I have a number of outside work interests. Life needs a balance.
I have written often about family law matters, and enjoyed doing so. The words seemed to come quite freely – and extensively! I have also enjoyed reading and a good story. So when an opportunity arose in Australia , I wrote my first book. It is called “The Innocent Martyr” and is a dramatised fiction based on the story of one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. I was able to carry out original research whilst in Sydney and set a number of the events and scenes in areas I knew. I am told by those who have read it that it is a good read and a good story. It is presently awaiting a publisher. In the meantime, I have started my next book. More on My Writing.
Scuba diving takes one into another universe – on the same planet but so different. I have dived in many parts of the world as a PADI diver, open water and advanced. To see the world of the coral reef is to enter another universe, of incredible colours, shapes, life and life forms. It is mesmerising and totally other worldly! Perhaps the greatest adrenalin rush was diving with sharks, and lots of them, off Long Island in the Outer Bahamas. None of the gross (cage) dives of some locations but an opportunity to see, at very close quarters, these incredible creatures. But equally impressive was diving with sea lions and seals in the Galapagos and diving with dolphins off Western Australia. Wow!! Life’s a beach – and then one dives.
Back on dry land, I have been a life long supporter of the Saints, Southampton Football Club, and a season ticket holder at St Marys. Just occasionally the greatest football team in the world – occasionally! I remember, gulp, the days of Terry Paine and Ron Davies, through Mike Channon and Kevin Keegan and the greatest day of my life, 1 May 1976. Apart from a small point of learning very early in the day I had passed my Law Society exams, we beat Man U in the Cup Final, Bobby Stokes in the 83rd minute. I can still see the ball going into the goal, past Stepney, in slow motion. Great. Sadly after thirty years in the top division, we were relegated in 2005 then even down to the old Division 3! But with wonderful commitment from the Swiss saviour of the club, Marcus Liebherr, RIP, we came back to the Premiership in 2012 and had a few good seasons but have been dour and unattractive football for a couple of seasons. The days of the season ticket were numbered anyway pre Covid and sadly decided to give it up a couple of yeas and now support from afar
I love travel and holidays – hard work seems easier with a holiday coming up. I have been so fortunate to visit some incredible places in the world.
I love my Lotus Elan. It is an incredible car to drive. In Sydney I had a lime green MG, a super car to drive especially with the hood down in the hot weather, but speed limits were much lower and enforced (it is said!) with a view to revenue raising, so the lower speeds were a real bore! Equally I love long distance walking, and have done the North Downs and the Dorset Coastal Path. Climbing Jbel Toubkal (13,672 feet), the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, for charity was also a highlight, as well as being a hippy again in visiting nearby Marrakech.
I enjoy science fiction and was transfixed in my late teens by the writings of Isaac Asimov and his “Foundation” series with the concepts of psychohistory and the development of civilisations across the universe
Sport and Leisure
My father taught me chess from an early age and it was a rite of passage when I beat him at the age of 9. I went on to become junior champion of Southampton before other things intruded in life. But with chess computer programmes, i have rediscovered it again and enjoy very much. I also love table tennis, volley ball (Hampshire Youth Clubs top team of a year in the early 1970s!) and other sports, although sadly more watching these days than before
There are so many delights in life; good friends, wine, the garden and countryside, diving, swimming, walking and much more and one realises that one is so fortunate. And of course my darling wife, Ann
Finally, but not last, I attend a local church and a local bible study group. My Christian faith and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ has always been the most important thing to me in my life.