• Question: You describe yourself as adventurous, why is that?

    Asked by amber123 to Ken on 21 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Ken Gibbs

      Ken Gibbs answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Ah, that would be asking, wouldn’t it ?

      I think that in my last life, I must have been a cat because I cannot leave something alone if it takes my fancy. Like when I was very young, I saw these three holes in the wall – all close together – and wondered what they were for ? I was adventurous, so I thought that if I put a finger in one of the holes, I might discover what they were for. I put my finger in and was immemdiately thrown across the room because it was an electric plug in the days when they didn’t have safety plates in them. I definitely learned something there.

      Just out of interest when I was at university in Cape Town, I decided to hitch-hike home to Zimbabwe (about 1,500 miles away) one holiday. Those were the days when it was safe to hitch-hike, and I met a marvellous mix of people on the road, some of whom I remained friends with for years afterwards. The real challenge was that I bet someone that I could do the trip for less than £1. It took me four days and I only spent 16 shillings.

      Another example of being a bit adventurous was when I worked in Nepal for a while, and took part in a play in which, on stage, a nobleman’s guard had to fire a blunderbus at someone whom he believed was coming to carry his master’s daughter away. I thought that if it actually fired, this would liven up things a lot. Using my possibly misguided interest in chemistry, I managed to get the blunderbus to fire confetti with a thunderous bang which filled the playhouse with smoke. They talked about that for years afterwards. Adventurous ? For sure. Sensible ? Probably not, but then life would be so dull if we didn’t occasionally stretch the boundaries.