Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Not normally one for Social Interaction; you know, those memes that ask intrusive questions that are then visible to the whole Internet World. My normal answer is, 'Sod off and don't be so nosey!' However, the individual who posed the challenge this time is someone who, from experience, I can totally trust and with who I feel comfortable. She did what she suggests - that is good enough for me. In her own words

I did this a few years back but I thought another go might be fun. This version comes via Mr Nighttime and it works like this;

If you want to be 'interviewed on your blog' drop me a mail or a comment and I will mail you five questions, you answer them in a blog post and send me the link. I think originally the rules said to mail the originator the reply as well as post it but just a link seems simpler."

My questions

1. You have the opportunity to donate a large sum to a charity, which charity would it be and why?

No great problem here. I've made that decision already. It would be the charity Help for Heroes (H4H). They raise funds for injured servicemen. Injured in mind or body. Instead of complaining about the dark, H4H aims to light a candle. It is no secret that the attention given to our wounded and harmed is sadly lacking. There used to be a formally accepted idea of a Military Covenant. Because there are few other jobs where the ultimate sacrifice is part of the Job Description, the authorities undertook to be especially caring to members of HM Forces. Unfortunately, for reasons I will not detail here, the Covenant has been broken. H4H fills the gap. And does it very well.

2. If you could choose to meet one person from history who would it be and what would you say to them?

Tough one. I have made three or four choices but when it comes to the 'what would I say', I realise that there is a need to connect with others to maybe check the answers given or to add another dimension. So, the just one is a buggeration. Another complication is 'where does the talking lead to?' Salome was a consideration! Having once been in what is now called 'a relationship' (at the time, it was known as 'shacked up') with a quite famous Lebanese belly-dancer it would be nice to meet an originator of that art form.

As a former soldier, my aim would be directed towards military men. Air Marshall Arthur Harris was the founder of the World War II strategy of massive air power being used on civilian targets with a view to fomenting dissent between enemy civilians and the German authority. There has been ferocious argument about both the tactic and its effectiveness. Whatever, it was a massive change from the concept of honourable war - if one can attach that word to war anyway. I would want to know his own explanation and assessment. The idea of bombing a nation into submission is outmoded - despite ongoing events right now.

If Harris was 'unavailable for comment', set me up for Cromwell or Wellington or Rommel.

3. Would you back the underdog even if you knew you couldn’t win?

Having been an underdog on numerous occasions, it would be a natural reaction. Apart from that, I am a confirmed adrenalin junky and the impulse in fight or run conditions that adrenaline creates has always been to fight. Regardless of the prospects of winning. When I come to think of it, the prospect of losing has never come into the debate so I suppose the support of the underdog is not so meritorious as it may seem. More self-serving.

4. You are a fire-fighter, you rescue an individual from certain death, risking your own life in the process only to discover the person you rescued, far from being grateful, is angry and abusive toward you because they set the fire in an attempt at suicide. In the knowledge that arson is a criminal offence but also that this person is very disturbed, do you report your knowledge to the authorities or not?

Instant answer - yes. I do not subscribe to the belief that all suicides are selfish but I do expect that those who choose this route out do it with some discretion and not involve third parties. I cannot think that the risk to my life would be of great consideration; it's adrenaline generating as well as being an opportunity to put into practice what I had been taught. All professionals welcome that.

I have written instant answer. I have to say that I might just as likely give him a forceful punch on the nose!

5. If you could have changed your profession what would you have made the change too and why?

More quibbling! I have changed my profession. I was a soldier for 23'ish years and then worked as a civilian Facilities Manager for 23'ish years. Both of them were totally fulfilling. Had I been able to soldier on for the 46 or so years of my working life, I would have done so. More than willingly. Even now, I refer to myself as a 'former soldier' and do not think in terms of being an 'ex-soldier'. It is like a vaccination mark - once it has 'taken', it never leaves you.

The role of a Facilities Manager did not exist when I entered the employment world. Indeed, I was in on the very start of it in UK working with one of the major players. Here again, it was something I would have been able to do for that 46 years. No two days were the same. That adrenaline injection is always in the background. One is responsible for a number of office buildings. The systems within that building that sustain life and support the work of the other occupants. The premises' efficiency and safety of the occupants and visitors. Responding to emergencies and planning works. Writing, presenting and adhering to Budgets. Inter-personal relationships.

So, no. I would not have changed. Mind you, I do think of myself as a ex-Facilities Manager so that suggests where the love lay.

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