St. Keverne, United Kingdom
Home page: www.grecofilia.co.uk
I was born in Surrey and brought up in Liverpool. My childhood and schooling was fun - I even gained some GCEs. Around the age of seventeen, I found myself in the Cavern club and the enthusiasm and bare-faced cheek of our local pop groups, (they weren't bands until the mid-seventies), gave me a confidence I could never gain in school. In the early sixties, some of my best mates and I formed our own group and we became The Pikkins. We played several times a week under the close scrutiny of 250+ other rival Merseyside groups in clubs throughout Liverpool, the Northwest, Wales and even as far south as Solihull Ice Rink until we passed an audition to cross the channel to tour US bases in France and Germany. We did it for fun, without egotism or comparison - honest. About the same time we graduated to playing at the Cavern and my writing began in earnest. With a selection of exercise books detailing my experiences in the band, I submitted a column to a local newspaper about the Liverpool music scene and, to my surprise, it was accepted.
But I never really felt at home in the city so I moved to Cornwall in the seventies and found work wherever I could. In jobs such as an Insurance Salesman; Barman; Waiter; Cowboy Chef; Cook on Diving Boat; Courier in Local Council; Manager of Art College Bar; Teaching Assistant, Census Agent and Mobile Library Assistant. Invited by a friend I had made on the American bases, I spent several months backpacking through California and Hawaii and subsequently fell in love with travelling. But it was Greece that had my eye. From my first visit, years before, I had became so enthralled by all things Hellenic I knew it as my true destination. I had to be there...in that place...that very place.
Then, during the summer of my fiftieth birthday, I intended on adventure, working and driving round Europe in my VW camper van. So one bright morning when the wind was favourable, I made sacrifice to the gods and boarded my 'Villa Zorbus'. I weighed anchor and watched the isles of Britain grow smaller in the distance. But the gods had other ideas. From distant Greece the Sirens beckoned and drew me up from Cornwall, through France and Italy, from Brindisi across the Adriatic to Igoumenitsa over the Pindos and up to Thessaloniki. Then by ferry down to Crete where we landed after midnight and I parked and slept outside The Villa Ariadne, and all at once I could breathe again. I stayed on the island and worked the season till it was time to go. I could not stay.
Cooking in a Cretan kitchen can induce madness, as anyone will tell you.
But just when things are at their worst in Greece, suddenly you are consoled from an unexpected direction.
Out of the blue came an invitation to join a friend working with underprivileged kids in Hungary so I sold my beloved camper and set off for what was to become one of the most enlightening two months of my life.
Upon returning to Falmouth, I started work in the local Arts college where I met Sandra, my wife to be. We were married the following year and three years ago moved into our joyful little cottage on the Lizard peninsular. Sandy is a busy seamstress amongst many, many other things and I'm a busy house-husband. We grow vegetables and fruit and sometimes just sit in the garden and listen to it grow.
To date, I think I have enough jottings and scribblings in my backpack for at least two other novels and hope to start work on them tomorrow, after lunch.
Interests: My wife; my cat; writing; persisting with Buddhist philosophy but mainly failing; anything Hellenic; dining; music; art; gardening;
Published writer: Yes