My life was deeply affected by my school days. Even now I sometimes lie awake at night remembering certain episodes that I had wished had turned out differently. There are of course also good memories, but we tend to remember the bad or – shall I say – disappointing moments in life.

I had not intended to write a Biography – this whole blog started life by way of a therapy for me. It is an honest and factual summary of my life, my beliefs and my experiences: it is not a very detailed critique of my personal life and the three wives involved – or my son Russ “in whom I am well pleased”. The details are personal matters and not for publication – I have tried to stick with the facts.

If you are reading this, and your name is mentioned somewhere, please take this as a compliment because I have only added people who made a lasting impression and/or whose friendship I value to this day. There are exceptions to this rule – and these exceptions arise where business is – or was – concerned. The “little shits” in my life know who they are. 

Family has never been automatically important to me per se. I truly believe that, since you  have no choice as to who are your parents – or who may become your brothers or sisters and who share the developing stages of your life – you will remain an individual.

Of course, you are influenced by your mother or father and any close family from early childhood, and if you inherit some of their values and passions then so much the better. If you are fortunate enough to have much in common with them, this is surely of great benefit to you in later life. And all children seek the approval of their parents: if there is just one thing you can do for your children, make sure that when they achieve something important to them, you tell them how proud you are.

The early years of my childhood  – to the age of 12 – were very happy. Most of these formative years I lived and went to school in Africa. I did well at school, made friends there and I loved the country, and the freedom I was given.

From the early age of 12, I had to return to the UK to start my education at a well known public school in Kent – King’s School Canterbury. I was there until age 17 and it was not a happy time in my life, and the source of much regret, that lingers to this day. I made few friends there – it was more a battle of survival that required me to develop a very thick skin.

From 17 to 22, I joined the RAF and graduated through RAF Cranwell – a much happier experience for me which led to lasting friendships with “fellow inmates”

My personal ambitions were however greater than the RAF could offer me, and so I left in 1972 to start my business career, which continues in one business or another to this day. I have always been self-employed, and have limited respect for those who see permanent employment and the corporate “ladder” as something to aspire to.

This may seem somewhat arrogant and unfair – after all, the majority of people are in employment and many do a fantastic job and are great human beings: however, the majority of my friends and acquaintances have been self-employed. It is – I think – a lot to do with the “mindset” of the individual.  We would rather struggle than take “orders” from someone for whom we have little respect!

Being self employed has allowed me – through good times and bad – to indulge in many different pursuits and hobbies that would not have been possible otherwise. It has always been a risk – there is no “safe paycheck” at the end of the month – but for me the benefits of “being my own boss” outweigh the disadvantages. 

I have been lucky enough to live in and travel to a large number of different countries and tried my hand at different sports and hobbies which most people never experience in their lifetime.

This need to experiment and try different things is fundamental to my character – I have this dread of thinking to myself “if only I had…”

From 2010, my second marriage was in trouble and in any event I had started to feel that spending the rest of my life in the UK would be a pity. What happened after this, I am not yet ready to write about, partly because – as we approach 2022 – the story is not yet complete.