Well, I should just launch into this, I suppose... my favourite
things in the world are a combination of any of the following:
, red Converse trainers
buy some green ones once, but they made me look like I had frog's
feet), Soviet propaganda
, They Might Be Giants
and my own hair(!). I like to say I'm a musician, but I'm not
really. Well, I don't get paid for it, unless you count the odd bit
of busking. I used to live in Moscow
. I love traditional pubs,
and my ideal Sunday is wandering aimlessly until coming across one,
before sitting and reading with a beer, especially if the weather
outside is crap. My friends think I have strange taste in girls
because I never think 'traditionally' pretty girls are that pretty.
It's more to do with someone I can relax with and talk nonsense for
hours and hours, and that nonsense seeming to be the most important
thing in the world. I'm not sure if that last sentence made sense,
but I think I know what I meant...! Anyway, to sum up... I kind of
wish I'd been born in Edwardian times. I'm that kind of gentleman.
Yet curiously sexy, so I'm told. In an Edwardian way. Hmm.
What I’m doing with my life
Hmm. Isn't that a question?! Well, I guess I should get the
Elephant in the Room out of the way first... I'm currently living
in Brno, in the south-east of the Czech Republic. I teach English
and music and I got into it the same way as most other English
teachers abroad did - namely quit University and panic. Apart from
that, um... wine, music, books. My dream would be to finish up like
Bernard Black, but with a lot more sex.
I’m really good at
Drinking Russian champagne. Oh I know it's not really champagne you
pedantic bastards, but it's awesome. And playing stuff. Often at
the same time. Not meaning to blow my own trumpet (I don't have a
trumpet), but when it's the only thing you've ever really loved
doing, you tend to spend an awful lot of time doing it. My main
instruments are piano and guitar, but I played double bass for a
few years, drummed in a couple of bands and mess around on the
accordion and the mandolin too. I'm currently the frontman and
songwriter with this mob:
What else? Um... I can cook a bit. I'm not amazing, but I enjoy it.
Especially the bit where I get to have loads of little bowls with
chopped herbs and things in them that I've measured out previously,
so I can just chuck them in, like on a cooking show! I'm also
excellent at avoiding going to the cinema (just don't like it -
don't know why), being endearingly geeky, being a grammar pedant
(comes with the job!) and making cheese sandwiches.
Oh, I also love University Challenge. Mainly because if I get more
than 8 answers right (that's the level I've set myself, make of
that what you will) I feel quite proud. My record is 17. That was a
good day. :-)
The first things people usually notice about me
I'm taller than you'd think is the first thing. Plus I'm going
through a bit of a phase of dressing like a 19th century cricketer.
Blazers and striped shirts, that sort of thing. Not sure why. I
even had my beard shaved into mutton chops for a while. Hmm. That
may have been a mistake. Also, my beard is not for fashion's sake
(although I do like it!); it's there because without it, I look
like a 12-year-old.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: The Fan Man - William Kotzwinkle; The Master and Margarita -
Mikhail Bulgakov; The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas
Adams; Catch-22 - Joseph Heller; anything Bill Bryson has laid a
finger on; 1984 - George Orwell; Closely Observed Trains - Bohumil
Hrabal; that Larsson thing was good... for the first book; The
Pillars of the Earth/World Without End - Ken Follett.
Films: the Back to the Future series, Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters,
Star Wars, Amelie, This is Spinal Tap, the Indiana Jones series
(NOT the fourth one!), Almost Famous, Limonadovy Joe, anything with
Daniel Bruhl... basically I'm a massive fan of popcorn films. It's
the same as with music: if it entertains you, and is made with love
and thought, well done. It's why I think 'Toxic' by Britney Spears
is an amazing song. Written in B minor, chorus in chromatic
descending 7ths. Fucking brilliant. Odd, unlikely, and marketed as
a run-of-the-mill pop song. It isn't, it's genius.
I actually like TV a lot more than films. The obvious ones - QI,
Buzzcocks (I liked Amstel!), Black Books, HIGNFY, Dr. Who,
Sherlock... and then the (maybe) less obvious ones... Cheers, Days
That Shook the World, Fawlty Towers. Okay, if you're from the UK,
Music: Bats vs. Cats (my band! Ha!) They Might Be Giants; the
Divine Comedy; Pixies; Ben Folds Five; Weezer; the Futureheads; the
Kinks; Simon and Garfunkel; Sparks; the Smiths; Idlewild; English
folk/folk-rock; Kraftwerk; Julian Cope; Regina Spektor; Maximo
Park; REM; the Shins; the Beatles (obviously). Also a bit of jazz
(Dr. John, Thelonius Monk), classical (particularly baroque) and,
actually, any World folk.
Food: English cheese; curry; svíčkova (it's a Czech thing!);
Walker's salt and vinegar crisps.
Drinks: Tea, tea, and tea again. I'm English. Back it up with
Bernard (Czech beer), Oxford Gold, Summer Lightning, any crisp
white wine (chenin, preferably), White Russian ("...do you like
sex, Mr. Lebowski? The physical act of love?") or
Wine (actually, drinking in general) is something I love. Everyone
has a vice, and this is absolutely mine. If you want to get
hideously, beautifully drunk and listen to music with me while
talking about things that are utterly unimportant, but seem
desperately important because they're ours, I might marry you. :-)
The six things I could never do without
1. My guitar
3. Tea (PG Tips, although I've switched to Yorkshire recently. A
good move, I think)
5. A pen and paper (technically two things, but hey. Well, not just
technically, but actually. Never mind).
6. ...work. I really like my job.
So... 7 things.
I did have my MP3 player on there, but had it nicked and realised I
didn't miss it that much. The only time I used it was on the tram,
and now I read instead. Music is my life, but I find that I like
looking clever on public transport too, hehehe!
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Songwriting. I write songs. Silly pop songs, but I like them...
which is probably a good thing. I also think about why Coventry
City football club are rubbish (I actually know, but I try to think
of solutions). I also think about what I could/should be doing with
myself, although I try not too. And surnames. I love surnames -
studying the history of them, the meanings and things. I actually
have a surnames dictionary!
I should probably start thinking about why I'm quite the nerd,
having just read that back to myself. Ah well, sod it.
Oh, and never trust anyone who tells you they don't like a single
Beatles song. There's something intrinsically wrong with them.
On a typical Friday night I am
At home, with some wine and a DVD. I'm not a big one for 'big
nights out', to be honest; also, I'm more of a pub person than a
clubber. I like talking to people. Plus, the best nights are always
the spontaneous ones where you finish up gatecrashing a houseparty
for some Finnish medical students, drinking all their wine and
being chased by an angry man with a dog. Okay, that was one time.
And not so great.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I'm actually sad about onions. A lot of people think I'm just
reacting, but I'm not. It's just that the plight of onions makes me
You should message me if
...you've actually got through the rambling blurb above and are
still interested. Good for you! ;-)