The Gorge - Flash Bristow's Website
Flash FAQs

This was created to stop people asking the same questions... give 'em a URL and they are quiet for ages!

What would be your Desert Island Discs?

I have about 20 favourite songs, so choosing just 8 is very difficult but right now it would be:

  • Lover You Should've Come Over - Jeff Buckley
  • From The Edge of the Deep Green Sea - The Cure
  • Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
  • Terrible Lie - Nine Inch Nails
  • Song To The Siren - Susheela Raman
  • 24 Hours - Joy Division
  • Love Reign O'er Me - The Who
  • Piano Man - Billy Joel

    Choosing one Nine Inch Nails song is very hard. In practise if I was to have every other record I owned taken away, I might well choose 8 different NIN songs on the spur of the moment.

    If I could take just one record it would be Nine Inch Nails. My book would be "Is That It?" by Bob Geldof. My luxury would be a bar which never ran dry of my favourite drinks, especially pepsi and champagne.

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    What would you put in Room 101?

    I'd say goodbye to the following things:

    The White Stripes
    They represent a kind of music I hate - music with no meaningful lyrics, and a mundane repetitive tune that doesn't develop or move music forward in any way. Basically they produce music which seems to have no purpose. What's the point of singing "the hardest button to button" over and over?

    It kills people, it changes people, it drains their money... To an outsider it seems awful. I'm also worried if I ever tried it, I'd like it - so best to delete it from the world and remove the possibility.

    Cycling on the pavement
    Usually cyclists on the pavement are lazy, incompetent, or doing something stupid like trying to balance several shopping bags on their handlebars. For example, some people cycle on the pavement right next to a cyclepath (and shamefacedly move to it when I point this out). In another case, I told someone that "this is a pavement" after he nearly ran me over, and he told me "I'm not allowed to cycle on the road. I've been brain damaged since my accident." (A road accident, I wonder?) When he spoke I realised he was indeed someone who appeared to have learning difficulties. Or there is the case of a family group who ALL cycle on the pavement so they can include the youngest member who is still using stabilisers. I don't think this is any excuse! If you have kids who are too young to go on the road, or people who are unable to ride safely on the road due to shopping or mental impairment, then they are a risk. They aren't safe on the road and I'm not happy with them whizzing past me on the pavement either! If you can't cycle safely, don't cycle at all. I don't!

    Horrible little things that scream, eat, shit and sleep, and can do nothing for themselves. They need constant supervision (unlike a pet) and can make even sane people start to talk nonsense. At best they are a distraction and a drain. There is a slight snag that if babies go into Room 101, the human race will die out. Perhaps we would quickly invent some kind of robot to bring up the baby, so they aren't seen, for example, screaming in supermarkets - only being allowed into the population at school age, by which time they are also able to contribute to the daily chores, like kids in Africa manage to do with pride and without complaint.

    Fat-reduced doughnuts
    These "diet" doughnuts are an abomination. If you take the fat out of doughnuts, they are no longer doughnuts, they are sugared rubber rings. They are absolutely disgusting. Try one, and it will be a long time before you can face even a normal doughnut again. They have no place here!

    "Special" food for vegetarians
    Many's the time when I've eaten at a friend's house and I've said "please, just give me what everyone else is having, but without the meat or fish" and instead when we sit down to eat, everyone else has tasty looking food and I will be presented with a giant heap of inedible lentil puree, or something like that. Something "special". This has many problems; firstly, I like normal food, vegetables, pasta, the usual. I don't like wierd shit. Secondly, giving me something "special" usually means it has a strange content, perhaps it's extra high in protein and fibre or something, and I'll be running to the loo before we've even reached the dessert. Thirdly, it's often been cooked from a recipe which serves two, or worse, four, so I've got far too much of the stuff. Even if I manage to eat some, I leave a lot more and whatever I do it looks bad. Fourthly, it makes me feel excluded, and draws attention to the fact that I'm doing something different, so I feel awkward. This can also mean I get lots of questions about why I won't eat animal, the answers to which can put the meat-eaters off their food! And finally because it's been cooked separately as a "special" gesture by the host, I feel guilty that I can't eat it and it's impossible to say "actually, can I have some of the vegetables everyone else has, please?" (If you'd like to know how to feed me, please see
    Question 7.)

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    If a film was made of your life, who would play you?

    Lauren Ambrose - she's a beautiful and complex redhead who can both convey angst and also behave sweetly. She'd be able to tackle everything, as her wonderful acting in Six Feet Under has shown.

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    Flash is an unusual name. Is it your real name?

    The short answer is yes.

    I was given another name by my parents, but at primary school the nickname Flash was derived from it. I neither chose nor liked the name, but it stuck and became me. For simplicity I took the name Flash Wilson by deed poll on 23rd April 2000, so it is indeed my real name and appears on my passport.

    Of course I have heard all the possible jokes and songs, so please don't bother! The novelty wears off after a little while, once you are referring to me as Flash without thinking and it is just like any other name. About half the people who meet me for the first time don't bat an eyelid. The other half soon get used to it!

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    Why do you walk with a stick / use a wheelchair?

    I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, also known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III. Basically this is a collagen defect that means my joints are too flexible. I tend to dislocate my left knee, and my right knee and wrists also cause me pain. There's not a lot which can be done, other than to take it easy - "the more I do the worse I am" and vice versa. I avoid stairs and avoid walking so I will be in less pain later on.

    I have a few things to help, such as a blue badge for parking and a Freedom Pass for public transport - so I can get the bus every time, even just a few stops.

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    Why did you choose the domain name gorge.org?

    In short, it appealed to me. The reason was fairly trivial - the word has several meanings, which I like. It refers to a deep chasm; to stuff oneself silly with food; french for throat; and so on. When choosing a domain name you need something simple and distinctive, and of course one which has not already been sold - gorge.org seemed like a good choice to me.

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    You're vegetarian - what can I feed you?

    I like normal food, so if you would normally eat meat and two veg, you could just feed me the veg, perhaps making a veggie gravy or a cheese sauce if you want to go further. Or you could choose something that is vegetarian for everyone, for example pasta. Alternatively you could make a meal where there are lots of little parts and everyone helps themself, and include some veggie things - such as salad, cheese, bread, potato salad and so on along with cold meats or whatever everyone else will enjoy. Please don't make me anything "special", chances are it will be unusual to me and I won't like it anyway!

    I find it impossible to take food from the same plate as animal products, so please keep vegetarian and meat/fish items separate so that I can eat some of the veggie ones. Similarly, please use clean cutlery and chopping boards to prepare my food - perhaps you might make it first, so there's no issue of, for example, cutting veggie sandwiches with a knife just used on a meat sandwich. This shouldn't be too awkward, just needs a little consideration.

    I appreciate being included with what everyone else is eating as much as possible, rather than being treated differently or being excluded.

    I've written an article on this to help people who are worried about catering for vegetarians -
    here - it really shouldn't be daunting!

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    Who do you live with - who are your friends and family?

    I live in London with my husband Mike - we were married in October 2006 - and our greyhound Cray.

    My parents and brother live in Taunton, Somerset. I moved away from them when I came to London to go to university.

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    Have you ever been on TV or in the press?

    Yes, now and again, for different reasons. If you're interested, see my Media page.

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    If you have any other questions then please contact me and when they become frequently asked, or if they seem salient, I will add them to this page.

  • This page last updated: 01 September 2022

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