BlogOnX is just a month away. As is traditional, I’m participating in the ‘introduce yourself’ linky intended to help attendees get to know each other.
BlogOnX is the tenth BlogOn event overall and it will be my fifth personally. If you’re coming and we haven’t met before, do please come and say hi if you see me. I’m easy to spot and I don’t bite (unless I’m really hungry).
If nothing else, we can compare our answers to the following questions …
1. Share a recent photo of yourself
I don’t have many photos of myself but here’s me and my second (and third, and fourth) chin shortly after the unfortunate incident where I glued my hand to the side of my head.
Ham. Not cheapo supermarket pizza ham. I’m talking proper dry-cured Italian prosciutto here. (Sorry, food snob.)
3. You can have dinner with any three guests dead or alive – who do you choose and why?
I’ve answered this question maybe a dozen times now and I always give different answers. My current three would be Bill Bryson, Michelle Obama and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Bryson is one of my writing idols. He has brought to life so many places I have visited and many more I wish I could visit.
I would love to meet her husband too but the former First Lady is an equally impressive individual. She graduated from both Princeton and Harvard and would offer a unique perspective on life both inside and outside the White House.
As for Miranda, many people won’t know him but he’s best known as the creator of the musical Hamilton and co-writer of the Moana soundtrack. Anyone whose resumé includes a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammys, three Tonys and an Emmy would make for a fascinating dinner companion.
4. Up to now what would you consider being your biggest life achievement?
Teaching the kids to burp. Actually, I don’t know whether I would say I have had one big achievement in my life. A succession of important ones, yes: the obvious things such as marriage, the kids’ births and so on. But I’m hoping my biggest achievement is still ahead of me. It would be nice to have that to look forward to rather than feeling my best is behind me.
5. If you woke up tomorrow as a character from any Disney film or book who would you be and why?
Maui from Moana. Why? Two words: you’re welcome. And who wouldn’t want to be voiced by The Rock? (Also, lyrics and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda.)
6. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Pick up my phone and check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – always in that order. I really am that much of a saddo.
7. If you won the lottery what would be the very first thing you would buy and why?
First and foremost, I’d take us all away on a big holiday. Both us and the kids love travelling and it would give us the time to work out how best to spend or invest our winnings.
Beyond the obvious, dull stuff such as paying off the mortgage and putting money away for the kids, I’d want to ensure the whole family got something immediate and tangible out of our good fortune. For myself, that would mean a fast car to satisfy my midlife crisis. I’ve always loved my cars, me.
8. What is your favourite quote from a movie?
Exit bear, pursued by an actor.
Okay, it’s not really my favourite quote but it’s stuck in my head because we watched Paddington 2 on DVD over the weekend. It’s a play on the most famous stage direction in theatre history: “Exit, pursued by a bear” from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
9. If you were a superhero what would your super power be?
Ha, I answered this question this time last year, so my answer is the same. The ability to silence certain people’s tweets at will: Katie Hopkins, Piers Morgan, the entire cast of TOWIE.
10. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The single biggest difference between good writing and great writing is a willingness to critique and edit your text ruthlessly.
11. Which emoji do you use the most?
12. If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything what would it be?
You’ll never be fully prepared to be a father. You’ll never know everything you think you need to know. It doesn’t matter. Keep trying your best, drink lots of coffee and you’ll be fine.
13. What do you currently have set as the wallpaper on your phone?
It’s a photo of our three kids on a railway platform in Stuttgart last summer. We were waiting for a train, they were all happy and I managed to capture the moment perfectly.
14. If you could do anything in the world as a legitimate job what would you do?
TV or film critic. I was at one stage a regular TV reviewer for Metro, which I enjoyed immensely. It’s completely different from my day job – but a job that combines TV and writing? Yes please.
15. Where is your favourite place in the world?
It’s a toss-up between Sydney and San Francisco. Both cities with a chilled vibe, iconic bridges, great food and located in fine wine-growing regions. What’s not to like?
To read more about other BlogOnX attendees, visit the BlogOnX Introduce Yourself linky.