So here's a new idea for a blog entry - it's a conversation that my friend Andrew and I had over a week or so via messages on Facebook... a random conversation:
Stephen: You are well read, do you have a book in you?
Andrew: I don't know. I did start one once, but that was about as far as I got. I've always got a book by someone else on the go though! What about you?
S: I am sure I have a couple of books in me, but not fiction. I want to write a fun self help book one day. And I don't mean THAT kind of fun self help either.
A: Damn, that's just the kind of self-help book I would read! So, when it comes to self help, what are the key things you would suggest for a more fulfilled life?
S: This answer is definitely "do as I say, not as I do"... it's all about trying new (and perhaps unusual) things and pushing yourself - I try, but am very good at putting things off. I have a part-written London walking guide that may never be finished!
What's the thing on your to do list that's off-the-wall, but you want to try it anyway?
A: I'm not sure, to be honest. I was never really into to making lists like that. Once upon a time I'd have baulked at the idea of doing a bungee jump, on the basis that I'd only go as far as a parachute jump. Having done the latter, I'd may do the former now. I know you do keep lists, but do you have a masterplan for achieving it?
S: My plans are in my head and are all jumbled up. So, the answer is probably no, I don't have a plan! As parachuting is just mad, do you like a bit of danger and risk in your life?
A: Not really - the parachute jump was for charity and actually, truth be told, it was slightly disappointing. I had built it up in my head that it was going to be an amazing experience. Of course it was amazing but not on the scale of how I imagined it. Generally speaking, I'm more a pipe and slippers man with little appetite for danger. What's the most dangerous thing you've ever done?
S: I am risk averse in so many ways. Buying a house was risky to me and there is no way I'd jump from a plane! Pipe and slippers suggests more than low risk, does it mean that you are comfortable with life?
A: I suppose I am quite comfortable with life - which isn't to say there's not things I want to or would like to change.
Things have been quite busy so far this year – I have a new job and am moving house later this month. Am returning to city life, so hopefully will get more chances to socialise and enjoy various cultural activities!
You made a move in the opposite direction - how does non-city life suit you?
S: It's not quite "non-city", we live in an estate on the edge of a town but within easy reach of grass and fields... but also only 30 minutes from Kings Cross. I like living here very much.
Do you intend to go clubbing every weekend when you are in Bristol and hit the gay scene?
A: Well, I intend to go out more often and try and widen social circle but I'm a bit old for clubbing every weekend!! I've never been a huge fan of the "scene" either - so while it will be good to have it there, it's not going to be the be all and end all of my new world.
In any case we're going to end up entertaining various visiting friends and relatives on a regular basis! Do you do much entertaining?
S: It's on my kitchen list to do more entertaining. I want to do another poker night and lose money again (certainty).
Talking of "the scene", I find it a little odd that some gay guys live their lives around bars and clubs that MUST be gay - any thoughts?
A: Hmmm... I've never understood that - to me it's a kind of ghettoisation. It's similar to the concept of the "gay community" - I find the concept of a community based purely on sexuality scary!
That said, I do understand that some people feel more comfortable, safer and more at home with those with whom they feel they have something in common, so who am I to suggest they shouldn't! It's just not my scene (pun intended).
When was the last time you ventured out to the scene? For me it must be getting on for two years (if not more) since I was at a gay club night!
S: I cant remember when I went out "on the scene". It was years ago. It was never my thing... ever.
I'd feel more comfortable going to a B&B with a Conservative! :-)