I am now retired (I took early retirement) and thoroughly enjoying not having to work.
I was educated at MaidstoneTechnical High School, situated at Oakwood Park, Maidstone and after leaving school, eventually realised my ambition to join the Police Force, joining Kent Constabulary in 1969. During my Police Service, I met and married my wife, Maria in 1972 and enjoyed nearly 42 happy years (but see my comments below). I spent 6 years in the Force as a Police Constable, which was certainly an experience and I had the good fortune to encounter a number of memorable events, before giving it all up to work in Sales. Most of my working life was in Sales, working for Avery Scales selling a wide variety of weighing equipment. I enjoyed my time with them. After leaving Avery, I worked for a couple of competitors in the same industry.
Eventually, after leaving Sales, I found myself working in the Housing Department of Shepway District Council working all sorts of horrible hours, and it was a period of time that does not leave me with the happiest of memories! I was fortunate enough to take early retirement, but at that time, my wife did not enjoy the best of health, as she had an incurable kidney disease. She had been on the kidney transplant list for the preceding 5 1/2 years, and had to undergo haemodialysis 3 times a week at hospital.
I am pleased to say that in August 2011 Maria underwent a successful kidney transplant operation at Guys Hospital and so far, it has been a great success. She is improving by the day, and God willing it will stay that way.
I am very sad to report that Maria has had a terrible year with operations for melanoma caused by the immunsosuppresants that all transplant patients have to take to avoid rejection. After 3 nasty operations and numerous visits to both Royal Marsden Hospitals (Surrey and London) she was last week diagnosed with terminal cancer. Understandably we are all devastated. This is made all the more difficult because of my actions 5 years ago. How I can deal with my conscience and this I do not know!
Maria is very brave but the 3 "kids" are devastated too.
Yesterday (March 16th 2016) my world collapsed. Maria died at 5.50 a.m. at the Ashford Hospice. The deterioration was extraordinarly quick. She was an absolute angel who had endured so many tragic events in her life (not least me) which she did not deserve. I had always known that she was my greatest and truest friend, but managed a terrible "wobble" in 2011 which i will never forgive myself for. Fortunately, in typical Maria fashion we had since maintained a good relationship. No one will ever replace her and may she rest in peace amongst angels.
This is all pretty difficult to deal with for me and the family. Contemplating a future without Maria around (after 45 years) is difficult.
"Freddie" (a Border Collie) was my favourite dog of all time. He lived to 13 years of age and we lost him on June 8th 1998. Even after all this time, I still miss him. He was full of character; could be naughty, but we always forgave him!
We also had his Aunt, "Tessa" who was white on black (black on white is the most usual, as Freddie was). Tessa was a diifferent dog altogether to Freddie, being very calm and totally obedient. She was Maria's favourite. We also lost Tessa at 13 and Freddie went two years later at the same age as stated previously.
Things I do...........
My Hobbies and Pastimes are Church Bellringing, Church and other Choirs, Music; that is trying to play a variety of instruments such as piano (my first love), Classical and Acoustic Guitar, Ukelele and other instruments.
A bit more detail about things I do:
Church Bell Ringing - I had been Bellringing for about 10 snd found it enjoyable, albeit pretty challenging. I used to ring at several Towers, but have now stopped ringing altogether. There is always a shortage of ringers, thus anyone interested might find the web-page given later in my page useful.
Theatre going - I love going the Theatre whenever I can, usually going with a body called KARF (Kent Active Retirement Fellowship), which is an organisation I belong to. I have not been so much in recent times mainly since I lost Maria; not much fun on your own!
Travel - I have always loved holidaying, especially in this country. The Peak District and the Lake District are two of our favourite destinations; Maria and I visited many times. We have also enjoyed touring many spots around the World, among the places that we have visited are U.S.A., Africa, Europe and most interestingly, Eastern Europe.
Choirs - I am in my Church Choir (St. Martins, Cheriton) and used to be a member of the Snowdown Male Voice Choir in Aylesham, Kent. They are a very professional Choir doing Concerts roughly once a fortnight throughout the season. In 2015 they sang at the Royal Albert Hall. i decided to leave the Choir a while ago as I did not enjoy attending the numerous social functions on my own. I have included the Web-link to their site on my site as they are always looking to recruit new members.