I was born in 1947, the eldest child of a much-decorated Regular soldier and an Italian partisan who met at the liberation of the walled city of Urbino in the Appenine foothills. They brought me up speaking only Italian until I went to school. I was educated at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar where I excelled at history, English, art, athletics, chess and the Cadet Corps. At the age of seventeen I was Chairman of a magazine (circ. 2000) and had translated the works of Oxford poet John Heath Stubbs. After a period of work as a gravedigger and gardener at a convent I read History with War Studies at King's College London, where as Chairman of Debates I came into contact with some of the prominent figures of the 1960s. During these years I travelled alone and on foot in various remote places and served in the Royal Naval Reserve.
Declining the offer of an academic post at King's I worked as tutor to a Brunei prince and then in International and Maritime Telecommunications before spending some years in primary education. My teaching career ended as Head of Faculty in a Special School for behaviourally disturbed boys. I stood for the Green Party in North Wiltshire in the General Election of 1983 and chaired various local committees.
For over forty years I have been converting, building and landscaping a Cotswold house in a one-acre garden, including the construction of an astronomical observatory housing a 10-inch telescope. My interests include construction, astronomy, writing and public speaking. The latter finds me chairing public events such as election hustings. I live my life according to the precepts of Stoicism and the ideals of the Renaissance.
My wife Ursula is a retired teacher of Music and Drama and I have two children, Kelvin and Eleanor, as well as a grandson, Maverick.
I have written radio plays and stage plays, short stories, a novel and a musical. The plays have all been performed and the novel PETERMAN published by Callisto Green (the first publisher I approached) in 2018. A bestseller in its genre, it attracted excellent reviews and international feedback. The Prime Minister of New Zealand owns a copy. Callisto Green was prepared to publish my entire canon of finished and unfinished works but then ceased trading. The onset of the pandemic and my being diagnosed with incurable cancer curtailed a programme of public appearances and I now find myself without a publisher and in need of an agent if my writing career is to continue.
The long, hard work of learning English as a second language has left me with a profound respect for its breadth, flexibility and nuance. I believe that observation using all the senses is critical to producing atmosphere and authenticity and that cadence, balance and even the visual shape of the writing on the page are important, as much for prose as for poetry.