Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Big Interview

The second of the Big Interviews and this week its Ian Evans. Ian is a fellow Dagenham and Redbridge supporter who at the moment is giving up smoking so good luck mate. Ian was kind enough to be the first to reply and I would personally like to thank him for taking the time to do this. So are you ready? Here goes then..........over to Ian.

Who are ya?

I'm Ian Evans, a 47 year old primary school teacher. I live in Hutton with my beautiful wife Jennie and our 8 year old daughter. I was born in Glasgow, but from the age of 5 I lived in Pembroke, Wales. I feel more Welsh than Scottish, and have lived in Essex since 1997.

Favourite decade?

Hmm, if I could take a ten year period from 1976 to 86 rather than a specific decade I would choose that 10 years of my life. The birth of punk through to the year I left University. Punk made a massive impression on me in both my attitude to life (no, don't worry, I refrain from spitting at people!) and fuelled the love I have to this day of alternative music. It was like a thunderbolt. One minute it was all The Rubettes and Showadywady and the next BANG! I was 14 years old and suddenly life was dangerously exciting.

I went to college in 1982, leaving small town Wales for the bright lights of, erm, Derby. Believe me when I tell you it was a massive culture shock and I wanted to embrace it. I loved the fact that I could go to nightclubs, real gigs, league football and meet loads of girls. I embraced it a little too much and eventually scraped a degree in geology. I don't, for a second, regret not working harder at college. I learnt a lot more about myself and life than I ever did about rocks. There was a lot of bad things going on in my life during the 76-86 years, as there were for loads of working class people in this country, but if I had to live any time of my life again it would be then. - What did Dickens say? "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness."

Your Favourite toy as a child?

I really wasn't massively into toys as a child. Pretty much from the age of 5 all I lived for was football. Any presents I got at birthdays, Christmas etc were football related. On my 8th birthday my dad picked me up and said to me. "How would you like tickets for Manchester United v Everton?" He carried me into the living room and laid out on the table was a subbuteo set (lined up in the old WM formation). I was overjoyed and played it at every opportunity; usually against myself, but did play against my mates, except the extremely clumsily Kevin Savin, who knelt on Jimmy Johnstone of Celtic and broke him. I bought teams and accessories any time I got any money and recently my wife bought me a new set which I occasionally play with my daughter. (I never win these games.)

Ever been arrested?

No. If I had I doubt if I could be a teacher. I wouldn't say that I have lived a blameless life though. Far from it. Best leave it there.

If I could do anything other than teaching, what would it be?

It would have to be some sort of sports related activity. I would like to write sports reports for a major newspaper. I love football, rugby and cricket. To be honest, I do enjoy teaching kids and would miss the fun of that job. Tough call.

Most embarrassing moment ever?

It's September 1982, The Pink Coconut nightclub, Derby. The Fresher's Ball (A huge rave up for the new intake of students). I am chatting to one of the fittest girls in the whole college, someone I had noticed on the very first day but hadn't plucked up the courage to actually speak to, but Dutch courage is a great thing and I am doing pretty well. (Trying the Nigel Havers charm routine whilst dressed in ridiculous trousers and double breasted New Romantic shirt). I gently touch her arm as I enthral her with my funniest stories (ahem). To my surprise, and delight, her response is to pull me towards her and she proceeds to snog me in a very passionate way. I can't believe my luck, and I really want to seize the moment and impress the Hell out of her. "Same again?" I ask her. She nods and I proceed to the bar, remembering the story about Sean Connery- where he want for the audition for James Bond and got the part because Cubby Broccoli, the producer, said he "moved like a panther." I wanted to look cool, move like a panther and get this girl back to my place.

I bought the drinks (a pint for me - sophistication eh? Red wine for her, well she was a girl!) and made my way back to the pillar where she was standing. She was chatting to a girl I recognised and had befriended a day or so before, who I hoped was putting a good word in for me. Our friend smiled at me in that way that girls do when they are excited, you know, exaggerated with her eyebrows arching like rainbows. She mouthed the words "She likes you!" and gave the thumbs up as I approached. (Moving like a panther, just to further impress). I had never felt so self assured, confident, excited. I had never felt so good in my life.

