Favourite Toys ? Lego- just so versatile. You could build all manner of stuff with it. This was long before the kits you get these days. My father, a DIY whizz (He built some amazing stuff) built me an Autism friendly box where I could separate all the different types, sizes and colours.
I liked Action Man although he usually found himself changed from French Foreign Legionary to a warrior from ancient times in bottle top armour with a cardboard shield!
Cars- lined up mainly in lines of bright colours or shot through my loop the loop on my Hot Wheels set.
Then Forts with Cowboys and Indians and a large array of Crusaders and Saracens to fight epic crusade battles.
Any extended family ? Unfortunately no. My sister is my only relative. My mums brother committed suicide a few weeks before I was born so I never met him and dad was adopted so we never knew his real family. Since neither my sister nor I have any children of our own our line will die out.
And you were married ? I was. Between 12/02/1999 and 04/12/2003. I found out she had been having an affair after she divorced me. I lost almost everything. A very damaging time. I was step-father to two autistic step children but there’s no contact now.
How did you meet your current partner ? On Facebook. We’ve been together 10 years this year. She’s a very talented, multi-hobbied lady. I don’t think she really “gets” Autism but she is tolerant of my ways. I think.
Artistic talents ? No, neither do I have Autistic talents. Mum was a fantastic artist and talented writer, my sister can draw and do all sorts of crafty stuff and dad could put his hand to any DIY project. Somewhere along the line I got missed out since I am useless at all those things. I do have a guitar, it’s a metallic blue Jackson JS-Dinky which is my pride and joy. I keep meaning to practice but my co-ordination sucks and I have no sense of rhythm.
What about sporting talent ? Err, no. I was always a rather gangly uncoordinated person and being Autistic and having had two strokes hasn’t really helped my pursuit of sporting excellence. I love football and had a wonderful left foot. I mean that seriously. Almost every boy in school was right footed and what I lacked in stamina and speed I made up for in having a very hard shot and being able to bend a football around a wall. Didn’t get me anywhere though.
In more recent times I have played darts for a local side in the local league. Unfortunately, the strokes and fibromyalgia have put paid to that as being unsteady and not being able to control my throwing arm are not conducive to accurate darts. And I suffer with terrible nerves when I play in environments and people I am uncomfortable around eg pubs.
That said I am proud of having hit a 180 in the league and having had a finish over 100 in successive seasons. My first, a 141 (60, 51, double 15) was pretty epic.
Career ambitions growing up ? Not sure I ever settled on anything specific other than footballer. Then I wanted to be a barrister but didn’t get into University (for reasons we won’t go into) and now…I would love to work in travel.
Met anybody famous ? I don’t follow famous people so haven’t “met” that many. I sat opposite Bamber Gascoigne on the tube, saw Tim Piggott-Smith coming out of a station, saw Lenny Henry on a train and had a few famous faces sit on juries during my time in the courts. Martin Clunes lives locally and I see him from time to time.
Stay tuned for Part 3, coming to a blog site near you…soon!