Born into a Grimsby deep-sea fishing family just as they gave up fishing and turned instead to Cold War spying and electronic warfare on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Third child in a planned output of two, and variously described as either “a little surprise” or “a bloody mistake” depending upon parents’ mood du jour.
Early childhood spent in Hong Kong (parents thwarting mainland communist China). It took three days to fly from England to Hong Kong on a turbo-prop Bristol Britannia aeroplane. Apparently, aged seven months, the author managed to scream at full volume for the entire lenngth of the journey. Here spoke only in Cantonese and a smattering of pidgin English. Was an utter and complete brat of epic proportions.
Timed it perfectly to catch the worst cholera epidemic the colony had ever known, the worst drought of the century and the worst typhoon to date. Return journey accomplished some years later at the request of the aviation industry by ocean liner “Oriana” (trip time three weeks). Screamed for the whole three weeks and remained an utter brat of epic proportions.
Moved by circuitous route to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland (parents then thwarting the Soviet Union, still on behalf of Ministry of Defence). Refused to learn Gaelic but did finally learn to read and write English. As the only sassenach in a village school of islanders had to keep nerves of steel (and the occasional quick fist) to retain his right to be an utter and complete brat of epic proportions.
Moved from there to spend a year living inside a public zoo owned by a family friend in Norfolk, swapping imaginary human friends for real-life gibbons, penguins and wolves. Danced with all of them, not just the wolves, while skipping the entire year of school. School was grateful, opinion was divided among the zoo animals. Hutson thought it a quite splendid year indeed.
Seventeen home addresses and eight schools later eventually studied maths, physics and operational research systems analysis to a degree. Followed, like a right plonker, in Daddy’s footsteps and joined the British Civil Service. Did some foul jobs. Was eventually asked by the Home Secretary to leave.
Fell face-first into a few years of the most incredibly dreary corporate life. Someone once (quite understandably) took a shot at Hutson while his car was stationary at traffic lights. The bullet missed and hit the car door, prompting some wild acceleration and some trouser-laundry. It was probably someone from his childhood, possibly a passenger from a certain Bristol Britannia aeroplane, or perhaps a close family member. Eventually gained several more invitations to please leave and please be damned. Happy to leave; hated corporate life anyway. When dressed in a suit simply looked like a corpse someone had stacked vertically instead of horizontally.
Ran a few interesting businesses and investments with varying degrees of disaster and promptly went totally, utterly bankrupt alongside the global economy. Found himself up before a judge in County Court with goods and chattels being handed over to Her Majesty’s very Official Receivers. Discovered a taste for unleaded petrol when syphoning all but a dribble of fuel from his car in preparation for the chaps (quite literally) in brown warehouse coats coming to drive it away. Watched them drive off with some glee, knowing that the nearest petrol station was quite out of the car’s new-found range. Obviously, still showing signs of utter brattiness, and quite unrepentant.
Until recently lived by guttering candlelight in a hedgerow in rural Lincolnshire, posing as a happy peacenik vegan non-theistic hippie drop-out, darning old socks and living on fresh air and a sense of the ridiculous. Dog person not a cat person. Musical tastes run from Beethoven to bhangra. Quite like the colour faded tangerine. Remains constantly bemused by reality.
Currently living in an oddly-shaped bucket called Cardinal Wolsey, and preparing to inspect the canal system of England on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
HM QEII knows nothing of this, but will undoubtedly be grateful for the report when submitted.
It’s quite difficult to be serious when one is a speck of brief life clinging to a ball of mud and iron that is spinning at 24,000mph while orbiting a ruddy great nuclear fire in a system that is itself rotating, in an unbelievably huge galaxy that is also rotating while the whole kit and caboodle is rushing along towards a calamitous thermodynamic death, flung out by what we think may have been an explosion so big that it created everything, including Greenwich Mean Time, the Ford Capri, cucumber sandwiches and the Duke of Wellington’s horse, Copenhagen.
Where will it all end? Somewhere north of Birmingham is my best guess.