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<your background>
2.Q Tell me about the first time you can remember being thrilled.
2.A Going too high on the garden swing.

3.Q What's been your most frightening thrill ever?
3.A Vertigo getting the better of me on a cliff in Cornwall.

4.Q What's the smallest or slightest thing to have thrilled you?
4.A As a boy, seeing a colour picture of The Beatles in Woolworths. Up until then I had only known them in black and white.

5.Q Tell me why you're not a sensible person.
5.A I waste time.

6.Q What were you doing the last time you were really bored?
6.A Watching Terminator 3.

7.Q What's the most uninhibited thing you've ever done?
7.A When I played in a band, I once leapt (in white jump suit and high heels) from the stage onto someone in the audience’s table, but then couldn’t think how to get back.

8.Q What things have you considered doing for thrill, but were too concerned about the risks?
8.A Dancing in public.

9.Q I always dreamt about being a paramedic, driving an ambulance and saving lives; what about you?
9.A I think I quite liked the idea of being invisible, though I’m not sure how I planned to make use of this attribute. Not getting served in shops, and being unable to hail a taxi, probably.

<your thrill>
To answer these next 14 questions, you should think about a particular time you were thrilled.

10.Q Describe this thrill in a nutshell, in one sentence. (there's time to expand later)
10.A Discovering that the James Bond bubble gum card series I collected when I was eight contained pictures of scantily clad women.

11.Q Where and when did it take place?
11.A Birmingham. Cooper’s Road post office.

12.Q Tell me a bit about yourself around this time.
12.A I collected every series of bubble gum cards that came out:- footballers, war and battle, flags of all nations, pop groups. Strangely, around that time there was a set of cards depicting the life of Winston Churchill; I even collected those.

13.Q How did the moment arise? Was it planned?
13.A Having collected all these other series, I thought I knew what to expect. But this was something else.

14.Q List the sequence of events leading up to your thrill, and how you felt at each stage. The smallest detail could be important (this is your chance to expand).
14.A I quickly realised that the Winston Churchill series I had been collecting was not very thrilling and that Shirley Eaton in a bikini was. I knew instinctively that I wasn’t supposed to have these cards. Even though they were marketed for children, I knew my mum would disapprove. I decided to keep quiet about them, and though they were subsequently discovered and were taken away from me, I remember planning to collect more, especially the ‘good’ ones like number 45, the most thrilling card in the series. My friend, Stephen, had this one but steadfastly refused to swap it for any number of other cards.

15.Q At the exact moment of thrill, how did your mind and body feel?
15.A Unable to quite believe what I was seeing, that I had been able to go into a sweet shop and buy these cards for myself. Something forbidden had fallen into my innocent hands and I did not want to let it go.

16.Q What thoughts were going through your mind?
16.A A Concern that when my mother found the cards she’d put a stop to it.

17.Q What did you do immediately afterwards?
17.A Schemed how to persuade Stephen to part with card number 45.

20.Q Some people probably don't understand how such a thing can thrill you; could you explain it to them?
20.A I think you have to see it all in context. This was 1963. The only way to see someone in a bikini was between the pages of Parade, a magazine for men. And this was very, very rude.

21.Q Why were certain objects or equipment important to your thrill?
21.A The sealed packet that the cards came in meant it was impossible to tell which cards you were going to get. Opening the packet was always thrilling, whatever the series, but the sealed packet was the most exciting of all, because so long as it’s left unopened, there’s a chance it may contain exactly the card you’re looking for.

22.Q If you've done something like this before, how does the last time compare to the first time you did it?
22.A As an adult I was able to track down a set of these cards. Flicking through them brought back something of the same thrill. There was also still the faint aroma of the bubble gum strip that came in each pack and I realised how closely connected that smell was with the whole collecting thing.

As an artist, most of the work I now do is rooted firmly in my childhood, and I think a lot of that is to do with the realisation that by using triggers such as this, it is possible to go back and rediscover things from my past. It’s that exploration that thrills me now.

Is there anything you want to add?




what do you find thrilling?