Monday, 10 November 2008


Oh dear, I’ve been tagged! Well actually a part of me is quietly pleased that someone took the trouble to tag me (thanks TarteTartan) but now I’ve got to come up with six random facts about myself which may (or more may not) be of interest to you, my dear readers.

I independently discovered a Comet
I’ve always had an interest in astronomy and in the early 1970’s I discovered quite independently a faint comet whilst observing the night sky with binoculars. At that time there was no internet to consult so instead I wrote to the TV Astronomer Patrick Moore. I got a reply, written on his old battered typewriter, telling me that yes I had indeed discovered a comet but it had been first spotted a little earlier by two Japanese observers. If I’d been a little quicker I would have had a comet named after me. Instead I’ve still got the treasured letter from Patrick Moore (now Sir Patrick).

Dealing with customer complaints in person at Butlins
Whilst I was a student in the mid 1970’s I worked the summer holidays at a Butlins holiday camp. I dealt with customers' complaints when they came to see me in my small office at the end of one of the chalet rows. This was my first experience dealing with members of the public and I tried to handle it with a smile and with humour. I must have done quite a good job because when I applied in the second year for this temporary seasonal work they took me back on and on arrival I discovered they had fired the incumbent when they knew I was returning! The great part about this job was my commute to work each day – a two mile walk along the beach.

A most useful invention – especially for students
I’m very proud of this invention – the folding air guitar. Again this goes back to the mid 1970’s when I had to travel each term from my home in Yorkshire to University at Nottingham (the real one, not Trent Poly). With so many things to pack and carry I found having a folding air guitar invaluable. This is so useful for anybody who likes music but does a lot of travelling. I’m disappointed that I’ve never had the recognition this great invention deserves. Perhaps I should take it onto the Dragons' Den?

Impressing the neighbour’s son with 850 million dollars
I recently told my neighbour’s son (Troy Junior’s friend) that I had 850 million dollars. He didn’t believe me. I actually had to physically show him the 850 million dollars before he would accept I was telling the truth. Then he was impressed. He would have been less impressed I think if he fully understood the implications of the words “Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe” on the banknotes.

I’m taking my elderly father to Hong Kong this December
My father spends his days caring for my mother who has very advanced Alzheimers. Every three months we encourage him to have a “Respite” break when my mother goes into a care home. This December I’m taking him to Hong Kong. He has never been before, and at 78 years old this may be his first and last visit to the “Far East”. He’s got a flat bed both ways on the plane and five nights in a five star hotel. He deserves it (and much more) for all the love and devotion he gives to my poor mother. Alzheimers is the most truly horrendous thing – I’m praying for a cure before I get old.

The Troy Family may be on TV next Spring
I’m not giving away the details yet but there is a chance that the Troy Family may feature in a Channel 4 documentary next Spring. The idea is at a very early stage so I’m giving no further clues but will of course let everyone know more if it does come to fruition.

Well that’s six random facts about me that you didn’t know before. I hope you found them interesting. I think I would have struggled to find a seventh one – I lead a quiet life. Regarding the book project (see below) – I’ve got my short list drawn up now and will contact the “victims” and move things forward this week.


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

That was so interesting.

Your father sounds fabulous and certainly deserving of his holiday. I hope you both have a wonderful trip.

How can you not tell us more about your family/tv/spring? Can't wait to hear more about it.

Potty days! said...

Not being selfish, but I too hope they find a cure for Alzheimers very soon. Troy is hard enough to look after now!

Anonymous said...

Well that was all extremely interesting. You had a very busy decade during the 70's! Good on you for taking your dad away. Our parents is so important.

CJ xx

Ladybird World Mother said...

Love your random facts.
Your dad sounds a complete hero. I know Alzeimers all too well, my darling granny had it. Awful for everyone. How good that your dad will have a wonderful time away, and then be able to look forward to the next break. so important.
Cool about the comet! I thought I discovered one once, only it was a plane landing at Stanstead Airport. Damn.

Kitty said...

Interesting facts! Thanks for sharing - these memes always give us a lovely glimpse of the person behind the blog. And I don't know about you, but I always find them far more thought-provoking in execution than I thought they'd be (in advance). :-)

Tim Atkinson said...

Come on - which Butlins?

Troy said...

Debs - thanks for your kind words. I'm afraid you'll have to keep watching the blog for further news, if any, on the TV item.

Mrs T - You ain't seen nothing yet.

CJ - yes, we are both eagerly looking forward to the trip. Between 1995 and 2006 I used to go regularly on business several times a year but I haven't been for a couple of years. Our trip is just before Christmas and they make a big do of decorating all the shopping malls etc.

LWM - thanks for your kind words too. Good job you don't live near Heathrow.

Kitty - glad you liked them

Dotterel - it was the Filey camp. I also spent a lot of my childhood holidays on the Yorkshire coast. There is a pub called The Dotterel a few miles from the camp.

