Wednesday 21 August 2019

21 Things You Didn't Know About Marty

Not even my closest friends know all this stuff!

1. What’s in a Name?

My middle name is Keith. I’ve never liked it much.

2. Schoolboy Crush

I had a major crush on my human biology teacher in Sixth Form. Her name was Helen and she was a huge inspiration to me, work-wise and creatively. As “Eleanor” she inspired some of my early poetry.

3. Cuddly Toys

When I lived in London I made cuddly toys. The budgerigars and white rats were very popular.

My favourite was Pemberton the bear who kept a dear friend of mine company for many years. After my friend died Pemberton returned home to live with me.

4. Nail-biting

I still bite my nails.

5. Wombling Free

The first concert I ever went to was The Wombles in Liverpool, 1978.

6. Pedal to the Metal

The first and only car I’ve owned was a mustard yellow Toyota Corolla, not unlike this one except mine had a CND sticker on the side. It cost £500 second hand. Two years later after spending a small fortune on the thing I got £30 for it at a scrapyard.

Highlights including losing my car keys with a few kilos of frozen blackcurrants in the boot, reversing into a bollard, and having the gear stick come away in my hands whilst driving (my passenger seemed more concerned than I was).

7. Heroic Failure

I failed my O Level English Literature exam at age 16 achieving — if that’s the right word — a grade U (Unclassified).

8. Airborne (Just)

The only time I’ve flown was from Liverpool’s Speke Airport (now John Lennon Airport) to the Isle of Man and back when I was maybe eight years old.

The flight takes forty minutes. I used to joke that the pilots turn the engines off once the plane’s in the air and glide the rest of the way!

9. Just Don’t

I hate the word “should” with a passion! It should be banned!

10. Naughty Boy

I was sent to the head teacher’s office in primary school for eating the dried pasta in art class.

11. Baby Doll Nightie

Yes, I did once go to pyjama party dressed in a friend’s baby doll nightie. Yes, I looked cute. No, there aren’t any photos.

12. Fantasy Fandom

I ran an online Tolkien fan club called Middle-earth Reunion: The Alternative Tolkien Society for ten years, and published our quarterly journal Reunion: The Journal of Middle-earth Studies and newsletter Parish’s Garden.

You can still read all our material at, mainly because I keep forgetting to cancel the hosting contract.

13. Home from Home

I lived in the nurses’ home at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for six months in 1982 on placement from university.

14. Poetic Injustice

I stole a book of poetry by Ezra Pound from my school library.

15. Street Photog

I was Panasonic Amateur Photographer of the Year in 2003. My winning entry was a photograph of the Blue Carpet installation here in Newcastle taken from the Laing Art Gallery.

16. London Calling

My first job was at the Parkinson’s Disease Society Research Centre in London.

17. All That Glisters

I much prefer silver jewellery to gold.

18. Animal Magic

I designed a website and promotional leaflets for Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre.

19. Chant Along

I can sing JRR Tolkien’s Namárië (Galadriel’s Lament) in Elvish from memory.

20. Unfinished Symphony

I never completed my PhD, which is a shame because it would have been fun to call myself Doc Martin.

21. Ghastly Gastronomy

I hate gin and avocados. If there’s such a thing as avocado gin, I hate that too.



  1. Oh, my goodness, Marty! This isn't quite what I had expected, but I LOVE IT! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    Suggestion for the coming year:

    Let one of your New Year's resolutions be to finish your PhD. It is never too late to be called Doc Martin. Dream Big!

    Let another one be to stop biting your nails. Find peace from w/in.

    Much love & a warm & a gentle, forever hug,

    Linnie ;) <3

  2. I would pay good money to have a photo of you in a Baby Doll Nightie!

    1. Hahaha! Now, I wonder who left this comment?! 🤔🤣