Born in October 1952 on the day tea rationing ended in Britain (good timing that, given my mother’s obsession – and subsequently mine – with the brew) and, as an only child, I 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 plan to focus on my passions of San Francisco, cricket and travel, though I will not be able to resist on pontificating on life in general from time to time.
My first book, A Half-Forgotten Triumph, written in collaboration with Martin Moseling, detailing Kent County Cricket Club’s fourth County Championship title in eight years, was published in August 2013 and I have now started on a book, provisionally titled In the Strangest of Places, which builds on my experiences of being an English visitor to San Francisco.
Aside from the above topics, my other serious interests are walking, skiing, 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 borne of the original Summer of Love in 1967), theatre and eating out.
I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to pursue all of those interests, as I am also for the support and encouragement of my wonderful wife Janet whom I married in Vegas on Halloween 2009 after 27 years together (it’s 31 years now!).