I was born above a café at Milford on Sea just south of the New Forest and looking across to the Needles. I spent a good part of my growing up in Hampshire and eventually went to Havant Grammar where I studied Maths, Further maths, Physics and Chemistry at A level. From there I went to the University of Bristol to do Maths and Physics. At the end of my first year I dropped the Maths and went on to get a Physics degree. In my third year I had a supervising Doctor, who had been with the British Antarctic survey in the 60s and I decided that sounded like fun. So in October in 1980 aged 21, I set sail on the RRS Bransfield enroute to Halley Bay.
I came home in April 83 and after my contract with BAS finished I got a job in the computer industry something, I soon realised I didn't really enjoy. So in 87, while freshly married and with my first child on the way, I started doing a PGCE in physics at the University of Birmingham. I got the teaching qualification in 88 and started teaching in Droitwich. After 6 years at DSHS I moved schools to Wolverley high in Kidderminster. After about 2 years becoming the Head of Science there. I remained in that post until 2011 when I went part time. in 2014 I decided to go for early retirement and two weeks before I could retire I had a TIA in thw Worcester Tesco and collapsed. The following Tuesday, I was feeling very unwell and was admitted to the Worcester Royal Hospital.
My first stroke left me with a weakened right arm and leg. A week later I was greedy, I went for a pulmonary embolism in both lungs and a second stroke. This put me into ICU where I remained in a coma for a week. This was followed by Pneumonia, organ failure and possibly death. Fortunately it didn't stick. When I woke, I couldn't remember my wife or my family, I couldn't walk, I couldn't speak and I found swallowing tricky. After three more weeks in hospital, followed by a month in a rehabilitation centre for stroke survivors, I eventually got home. Since then, other than for a quick assessment, I haven't driven and I have been left forgetful, with fatigue and other cognitive issues. I had to invite HMRC in too sort out my tax affairs.
These days I walk with a stick, a knee brace, a leg brace. I also have a useful widget, that goes over one of my toes and which stops the hammer toe, which I developed, from hurting too much. I manage to walk short distances and then have to sit down often. If I over do it, my right leg swell against its supports and my flesh rubs off.
I can speak but hesitantly and only when I'm not tired. When I am fatigued it sounds like I am drunk. Something that hasn't happened for many years.
In rehab, one of the first things I asked for was my wife to bring in my DSLR. I made using it the main target of my occupational therapy. I have always taken pictures of people, these days it is my firm favourite.
I have so far published two books Intended to raise funds for my charities.