I was born in Perthshire, Scotland, my parents taking me with them when they moved to Edinburgh, Hamilton, Carlisle and Hemel Hempstead. Having lost my bearings somewhat, I read Geography at Cambridge, before setting out on a career as a Chartered Accountant that was never going to work out. Next, I spent 16 years in a South London bedsit, honing very different life-skills, getting increasingly interested in the creativity of individuals, both in the visual arts and in literature. In 2003 my mother suffered a stroke, so I moved back to Scotland to be on-hand for my parents in their old age. By 2008 I lived with my partner, Kate, in a house that was 30 yards from the one in which I was born. Between the two homes is a church that for several years had a peregrine falcon roosting on top of the spire, which we called Enid. However, as we were never sure of the bird’s gender, we sometimes felt we should be calling it Evelyn.

Below is a photo of me taken by Kate in our garden in 2011. In it, I'm trying to put a brave face on the fact that our Enid/Evelyn won't be coming back, while at the same time registering amazement that he/she graced our existence for so long.


The truth is that eight years have passed since the above photo was taken. My parents have died. Kate has taken her charismatic talents to Glasgow. And I have aged. I'm still feeling pretty damn good though. How could I not be, situated here at the exact centre of my known universe?

However, effectively I live much of my life at the centre of other people's known universes. Often I'm in residence at Piers Court, Gloucestershire, where Evelyn Waugh lived a big chunk of his adult life. Sometimes I'm roving the streets of Peterswood, the Buckinghamshire village where Enid Blyton set her Find Outers books. Occasionally, I can be found in a virtual version of Tile Hill, the Coventry estate that George Shaw has made his own by painting it over and over again. I haunt other places too, but these are the ones uppermost in my mind as I type.

Here I am at Piers Court, May 11, 2019, photo courtesy of
John Wilson.


From here I can see a long way. Indeed, I can see all the way to this. But that short circuits a wealth of life. So I'd suggest this link instead.