My first memory of life is war. Crawling into a bomb shelter, more like a dining room table made of steel, and listening for the anti-aircraft battery 300 m away blasting away at the German air force as the bombed and flatened Merseyside dockyards and docks.
Most of my childhod was spent in North Wales, on a farm and away from the bombing.
Schooling finished in England in the post war years at 15 for all those who were not clever enough to go to grammar school. I left school at 15.
I joined an elite Regiment of the British Army at 17. There was lot going on in the world in the late fifties and early sixties so one grew up very quickly and saw a lot. One of the places I served was in Berlin during the Cold War. Before the Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. My great grandmother was German. So I was a soldier of occupation in the land of my forefathers.
The rest of my family are Irish and Scots. My father was a Protestant Liverpool Irishman. Well educated but still a Protestant Irishman.
After the army I went to college on a Returned Service Scholarship and studied agriculture.
My wife and I left England with our first daughter in 1967. I was a farm manager in England. I was a farm labourer in Australia. Over the next ten years we worked at climbing the agricultural ladder. We managed a cattle station in the Kimberly. A big wheat and sheep farm in the wheat belt and was then recruited by ICI (Rural). When I left ICI six years later I was National marketing and Sales Manager for Australia.
I started my own agribusiness consultancy specializing in marketing Australian technology overseas.
We bought a farm in 1989 and lost it twenty years later after having been swindled by our accountant, a 'friend' for over 20 years, and a bunch of 'rich boys' who could afford fancy lawyers and had a lot of money.
Their claim against us was without foundation in fact, but that doesn't stop greedy people if they think they can beat you with money.
We ran out of money so I did the legal work. I won, but it took five years. It cost me my mental health for a while and at the end of it I was diagnosed with cancer. I beat that too.
I started writing when I was ill.
I have written two books and am two thirds of the way through a third.