I am a British ex-pat who lived in the United States for 13 years. I immigrated in 2000 and lived in Arlington, Texas, which part of the DFW Metroplex, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. When my wife landed a position with a law firm in Jacksonville, we upped sticks and moved to Florida and that was when things began to unravel. