Well, I don’t normally do these kinds of challenges seeing as I like to be hidden away in my man cave, either writing music in the studio or sharing some of the big adventures I’ve been on. Usually I keep things to myself in the online world, offering small glimpses in to my personal life. However, I was “nominated” twice to do this challenge (both by @gabrielatravels and @mocchiata who I met through the Steemit community) and thought I would open up the doors and invite you in to find out a little more about who I am 🙂 Plus it’s always good to know more from the person behind the name I think. We’re all humans at the end of the day.
What Is The “10 Random Things Challenge”?
Don’t worry, it really isn’t as complex as it sounds 😛 From what I’ve seen, this challenge was created by @twodorks on Steemit, where you just tell the world 10 random things about you (how far you want to go is up to you). Once you have written the 10 random things, you then invite 3 or more people to join in and share 10 things about themselves (I prefer the word “invite” over “nominate”, sounds less forceful). But before they share those 10 random things, they need to answer a completely random question posed by the person who invited them in the comments section. Some of you who have followed me around and commented over the last few years may know some of these things but there may be a couple of surprises for you. So let’s begin.
1 – I’m An Arsenal F.C. Fan
Boo! Hiss! Get off the stage!! Haha, sorry folks, got to get this one out there straight away. I wasn’t always an Arsenal fan but over the years, being surrounded by a passionate football family, having season tickets and finding out one of my Great Grandparents played for the old Woolwich Arsenal, I caved in 🙂 I’ve been to quite a few home and away matches over the last 10 years but because of what is happening in point 6 of this blog, I’ll be holding on to my money (it ain’t cheap being an Arsenal fan)! I definitely prefer the away games though, you’d get more atmosphere at a morgue than at the Emirates stadium!
2 – I Was A Big Gamer
“Was” being the operative word here. You would never be able to peel me away from the games console or PC for much of my teenage years. Even when I should have been doing work on the PhD, I was gaming away, mainly spending my time on Call of Duty games, tearing up the forums and receiving a lot of smack talk… I let my skills do the talking 😉 But I started prioritising and realised just how much time I wasted on these machines. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed playing games but I decided to put a priority on making my music 3 years ago. Plus the Call of Duty games started getting worse for me and lost interest in it.
3 – I’m a Doctor
That’s right, Dr. Nicky Havey at your service! Unfortunately though, I won’t be able to recommend any treatments for your medical condition as it’s not a medical degree I have but rather, graduating from a PhD in Materials Science that took me nearly 6 years to do. If you follow my music journey, you will see many a track being uploaded, telling stories of various parts of the struggle. You’d probably get fed up of hearing me talk about it but when it’s 1/5 of your life, it’s kind of a big thing 🙂
If you wanted to know what I did for my PhD (other than play games), then I was researching a relatively new process to increase wear resistance in Aluminium bearing alloys in car engines. In the end, it was more the factors outside of my control that delayed it for so long. I was just crippled by never ending politics from supervisors to collaborators to lab technicians… you name it, I’ve been through the worst of it from a PhD perspective. It was a life changing experience actually, made me want to travel.
4 – I Love Listening To & Producing Music!
I have my parents to thank for this! When I was growing up, the music I listened to was dictated mainly by whatever they listened to. This ranged from sounds from the 60s, 70s, 80s and the 90s and I remember quite a lot of the tunes, maybe not names of the tracks but I would recognise a surprising amount.
Then my brother introduced me to the Ministry of Sound from 1999-2003 and eventually to Drum & Bass. He was mainly in to his garage, hip-hop and rap at the time but as part of the “Bass, Breaks & Beats 2003” compilation CD (yes, CD), there was a mix by DJ Hype which I heard blasting in his room and I thought, that’s incredible! So since then, I’ve been really in to Trance, Drum & Bass, Liquid, those kind of high energy vibes. I don’t really listen to pop music anymore, mainly hanging around the underground of Soundcloud and some of the crypto music sites that are popping up like Choon & Musicoin.
I got a keyboard in 1996 which was my entry to music creation and was happy enough playing around with my own melodies. Then I got music software in 2011 and was so ecstatic to be able to make my own mp3s, it was like a dream come true! The fact other people like my music as well is an incredible feeling and it warms me when I get feedback from those who say my music has made a difference to them. It inspires me to make more tracks and release them to the world for people to enjoy – you can listen to my tracks on SoundCloud, Choon or Musicoin.
5 – I Am Older Than I Look
Ah, the look of horror on people’s faces when I tell them I’m in my 30s 😀 Yep, must have been all those years spent in a lab with no windows during the PhD as I don’t have any sunlight damage on my face haha!
6 – I Prefer Nature Over Cities
Not much more to say about this one. I grew up living a 5 minute walk from the countryside and I can maybe put up with being in a city for 2 nights at the absolute maximum. Give me a walk in the countryside, hiking up mountains or along the coast any day of the week. I just prefer the solitude, tranquillity and the perspective check that being out in nature gives me, which is why I’m going travelling again for a final big “hooray” in April 2019 to Australia and maybe New Zealand as well. It’s a long way to go for a Brit!
7 – I Am Pretty Much T-Total
That’s right, haven’t drunk alcohol for as long as I can remember, maybe it has been a year now. Why? You may be asking, “Everyone has to drink alcohol!” Well, mainly medical reasons. I used to drink a fair amount (I say “fair amount” because I was a lightweight) but probably a combination of working closely with Industrial Methylated Spirits for a few years and having adverse reactions as I was drinking alcohol when I was stressed started flaring up my asthma and eczema caused me to I pretty much stop. It just wasn’t worth it anymore. I may have one bottle of Mexican beer like Corona or Sol if I want to but I have got used to the sober life now and quite enjoy it.
8 – I Have Run 5 Marathons
Yep, that’s pretty mad in itself! Paris (2010), Chester (2012), Edinburgh (2012), Berlin (2014) & Amsterdam (2016). Ok ok, the question of, “Why you crazy fool?” needs to be answered! So back in Oct 2008, me and my old school friends had a discussion after we finished our undergraduate days. This was when we went out drinking quite a consistently and quite heavily (even for this lightweight, I still knocked back a few shots) but I wanted to get fit seeing as I had not done ANY exercise whatsoever for a long time. I suggested running and the other two lads were up for it as well.
So I bought some running shoes for the first time ever and they felt kinda weird haha, every step in these shoes pushed you forward which was a strange feeling but quickly got used to it. What I didn’t get used to in the first run was just how out of shape I really was! Once all was said and done, I ran less than 0.5 miles (not even 1km) and I was thinking that was it, done, never again… Legs were sore for about 10 days as it took them that long to recover. It was really disheartening! I went to check in with my friends and they too were struggling, ready to throw in the towel. Anyway, we signed up for a 5 mile (9km) race that was taking place in a couple of months time… what?! Yea it looks like we needed something to aim and train for and that definitely provided us with the motivation to keep going for it!
Once we did that, we started thinking bigger – 7 miles (11km), a couple of half marathons and then the big one – Paris marathon April 2010. I managed to complete that in 4h 21 minutes and that stayed my best time until 2014 and then 2016, when I set a PB of 4h 15m 51s in Amsterdam (and before you ask, no that was not under the influence of what happened in #9 of the blog)! I’d still want to go under 4 hours though and am planning a marathon in 2020 with my friends. I will not stop until I get there but travelling next year is taking priority! I’d also like to do a 5km run in under 20 minutes but that’s proving just as difficult! Gotta give things a go right?
9 – I’ve Experienced Weed Once & Only Once
And that wasn’t by smoking it but by eating one of the patented Space Cake Muffins in The Bulldog Coffee Shop a day after our Amsterdam marathon, Oct 2016! I was with a couple of my old school friends, one of which had also never tried weed before and we thought we’d go for it. I’ve learnt from my brother’s experience to have PLENTY OF WATER because it will dehydrate you very quickly. So how did that go?
Well, it felt like nothing was happening after the first 30 minutes, everything was as it was before eating the chocolate muffin. But then, things began to change. For me, I was starting to get a tingling sensation in my face, mainly the jaw, which felt kinda interesting and I started smiling a bit more. As the effects started getting stronger, I could feel all my thoughts from my overactive mind start to get suppressed and I couldn’t focus on anything, like a daze really. After 45 minutes, I was just bopping my head to the tech house music that was playing in the background and all care of what was being said in the conversation was gone. Mouth started drying up so we asked one of the other guys in our group to get lots of water haha!
Of course, what happened when you drink lots of water? You also need to go to the loo and this involved engaging the legs… Ah, it felt like they were 11 feet long as I got out of the chair I was sitting in! I looked down and it was like looking through binoculars but the other way round, you know when things look further away than they are? Everything was slow motion.
I was perfectly happy to stay in that café but the one who wasn’t stoned wanted to go to another bar. None of us other 3 could really co-ordinate ourselves but we stumbled along anyway and got to this bar and I remember being almost blinded by all the flashing lights and colours being sprinkled around. There was FAR too much information to take in for my stoned brain and at this point (about 90 minutes later from initial cake intake) it was very difficult to ask the bar staff for some water but some how pulled it off and paid for it without making a complete arse out of myself (in my mind anyway) 😀
Thank goodness we got to a seat and there was some football (soccer) on the TVs on the wall, something to focus on and not worry about talking.
Then it happened… the giggles… I glanced over at the face of one of my other stoned friends as he looked like he was about to provide the answer to the meaning of life, deep in thought about something. But in reality, beyond those eyes, it was just a white room with absolutely nothing in it. Nothing 😀 Once I saw his face, that was it, 45 minutes of laughing myself silly and my other stoned friend next to me started laughing, but didn’t know why! He asked me why I was laughing and I tried explaining to him but I just said, “Look at his face!” That set him off too. Brilliant!
It felt like the “high” came in waves. It would settle down and you’d think, “That’s the end of it” but it came back again and again when we were in this bar. Probably about 4 or 5 times the laughter would come back, tears pouring from our faces. Need. More. Water! Must have had about 5 bottles over the course of the “high”.
Once we finished in that bar, we decided to head back to the hotel and call it a night. It was the best night’s sleep I ever had and think I was still feeling it a little bit in the morning. Though I have to admit, I did feel a lot calmer for the few weeks after that. It was like nothing phased me at work and I felt like I could do anything as the thoughts were still suppressed 🙂
Please Note: I am not advocating taking drugs, just sharing my one experience of trying out weed and everyone reacts differently so be careful what you ingest as everyone has different reactions! You are responsible for what you do with what you put in to your body so consider this a disclaimer 🙂
10 – It’s said “Havvy”…
I’ve heard quite a lot of variations on how people have said “Havey” but let’s clear this one up whilst we are at it! “Havvy” is how you say it. “But Havey has got an ‘e’ in it?” Indeed it has but the reason for that is because Havey looks nicer than Havvy. If you’re still struggling (as a few of my Texan friends were when I first told them it’s Havvy) then think of it like this – the word “have” with a ‘y’ on the end. So now you know!
Invites To The Challenge
So if you made it through this far, you are a legend 😀 But now I’d like to invite a few people from a couple of communities I’m in who I’ve met the last few months and find out more about them. Although if you wanted to get involved as well, chip in with your comments below!
Steemit Bloggers Community Invites – @beautifulbullies @janton @clicked
Travel Feed Community Invites – @manoldonchev @mrprofessor @guchtere
Atom Collector Records Community Invites – @theturtleproject @skaarl @gjart @atomcollector
“Your Starter For 10”
So here is your starter question folks, answer in the comments below – “If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?”
Looking forward to hearing the answers and I hope you enjoyed reading these 10 random facts! Back to the music 🙂