Books, life and getting older

a slender threadweb.jpgI devoured yet another mountaineering book at the weekend, but what a read: A Slender Thread by Stephen Venables, Inspiring stuff even if it does mean I’m turning into an armchair mountaineer. The next book on my to read list is Sex, Sushi & Salvation which arrived last week from the States for me to review (free book, good plan). I also need to be reading a pile of M.A stuff but more often than not I get sidelined by other books that represent my 1001 other interests, doh! My daughter went to the library twice this weekend …. that’s my girl!

“I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves”
Anna Quindlen
Hang on, I remember now why I started this post. I’ve just turned 41 so need to update my numeric biography. It’s a bit self indulgent but I find it fun to try and reflect on who I am in a series of snapshots.


1. I was told by the teacher I didn’t have ‘a snowball’s chance in hell’ of passing my physics A-Level! (he was right)
2. I don’t have a TV
3. I wanted to be a Pilot for most of my teenage years
4. My oldest boy has Cerebral Palsy and I consider him one of my heroes
5. I once crashed a car by skidding on gravel, Ironically I was listening to ‘Going out in a Blaze of Glory’ and crashed into the ‘Caution loose surface’ sign
6. I can ride a unicycle and juggle (not however at the same time)
7. I’ve been learning German from a book called ‘German in Three Months’ for the last 16 years
8. I played ‘Bottom’ in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’
9. If there was a group of teenagers and a group of adults I’d most likely be talking to the teenagers
10. I have three Children
11. I laugh often and loudly
12. I have about 1000 books including a great CS Lewis and GK Chesterton Collection
13. I REALLY wanted a skateboard when I was a boy, I got my first one at 34
14. I can’t read ‘I’ll love you forever‘ to my children because I end up crying
15. I like listening to Meatloaf LOUD
16. I was very immature as a teenager, a late developer
17. Joanna and I have been married for 16 years
18. I love long distance cycle challenges and have completed the ‘Salisbury 100 (miles)’ three times, always in less than eight hours (I did crack (and bail out) on a TOUGH 115 mile Cyclo sportif event in 2006)
19. I can’t iron shirts (they end up with more creases in afterwards)
20. I love single malt whisky (and of those I love Talisker the most)
21. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of pain in the world
22. Joanna and I went to a Bible School in Austria
23. I am a passionate skier and went in 2007 for the first time in years, YAY
24. I broke my arm when I was six by jumping off the top of a climbing frame (but for some reason I told people I fell)
25. Christianity is my life and my hope, my struggle and my meaning
26. I have been knocked off my bike by cars 5 times, twice by hit and run drivers
27. I can’t sing! (At least not without other people complaining)
28. Bruce Cockburn’s lyrics and music have had a huge impact on me
29. I am an extrovert most of the time
30. My Spiritual journey has also involved un-learning a lot of what I was taught
31. I haven’t really had a nickname. A teacher as school called me ‘McDafty’ which I hated, a bunch of teenagers on a camp once affectionately called me ‘Preacherman’ which I loved. I was also reminded by a dear friend that I was referred to as Dangermouse for a while!
32. My biggest regret is how poorly I lived out my faith during my teenage years
33. I feel closer to God in the mountains, for me that’s a ‘thin place
34. I am still friends with my previous girlfriends (these pre-date my marriage!)
35. I don’t like films with sad endings, I like films with a feel-good factor (eg Cool Runnings)
36. I get really wound up by able bodied people parking in ‘disabled bays’
37. I am a professionally qualified youth worker
38. Greenbelt Festival is one of the highlights of my year. The creativity, music, discussion and Christian community is for me a slice of heaven.
39. My favourite place in the world is Ramsau in Austria
40. School didn’t work well for me and the general opinion of the teachers was that I wasn’t very bright. This is largely why I am a MASSIVE fan of informal education and love being a youth worker. (I also think that informal education is a Jesus principle).
41. I’m 41 years Old!

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