I've never done a meme, chain letter or whatever, but unrepentant egoist that I am the Interview Me one promised much exiting navel gazing, so I emailed Anybeth of Swimming in Clear Water (link on the side bar, take a look it's a very good blog) to join in.
This is how it works. Anybeth has emailed me five questions, which I will answer, you, dear reader are then invited to email me - cardiffdrunk at gmail dot com and I will send you five questions. (I hope at least one of you does.)
1. What is your first memory as a child?
The first defined and definite memory I have is of being at Playgroup and terrified. I'd somehow lost my mother and was running through the building desperately searching for her in absolute fear - I found her in a walk in cupboard where I seem to remember her doing something with a tea urn.
2. If you were on death-row, what would be your last meal?
I'm sure I wouldn't be able to eat. I hate the death penalty and am very glad it is gone from this country. However, I guess the question amounts to what is your favourite food. I'm struggling actually to come up with a definitive, this is the one, meal combo. I would start with grilled fresh sardines I think; continue to a very good steak with superlative chips and move onto fresh fruit salad and then cheese - all washed down with a syrupy red wine.
3. What is your favorite place you have visited?
The place that really had the greatest effect on me was Paris but most specifically the Palace of Versailles. I like my history and was blown away by the enormity of the building and the use of architecture to say I AM THE ABSOLUTE MONARCH, GAZE UPON MY HUGE FACADE. As I keep mentioning, I'm only partly Welsh, but I do get a genuine feeling of heraith (a feeling of longing, most often used about the Welsh country by exiles) when I'm away from the mountains for too long - seeing Snowdonia in the distance hits me in the chest. Close to my childhood home is a place that is undoubtedly beautiful, but it is its associations and memories which make it particularly special to me - it's called May Hill and if you ever get the chance you should go there.
4. What is your favorite book? and why?
Yoiks. That's really tough. Just one - I could probably do a list of ten more easily, in fact I think there's a list on my profile. I've just had a look and it's a list of authors. The Long Goodbye would be up there for the beauty of the writing, He Died With His Eyes Open is my favourite Derek Raymond but has its fault. Foucault's Pendulum really had an effect on me and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Slaughterhouse Five had a big impact on my formative years. But, pushed into a corner I'm going to have to go for American Tabloid by James Ellroy because it's a magnificent piece of story-telling which rattles along at an extraordinary pace, I also think it's Ellroy's best work in his stream of consciousness ratatatat style.
5. What do you like, and dislike, about where you live?
Well, what do I like. I like our house, which is small and perfectly formed but which we've done a pretty good job of turning into a comfortable and pleasant home. I like Cardiff's compactness - I can walk pretty much anywhere, I like a lot of the people, who seem open and friendly and I like some of the pubs. We're 20 minutes away from the seaside and not much further from beautiful countryside. Dislike? Some days the area in which we live can bring me down, the kids in hoodies hanging round drinking, the refugees from life arguing in pubs, the empty buildings, the brothel, the drug addicts, the kids next door screaming until one o'clock in the morning - they're about four and six years old. Most of all, I like living in Wales.