Who am I?
I was born in 1949 in the Thames Delta in the deep South outside London. I grew up in the 1960s and was thoroughly immersed in the London scene and counterculture. I was a student through all those heady days and lapped up the idealism and optimism of the times. We knew we were changing the world and bringing new sensibilities to bear. Those were the days that spawned feminism, the green movement, anti-capitalism and civil rights.
I was there through the whole gamut of Rock Music. As a kid I heard Elvis on the radio and then there was the Beatles, Psychedelia and the London Underground, Acid Rock and the West Coast alternative culture, IT, OZ and a thriving Rock scene and cultural tsunami.
I got to see most of the important acts – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Cream, Roy Harper, Captain Beefheart, Country Joe & the Fish, Muddy Waters, Pink Floyd, Son House and Bo Diddley – and hosts of others. I went to all the big festivals and events.
The 1960s counter-culture was not a fashion statement; it was a way of life. It looked at the boring establishment, the old-boys network, the stereotypical attire, the joyless lack of creativity, the conventions, religion, politics, blatant selfish greed, exploitation, inherent racism and sexism and looked to create something better. I was part of it.
We stood up for our ideals – the anti-war movement, liberation of sex, and the bringing of freedom and colour into a drab 1950s post-war society.
On a creative front, having discovered that despite my passion, I have no talent for music, I went into the real of writing.
In the 1970s the energy and creativity dropped out. Earning a living loomed and I went into teaching where I stayed true to my ideals. I extolled the virtues of fun, freedom and the joy of creativity. I brought a bit of colour into the profession and did things my way. I must have been successful because I rose up to Headteacher and my school became one of the best in the country. It’s Open, Caring, Friendly ethos was mine and I proved it worked. If you treated young people respectfully and made learning fun everything would work. It did.
During the course of my teaching career I built up a large number of books. I wrote whatever took my fancy. I never wrote for financial gain or to get famous; I wrote what I was interested in, moved by or felt the urge to do. I produced Sci-Fi to alternative fiction and Rock biography and history – whatever I enjoyed. I always harboured a desire to make a living out of writing but was always more than content to be a teacher.
To be a teacher is a privilege. A teacher is the equivalent of the tribes shaman; the holder of wisdom, dispenser of knowledge. I was happy with that.
On the family front I fell in love when I was eighteen and married in a great event in the woods in 1970. We have been together ever since and have four very dynamic, individualistic and vibrant kids who are changing the world in their own ways. They fill me with great love and hope for the future.
I now live in the North of England and continue writing and doing my bit to change the zeitgeist.