1. I once had a pet hedgehog for less than 24 hours
I worked in a pet shop that had a vet surgery attached, and one afternoon they were delivered a hedgehog that appeared to have been in some kind of road accident. It was healthy enough that they couldn't euthanise it, but otherwise they would have to drive two hours to a sanctuary and drop it off. It was somewhat unclear how long it would survive, so I decided he would be mine. If he died, I would have given him a grand final few hours. If he lived, I got a free pet hedgehog.
I called him Tarkus. I took him home and singlehandedly removed the ticks that were ravaging his body. I fed him hedgehog mush and tickled his stomach. And then Tarkus died.
So it goes.
2. I am a beatboxing genius
A few years ago I decided to teach myself to beatbox. It looked like fun and like something I could easily do while on the toilet. At first it was difficult. I am a nerdy middle class white boy. But over the years, overcoming terrible ridicule and hardship, I taught myself to beatbox like a... well, not a pro. A journeyman perhaps.
I even did it onstage at the University of Winchester, and some people genuinely thought it was drums. Or so they said, anyway.
3. The most interesting thing about me is how boring I am
Do you know what's fun? Sitting quietly. I like sitting quietly. I will do everything in my power to avoid going on nights out, 'the lash', or any similar gregarious frivolities.
4. The first novel I wrote was about beard-stealing dwarves
In the middle of the night I grabbed my notebook (always keep one close to hand) and scribbled 'The Beard Stealers.' Apparently in the morning I took this to mean something.
The resulting novel, the first I ever managed to finish, was about dwarves from another dimension that break through into our world to steal beards, because no one where they live can grow their own. There were giant moles, a sentient balloon goat, a campervan-cum-tank, and a bunch of other nonsense I can't remember. Shockingly, no agent would touch it with a barge pole.
5. I've been published as a poet
Only in small journals, mind, but it's nice to be able to say. I started by submitting to the University writing journal (Vortex), and then submitted to other places, with mixed success Poetical subjects varied from my father's cancer to bourbon biscuits, from the despair of aging to anal sex. It's fair to say I'm not a great poet. I haven't written one in years.
6. I like Status Quo more than is reasonable for someone my age.
It started as a bit of a joke. I really liked 'Rockin' All Over the World' and bought a 'Best Of' compilation on the back of that. I then bought a new album. Then I bought all their classic albums. Then I saw them play live. Twice.
Status Quo are friggin' awesome, yo.
I even managed to wangle free tickets to a preview screening of their movie because apparently I'm an 'influential tweeter.'
7. The collective noun for cats is a clowder
This isn't a fact about me. Sorry about that.