On my 16th birthday I flew to New York to join my first ship the 'Queen of Bermuda. The photo is at All Boys Point' Bermuda.
All that went before
I am a young 62 yr old, what I mean is that right up to when I had my stroke I led an active life style. I have worked without a break a since I was 13yrs old, doing paper rounds and golf caddying. At
the age of 15 I left school and started full time employment a week later. I flew to New Yorkon my 16Th birthday to join my fist ship, 17yrs later after joining several ships and seeing most of the world I decided to come ashore to be with my family.
During my time in the navy I fell in love and married a beautiful young lady called Jeannie, 45yrs later we are still together and still in madly in love, we have four lovely children, my oldest daughterLilalives near Basingstoke my son John who is in the
Royal Navy, wife and child live in Norwich,Louise, husband and 2 children live just outside Norwich. My youngest (Sarah) lives inAustraliawith her husband and four children, they all played a vital part in my survival especially during the first few months
of my stroke.
In 1982 I became a Christian, Jeannie was saved first then me, and in 1984 after a failed attempt of starting my own business I started work for YMCA Norfolk it was here that my life became very active i.e. I was introduced to hill
walking and adventure caving by my old friend and colleague Cliff, we had some serious fun together and ended up taking groups of young men from the YMCA to Derbyshire or the Lakes and I fell in love with outdoor activities. I remember one time while caving
in Bagshaw cavern Derbyshire I got stuck in what they called the letter box, Cliff and the others took the mickey then the guide told me that they would come back in a week when I would have lost enough weight to get out, this statement had me moving but my
cloths were torn getting out.
Eventually I qualified with the Mountain Leadership Booard winter and summer and took up wild country camping group work and solo, Mountaineering, canoe instructing, skiing, (not very good at skiing but enjoyed the
après bit) hill walking in winter, I love snow and ice, until recently I had a caravan in Edale and spent many winter weekends walking Kinder Scout etc. Only last year 2011 I spent New Years day in the snow on Kinder Scout one month before my stroke.
I will refer to my outdoor pursuits as I go along as my memories were part of my survival.
Christmas 2010 both Jeannie and I visited my son and family in Gibraltar where he was stationed at the time, I ended up in bed all Christmas with swine
flu, three weeks later we went to Australia for two weeks. Australia at that time of the year is sweltering but I enjoyed it. We did all sorts of things like feeding sting rays, they would swim around your feet while you fed them, I have never experienced
any thing like it, we had meals out and plenty of Bar B Qs.
I had no idea of what was to take place.