Hello again all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I thought what I’d do in this missive from the far side was find as many bandwagons as I possibly could and leap joyfully aboard…
First of all, I am on Facebook, and I have therefore succumbed to the current craze for ’25 Random Things About You’. Here are mine:
1. When naming me, my parents couldn’t decide which forename they preferred, so eventually they kept both by giving me an extra middle name.
2. As a small child my favourite TV programme was Thomas the Tank Engine. I have been known to watch it on Youtube as well.
3. I once managed to be bitten by a duck, a goose and a swan, in that order, on the same day.
4. I have flown the owl used as ‘Hedwig’ in the Harry Potter films.
5. I’m now doing a PhD, but I’ve wanted to become a Doctor since the age of 9, when I first saw Back to the Future. Christopher Lloyd is Doc Brown and very cool.
6. The small scar under my right eye was caused by a gate swinging into my face when I was 5.
7. There are more than half a million words of fiction/creative writing on my computer, all of them written by me.
8. The earliest story I remember writing was in P3 (aged 7). My best friend Andrew Fynn fell into the river at Crawfordsburn and was almost eaten by a giant pike before I saved him.
9. One of my favourite sensations is of going to bed in a bed with brand-new sheets while wearing brand-new underwear immediately after a shower.
10. One of my favourite sounds is of gravel crunching, and I love the smell of petrol.
11. I have survived uninjured more accidents than anyone has a right to survive uninjured, but my guardian angel has taken sick leave with a stress-related illness.
12. My favourite Christmas carol is ‘Oh come all ye faithful’ but it has to be the Willcocks arrangement performed by full wind and brass sections in addition to the choir.
13. The first CD I ever bought, aged 10, was ‘Made in Heaven’ by Queen.
14. I once performed a sponsored skydive. It was a tandem jump from 13,100 feet and it raised more than £2500.
15. I would love to take a walk through an old people’s home dressed as Death, just to see what would happen.
16. When I was small I had pet goldfish, all of whom were named after characters in Thomas the Tank Engine. I had a fish called Duck. They were Christian fish, and all had little plastic car shapes glued to their bottoms.
17. The very first time I played a bass guitar was as an emergency stand-in in a concert with more than 500 people attending. I had said I would play the drums if the band needed me to; when the bassist was sick they gave his instrument to me on the grounds that I was also a bassoonist and could make up a bass line. It was…interesting.
18. I own more than 200 movies on DVD.
19. I once walked home from the beach – a journey of several miles – wearing a traffic cone on my head, because my Dad had said there was no way I’d be stupid enough to do such a thing.
20. I have never dated anyone from Northern Ireland.
21. My favourite Northern Irish poet is Paul Muldoon, but my favourite Northern Irish poems are ‘The Sunlight on the Garden’ and ‘Thalassa’ by Louis MacNeice.
22. My favourite album from the 70s is Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’; from the 80s, U2’s ‘Joshua Tree’; from the 90s, Radiohead’s ‘The Bends’; and currently, Cherry Ghost’s ‘Thirst for Romance’.
23. My brother stole my all-time favourite fact, but fortunately he got it slightly wrong, so I can reproduce it here in its correct form: Young sloths are frequently so inept that they mistake their own limbs for tree branches, grab on, and fall out of trees.
24: I once killed a snake in a lavatory and only afterwards discovered just how poisonous it was.
25. I have a VHF radio licence.
Internet crazes rock. I’m just waiting for this to not be a cartoon but a photograph…
Moving on…There is a variation on the 25 random things. Mine got me into all kinds of interesting trouble. You might find it funny – certainly I did…
1. Put your iTunes/Napster/Zune Player/WinAmp/etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag 10 or more friends who might enjoy doing this as well as the person you got it from.
Personal note – I in no way accept any responsibility for any of these answers. It’s very important you believe me, otherwise Questions 16 and 23 will get me lynched. I love you all! Really! QUESTION 11 IS NOT MY FAULT!
1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Tell me there’s a heaven
2. WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY
If I had a million dollars…
3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
One night (oh, for goodness sake, I’m not coming out of this well at all…those wretched Corrs!)
4. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Peace in our time (yeah, right…Ray Davies can think again)
5. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Love rescue me
6. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?
Frontin’ (My word!)
7. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
9. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
City of Delusion (yeah, it’s a fair cop)
10. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Get ‘Em Out By Friday (aargh! My computer hates me!)
12. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
13. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Sound of Drums (rats, I wanted to play them!)
14. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Cry Til The Morning (Yep, Richard Ashcroft’s gonna be upset)
15. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
The Root of all Evil
16. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
I Chose Horses
17. WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Where do you think you’re going?
18. HOW WILL YOU DIE?
19. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
20. WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
21. WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Not my tear (huh?)
22. WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
23. WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
24. DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Gimme Some Lovin’
25. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Fields of fire
26. WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
What you’re made of
27. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
If You Love Somebody (Set Them Free)
Moving on, I am now on twitter. You can find me at http://twitter.com/gavinbrowne. I quite like the idea of microblogging – surely it would have helped Winston Churchill, who once wrote “Please excuse this long letter – I didn’t have time to write a short one.”
Also, I have discovered internet radio, which is quite something. I’ve been using BBC iPlayer for about a year now, but only in the last week have I gone global. I’m now a fan of WKIT-FM, the Rock of Bangor (Maine!), a classic rock station owned by Stephen King. Enjoy it Here
Finally, your moment of Zen: