I have never done drugs. OK, OK coffee, tea, alcohol, cigarettes, cigars and a pipe. I think that's it. Never done any of the ones that are illegal although I did start smoking tobacco at an age that would have been dodgy today.
It often surprises people but I never tried cannabis. Ecstasy wasn't around when I was a yoof. There was no temptation to experiment.
I have no tattoos. Vaguely pondered the idea from time to time but never saw any idea I liked the thought of displaying permanently. My body is more like a gallery to me with a regularly changing seasonal exhibition called clothes. So the same argument deals with why nothing is pierced either. That and the dislike, generally, of unnecessary pain.
I get addicted though. To subjects in rotation. To new games. To authors and film directors. Sports.
I recall almost bursting at school when, the night before, a friend had introduced me to a new strategy game. I couldn't wait to get home and play again, and again, and again.
When I finally retire I may get the Subbuteo out once more and play through a league season (10 minute matches - strict rules to keep goals down when playing for both sides).
Or I may do a maths degree. I was good at it once and still love numbers.
I often wonder if this state of affairs is a matter of personality type or simply luck. I read back into my teenage self some of the things I do and prefer today. Today I love solitude but in my teens that was boring. Or was it? I could spend hours in my room playing board games whilst listening to music. Not unhappily. Today is the same.
But I did spend several hours staring out of the window wondering where a girlfriend might come from. Eventually sussed out that in some circumstances you absolutely have to go out and meet people. Now I meet people for a living and can work in a room full of strangers.
A history essay used to take two and a half albums - about 100 minutes for 500 words. The music was the only way I could cope. I find it hard to believe that I worked for several years as a writer and turning music off helped me to do 4000 words a day. But I got a history A Level.
The thing that most terrified me at school was public speaking - a class presentation aged 17 kept me awake all night. I eliminated any line of work that involved that from my enquiries at an early stage. My teenage self is amazed that I can now stand on a platform and talk to anyone, about anything, without notice or nerves.
I like reading but do it better when in company with one other person who likes reading. Just that brief break every couple of hours to talk about what you are reading or share a drink.
Yesterday morning I wanted to listen to the radio but sensed that Mrs T didn't. She said it was fine to turn it on but after a few minutes I got uncomfortable. I either like doing things alone or in the company of a fellow 'addict'. I hate the thought that I have conscripted someone else into my world; even someone I have been married to for 36 years. (Predictive text just changed 'married' to 'hatred'.)
Which may mean, despite the insensitivity that is the occasional tax the audience pays on wit, I am, to my surprise, quite sensitive. I want to make things better for those who want to be helped, or who don't yet know they are better off with me than without me. As soon as someone comes into the fold that is 'friendship' I, almost perversely, try to put them off by showing them what I am really like unplugged. It keeps the results down to a manageable level.
Over the years fewer than a dozen people have opted to stay close enough for that to happen (family have lost the idea of 'opted'). In fact, helped by this thought from Ian Russell a long time ago, I transition my friends into the 'family' box. It means I make friends in the churches I lead and have no problem with this. I cannot understand those who believe distance should be kept.
Although the idea of specialist clergy has been given a lot of focus in recent years it is being a generalist - able to converse with a variety of people about many subjects - that stands you in good stead. It doesn't mean you need know anything about the subject; just enough to ask the second question and make the other person talk. My own specialism - growing missional Christian communities - is actually a generalism.
Why am I telling you this? Well first and foremost I am telling me this, not you. I am thinking about the ingredients list and methodology that produced the dish that is me.
Secondly I was prompted by one of those twenty questions quizzes on Facebook which asked which Mr Men character you are. I know why I got my result. My answers did not make sense in relation to each other. People who like red as a colour should like garish hats and parties.
One of the strange conclusions of all this is that all the personality and team-type profiles in the world have never improved upon my horoscope. I fit 'Gemini' thoroughly.
I came out as Mr Topsy-Turvy.
I think I will charge myself twenty guineas for the consultation.