arrangement' really does not apply to the constant muddle in which we live!
M – Mom’s name: Doris. As a young woman she was very handsome and my first memories are of her looking very much like this...
She died 10 years ago, but I still wish I could pick up the phone and talk with her...
N – Nicknames: At school I was 'Sibbers' (which I never liked but had to get used to) and, to a few people, 'Bri' (which I've always hated). More cruelly, I was 'Frog's-eyes' (because of their prominence) and, when I started wearing specs, inevitably, 'Four-eyes'.
Occasionally, people have jokingly called me 'Brain'! In fact, when I was born, my Mum misspelled my name thus in announcing my arrival to my paternal grandparents. Nowadays, it's only my magician friend, Fay Presto, who uses that moniker.
My mate, Dave (collaborator on the aforementioned Lear musical) used to call me 'Brisy' which was a bit camp - even for me - and, thankfully, never really caught on!
O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Major internal operation, aged 3 or 4, performed in the early hours of morning. Being in the days before parents were allowed to stay with their children in hospital, I was alone except for my white polar (teddy) bear, Brumas (see later under 'Z' for 'Zoo'), and was utterly terrified! I carry the physical and psychological scars to this day.
I had a duodenal ulcer, aged 21 (cured with several weeks of bed rest and a liquid diet - yuck!); and, rather more recently, a few heart-scares. Undoubtedly (and unfortunately) there's more to come...
P – Pet Peeve: Waiters (and other people in the so-called 'service industries') who tell me that something I've requested is "No problem!" Also most other debasements of the English Language!
Q – Quote from a movie: "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"
Said by Clarence Oddbody the Angel (Henry Travers) to George Bailey (James Stewart) in Frank Capra's 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life.
"If you can't say nuffin' nice, don't say nuffin' at all!"
Spoken by Thumper (quoting his father's advice) in Disney's 1941 animated feature, Bambi.
R – Right or left handed: Right. Always thought it would be cool (and occasionally useful) to be ambidextrous but have never seriously tried and am terrified of breaking my right arm!
S – Sports: Er... No!!
T – Time you wake up: Depends how bad a night I've had. Usually around 7:00-7:30 am, but I'm frequently having a cuppa and doing correspondence, writing blogs and playing Bejewelled at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning.
U – Underwear: Have you read my blog?!
One thing I know: underwear advertising has certainly changed during my lifetime...
Er... Just a little...
V – Vegetable you dislike: Aubergine, which is a pity, because, uncooked, they look so beautiful.
That said, Irene Glinatsi at Artistico (in Emporios) serves them thinly sliced, battered and drizzled in Kalymnian honey. Sensational!
W – Ways you run late: Believing that David is really ready to go when he says he's ready to go! Believing I'm ready to go, when I've yet to locate my keys, watch, phone, credit card or brain...
X – X-rays you’ve had: Chest, hips, feet, knees and (using a long tube with a camera on the end) boomp-sa-daisy.
Y – Yummy food you make: Never cook these days, but I used to make a mean cottage pie and a rather good strawberry fool-type desert with semi-frozen Muller Light.
Z – Zoo favorite: I vividly remember my first visit to the London Zoo as a child (age 2 or 3) having a ride on an elephant and seeing the polar bear, Ivy and her cub, Brumas, who had been born four months after me in November 1949.
I was re-introduced to the zoo by a zoology-mad school chum and, a few years later, became a member of the Zoological Society of London going there at least two or three times a month.
I still love all zoos (if they're well run) and most of their inhabitants - except reptiles and insects. Particular favourites: bears and elephants (of which - quite rightly - there are now fewer or none in zoos), giraffes, hippos (the one below lives in Amsterdam zoo), red pandas, otters, penguins and pelicans.
So, that's it: ME from A to Zee!
Now, let's see...
I'll tag... Sharon M, Bitter Animator, Good Dog, Susan D-L, Diva of Deception, the blog-less Roger and/or Sheila (send your entry as a comment) and anyone else who fancies a challenge!
Quite a few of the images were uploaded via flickr.