Jack of all trades, master of some.


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.


Besides writing, what other ‘subjects’ are you good at?


According to my teachers, I was good at not paying attention. Or learning things. However, that all changed when I found myself in a job I wanted to do, being taught by people who actually wanted me to succeed.

The fact that I failed all my school exams, yet passed all my professional ones the first time, kind of gives it away, doesn’t it?


Being on a ship out in the middle of nowhere, with nobody to call when something needed fixing, meant that you had to be good at a lot of different things. A sort of all-around ability to keep the job running until you got to port was required.

While my qualification is Master Mariner, really it means that I’m competent and knowledgeable in quite a few different disciplines. And in working out different ways to achieve the same objective, when I have to.


When I was piloting ships, on the river Thames, my nickname among the watermen, the people employed to work the ship’s mooring lines when they arrived and departed, was The Rocket.  

Partly because I was always 5 minutes early but also due to my habit of manoeuvring ships quickly and (usually) efficiently. Unless a tug line broke, or the engine failed to go astern, when things quickly started to get exciting. At that point, all bets were off. This wasn’t down to anything more than the fact that I knew we all just wanted to get finished and go home. Especially if it was raining or if you were holding Tower Bridge open too long as you squeezed through.


Away from my working life, I’m also quite good at quizzes, due to my brain’s ability to store random facts, often prioritizing them over more important information. I can tell you the most obscure and useless facts about all manner of subjects. But ask me what I did yesterday and I have to think for a moment.


I found when I was younger that I possess the ability of being able to carry on two conversations at the same time.  This means that, when people say you aren’t listening to them, you can repeat the last thing they said. It usually shuts them up.


As a side note, I was having a chat with someone at a party, years ago and I heard a conversation between another guest and my wife, “Isn’t your husband interesting,” they said.

Her reply was priceless. “He’s a boring old sod at home.”

Which goes to prove that it doesn’t always work to your advantage.


Until next time.



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8 Responses

  1. Darlene Foster

    I can listen to more than one conversation at a time as well. The result of coming from a large extended family where we all talked at once. Your wife’s answer is very funny. Have a good week, Richard.

    • Richard Dee

      It can be useful, it has got me out of trouble a few times. Enjoy your day.

  2. Stevie Turner

    I’m good at quizzes too, and am always early for any appointment or meeting. However, I’m in awe that you can listen to 2 conversations at once!

  3. P.J. MacLayne

    Because I’m half-deaf in one ear, I can have trouble listening to even one conversation at a time in a room with a lot of noise.

    • Richard Dee

      Sadly, as I age my hearing is going too. My wife would say it’s selective.

    • Richard Dee

      It’s such a waste of storage, when there isn’t room for the things I actually want to remember.

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