I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a long time ago and it has stayed with me. But I keep going back to Bill Watterson’s Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’. There is something compelling about life being explained in the book through the eyes of a six-year-old and his conversations with an imaginary but remarkably perceptive pet tiger.
Forrest Gump is my all-time favourite movie. The lead wasn’t terribly smart or naturally gifted but achieved great things through simplicity of thought, unquestioning belief and focus. He gives us, the ordinary folk, hope. That hope is what puts us to rest at the end of a hard day and prompts us to chart a new beginning at dawn.
I play a bit of golf and occasionally pretend that I can beat my boys at squash and tennis. But, I’ve discovered cycling in my 40s and that’s my main medium of exercise and escapism now. I fall down a fair bit too, although I suspect that’s not supposed to be a part of the sport.
I’ve always been a big fan of Japanese food. The freshness of the ingredients, the subtle flavouring, the simple (if any) cooking, adds up to a terrific gastronomic experience. Recently, we discovered Peruvian food and the simple ceviche is a hot favourite. But, a barbecue with beer wins any day of the week.
I’ve fallen in love with Africa. Being out in the wild amongst earth’s greatest living spectacles is exhilarating, humbling and deeply distressing at the same time. It makes you wonder whether man deserves this planet, changes your frame of reference for humanity and questions whether economic development is an oxymoron.