19 February 2009

25 random things about me

(Cross-post from Facebook)

1. When I was 12, I went with my class to the old Auckland District Court and sat in the small public area to learn about the legal process. By coincidence the day we visited was one of the most important in the court's history. We saw the arraignment of Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, the two French secret agents caught in the aftermath of their despicable bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior docked in downtown Auckland.

2. I've been on TV a few times. In 1991, I was on two episodes of Mastermind, and was the second youngest competitor they'd had on. I got through to the last eight. Three years later I was on two episodes of Sale of the Century (when it had moved to TV3). I was 'carry-over champion' for one night. Won a trip to Wellington. And some placemats.

3. My alarm goes off at 6.33am on workdays: not 6.30 or 6.35, but *6.33*. I never hit 'snooze'.

4. I flew a plane before I drove a car. We went on a beginners' flight out at Ardmore Aerodrome in 6th form and I piloted a Cessna through a quick take-off and circuit back to landing.

5. I didn't actually get my driving licence until the age of 27. I'd failed my test when I was 17 and didn't try again until I was back from my first OE in Britain. And I didn't bother to sit my full licence test until I was 33.

6. Rachel Weisz, since you asked. Those eyes...

7. I don't have a middle name.

8. I've been to 31 countries, if you count New Zealand.

9. When I was little, I thought America and Australia were the same place.

10. We moved around a lot. I lived at 13 addresses before I was 13.

11. I was dux literarum of my intermediate school. That was the pinnacle of my educational career; it was all downhill from there :)

12. I've seen Goldenhorse live four times, which is the most I've seen one band play. I've seen Crowded House thrice: Auckland Town Hall in 1993, Western Springs in 1995 and the IndigO2 in London in 2007.

13. I wanted to change my name when I was about 10, but it was too expensive. I wanted the initials 'A.J.' like the cool one in Simon & Simon.

14. The Tuckers arrived in New Zealand in 1841 on the William Bryan, the first settler ship to arrive in New Plymouth. My father's ancestors, the Chilmans, were on the same ship, but they had their own cabin.

15. I lived in Wellington for seven years, and defended the weather against the depredations of snide Auckland critics for a good five or six of those years.

16. In November 2007 I visited Tyne Cot cemetery in Belgium with friends and paid my respects to my grandfather's uncle Eric Tucker, who died at Passchendaele. I think I was the first Tucker to visit.

17. While I like corresponding by email, I also enjoy writing proper letters and sending them by conventional mail. It keeps alive a connection to centuries of tradition.

18. I've been to quite a few places now, but unlike most of my friends I've never been to Melbourne. I know it's cool; I just never got around to it.

19. I'd like to write a screenplay or a novel, but I think my style of writing is more suited to non-fiction.

20. I wore the same Doc Martens boots for 11 weeks straight on my Eurobus tour of Europe in 1997.

21. Fidgeting people give me a headache. Seriously, I have to look away.

22. I played indoor netball for four or five years in Wellington but wasn't much good at it. I once scored a three-pointer from twice the distance of the shooting circle though. Wasn't actually aiming for the net at the time, but still, pretty damn cool.

23. I have over 1200 CDs. Most of them are in 13 boxes up at Bruce's farm, waiting for me to listen to them again one day.

24. My favourite movie is probably Wim Wenders' Wings Of Desire, but I've only seen it once. I worry that re-watching it might spoil the memories of seeing it at the cinema and being overwhelmed by its beauty.

25. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
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