1.) I was born at 7:25pm on 18th December 1969. I promptly peed on the midwife. Way to make an entrance.
2.) My full name is David William John Brider. The "William John" bit is in fact my dad's first names. Some people think I'm a bit greedy for having two middle names.
3.) If I was a girl, I would have been called Elizabeth
4.) My parents separated when I was a little over a year old. I stayed with my mum, Pam, who married Malcolm. They had a daughter, Antonia.
5.) My dad also went on to marry again, to Joan. They have a couple of daughters, Emma and Jessica. So I have three half-sisters. Which adds up to 1½ sisters, I think..?
6.) Antonia is married (as of 2005) to Richard, and they have a lovely son called Jakob Stephen, and a daughter called Eleni Kathryn. Emma and Jessica are unmarried, but happily spoken for.
7.) My dad's surname is Pegram; on every piece of paperwork my mum signed for me after her re-marriage, she put my name down as "Pegram known as Brider" and eventually just "Brider". However, I never officially took my stepdad's name until a couple of years ago when I was applying for a passport and the decision was taken to formally "change" my name to Brider (because actually changing it to Pegram would have been too much hassle). The document granting me this name-change is full of wonderful legalese, about how I "renounce and rescind all claim to the name of Pegram". Yay, wonderful - I renounce and rescind all claim to a name I've never used legally for 37 years...
8.) I was married, back in 1998, to a lady by the name of Jane. Unfortunately, it was rather short-lived, and although we had some happy times together (and some less happy times as well, if I'm honest), the break-up was rather acrimonious. Apart from a brief exchange of letters with the solicitors when we were getting divorced, I've not heard from Jane since 1999. I worry for her, since apparently she was going through some mental health troubles and attempted suicide a couple of times. I miss her, and I'd like to meet up with her just so we could part company on good terms.
9.) On the other hand, I'm now - as most regular readers of this LJ will known - engaged to a wonderful young lady by the name of Sarah. Sarah's 32, from Chorleywood originally, but when I met her she'd been living in Barking for a few years. Last September she moved out of Barking to be back with her mum, and last weekend she moved to a rented house in Bishop's Stortford which will be our marital home. We get married on 19th September this year.
10.) Changing my name back to Pegram wouldn't have been a good idea - "Old Ma Pegram" was a rather less than popular person in Chorleywood and I don't think Sarah's family would have a.) lived it down or b.) forgiven her for marrying a Pegram, even if there's no known connection.
11.) Sarah and I met in a queue for a signing outside the specialist Doctor Who shop Tenth Planet. We got chatting about mutual geeky interests, and I asked if Sarah was going to the Dimensions convention in Stockton-on-Tees, which the Tenth Planet guys were organising a couple of weeks after the signing. Yes, she said, she was. How was she travelling, I asked, thinking maybe we could share a coach or a train rider? By car, she said. Could I possibly cadge a lift, I asked? Yes, no problem. Our 0.5th date, then, took place at Stockton Retail Park, where we went for a pizza and spent a happy evening discussing historical inaccuracies in Hollywood films (this was shortly after the release of Arthur, so we had a lot to discuss...). On the drive back from Stockton, I was gazing at the reflection of Sarah's wonderful brown eyes in the mirror, and realising I'd fallen for her, so a few days later I asked her if she'd like to meet up again, maybe to go to see a film. Our 1st date took place on the last weekend of November that year. We went to see The Incredibles. Good first date movie.
12.) I'm a Christian. That's the simple bit. The complicated bit is that although theologically I'm fairly conservative (to the extent that I have quite gladly worn the label fundamentalist in the past), I'm also keen to explore alternative avenues of spirituality - I'm currently in membership at The Oasis Church, which is reformed in its teaching and charismatic in its outlook, but I'm also attracted by certain facets of the Quakers (their pacifism in particular), Paganism, and Wicca (I think that "an it harm none, do as thou wilt" is a very healthy ethical principle to live by).
