I have presumed that anyone visiting this blog might wish to know a bit about its author. Although the following can also be found under”About” at the top of this page I thought I would post it here too as part of the initial scene setting.
I was born in October 1952 on the day tea rationing ended in Britain (good timing, that) and, as an only child, enjoyed a happy childhood, revolving mainly around football and cricket. I had the good fortune of growing up during the sixties, the music of which provided a thrilling soundtrack to my childhood. I attained a BA (Honours) in English and European Literature at Essex University, writing my dissertation on the novel “At Swim-Two-Birds” by Irish novelist and journalist Flann O’Brien. This was followed by studying towards an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature at Leeds, majoring on Joyce, Beckett and Yeats and producing a paper on the novels of Patrick Kavanagh (“The Green Fool” and “Tarry Flynn”).
Eventually, I exchanged academia for the last refuge of the modern scoundrel and joined the UK civil service in March 1980. I subsequently spent 29 years in the Department for Work and Pensions and its many antecedents, latterly in human resources and diversity before securing early retirement in March 2009.
My interest in travel led me to undertake a Level 3 BTEC Advanced Certificate in Travel and Tourism via home learning. I completed the course in December 2010, achieving a Distinction in all three elements – understanding the travel and tourism industry, tourist destinations and tour operations). My ambition now is to concentrate on writing, for which I believe I have some aptitude, and, of course, to publish on a regular basis. I expect to focus on travel in particular, though I suppose it is the nature of the writing experience, especially for a novice such as I that I may be drawn into other directions. That is part of the excitement of this journey.
Aside from reading and writing my passions are walking, skiing, cricket (as a member of Kent County Cricket Club), baseball (a fan from afar of the San Francisco Giants), association football (a life long fan of Gillingham), music (principally folk, blues, country and West Coast rock), theatre and eating out.
And, of course, my wonderful wife Janet whom I married in Vegas on Halloween 2009 after 27 years together. I am grateful for her support and encouragement.