ABOUT ME

Born and brought up in Scotland, although we lived in West Africa until I was six. Much travelled in my teens because of family circumstances - to India, Ghana, Lebanon, France, Portugal, and exotic points in between. Educated in Edinburgh, and later in western Canada, with additional post graduate studies in England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.
     There were jobs along the initial way at places like the Granton gas works, and pick and shovel road works outside Edinburgh. Then it was on to the bottling hall at the Distillers Company at Queensferry - which operated with 6 men, 325 very tough women, and limitless quantities of whisky and gin. After that, a year with the Rank Organisation's Film and Theatre Division (which included working a live show in Glasgow with the Beatles) was followed by a stint stacking barrels at the Moray Park Maltings, and working the GPO's Christmas rush at the Waverley Station. Migration to British Columbia, Canada followed - and more jobs; whatever I could get, because I'd come to Canada with very little money. Brackman Ker (now Buckerfields) in Duncan was hard work; a very different ethic to manual labour in the UK. Then, the pulp mill at Crofton, which paid more - enough to take me to university.

   Explorations to the United States came after that - to Oregon, California and what may genuinely be the fastest ever auto-stop, hitch-hike from L.A. to New York in 2 1/2 days. More education in life's rich tapestry came with difficult work on fishing trollers off the BC coast, building a ski lift at Sunshine Valley in the Rockies, ski instructing on Mt. Hood in Oregon - then, by ridiculous strokes of fortune, work that challenged and developed me in ways I probably didn't deserve. Ten years of that kind of security was enough though, and so my partner and I went to live in Scotland - in a top-floor flat we'd bought in Edinburgh's High Street - aka the Royal Mile.

   Eventually we came back to the house we'd built not far from Sooke in the southwest corner of Vancouver Island, to work on contract, setting up and managing civic festivals, and later establishing a destination tourism authority for BC's Capital Regional District. Ten years later we were off again, this time to Spain, to live and work in Seville for a couple of years.

   At various times and for various reasons we've been to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Newfoundland, Fiji and Hawaii, back to the UK, and to most western European countries. Consulting work has taken me more recently to Colombia, to Guyana to work with the Macusi people, to Vietnam, and to relatively remote parts of the Ecuadorian Andes to work with the Kichwa, direct descendants of the Inca.

That's the speed-read. Some of the books have got the details.