BANG. I fell over. I fell over this stupid bloody seat that was about shin high and screwed to the floor. I fell over it just as the music stopped. I didn't fall like a panther. I didn't look cool, self assured or confident. I fell like a complete twat. The first thing to come into contact with the sticky carpet of The Pink Coconut was my chin, rapidly followed by my full pint of beer, and her empty glass of wine. The contents of my glass erupted like Vesuvius and landed on top of my groggy head.

Then I hared this bloke laughing. Absolutely pissing himself. Some guy with a ridiculous 80's moustache just laughing. And the shrieking. The object of my desire was shrieking. Not through any concern for me. Oh no. She was shrieking because her beautiful white dress was completely covered in red wine.

Eventually I picked myself up, quite a crowd had gathered by now, and walked. I walked past the pillar and the shrieking beauty, walked past the caterpillar lipped northern bloke, past the gathering crowd and into the night air. No longer a panther, more a meek pussy cat.

Favourite Film and album of all time?

The film is easy. "Withnail And I" starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann. The funniest, most quotable film ever. It is a huge cult movie and if you have never seen it, see it! Album, much more difficult, but I would have to go with "Blue" by Joni Mitchell. Now I know that it isn't an alternative music album but it is just wonderful. Happy, sad, beautiful and haunting. So many songs remind me why I love my wife so much, but also reminds you how painful love can be. Soppy and sentimental? No, I don't think it is. Essential listening? Yes.

Worst Job Ever?

Summer 1980. I was an A level student wanting a summer job. I went on spec with my mate to the local council office and filled out an application form for seasonal work. Lo and behold, a month latter I got a letter telling me that I had a summer job. Great! The job was grass cutter and grave digger in the local cemetery. Not so great. Now I never got to dig a grave when I worked there. Four of us who got jobs there were put on grass cutting duty only. The grass was knee high and we weren't given strimmers. Oh no. We were given hooks and sharpening stones. Hooks! It was like the middle ages or something. The sexton of the cemetery was a miserable old git without humour or any noticeable redeeming feature. We made the most of it though and had a good laugh most of the time. I did manage to put my hook through my foot and had to be rushed to hospital - and also got stung by a wasp which caused my right hand (my hooking hand!) to swell up to about three times its natural size.

Favourite place in the world?

A couple of years ago, on our honeymoon, my wife and I spent a fortnight in Cancun, Mexico. We were in a 5 star, 24 hour all inclusive hotel. The weather was as beautiful as the location. We went on several excursions; some cultural, such as the Mayan temple at Chichinitza, some fun like driving speedboats through the jungle and swimming with dolphins, however the highlight for both of us was a boat trip to a beautiful, remote, uninhabited island called Islay Contoy. On the way there we stopped on the reef and went snorkeling. That was breath taking. When we reached the island it was incredible. Almost dream like. I haven't got words to do it justice but if you were ever to envisage a perfect desert island- this was it. Here I was, with the woman I love and it was just perfect. Incredible scenery, crystal clear water and magnificent wildlife, including a beautiful, friendly stingray which lapped up in the shallow water and allowed me to stroke him. I remember seeing flying fish jumping out of the water and gliding for ages. One day I will go back.

Finally, tell us something we don't know about you?

I have a phobia. Belly buttons. I hate them. I cant touch my own belly button and I am starting to feel squeamish as I write this. I once nearly fainted in school when a mother of one of the children in my class showed me her newly pierced naval. It was bleeding! My wife worked in the class next door and had to sit me in a seat with my head between my knees and the world was spinning around. Don't ask me to explain the root of this. I don't know the answer.

Thanks once again to Ian for the interview. A few more to come and once again if you want to take part let me know in the comments below and Ill be in touch.

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