Northernheckler's Blog

A Yorkshireman's adventures in the big Smoke

Fill in the blanks

I’ve decided to un-park my blog at least temporarily as I’ve been tagged by Kate C (who tweets as @kateab ) who hosts the wonderful “The Five Fs blog” with the “Fill in the blanks” meme.

Only too happy to oblige – so here goes …

I'm a thinker, not a drinker

I am …. a thinker – quite a divergent thinker I’d say. I find my self being interested in things which others see as trivial, and seeing important (to me) links that others miss. I like this. It does of course make me one of the “types” of tweeters and bloggers, which again I like. I like to think that I’m fair-minded and listen to everyone’s arguments – even if I don’t agree with them. Although I’m a Labour supporter for instance, I have no truck with Nye Bevan’s assertion that Tories are “lower than vermin” – I’ve worked with lots of Tories and they’re not. I do find it hard to be fair to Leeds United supporters though !

The bravest thing I’ve ever done… is a hard one to answer – what is brave ? If you do something in haste it tends to be because you don’t have time to think it through – so doesn’t count as bravery, and I’m very well aware that it’s a very fine line between bravery and foolhardiness. If you take a big risk and it comes off, you’re a hero – if it fails, then you’re a fool. It’s mostly luck that makes the difference.

Perhaps brave can be thought of as doing something risky with no regard for your safety – if so then this comes slightly closer to being brave :

When I was in my late teens I went to a lot of football matches. Many of them were away games. All of them were to watch Huddersfield Town.

There was a lot of bravado surrounding all these expeditions. I could go on for hours about the football hooligan related anecdotes, but the most scary for me always happened when you travelled by train to an away game.

This generally involved a football special. The police liked this, since by dropping the price of travel to a ridiculously low level , they could more or less ensure they had 90% plus of the travelling support in one place, on one train, where they could be contained safely (sometimes stuck on a branch line standing still for several hours until they decide we were ready to arrive).

On pulling in to the station, you were once again in the public domain, and it was considered your duty as a Town supporter to make as much noise as possible in as dramatic a way as possible as quickly as you could on arrival.

This meant that everyone wanted to get off the train as soon as they could, so everyone left their seats at the first sign of the station – usually there were loads of people hanging out of the windows anyway.

The trains were usually old ones and had the old style doors – these had a window that could be pulled down, and a door handle on the outside that could be opened by leaning out and twisting. The doors were flung open as soon as the train got alongside a platform – but well before it stopped. As soon as this happened everyone surged for the doors. If you were next in line – you jumped off – as simple as that, which meant that the whole train ‘debussed’ in a matter of seconds.

Not quite the same - but this is what the doors were like

"Get off the train !" - "But it's still moving !" - "Just get off the ****ing train !"

This was bloody terrifying – you had to run along the platform as quick as you could to avoid falling flat on your face, and also knowing that there were people in front of you that might fall over, and people behind you running fast into you as well.

Whilst doing this you were obliged to sing ! Usually the chant was “We’re here again, We’re here again” – as soon as you’d got your footing this changed to “Huuud eeers fieeeeeld, Huuud eeers fieeeeeld”

I never ever bit the dust, but someone always did – usually pretty painful and causing split lips and grazed knees and forearms. But hey ! We were hard ! so what did we care ?

I feel prettiest when. .. Hmmm I’m not sure that I ever feel pretty. I’m pretty much a bloke at heart and pretty’s not really part of my lexicon of self-descriptors. So I’ll interpret broadly. When I was younger I often found myself in York in spring time just as the daffodils were blooming. The sight of the ancient city walls bordered by green grassy  banks and thousands upon thousands of yellow daffodils, in the bright yet weak April sun always struck me as being a living definition of the word “pretty” – and still does – so maybe I can say  – I feel prettiest when I’m in York in the Spring

There is a green hill far away - this one's by York city walls !

Something that keeps me awake at night is… Twitter. That’s the flippant answer – as I sometimes inadvertently find that the time has slipped around to the early hours without me realising, whilst chatting to some total stranger. In a more psychological sense, when I’m working in a school I can never sleep on the Sunday night prior to a new term.  Not ever.

My favourite meal is… Fairly predictable. I remember in the late ’70s seeing ‘Player Profiles’ in Rugby League programmes. Inevitably there was a slot for “Favourite food” and “Favourite drink”, and although the drinks varied a bit (between lager and bitter), virtually every single rugby player in those days had “Steak and Chips” as their favourite meal. it struck me  as being very unimaginative, and I swore that I’d never be so narrow minded when I got older, should I ever be asked a question like that.

Well now I’m older, and I have been asked a question like that. My favourite meal is  – er –  …      …  Steak and Chips !   Sorry !

The way to my heart is… Probably through my stomach, I love to eat – and see meals as a social event as much as a means of taking food on board. I also like to discuss the finer points of just about anything in great depth and at great length, and prefer all of this to be sprinkled with wit and humour – so all achievable in the one restaurant with a bit of planning !

I would like to be.. respected for my ideas, and my clarity of thought. I think I’m a good thinker – I love it when people indicate that they think so too. I truly dislike doing things that are illogical and make no sense just because I have to. Jumping through hoops is not my idea of fun.

So there you are – I’ve filled in the blanks – all that remains is for me to tag some other people – I’ll leave it for now, I like to contact people first. If you want tagging let me know in the comments

Hope you enjoyed it


March 13, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thanks for doing this. Never been on a football special, but it sounds bloody terrifying!

    Comment by Kate | March 13, 2011 | Reply

  2. Fabulous. I agree. [ Great – suspect this spam but published anyway – deleted the link – if you’re real Maryellen then I’m sorry for being so cautious ]

    Comment by Maryellen | November 17, 2012 | Reply

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