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Excellent memetag Joe it's great to learn more about the lives of our fellow bloggers and podcasters _ will take a look at your dad's blogs - thanks. It looks as if I will miss meeting you and David at BETT on the Saturday. My Year 6 news team managed to win one of the catgories in the Making The News Competition ( the only Welsh school to enter!!!) - and the prizes are being presented by Warwick Davis (Prof Flitwick) on the Wednesday at BETT - I don't know if I ahve the stamina to go up again on Saturday as originally planned ( I am pleased and disappointed in equal measure)

Thanks for playing blog-tag!

Best wishes for 2007.

Best regards, Jeff

Hi Paul and Jeff,

I was dubious about the whole blog-tag thing when I read about it on Ewan's blog, but then having done some research I decided there was no harm in it really. Alex Blagona has played along too and I've found out he was born in Canada which I didn't know.

Since posting my favourite bands, I've noticed that I've been included in searches for "The Jesus and Mary Chain" for example in Sitemeter. This may mean that I get more hits, but I don't know if the person looking for stuff on JAMC will want to come across my blog!

It would be great to see you at BETT on the Saturday Paul, but I totally understand if you feel two trips to London would be too much in a matter of days. Well done to your pupils for doing so well in the Making The News Competition.

Best wishes


First class. J D Dale of Dover

I like the blog tag idea. It helps you to not only get to know the person better, but it also introduces you to other people that they know which might be of interest to you as well. I will check out your father's blog.

I had a fairly conventional education, attending a local primary school in Maidstone, Kent, passed the eleven-plus and went to Maidstone Grammar School, where I obtained seven O-levels and three A-levels. I studied German and French at Queen Mary College, London University and then did a PGCE course at Goldsmiths’ College. I went back to Queen Mary College to study for a PhD. My topic was the language of Mediaeval German Heraldry and the Tournament

I never really wanted to become a teacher. My ambition was to join the diplomatic corps, where I was sure that I would be able to use my existing knowledge of languages and have the opportunity to learn new languages. I passed the entrance examination for what was then known as the Administrative Grade of the Civil Service, sailed through the two days of tests at the Civil Service Commission and reached the final interview. Bad news: it was obvious that they had researched my family background on my father’s side and discovered that my grandfather, Samuel Davies (Sam "Pont"), who was a coalminer in Maerdy, Rhondda Valley, was the right-hand man of the militant South Wales miners' leader Arthur Horner around the time of the General Strike of 1926. Arthur Horner was so left of centre that he was under constant surveillance by the security services. My heart sank when the head of the interview panel, a Welshman, referred to Maerdy as “Little Moscow”. Another plan scuppered!

My maternal great-grandfather, David Davies, gained an entry in the 1976 edition of the Guinness Book of Records as being the "most durable coal miner", working underground for 73 years from 1849 to 1922 (aged 7 to 80). His portrait hangs in an art gallery in Moscow. It was painted by a visiting artist from the Soviet Union.

I can just about claim to be a distant relation of Richard Burton. Richard Burton's first wife was Sybil Burton (née Williams), with whom I share an aunt - who married my father's brother. Arthur Lewis, who was Sybil’s uncle and whom I also called "uncle", was leader of the Black and White Minstrel Show at the Victoria Palace theatre in the 1960s. We often used to meet for a pint in the pub opposite the stage door. It is said that Sybil named her New York discotheque "Arthur" after Arthur Lewis, her favourite uncle. Sybil's elder daughter, Kate Burton, keeps in touch with her South Wales roots.

I've always been a greyhound fan, and an owner of retired racing greyhounds for over 20 years. Greyhounds make lovely pets. I do occasional voluntary work for Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare, checking out potential retired greyhound owners – e.g. ensuring that they are aware that the dog they will be adopting will probably want to kill any cats in the neighbourhood and that their gardens should therefore be surrounded by a six-foot fence.

I like all kinds of music: jazz, classical and rock. I listen a lot to traditional jazz, Mozart and Pink Floyd.

I used to scuba dive, mainly in Dorset and Devon, but I also dived on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998. Nowadays I play golf (handicap 18) whenever I can and I go skiing in Austria once or twice every year. I keep fit by walking my greyhound and swimming at the local Holiday Inn pool.

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