This a hard question to answer. What defines who am I?
I’m a 40 something male and father of one child, who by birth is a Dunelmian, having been born in the land of the Prince Bishops – County Durham. By qualification I am a Chartered Accountant and also a Solicitor. I am a keen football fan and also an equally keen cyclist.
I have always had a big interest in civil liberties and human rights and this is why I went into the law. I practice in the criminal law field. I have always defended and would find it hard to prosecute given my convictions. I have been a member of Amnesty International for many years and take part in a number of their campaigns, especially around the death penalty. This is something I am implacably opposed to for legal as well as moral reasons. I will no doubt find it difficult to resist commenting on matters of civil liberties and human rights in this blog. These will hopefully be an aside to blogging about my life.
I am currently working in the Civil Service as a Legal Inspector, so am neither prosecuting nor defending. What is a Legal Inspector? Well, to put it simply we do to the Prosecution Services similar to what Ofsted do to schools. Its not easy to explain, but one thing I always stress is that we are not part of the CPS. Indeed we are statutorily independent, having been created by our own Act of Parliament!
I am currently divorced and I live on the East London/ Essex border. I have lived here now for many yearsnow (apart from a year in the Isle of Man) although I did live in this area back in the 1980s as well. In between my 2 spells in London, I lived back in the North East for 10 years.
I have a son who is at University in Sheffield to study law (I did try to persuade him to do media studies or sociology!) .
Fortunately for me he shares many of my interests and my love of cycling and football. He claims to be studying law, but I think its alcohol he is majoring in. However, his grades so far have been good and it makes me proud to know he is doing so well.
Relationship wise,once upon a time I had a complicated friendship or should that be a complicated friend? That has developed rapidly and now I am in a (long distance) relationship with Michelle who lives near Newcastle upon Tyne. We have known each other for many years, but never realised that we had a mutual attraction until this year. If only I had taken up the offer of a housekeeper in early 2007 then things could have been so different. There again if Michelle hadn’t drunk up so quickly and left the Lowther pub all those years ago, things may have turned out very differently.
It is interesting to learn that we had both had feelings for each other, without the other realising this. I never for one moment over those many years ever imagined that we would one day have a relationship or that the relationship would be so right.
I now spend at least every other weekend travelling up to Northumberland to see Michelle. Its a journey I look forward to making. Getting off the train at Newcastle Central Station is a special feeling. Its back home and into the arms of a loved one. I say its home as it feels like that despite the fact that I am from Co. Durham not Newcastle. However, having lived there for 10 years and having a love affair with Newcastle United make it feel like my home.
If East Coast Trains did do a train miles version of air miles, then I would have enough miles for a few free trips first class to Newcastle! If its Friday, its Kings Cross, either to travel to Newcastle or to meet Michelle off the train from Newcastle. Sunday night means doing the journey in reverse. This is a small price to pay to spend time with Michelle.
All I can say is that I’m glad I get free phone calls on my landline as otherwise my phone bill to Michelle would be astronomical. I’m not quite sure why we haven’t moved onto using Skype yet though.
I feel that I have met my soul mate. I know some of you won’t believe that as you think I have no soul or that you think I sold it to the devil years ago. Well I have news for you, I have a soul and its met its match now.
I’ve been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I will watch football anywhere any time. When I was a University student in Manchester, it was not unusual for me to watch 3 or more games a week around Greater Manchester as well as following my beloved Newcastle United.
When I moved to London again in 2000, I couldn’t afford to go back to Newcastle regularly, so my son and I got season tickets for Leyton Orient and even now I can often be found watching the O’s. I have to say the club is incredibly friendly and it is a pleasure to be part of the match day experience there. I am friends with a lovely disabled couple who go to the O’s. They get free tickets for themselves and for 2 carers. On top of this generosity, the stewards bring them free cups of tea as well. Old fashioned care and attention that is sadly lacking today at bigger clubs.
I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events (www.audax.uk.net) and then a week’s cycling holiday in France with a friend.
From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed a solo and mainly unsupported LEJoG and in 2010 annually since I have ridden in the USA with the Police Unity Tour (www.policeunitytour.com). I completed blogs for those events at www.aminearlythere.blogspot.com and www.bothesidesofthepond.blogspot.com and of course www.spen666.wordpress.com
Feel free to read them and learn more about me.
I’m currently looking for my next challenge as well as trying to fund raise for the next Police Unity Tour.
Any suggestions gratefully received for a new challenge.