1. How has marriage changed you?
I’m not sure that marriage has changed me. Meeting Emma definitely has. I am so much more confident about myself than I used to be and can convey myself and my thoughts with way more self-assurance. It did take time to adjust to the new situation though. I remember, life before Emma, meaning that I could do what I wanted to when I wanted to, which basically meant that I could write for as long as I wanted whenever I wanted. When I first met Emma, I didn’t have that freedom and my writing time was squeezed into smaller pockets of the day. I guess you could say that marriage enabled me to get the balance right. Probably coincidence, but it was on my holiday that I started writing my current novel, and I found a kind of equilibrium between time with Emma and time to write.
2. Apart from writing, is there any other career you would really like to have had a stab at?
I’m not sure if I would still want to have a go at this job, but if I looking back (and I’m loved my A-Levels and my degree), if I had the opportunity to go back and choose my education again, I think I would have liked to have pursued geography. I would have continued my writing and photography anyway and I think I would have liked to try something more environmental – a National Trust (or similar) warden. I think I would like to have a go at archaeology – in that I would like to help out at a Dig – but I think its probably too late for me turn that into a career.
3. What are your top 5 priorities in life?
Umm, to be happy and to help in my own small way to make those who are nearest and dearest to me happy. Beyond that, I really don’t know… I want to share my stories with the world in the hope that someone, unknown to myself, might, possibly enjoy reading them. I said that last one second, but these are not really in any particular order. I really do think the world can be a better place and so I want to do my bit. I want to strive to eat more regionally and seasonally, and make less of an impact on our precious and fragile planet. I’m not the kind of person who could make some big statement and have people listen but if I could play my part. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t travel far and see things away from our own doorstep, but we should make those decisions carefully. I don’t think that’s five things, but I think you get the general idea.
4. Do you think you’ve changed at all as you’ve got older or do you think you’re essentially the same person now as when you were, say, 20?
Definitely. I was thought when I was younger that one day I would meet someone to marry and share my life with, but I couldn’t have done any of that back then. I really do think that in this the internet has saved me. In a weird way, I guess I have to thank the pathetic little shit who bullied me at work 10 years ago. Without that I might not have investigated the possibility that I had aspergers and without that then Helen B. wouldn’t have worked out what the elephant in the corner of the room was and arranged for Human Resources to sort out my coaching with Bill, and my decision to put more of my personality out there within the confines of LiveJournal – a place where I have been able to write publicly, privately (I never have), to friends, or an ever more tightly locked selection of friends. I don’t think I had an ‘in person’ friend who, at the time, I could talk to about entering the world of online dating, but within LiveJournal, marbledwhite, rachel2205, mosskat55, nicotje and snugglebunnyjm amongst others really helped to hone my profile, and thus I met emej on match.com. Social Media too, have played their part. With Facebook I have rekindled friendships that in retrospect I should have had at school but due to who I was then and what I didn’t know, I didn’t. With Twitter I have manage to network with complete strangers in a way that, even now, if you placed me in a crowded room or at a cocktail party I would just slink into the corner and drink my orange juice too quickly… And I have got little bits of work that way, too. When people go on about the dangers of social media, and lack of privacy, I want to shout back at them about the good that social media does (and that you only lose privacy if you aren’t savvy enough to keep stuff back, or lock stuff down).
5. If you were given £5,000 to spend on yourself (i.e. not to be used to pay bills or for everyday things), what would you buy?
I talked in Rachel’s interview the other day of my honeymoon in 2009 to Eilean Shona. I loved it, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, but it wasn’t the honeymoon that we had planned originally. Our original plan, and one that did get all the way through to the booking stage, was a safari through Namibia, staying in some fantastic places and seeing things that neither Emma nor I have ever seen before. But then I became unemployed for three months, and the recession really started to bite, and we couldn’t afford to go and do it justice. So if I was given £5000 then I would take us both on that trip – the same one with bespoke travel company, Audley Travel. If there was any left over after that? Maybe a new lens for my camera to take with us on the trip, and a new laptop for Emma (as she is currently without a properly functioning one of her own).
If you want to be interviewed, comment below, and I’ll ask you 5 questions, which you then post in your journal, whilst also asking people if they want to be interviewed.