About Me

If you’re interested, then here’s a bit of fun. This list of questions has been modified from of the Vanity Fair, “Proust Questionnaire.”

What is my favourite book?

Stephen King: The Tommyknockers. Not generally considered to be his best work but I’ve always been fascinated by “giants buried in the Earth” stories, and this book really captured my imagination at the right age. IT would be a very close second.

The book I’ve read the most: “The Lord of the Rings”. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve reread it.

How often do I write?

Not often enough, but when I’m working on a project I try to write every day, particularly if it s a first draft.

When do I write?

I prefer to write new stuff in the morning.

Am I superstitious?

No.

Am I religious?

No. I think god was one of mankind’s worst ideas.

Do I believe in ghosts?

No, but I’d like to. I have experienced “ghostly” phenomena on several occasions, but I don’t believe I was being contacted by the dead. I do believe there are any number of, as yet, unexplained phenomena we misinterpret as ghosts.

What would I do if I thought I saw a ghost?

I hope I’d have the presence of mind to talk to it.

Do I believe in UFOs?

Yes, I do, as I’ve seen one myself, but whether it was actually an alien spaceship? I’d say probably not. Again, I think some of the phenomena are real but misinterpreted.

Do I believe in aliens?

Yes, I certainly do, but I doubt they’re visiting us. Why would they bother?

Do I believe in monsters?

I certainly do, and they look just like people.

Would I have myself cryogenically frozen?

Certainly, to find out what’s going to happen long after I’m supposed to be dead.

What is my favourite film?

That’s tricky, either Raiders of the lost ark or The Matrix, and as old war pictures go I don’t think you can beat Kelly’s Heroes. Runners up: Where Eagles Dare, Jason And The Argonauts, Alien, Cannonball Run.

What is my idea of earthly happiness?

Enjoying good food with good company. Being proved right is also high on my list.

What do I consider to be the lowest depth of personal misery?

There are two contenders: Feeling misrepresented or misunderstood, particularly when it’s hurt or upset someone, and enduring a migraine. I only picked migraine over enduring chemo-therapy because of reoccurrence, hopefully I won’t have to endure chemo-therapy again!

Where would I like to live?

Somewhere where I have a view of some mountains when I’m doing the washing up, and somewhere where it is truly dark at night.

To what faults do I feel most indulgent?

Being brutally honest (although to be fair I have mellowed of late).

Who are my favourite heroes of fiction?

Indiana Jones, James Bond, Mr Spock, Mr Bump and latterly Jack Reacher.

Who are my favourite characters of fiction?

Hannibal Lecter, Tyrion Lannister.

Who are my least favourite characters of fiction?

Jesus. (Referring to the religious character – see later).

Who are my favourite heroines in real life?

Women who fight for equality, particularly those that defy the intolerance of religion. Such as Malala Yousafzai, the young Afghan girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking up for the rights of girls to be educated.

Who are my favourite heroines of fiction?

Ellen Ripley, Lisbeth Salander, Clarice Starling.

My favourite painter?

My father. He once did a whole stairwell for me. John Salt (look him up).

My favourite musician?

My wife, Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Jean Michelle Jarre, Billy Joel.

The quality I most admire in a man?

Courage both moral and physical, and a sense of humour.

The quality I most admire in a woman?

Courage both moral and physical, a sense of humour.

Do I give to charity?

Yes, but really just enough to appease my conscience.

My favourite virtue

Honesty, apart from being virtuous you can have so much fun with it.

My least favourite virtue, or nomination for the most overrated?

Faith.

My proudest achievement?

Apart from my family, if that can be considered an achievement. Beating a speech impediment and completing the training to run a Marathon (the training was far more gruelling than the run itself). Last year (2017) I was diagnosed with and later beat cancer.

My favourite pastimes?

Thinking, I do it a great deal. Doing something new or experiencing something for the first time, particularly if it raises my pulse rate. I love storytelling and telling stories. Astronomy. Hill Walking. Skiing.

Who would I liked to have been?

Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the moon – imagine that.

My most marked characteristic?

Physically? My posture: A necessity for maintaining a working spine. In terms of personality, it would be loyalty.

What do I most value in my friends?

Their company, when I’m in the mood.

What is my principal defect?

I can be lazy. Some would say I’m sometimes tactless with my honesty. I eat too much of the wrong things, which is becoming a growing problem as the years pass.

What would I consider to be the greatest of misfortunes?

Losing my sight.

What is my favourite colour?

Deep blue, the colour of the sky as the first stars are beginning to appear.

What is my favourite flower?

Wild Garlic, for the smell, and bluebells for the woods, heather for the moors.

What is my favourite bird?

The Owl or the Turkey, I love Christmas dinner, I don’t know what Owls taste like.

What is my favourite animal?

Either a koala or a dog, something scrappy with bags of character like a Pug, French Bulldog or Jack Russell.

What word or expression do I most overuse?

“Are you alright?”

Who are my favourite poets?

Sorry, I don’t do poetry. But if pushed to choose I’d have to say Baldric in Blackadder Goes Forth.

Who are my favourite actors and actresses?

Morgan Freeman and Gemma Arterton, believe it or not, both for their voices.

What human characteristic do I most dislike?

Stupidity, particularly when coupled with faith.

What historic figures do I most dislike?

Apart from the obvious ones, such as Hitler. Richard Beeching for hacking up our rail network. And Jesus, mainly for all the fuss he caused and the pain doled out in his name (Referring to the real man the religious character was based on).

Which contemporary figure do I most dislike?

It’s a toss up between Vanessa Feltz and Al Gore, although Bashar Al-Assad is rapidly moving up my personal league table.

Which events in military history do I most admire?

The Battle of Britain. Battle of Mirbat, Battle of Dunkirk – against the odds situations.

Which natural gift would I most like to possess?

Spontaneous wit.

Which imaginary super-hero power would I most like to have?

Invisibility, imagine the fun you could have, and it would be peaceful just to be able to disappear every now and again.

What do I most dislike about my appearance?

Where to start? I don’t really like the shape of my head.

What is my motto?

The family motto, unfortunately, is: “Fear God in Life”

I wish it was: “The World is not enough” (but James Bond already has that one).

Personally, it could be one of many, but I’ll settle for: “lets roll the dice”

How would I like to live?

I’d like to make a positive difference to the world, I haven’t figured out how to yet, but I haven’t given up. Failing that, I’d like to make a positive difference to the lives of the people around me.

How would I like to die?

I know Robbie Coltrane once said: “To die in my nineties, shot by a jealous husband.”

For me, I’d like to check out with my eyes open and a full bag of marbles.

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