What would I be here; 3 years old maybe? I have no knowledge of where this photo was taken. This was where the adventure would begin. My Mum stayed at home, looking after me, my Dad was in the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and would have been abroad somewhere. I loved it when he returned home, loaded with presents for the two us.
My Mum taught me to read and write before I started school, and I'm sure it was that, and my subsequent love of books that gave me the modicum of intelligence I have now. My Mum had a heart valve defect which meant she couldn't have more children, and it was being an only child, I believe, that helped give me my independence and free-thinking.
My first company in the UK. We would have already been running it for a few years now and this was taken in Southampton where we leased this building (for 21 years!) prepared to take on the world. We lost. So I returned to regular employment until, for the sake of my blood pressure, Ploy suggested I start my own company again. But this time I've always worked from home, dreaming of having my own workshop again.
Later this year, when I return to the UK, once again I will be renting an office for our company, only this time hopefully I won't make the same mistakes as before.
This is Jumpa. This is my first Thai girlfriend. Studying hard at college I decided I needed a holiday during the summer break. I narrowed it down to either the Maldives or Thailand. I chose Thailand. This relationship, in the days before the Internet and Skype (about 1980 I would guess) petered out, but my fascination with the Far East would stay with me and got revitalised when Philips started sending me to Taiwan, to Singapore, to South Korea and to Japan. Until now. Now I am returning to the UK.
When I separated from my first wife I moved into a bedsit. I could have afforded something better but couldn't find the energy to do anything about it and in any case, I was travelling a lot then. But then I met Ploy. I rented a two bedroom apartment, started taking care of myself better and bought a new shirt.
In two months time I will once again be renting a one bedroom apartment. There is no need for anything more extravagant until Ploy joins me, and without any credit rating, everything will have to be paid for by cash so best to keep the costs down.
This is my best friend Steve who I have known since I was 11. This would have been taken in 1973 or thereabouts. One of the problems with travelling around the world is not making new friends. In any case, nothing can replace your childhood friends. It will be great to see him and his family again, as it will to see all my old friends in the UK, assuming they are still alive and want to speak with me.
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