I grew up on Tyneside in the 1950s and 60s, the only son of a steel works crane driver and a home help. I went to university in Birmingham, where I studied Town and Country Planning. On graduating, I worked in the West Midlands, London, Tyneside and ended up in Wiltshire. After 30 odd (some very odd!) years working in Local Government, I began working for myself as a consultant, largely working with local community groups. I also spent some time working as a Planning Inspector for An Bord Pleanala, the Irish Planning Inspectorate. Eventually a bout of ill health stopped that.
I couldn’t face restarting the business, so began making and selling jewellery and my own digital prints at craft fairs. A chance visit to a printmaking studio then gave me the chance to see work in progress by Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres. Within a couple of weeks, I enrolled in a printmaking workshop, which I attended for about 10 years. I still make prints, largely collagraph, monotype and drypoint I also make collage and sometimes paint. My art website is here, but when health permits, I also sell at at shows and exhibitions. I’m looking for representation.
I’ve always enjoyed the craft of writing, the choice of words, the structure of the sentences, the ordering of an argument. Over my time in local government, I probably wrote hundreds of thousands of words, perhaps millions, largely in the form of committee reports, policy documents and responses to government policy. Those skills also helped in writing on my old blog. I’ve always wanted to write fiction, but the demands of transactional writing, had a deadening effect. Since I retired, though, I have returned to it and now have several hundred thousand words in the form of poetry, short stories, and unfinished novels (some probably best left that way!) I have some work out with publishers and remain hopeful.