I was born in Shrewsbury on the English side of the Welsh border. Before I knew it, I was living on the Welsh side in the picturesque Wye Valley. It is an area so picturesque, in fact, that it inspired one of Wordsworth’s finest poems ‘Tintern Abbey’. In Wordsworth’s worthy words;
“I again repose here, under this dark sycamore, and view these plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts, which, at this season, with their unripe fruits, among the woods and copses lose themselves, nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb the wild green landscape. Once again I see these hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms, green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke sent up, in silence, from among the trees.”
My Wye Valley, 180 years after these lines were composed, was little different. The landscape identical. With Wordsworth’s poetry outshining my prose, I defer to his description.
As my frame stretched upwards, I roamed this area on foot, by bicycle and occasionally on horseback. My authorial sensibilities were forged in the same corner of Wales that Welsh author Arthur Machen drew inspiration from. At 17, full of hunger for adventure, I left Machen’s “bare green hills dotted over with gray limestone boulders”, and embarked on a career as a British Army officer. That career lasted 6 years – my longest to date.
Since retiring at 23 years of age, I have had too many careers to list.
My greatest passion is for my close family of one smoking-hot wife and four effervescent children. Other interests include making preserves, rock climbing, foraging for wild food, playing nursery rhymes on the piano and trying to find time in a busy schedule to do beneficial exercise.
After many years living and working in London, I find myself living in Wiltshire and working as a freelance copywriter. Commercial writing is a great counterpoint to fiction and poetry – one for cash, one for exploring my innermost thoughts. Both for sharing.
I’ve been breathing air for over 46 years – so this autobiography, like any middle-aged person’s, could ramble on for pages. Better I leave it as it is and invite you to ask questions about my life and writing. This is a blog, after all.