Unknown said...

Very interesting random facts. I think it's wonderful you are taking your Dad on that break in HK. My grandad had this awful disease, so we went through a similar thing.

Elaine Denning said...

What a wonderful thing to do for your Dad. Thats's just lovely :)

Can't wait to hear about this TV thing. It's not wife swap, is it? LoL.

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow this was such an interesting post! Lol to Mrs Troy's comments, I think I'd like to meet you and I also think that Chopper and Troy are very similar. Huge lol about the folding air guitar and I lol very loud so the rest of the house is now awake too... I did a few of these posts last year before my diagnosis. That is such a cool thing to do for your dad. I wonder, does he enjoy himself or fret about your mom while he is away? Will wait on more news about your TV show and the book.

Troy said...

Sarah - your comment is much appreciated, thanks!

Elaine - ditto the response above. No its not Wife Swap (I thought people might think it was that or a home makeover programme). Its not that interesting either - but at least for now it is intriguing!

DJ - I'm pleased you appreciated the folding air guitar item - for some reason no one ever takes this idea seriously (!). This will be my second break away with my father - he had a brilliant few days last June and completely relaxed. He knows my Mum is in good hands and his biggest regret is that she can't be sharing it with him.

Trixie said...

Hong Kong, great place, I stayed there for 2 weeks 13 years ago. But that wasn't in a 5 star hotel...I stayed with some english friends, 12 of us in a 3 bedroom apartment...a bit like the houses full of Antipideans in Earls Court, but the english version Hong Kong!

Troy said...

Trixie - only booked a 5 star hotel as I couldn't find another 10people to justify renting a 3 bed apartment ;-). Seriously though,my father deserves the 5 star treatment for a few days. He is going to find HK absolutely fascinating, nothing you read beforehand prepares you for it.

Anonymous said...

Glad I tagged you. Your random facts were far more interesting than mine. I hope you and your dad have a great time in Hong Kong.

Troy said...

TT (or should I say ma'am) - I found yours fascinating; I'm glad you enjoyed mine.

French Fancy... said...

Mr Troy. I think your six random things were fascinating. I feel for you with regard to your parents - your poor dad, but then again he has a son like you to take him on fantastic holidays.

I used to do voluntary work with Mind and once accompanied a group of people with Downs to a Butlins camp, I
think it was the Bognor one. The staff were fantastic, not so most of the guests there who kept giving our party - who were not really misbehaving - dirty looks.

Looking forward to finding out more about the tv prog.

Troy said...

FF - I appreciate your kind words. I really don't deserve the halo though - I'm just pleased that my father now takes respite breaks as at first he was reluctant.

My Butlins work experience was back in the '70s. There was an interesting combination of students working their Summer vacs. and some very poor but most friendly seasonal workers who returned year after year. Many had no jobs through the winter.
The worst guests, and this is just observation not prejudice, were the Scottish who tended to complain at the end of their week looking for a reduction!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I'm definitely intrigued about the forthcoming Troy family documentary. Keep us posted, Troy, I'm sure we'll all want to see it! (Thank you for the very kind comments on my blog BTW.)

Sorry to hear about Alzheimer's affecting your mum. It truly is a devastating disease for all concerned.

Troy said...

Hadriana - don't get too excited about the TV thing. If we feature at all it will probably be just for a few minutes, its not a whole programme about us.
It is not going to be "Troys R Us" - although I do like that idea now I see it in writing!

virtualjourney said...

Came from Aspie, and enjoyed your post. I'm a Brit, currently in Kent but hail from Yorkshire originally. My grandad was pals with Billy Butlin - in the same regiment during the war. Hope your Dad thoroughly enjoys his holiday.

Troy said...

Hello julie, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Hope to see you here again. I found your blog interesting with some great photos and I found the link to "How Addicted Are You To Blogging" very interesting. I scored 57% and Mrs Troy just 27%. Bearing in mind how much time I spend online it must take some doing to score 100%.

virtualjourney said...

Thanks for the comment, and good to see you on mine. I scored highly on that test as blogging has stimulated a number of 'arty' interests which I plough back into the blogs during creative phases!

Rob Clack said...

Ha ha! $850 million. Excellent!

I've tagged you. I know it's a little soon after your previous tag, but if the result is as interesting, it'll be worth it for the rest of us.

Troy said...

Rob - hi! Nice to see you here. Yes I rather wish the $850 million were USD but then I'd have a flunky to write my blog and it wouldn't be as personal. Or you'd be reading about me in "Hello" magazine instead.
Thanks for tagging me - I'll need some time to come up with all those answers.

Carol said...

Brilliant post (I've been away and am just catching up) your random facts were fascinating!!

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather suffered from Alzheimers so I know how tough it is on everyone involved. I hope you have a fabulous trip with your Dad!!

C x