A Bit More About Me

I was born, and spent my early years, in Wigan - home of Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, Wigan Athletic Football Club and, of course, pies. After leaving school, most of which was spent in North Wales (8-13) and Oxford (13-18), I went to Christ's College, Cambridge to obtain a degree in Mathematics. I then joined the embryonic computer industry, where I remained for a little over seven years (mostly in Staffordshire, but with 18 months in Edinburgh and 4 months in Chicago) before abandoning the real world for acadaemia. I spent 12 years at Sheffield University and 17 at Oxford before taking early retirement shortly before my 59th birthday! (It wasn't entirely my choice. The University was undergoing yet another restructuring and it seemed a better option than another 8 years banging my head against a brick wall!)
     During my time at Sheffield University I was fortunate enough to be invited to spend a year working at the Computer and Automation Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - a period which was the start of a love affair with Hungary and, in particular, its beautiful capital city. Some years later the work carried out while I was living in Budapest formed the core of my dissertation which led to the award of the degrees of Candidate of Technical Sciences and Doctor of Philosophy by the Academy of Sciences.
     Having spent most of my adult life working in increasingly bureaucratised universities, it was a relief to be able to take early retirement while I was still young enough to enjoy it. After leaving Oxford University I was able to move back up north and now live on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire with my wife, who I met soon after moving here. It is a well-used cliche to for retired people to say that they don't know how they ever found time to go to work, but it certainly seems to apply to me.
     Since retiring I have taken up painting and there are now piles of landscapes and, more recently, large colour-field abstracts around the house - and even a few on the walls! I have researched many lines of my personal family history and have published a book about my direct male line from the mid 17th century. I play crown green bowls (and short-mat bowls in the winter) - a sport which I thoroughly enjoy. I helped to found a local branch of the U3A - and manage its web-site. Thanks to my wife I have also joined the Friendship Force and have welcomed guests from Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the United States to our home, as well as staying with new friends in Belgium, Canada, Germany and the United States. I manage the Derbyshire Friendship Force web-site as well. My new wife introduced me to cruising (for our honeymoon!) and we have subsequently explored the Mediterranean from Spain to Greece, the Danube from Vilshofen in Germany to Budapest, parts of the Carribean, the Panama Canal, and the West coast of Central America from Panama to San Diego.
     And I have taken up writing.
     I have always written, and have several successful text-books to my name. But after leaving gainful employment I decided to explore the world of creative writing. I have written a number of poems (one of wich was even awarded a prize) and short stories, but have now turned to writing full-length novels. My first novel, not surprisingly, is mainly based in and around the area where I live, with a key part of the story taking place in Hungary. The follow-up is currently work-in-progress .....

Life is great!