I’ve always loved a good biography and a well-written autobiography is even better. This is neither! Surely you must claim some degree of celebrity to be the subject of a biographer or to take the time and effort to write about yourself? Well, perhaps not. Publishing is so cheap and easy now that we can all put ourselves out there if we choose. And nostalgia is big business. Sometimes people just like to read about others’ experiences just so they can say “Omg, I so did that!”
So, I’ll do it. Not the full cradle to grave life story but a handful of stories plucked from along the way. Related as honestly as possible; if I have to embellish them I might just as well not bother. Perhaps you who are reading this were on the particular journey with me and will find yourself in the paragraphs along side me, or maybe it’s one of those favourite stories I’ve told you before. Better yet, you might learn something about me. If you have only known me for part of my life, then perhaps the revelations will help you see another side.
Or you might just be utterly bored. Disgusted even by my arrogant belief that someone else would contemplate reading about my life. Well that’s OK; just scroll on. That’s why its so easy now. Easy to get it out there and easy to ignore. Good heaven’s, I might even end up ignoring myself.
I know many of you reading this blog will know me but for those who don’t here I am in a nutshell. I was born in July 1963 as the second child of an ordinary family in Hertfordshire. My dad was a working class man who had pulled himself up into a white collar position. My mum was from a long line of Norfolk folks which is a class all of its own. One widowed nan lived with us, the other grandparents lived three doors away. Perhaps twenty close family members lived within a 10 mile radius. Few had gone far away.
I was naturally smart – a gift and a curse. I did OK at O’ Level with little revision and thought I could do the same at A’ Level (2 Es and a fail since you ask). I had little idea what I wanted to do but since my dad had been in the navy, I enrolled at Dartmouth and passed. Then they reduced the number of places and I was out on my ear so I got a job in publishing on the fringes of the rock industry I so wanted to be part of. And the world should have been my oyster but I developed a drink problem that pretty much dominated every move I made and every decision I took for the next 15 years.
I discovered a natural instinct for computers and managed to get a good job with a big civil engineering company. They put me through rehab and my life took a most positive turn.
I had already been involved with charity work – perhaps as penitence for my drinking? – but now I threw myself into it with a vengeance. Through this and the charity Toc H, I met my soulmate Hazel, and despite the circumstances (See A Walk In The Park) we became friends and lovers.
Life was good. However, my abiding theory of life is that it is a rollercoaster ride and every peak must be followed by a trough, just as every trough will be followed by a peak. Hazel became ill with M.E. and our lives changed again.
I moved into charity management taking a massive cut in salary, and we moved to Norfolk. My mum died in 2017 and leaving a small inheritance, I decided to step out of the rat race for a while and enjoy life. I wanted to start writing again, hence this blog and other projects. It would be almost perfect but for pancreas deciding to throw a wobbly but I’m getting on top of that.
This blog fills in some of the details of that very sketchy biog!