Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like.
1. What’s the best memory that you have of your dad, while growing up?
A few months ago, in honour of my father’s 60th birthday I began writing a blog called The Voice of Our Song that saw me record memories of my life and the lessons my parent’s taught me. Although I haven’t written a new post for a while now, I will be returning to it soon.
One of the posts I wrote recounted a practical joke my dad played on me when I was ten:
The place, Portlethen.
The year, 1989.
Being the astute boy that I was, by 10am on this Sunday morning I had completed all my weekend homework assignments, deep cleaned my bedroom, mopped the bathroom and kitchen, weeded the vegetable patch and vacuumed the cat.
Now, after a calming bath, I was changing for my next array of chores. Slipping my bathrobe off I deodorized, talced and set about dressing in my usual attire; khaki pants, aged shirt, leather jacket and fedora – what can I say, I was going through an Indiana Jones phase, what ten-year old boy doesn’t?
As I stood in my birthday suit about there was a sudden, deafening, high-pitched beep. I recognized it immediately from the moment, two months earlier, when I had set fire to the couch.
“Four!” I yelped, before correcting myself. “Five!” And with scant regard to the birthday suit I was wearing I bolted out my door screaming the far more apt “FIRE!”
Pounding on my brother’s door to ensure he escaped un-singhed I checked the upstairs rooms before legging down the stairs and rolling 80s action movie style into the downstairs corridor. Suspecting the fire was coming from the kitchen I made sure the downstairs rooms were clear before bolting outside to the prearranged evacuation point.
Skidding onto the damp grass I soon realized no-one else had gathered to watch our house go down in flames so I leaped to the logical conclusion they were inside; possibly unconscious and suffocating.
Breaking into the garage I collected the fire extinguisher and ran indoors, firing a cloud of fire destroying propellant before me.
As the haze cleared all that was revealed were my brother and sister smiling inanely in the kitchen doorway whilst my father perched on a step-ladder beneath the smoke detector he had set off, laughing so hard he threatened to tip himself off the rungs. My mother meanwhile, was upstairs, refusing to partake in such a cruel and humiliating practical joke.
Placing the fire extinguisher gently onto the floor I collected myself and, without a word, marched my nudity back to my room.
2. How boring do you think your life is?
Sure, things get chaotic courtesy of my MH issues, but in the grand scheme of things my life is pretty boring at the moment. I’m working hard to turn things around so I’m more who I used to be, but these things take time, especially with the social anxiety and isolation it causes. I’m getting there though, maybe when I hit 90 my life will be ludicrously exciting!
3. Can you do any accents? If not, do you know someone who is good at it?
I can kind of do Canadian, eh (courtesy of rewatching Strange Brew) and I can kindof do Irish (though I end up sounding like Tom Cruise from Far and Away!) What I can do is an excellent impersonation of Eddie Izzard impersonating James Mason – although if I try to do either of them individually they are awful!
4. What technology did you at first fear that you now could not live without?
Twitter; I first looked into it in 2007 and thought it was totally pointless in every way, shape and form. Now, I need it to survive.
Mobile phones; I’ve always had issues with mobile phones as I deplore the whole ‘need to be contactable 24/7 world’ we’ve created – unfortunately, being homeless, a mobile phone is a necessity.
Calculators; although I always preferred the abacus myself
5. Do you, or have you ever, thought you have a book in you?
I have 21 books in me. They’re lumped under the slightly dodgy umbrella term The Inverness Chronicles and so far only one of them has been written in its entirety – but all the synopses are there, the plots, characters, arcs, everything is there, I just can’t write them at the moment because of my lack of focus. Arg! It annoys me so much that I can’t get myself into the head space I need to be in to write again.
I also wrote two novels during my teenage years (age 14 and 16), a novella as a personalised birthday present for a girlfriend (she dumped me before I had the chance to give it to her) and a plethora of short stories (some published) and random oddities.
Writing has been in my blood since I was but a wee child stealing pens from school because mine had run out. I’m just don’t feel like I’m very good at it.
6. How does the weather effect where you live?
Weather never seems to effect where I live. I’ve lived in the middle of a desert (hot), the northern region of Scotland (cold) and Melbourne; which, contrary to what the locals will say, has never seen four seasons in one day. As long as I like the town/city/village/hamlet I’m happy.
7. Are you more interested in you favorite artist’s next work, or the TMZ side of it all?
Always their next work. The celebrity obsession culture is something I’ve never really understood and tend to stay away from. Even occasionally glancing at paparazzi shots of Vanessa Hudgens frolicking in a bikini makes me feel uneasy as it’s tantamount to stalking.
Most of the artists I tend to love don’t make much of an impact on the TMZ scene anyway – for some inexplicable reason people seem to be more interested in the Kardashians or Selena Gomez than they are Charles de Lint and David Fincher.
8. Have you ever felt “battled-scarred” by a relationship or relationships in general? If yes, do tell.
Given I was in an emotionally abusive relationship my very real battle-scars are there for all to see. In terms of physical battle-scars, I do have a small scar on my arm from a rather ‘passionate’ night of naughtiness involving playful wrestling, a couple of toys and raspberry sauce.
9. Do you tend to root for the bad guy?
I root for the guy (or gal) who is neither hero or villain but somewhere in that delicious area of grey between the two.