Made in Sheffield.
'Child of the sixties, teenager of the seventies, man of The World'.
Gave up on the mainstream's scholarly pursuits because they were just limiting his real life education, but those he had were:
Fulwood Infants, Oakwood Preparatory, Nether Green Juniors, King Edward V11 schools. Granville College, Sheffield Polytechnic, Middlesex Polytechnic, Sheffield University, Carnegie College Leeds, all Fine Arts or investigative social studies courses.
Employed and self-employed experiences, during and after the above include: paper rounds, supermarket shelf stacking, security guard, dustbinman, insurance salesman, nightclub bouncer in Sheffield and later in London. A pit machinery manufacturing factory labourer, Royal Marine Commando recruit, in the mid seventies, for a month, University Officer Training Corps for 2 years, forestry worker, Friern Barnet mental hospital laundry worker, supervisor in a remand and assessment centre.
Full-time tournament tennis player for 2 years in France and England. Care staff member in a childrens' home. Renovated a large house in Leeds for student accommodation as a live-in landlord. Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Graduate, Territorial Army, then an Infantry Platoon Commander, retired (due to moving abroad) after several years just before promotion to Captain. A security business, and then an architectural antiques business in the Lake District; also ran 'Survival & Adventure Training Weekends' for the 5th and 6th formers at a public boarding school twice a month during term times. Whilst living there he also doubled for Ben Cross in the 1986 TV film 'Strong Medicine'.
Moved to a village, with his lady partner, in central Mallorca, at the foothills of the mountains, where they bought and renovated an old house, and singlehandedly built another smaller one (illegally – but got away with it) in the grounds; then decided to buy a ruin just outside the village to transform it into a bar/cafe, and run it; he also worked for a Mallorquian demolition/excavations company, picked olives, coached tennis at two very prestigious clubs, established a small coaching school in the village, painted and sometimes sold his artworks.
Rotherham bus station site refurb' labourer. Marlborough College's summer school tennis coach, then the coach at a nearby top public boarding school for girls, then Batchwood Hall, St. Albans, as a coach and veteran UK competitor.
Then to Salisbury as a motorcycle riding instructor. Bespoke office furniture design, manufacturing and installation company as a general help. Moved to Scarborough to open his own work's art gallery/studio. Bar stock-taker for a nationwide hotel chain. Property renovation/project management/sales business, and established his own property portfolio of over a dozen rental properties all over the North of England, but nearly went bankrupt.
Now he just lives alone with his two cats: 'Big Floyd' and 'Little Harry'...does voluntary work for the local Age UK charity shop one day a week, paints, prefers classical music these days, doesn't have a TV, reads voraciously and researches, rides a motorbike and has started writing...
Some experiences mixed in with the above: he lived in a caravan during school holidays to compete in tennis tournaments all over the UK. At Granville College he lived in the YMCA Sheffield, but was thrown out due to management discovering he was regularly having his girlfriend stay overnight. Homeless - so he lived in an air-raid shelter in the woods for that spring and summer, then found various lodgings. Enjoyed the Rock n' Roll scene in Sheffield. Met Patricia Crowther, the white witch and High Priestess of the wiccan coven at a lecture she gave in Sheffield. When living in London he attended the Society for Psychical Research, and the Theosophical Society.
Travelled on the secondary route trains to Morocco, including the Marrakesh Express. Got ripped off in the bazaar. Had an incredible kundalini awakening experience whilst alone one warm, rainy afternoon on an old train slowly rattling through France.
Travelled throughout Europe and all over Greece on a motorbike mainly 'rough camping' – stayed awhile in an isolated village high up in the northern mountains where he was the first Englishman that the elderly Headman had met since leading the Resistance in the second world war! He had worked with British paratroopers and the S.O.E.; on being told that the author was in the Officer Training Corps attached to London University he was very hospitable - having tables immediately set up for a day and night long feast, music and celebration in the village's main street!
Lived in the woods near the beach on the island of Santorini for a while, in later years he travelled all over France and Spain on his motorbike, rough camping again, exploring Crusader castles and ancient ruins. Met 'El Rey de los Gitanos' – the 'King of the Gypsies' in an ancient mountain village deep in Southern Spain, where they stabled their horses in the houses downstairs rooms, and the families lived upstairs....
Competed for the army as a long distance runner and crewman in the 3 Peaks Yacht Race – the yacht was almost wrecked in a ferocious storm out at sea and he nearly drowned; shot pistol and rifle at Bisley in the shooting team – runner-up North of England Pistol shot. Drove a tank once across Salisbury Plain. In later years he lived near to Stonehenge, previously lodging near to Silbury Hill. Saw many strange things in the skies, and later, in the Scarborough area as well .
Sailed a small wooden boat with a friend across the Med, spoke briefly with a dolphin at dawn one morning.
He was chairman of the Scarborough Tennis Club and a Team Captain.
- Apparently he's still not sure what he's going to do when he grows up though...!