I’m often loathed to take part in quick fire Q&A blog tags because all of the questions generally seem to be the same as those security questions you have to try and remember when you forget your login details; you’re opening yourself up to significant security risks. Then I realised I put myself out there on a daily basis – alright two monthly basis, I’ve neglected the blog a teensy bit – and it’s not every day someone as famous as Rach tags you in one. Don’t let her tell you she’s not famous, she’s been on Bristol radio and everything!!
So she’s tagged me in a series called “Sunshine Bloggers” and given that I’m definitely not a sunshine kinda guy (even in a heatwave you’ll find a solitary dark cloud raining just on me while I drink out of my half empty cup) it seemed deeply ironic to include me. I love a bit of irony, so I thought I would join in.
Rach has posed some questions for me and a few other bloggers to answer, so now the small talk compulsory intro is out of the way, to my answers:
What’s the most drunk you’ve ever been? Definitely a hard one for me because I think I was in a constant state of inebriation from the age of 19 through to 24 and if you know me well, you’ll know I was on the verge of having a serious alcohol problem coupled with my depression. That said, there was one night at a friend’s wedding where…no; there was this time when some cadets were visiting our camp and…no can’t say that one; ok, there was a time when a colleague of mine had caught his girlfriend cheating on him and I did what any good friend would do: on a Wednesday morning I took him to the doorstep of a pub and waited there until the landlady was nice enough to open up. We left at God knows when, but I woke up on Saturday just in time for brunch. I have no idea if I had woken up before then, I can’t remember it. I certainly hadn’t shown up to work for the Thursday and Friday, and no-one had considered knocking for me simply assuming that I had a legitimate reason for not being there. Scary times.
But to put it in context of just how drunk I could get, on a night out in Lincoln (on my own) I went into one of those bars that has about 3 square feet of dance floor just so it can stay open until 2am and call itself a club. I immediately established a rapport with one of the barmaids, just so I could jump the queue if it got busy, and I saw out the night there. The next day I went back for some lunch and she said to me that she could no longer serve me after my 40th Black Russian. 40!! I have no idea what I drunk before these cocktails, or afterwards, but at least for my time in that bar I had sunk a litre of vodka, a litre of Kahlua and some Coke. At the time, that was a normal night out.
Night in or night out? Right now, it depends. If the night out is a simple meal, cinema, and a few drinks in a well lit comfortable place with little noise – and no kids – then I’m your man. If not, then definitely a cosy night in on the sofa in front of my Apple TV thank you very much.
Your biggest regret? A hard one, but right now I’ll go with not being able to choose my career in time. I’m 37 and I’ve only just found out what I’d like to do with the rest of my life and I can no longer afford to retrain to do it. That kind of sucks.
Your best day? You’d think I’d say my wedding, or birth of my children, but no. Granted they were good days, but my best? Nope. The wedding was more about making sure Vikki was having a good time, and there was no euphoria when my children were born. Having said that, I’m trying to think of what my best day could be. I think it was when I was 13 years old and I stepped out onto the hockey pitch representing South England as part of a regional trial. I had been a county goalkeeper for some time, but this was different. There were scouts, sponsors, and a potential future being paid to do something I absolutely loved. As I stepped out onto that pitch, anything was possible. It was recognition for my efforts thus far, and it was filled with hope of things yet to come. Even though I didn’t get selected for a permanent place, that feeling that I had before the whistle blew was simply awesome and all encompassing.
Your most embarrassing moment? Again, with a past like mine there are loads of these (not embarrassing for me but for the institution I represent or the friends around me at the time). Being dragged in front of a boss wearing only a thong because I had decided to play golf at midnight, in a thong, on an antenna field; drinking shots out of a hollow strap on dildo whilst wearing a French maid’s outfit in a work bar while senior bosses are entertaining future employees; my dad pulling down my pants so everyone saw my 6 year old penis; but I think I’ll go with the time I had my circumcision. I was 24 years old, I was in recovery and I had to hold my dressing on the wound myself. Apparently I didn’t apply enough pressure, so a nurse had to hold my penis tightly while the wound clotted. It didn’t matter what I thought of, at 24 there’s only one thing that’s going to happen in that situation and needless to say stitches popped and I needed sewing up again.
Your all-time favourite song? Oooh, another toughie. There are many different songs for many different occasions, but I think the shortlist would include The Beast In Me by Nick Lowe, and more recently Never Enough by Loren Allred in the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman. No matter how many positives there are in my life, I’ll only focus on the negatives and convince myself that this life just isn’t enough, and it never will be.
Your favourite childhood book? What’s a book
The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Fight the fights you can win. There is absolutely no point in wasting energy trying to change things you have absolutely no control over.
Tell me a fascinating, salacious fact about yourself. I always knew Rach was a pervert, I had to look up what salacious meant and the first thing it said was pornographic, sexually explicit. I won’t go that far. Or anywhere near that in fact. In fact I’m pretty rubbish. The best I can do is say that after a significant period of depression, alcohol dependency, and financial ruin, I decided to try to turn my life around and make some changes. To mark the fact, I had a tattoo on my back of 5 demons having an orgy – putting things in places where things shouldn’t be put – just to prove to myself that my demons were behind me.