I was born about 200 yards from the Bow Bells in London, a cockney kind of Celtic
and Norman mix courtesy of an English father and an Irish mother. By the time I was
2 months old they whisked me off (together with my sister) to the south eastern arm
of London. This residence, which consisted of the rented lower 2 floors of a large
4 story Victorian building, was to be home for the first ten years of my life.
I had a childhood friend called Sally who lived just a couple of minutes away. The
fact that they were posh and had their own house and even a car, did not seem to
get in the way of a friendship that lasted many years. My favourite pastimes during
those early years were trying to cultivate my own small patch of garden, standing
at the front gate talking to everybody that passed by, or playing kiss chase in the
At the age of ten we moved to Luton to be near my mothers parents and all her relatives.
There, we lived in a very cramped 2 up / 2 down terraced house. We had an old tin
bath and the house had a ‘scullery’ at the bottom of a small back garden and a toilet
in a small block past the neighbours house and up a passage (I kid you not!).
Teenage years saw me meander through secondary school and eventually get taken on
by the then prestigious Marconi Instruments who promptly paid me to go to college
for a few years to be a whiz for them. It seemed I had a very high IQ and luckily
for me it was all that mattered in those days. Within two years, I got bored and
went into computing. This turned out to be a long career in IT that spanned every
facet of the business working at all levels and both for and with all manner or organisations.
I did however take occasional short ‘sanity’ breaks to do all sorts of things. These
included a short spell at mini cab driving, and also two periods of selling soap,
one in England and a six month one in Madrid selling to the Spanish. Personally this
period also included a long relationship that ended up living on a narrow boat on
a canal, an even longer marriage that included the production of my children, and
many yacht charters in warmer seas as a lifelong passion of sailing dictated. Bringing
up children had a major impact on me and I abandoned my mixed career achievements
in IT to work with children. Starting at the bottom with lots of volunteer work,
the next and last 12 years of my working life involved working with children aged
from 7 to 18. This started by doing children’s party’s, being a Sunday school teacher,
a youth worker in centres and on the street, a secondary school cover teacher, and
the best of all, a children’s learning coach, mainly for 7 to 11 year olds. I considered
this to be a vocational mini career really as I continued to pursue as least a materialistic
life as possible..
Personal interests in my life included two years dedicated to chess in various competitions,
three years acting in a small amateur dramatic society, two years as singer and guitarist
in a band called ‘Id’, 2 years studying astronomy, and 3 years rally driving. All
of these activities were interspersed with shorter periods doing all manner of other
things. I have been lucky enough to remain reasonably healthy and I have always tried
to keep as fit as possible despite my diet of chocolate and cake. I used to play
a lot of squash and badminton but the rackets are now safely in the cupboard. I love
wild camping and hiking over ‘hills and dales’, loving nothing more than to spend
a day on the more remote moorland taking in nature and the majesty of it all.
From 2011 everything started to change in my life and by 2012 I decided to end my
work with children and leave it to people with more energy. I started doing some
occasional charity work and also took up writing and singing...clearly an artistic
streak that was well hidden. Finally a lurking itch for travelling got the better
of me. Now, as life races on, I spend a great deal of my time on the road (that is
backpacking and not pretending to be road kill). Discovering travelling has been
a wonderful thing as I spend that time mixing with different cultures in many countries.
This vigour to explore (no, not strange new worlds) other countries and their cultures
at grass roots level has been such a incredible experience. In this regard I travel
whenever I can, and I do it cheaply. This involves cheap travel and even cheaper
accommodation like hostels and dormitories. It’s all fun (usually) and very much
life changing. At the moment I am a solo traveller so it’s race to see whether the
right person pops up or I keel over.
Future desires are to eventually fly away to Fairy Heaven.