Steve GrahamI’m Steve Graham, a former software development manager with a physics degree. I “dropped out” as the hippies used to say, so I spend my time playing music and tinkering with technology.

Music is very important to me. I think there are some of us whose brains work in a different way to those of the majority: unlike most people, it’s not that we “like” music; we need it, like a drug. I began playing guitar when two friends and I formed a band at school. I wasn’t the most talented, so I got the bass guitar job. I’ts been a long time, but I’m pretty good at it now.

Like many a teenaged male, I started off listening to rock and metal genres, but fortunately, John Peel was able to educate me and broaden my tastes. These days, I happily consume classical, world music, and all kinds of funk, soul, rock and pop; but my core liking is for the abrasive sounds of British and American post-punk bands (Dinosaur Jr, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Buzzcocks, Gang of Four, Leatherface, and many, many more.) And math rock with its loops and cycles.

Politically, I stand a long way to the left, but I don’t make a song and dance about it. I always vote. I was born in Northern Ireland, but I feel absolutely zero natural allegiance to either “unionist” or “nationalist” camps, and have a good deal of contempt for both. Ask me if I’m British or Irish and I’ll shrug. It’s not important.

I don’t believe in the supernatural — ghosts, fairies, Santa Claus, gods — it’s all just stories. I think religion is merely superstition with a better PR department. That’s not to say I’m not interested. What people believe and what they’ll do and justify with that belief is fascinating, in a pathological kind of way. I’ve read quite widely on myths, religion and magic; in fact, I know the Bible better than the vast majority of Christians, and I write the occasional blog about what the Bible actually says, compared to what people think it does. I haven’t yet got round to reading the Koran.

UmbriaI began writing a blog simply as an exercise to keep my language skills in trim. You know, eventually for writing that best-selling novel. I like language — prose — and I like to use English and all its richness to express myself accurately, precisely, finely, nicely.

And finally, “About me” wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that I’m an Italophile. Partly, it’s because of my lizard-like metabolism, and I’d be happier in any warmer climate. But the hard light of the Mediterranean and the landscape of Italy just does something to me: my chest goes tight, and I feel… happy. Add the Italian lifestyle, with the food tradition, the wine, the style: I love it. I put my house up for sale with the intention of moving to Italy, but got caught by the property crash of 2008. Nobody is buying anything yet, or at least, not big houses like mine, but as soon as it does sell, I’m gone.


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