Neil Hopcroft

A digital misfit

Neil Number 1

I thought he’d turn up sooner or later, Blue Neil. He’s not looking quite so blue these days. Or, indeed, particularly happy about having his picture taken.

Selfie Number One

Early 2002 and this is my first selfie – one of very few I have ever taken. A bunch of us went skiing and I was looking for sunglasses – there weren’t any mirrors but I had my camera. Thus a craze was born.

For sale, Ford Sierra, one careless owner

This poor thing survived my time in London and came with me to Oxford. It blew an engine, which I suspect was caused by a botched cambelt change (by a main dealer, no less) but could not prove. This had the weird symptom of being fine all the time the revs were over 4k, but let it drop and it would stall. That made for a particularly interesting journey through Nottingham city centre.

The second block sprang an oil leak that was utterly insatiable and eventually led to its demise.

Smooth or Spiky

If you ever wondered why I was called smooth Neil, meet Spiky. More importantly I’m actually Neil number 4 – Number 1 might turn up at some point but two and three are consigned to history now.

How we used to live

This is one of the flats I lived in in London, the nicer of them, it was in Finchley, a few minutes walk from the Tube station. I didn’t really like living in London much, there’s a lot of angry people and it kinda makes you angry too. There are some things I miss, like being able to go anywhere because you’ve got a travelcard, but I still kept my car and escaped when I could.

All the songs we know

I learned to skim stones on a lake in the Canadian Rockies. We went with some friends of my parents and their family, including their children and Gramps, their grandfather.

It took hours but with the endless supply of skimming stones and patience I can only dream of, I got there in the end. And once we were done it was time for marshmallows by the campfire, again Gramps showed us how to whittle a stick to spear a marshmallow and roast it on the fire.