As suggested by Hannah (@girltaristhan) on Twitter, here are my darkest secrets. Or something.
Age: 38 (I actually got it wrong, realised halfway down the list and had to come back and correct it)
Bed size: Double
Chore you dislike: Putting out the rubbish. Birmingham City Council do not provide proper bins, so we have to put black bags outside on the road every Wednesday morning.
Dogs: Had a lifelong phobia of them, no reason I just have. Even as an adult, I would cross over if I was approaching a dog off its lead, even on a lead if I thought it looked too scary. Better in recent years, since my sister had her Labrador, Crunchie. Also get on well with the neighbours’ dog. Even interacted with some (very well trained) German shepherds recently, which was a very brave moment.
Essential start to your day: Coffee. I put the filter machine on as soon as I go downstairs and cannot function properly until at least one mug has been consumed.
Favorite color: Blue.
Gold or silver: No preference. I only wear one piece of jewellery and that is my wedding ring, which is gold.
Height: 6 foot.
Instruments you play(ed): Recorder at school – to a good level, not just to annoy the family and neighbours. Was in an area recorder band, playing descant and tenor. Played flute for a while, but gave it up because I wasn’t interested in the music they wanted me to play. Played keyboard in my teens, although never had any proper training. Now play guitar, on and off for several years but giving it a proper try at the moment with a very good teacher. I have acoustic and electric, but I prefer playing the electric.
Job title: Tourist guide / Freelance translator
Kids: No. Neither my wife and I want them, never have. Find it very hard to relate to them, although I am better since friends have started producing them. Get on very well with some of our friends’ kids, and especially our niece. But no real paternal instinct, or desire to give up the freedom and lifestyle I have worked hard to achieve.
Live: Birmingham, England
Mum’s name: Ann, but she passed away in 1996
Nicknames: None really. Never liked them, so if people did try to use one to me as a kid, I would just ignore them. Sally-Jayne calls me Bloke though, so I suppose that counts.
Overnight hospital stays: Three days aged about 9 or 10 for an operation on my sinuses. I hated it mostly, apart from the sleepless nights being a great opportunity to read.
Pet peeves: This might be a long answer, as I am an archetypal grumpy old man. But I will restrict myself to – people who are incompetent at whatever they are being paid to do, excessive political correctness, people who don’t want to work for a living, parents who do not control their children properly, ignorant and inconsiderate drivers.
Quote from a movie: It’s better to burn out than to fade away. (Highlander)
Righty or lefty: Right handed. Play golf left handed (complicated story involving being given a left-handed ice hockey stick at a young age). Equally clumsy with both hands.
Siblings: One sister, Emma. She is three years younger than me and is a primary school teacher in Nottingham.
Time you wake up: Sometime between 6 and 7. Usually at my desk about 20 minutes later, the joys of working at home. Then a break for breakfast when Sally-Jayne is up.
Underwear: Briefs or occasionally boxers.
Vegetables you don’t like: Tomatoes (OK I know they are strictly a fruit, but they come in savoury dishes), think they are the only one actually.
What makes you run late: Being unable to drag myself away from whatever I am doing when I need to go somewhere.
X-rays you’ve had: Ankle, chest, sinuses, teeth (!), many on eyes, ultrasound on stomach, endoscopy from both ends and a camera up the other way too. Nice!
Yummy food you make: Curry, fajitas, Moroccan chicken, lasagne. I am the cook in our house, should be more adventurous but tend to end up sticking to the familiar because it is quicker and easier.
Zoo animal favorites: Elephants, although I prefer to see them in the wild.