13.) I'm also, at this stage in my life, a six day creationist, although I only became one about 12 years ago, and who knows what the next 12 years holds. Hope that doesn't offend anyone. It's alright, I'm not likely to be really in your face about it, and I'm certainly not going to insist on creationism being taught in schools or anything like that.
14.) Socially, on the other hand, I'm very liberal, and a strong supporter of gay rights, gay marriage, etc. Politically, just about every one of those on-line memes I've filled in reckons I'm a socialist. I suspect that sooner or later I'll end up joining the socialist party.
15.) I'm alternately a fanboy and a fangirl, on the basis that neither label is really about gender so much as it's about attitude. So, I can recite facts and figures, or squee enthusiastically. Often both at the same time.
16.) Doctor Who is my main fandom. I've been watching it literally as long as I can remember - my first memory of any kind involves me and Antonia being at the meal table and pleading with mum & Malcolm to be allowed to leave the table so we could watch that evening's Doctor Who. We finally made it into the lounge in time for the closing moments of The Ark in Space episode 1.
17.) I realised in summer 2007 that I was slightly bisexual. It wasn't a particularly big deal, just that every so often I'd see a guy I liked the look of (normally a celebrity) and think, "I'm heterosexual but I fancy him." Bearing in mind that summer 2007 was when we had John Barrowman, David Tennant and John Simm all appearing together in one episode of Doctor Who, and also around then I watched Supernatural for the first time and was exposed to the utter loveliness that is Jared Padalecki, not to mention seeing Milo Ventimiglia, floppy fringe and all, on Heroes. "I'm heterosexual but..." no longer seemed a viable way of phrasing it...
18.) I'm generally pretty geeky. I own a Mac, for goodness' sake. Most of my geeky aspirations and tendencies are frustrated by budget (I was only able to afford the Mac 'cos of an income tax rebate).
19.) I like songwriting, although I'm probably not very good at it. I've posted some of my songs online. Anybody who feels so inclined can listen to some of my efforts at Macidol.
20.) Having grown up in the early '80s when the computers we had were things like the ZX Spectrum and the BBC Micro, I missed being able to program more modern computers, or at least to do so easily. Since the Mac makes such work fairly easy by providing all one could possibly need, I'm hoping to teach myself to program, probably in C++. Y'never know, it could be a change of career.
21.) My big ambition is to write a novel. I have about half a dozen vaguely-formed plots/ideas going round my head, but I've yet to manage to get them down on paper in a form I was really happy with. That's certainly something I intend to change asap.
22.) As a teenager, I went to Brentwood School, in Essex. About ten years earlier, Douglas Adams had been there. That's pretty much my main claim to fame.
23.) I currently live with a guy called Tim in a rented house in Chelmsford. Tim was the best man at my wedding, and will probably the best man at my next wedding. I hope that the next marriage lasts for the rest of my life, as it will just be plain embarrassing to have to ask him to be best man a third time...
24.) I've lived in Chelmsford most of my life, apart from the first couple of years (when I was in Chadwell Heath) and 1995 - 1999 when I was at university. My degree is in Theology and Religious Studies, which I got at Roehampton Institute, as it was then (now known as Roehampton University, and it's been through various other slight changes of name over the years). I graduated in summer 1998, and spent a few months after then starting a PGCE course, but gave up when it all got a bit much for me. I have the utmost respect for anyone who teaches for a living, 'cos quite frankly just to have completed the training is impressive, never mind holding their own in front of a group of pupils.
25.) I suffer from depression. I used to blame the break-up of my relationship with Jane, but I think really it's taken on a life of its own. Fortunately, I'm taking pills (Citalopram) with which I hope, if not to absolutely cure it, at least to minimise its effects.
25.5.) I love Wales. I'd like to live there (I think Caerphilly is particularly nice). I'm kind of vaguely hoping that I've got Welsh blood in me - not impossible, but my mum - who's been researching our family history for the past 30+ years - has yet to discover any evidence of Welsh ancestry. However, Sarah - who does have Welsh ancestry - calls me Dai, and I quite like it. So I often sign off LJ posts with it.