Hello there, welcome. My name is Neil Hawkesford (you’ve probably picked up on that already).
I’m a Brit born in 1957 ( proud of neither ). Despite my age, brain and body are still functioning (after a fashion).
There now follows a seemingly endless string of sentences starting with ‘I’m’ and ‘I’. You have been warned.
First and foremost I’m a Thalassophile. I wouldn’t survive for long away from salt water.
I’m a practicing (as in trying to be) Stoic with a bit of Pantheist, Humanist and Bhuddist mixed in. Alan Watts is the nearest I’ve got to a guru.
I’m bullshit intolerant.
I’m an optimist who gets depressed.
I need space, I don’t do crowds and cities.
I’m a closet rebel. I don’t like rules, I don’t like being told what to do.
I believe the Power Elite exists and there’s nothing we can do about it.
I believe most of us are being played.
(Read ‘Creating Freedom’ by Raoul Martinez)
I lived on a boat for years. I wish I still did.
I built her myself, in a barn far from the sea.
Let’s just call it productive insanity eh?
Now I live in a park home (trailer to my friends in the U.S). I try not to be too trashy though.
I’M A JACK OF ALL TRADES – a Renaissance Man, Polymath, Multipotentialite.
I’m proud of that. Jacks (and Jills) of all trades get bad press. Folks forget the full rhyme goes like this:
A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one
I believe that being multi-skilled, innovative, knowledge-seeking, exploratory and multi-purposeful is a good thing.
I’m too complex to categorise.
The ”Dean of science fiction writers” Robert A.Heinlein once said –
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialisation is for insects.”
WHAT I’M PROUD OF (More to follow)
- Joining the Royal Navy and passing out from H.M.S. Ganges at the age of 17.
- Packing an ejector seat parachute that saved a pilots life.
- Sailing an 18ft boat single-handed along the South Coast of England.
- Completing a double-handed voyage from Falmouth to the Canary Islands in a 35ft junk-rigged yacht.
- Seeing my daughter born.
- Project managing the installation of sports surfaces for the Commonwealth Games – Manchester 2002 & Special Olympics – Dublin 2003.
- Working with the British Standards Institute and Flooring Trade Organisations to develop new British and European Standards.
- Investigating, reporting on and resolving technical issues on construction sites around the UK & Ireland.
- Resigning my well-paid corporate job on a matter of principle.
- Building the Cutty Sark & Thames Barge equestrian jumps used at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
- Seeing my daughter receive her Masters Degree.
- Building a 38ft catamaran and sailing her from the UK to the Mediterranean.
- Writing and self-publishing my ‘Foolish’ Trilogy
- Still being here.
I was taught English by Craig Thomas, at King Edward VI Grammar School, Lichfield. He was the only one there worthy of the title ‘teacher’.
He later wrote 18 books including the novel ‘Firefox‘, which was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood.
He passed away in 2011, but I shall always be grateful to him for sparking my passion for reading and writing.