I was born in South London, UK, and have spent most of my life in the South of England, leaving school to go to the nearby Surrey University (although my parents moved north at the same time). I later started my first job in Teddington, which is in South-West London. When I moved in, I rented a room in a shared house, thinking that as it was quite expensive (compared to my salary then) I would use it as a staging post while I found somewhere else...
Over two years later, when my company moved us away from the area, I was still there! Some of the photos in my Photo Gallery were taken in Bushy park, on my way to work in Teddington.
For a while after that I lived in Weymouth, which is between Poole and Exeter on the south coast next to the island of Portland. I enjoyed living there very much - it has a lovely climate and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Once, I left my house in Weymouth in warm, bright sunshine, and drove up the steep escarpment a couple of miles to just to the north straight into a world shrouded in fog and frost!
I've a picture of the house I lived in then, with my car (a VW Polo GL) in front of it here. The house was an unusual design; it was built as 4, one bed, two storey houses, splitting the building into quarters like a hot cross bun! I liked it though, and at one point was thinking of buying one myself (I rented that one). One other unusual aspect was that it's heating system was fan-assisted warm air through ducts from the boiler; rather noisy but very quick to heat up!
When I left Weymouth, I moved up to High Wycombe, just outside the M25 on the West side of London and joined Insignia Solutions. Again I lived in a shared house for quite a while, as the houses there were much more expensive to rent or buy than in Weymouth. However, it was an interesting time, and I learnt a lot, both in and out of work! When I later stopped working for Insignia, and joined TCAM in London, the journey in to work meant leaving at between 7am and 7.30, and rarely arriving home before 8pm; a very long day and one reason I eventually left.
For a while I stayed with friends in Suffolk, where I took a picture of the sky you can see in my Gallery - it can be so incredibly beautiful there. However, I was already looking for another post, and went to work for ARM in Cambridge, helping the software development team there. The house I found is very convenient; it takes all of 5 minutes to get to work. Bliss!
ARM was interesting, and I did embedded firmware development, windows programming and some project management. Later I switched to writing user manuals, which went quite well too! Outside work, I joined the local baptist church, helped along by next-door neighbors who went there first. This has been a great help to me and I have found spiritual and practical help as a result.
About 6 years after joining ARM, in 2002, the time came to move on. It seemed not only a good time to change jobs, but a good time to have a good think about my future, and in the end I took a year out to do the stuff I couldn't mix with work: I did quite a bit of travelling, I started researching a book and contributing lots of time to friends and the Church. I even thought about VSO, but the commitment they wanted was a minimum of about two years and I wasn't ready for that.
That period did come to an end, almost exactly a year later when I started working for CBS, a computer consultancy business working in the financial management field. Very soon after I started there I was helping to write a proposal for the BBC, and got to enter those hallowed halls at White City! While at CBS, I worked on a variety of projects, ranging from XML based Inland Revenue forms submission software to employee tracking databases, but the thing I derived the most fun from was training QlikView, a program that enables you to stuff data from all sorts of sources into the same melting pot and pull out amazing charts, graphs and tables showing relationships between them. I did a couple of training sessions, but things weren't really working and I concluded CBS wasn't right for me.
During this time, I had started doing much more with my local Church and with Pendon museum as sometime helper and photographer. I also had a very pleasant side-trip to the PDPTA conference in Las Vegas.
Since then I have had other jobs working on double glazing manufacturing machines, and interfacing to inkjet printers.
I have a younger sister but no brothers, and many of my close relatives are spread out across the world; I have one Uncle in Australia and several others in Canada. One cousin even lives in Korea, teaching English to very appreciative children. My father was born in Wales, my mother in Yorkshire, and I've always had a special liking for both regions.