I have a poorly developed sense of shame, so … oh, probably that time I pretended to streak on camera while wearing Rachel’s leather shorts. Or the time I ran into a door. Or that time … oh, forget it.
Tim Wilson. How do we know him? Well … where do we start? He was the US correspondent for ONE News for 10 years, and is now back home in New Zealand, producing stories for both Breakfast and Seven Sharp. You may also have heard his voice on a Friday or Sunday evening as he co-hosts The Two with Tim Roxborogh on Newstalk ZB. Oh and he’s also authored books … novels and short story collections. Aside from all of this, his personal life has taken some interesting turns in the last few years – he converted to Catholicism, met his wife, and became a father. So Grapevine thought he’d be a pretty interesting guy to chat to!
1: You turn 50 this year... five highlights of life so far?
TIM: 1) The lunches I used to have with my grandmothers when I was at university. Sunday lunch, without fail: one week at Nana’s – the next at Gran’s.
2) My first novel, Their Faces Were Shining, being published at 45.
3) That first Vigil mass in August 2010, St Cecilia’s Spanish Harlem, and the beginning of our Lord’s gentle work on my heart.
4) Hearing the love of my life, Rachel, say “I do” at St Mary’s-St Joseph’s, Nelson, March 15 2014.
5) Discovering that our not-medically-confirmed-but-strongly-suspected daughter was a son. Maybe he’ll be a slow developer like his dad.
2: I read that you used to pride yourself on being a cynic. What do you mean by ‘used to’? Is the cynicism still there?
TIM: It’s still there, but less so. God’s grace on a daily basis persuades me not to assume the motives of others are purely selfish. It’s like I’ve been shown a different world: one in which fallibility, history, personal weaknesses, prayer and grace dance. I read a great quote recently, by Opus Dei founder St Josemaría Escrivá, “The Christian vocation consists of making heroic poetry out of the prose of the everyday.” Cynicism hates poetry.
3: Are your parents proud of the man you became?
TIM: My parents were always proud of me, I think, but they worried about me. There’s less worry now that I’m married and no longer their responsibility … and more in common, given that we can now say, “I’ll pray for you.”
4: What does a typical day look like for you?
TIM: Every day is different, but similar. I’m looking for patterns in news, current events, and (sometimes) sport. The patterns suggest the gags, sometimes. Alternately, I’m walking up to total strangers and asking them to take me home.
5: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment...
TIM: There are too many to recall. I have a poorly developed sense of shame, so … oh, probably that time I pretended to streak on camera while wearing Rachel’s leather shorts. Or the time I ran into a door. Or that time … oh, forget it.
6: You’re a new dad ... what are some of your own traits that you’d like to avoid passing on to your son?
TIM: A few things … vanity, self-interest, suspicion and over-valuation of intelligence.
7: Tell us about the traits you carry that you’d be proud to pass on.
TIM: Curiosity, empathy, a sense of humour … but mostly faith.
8: Looking back on the 25-year-old version of Tim, what kind of advice would you like to give him?
TIM: Get your butt to Mass! Start praying! Read more. Stop smoking. Get a haircut. Stand up straight! Drink less. Enough of the dak, you’ll get bored with it. Can you please buy some new clothes? Also, those thoughts you think you’re thinking: they’re feelings!
You know, stuff which would probably enrage 25-year-old me.
9: Where in the world would you most like to travel to and why?
TIM: I’d love to take Rachel, Roman, and our child-in-waiting, Truffle, back to St Cecilia’s. But New York and kids don’t mix … at least not right now.
10: If there was to be a movie made about your life (it could happen) who would you like to play you? Who would play Rachel?
TIM: I have no idea for me, and can’t imagine anyone but Rachel playing Rachel … but the movie would definitely be a rom-com.