My father was an enormously hands-on man. He grew up with horses and farms and no money, so he improvised. I learned that skill from him, so when, as a child, I built tree-houses, camps, dens, stages with curtains and lights, (hmmm, maybe a clue there...), I followed his example of making things out of what was lying around.
I worked on farms as a teenager and helped my father and stepmother set up a 10 acre smallholding in Devon in the seventies.
I've been doing up old houses all my life, mainly because I couldn't afford to employ anyone, but I'm really happiest when battered, bruised and exhausted at the end of the day, sitting back with a beer in my hand, admiring my work. Nothing like it.
In 1986 I filed a patent for an invention called "The Hippo" - a baby carrying device. It very nearly made me rich!
I once did a welding course and Judy bought me a MIG welder. This side of my life has yet to come to fruition.
Before I went to drama school I got an HGV licence (Class 2). This meant that as an actor I have never signed on, there was always casual driving work at Manpower. I also drove a Trek America minibus ocean to ocean and back in 1978. Gettin' paid and gettin' laid - what a way to see the States.
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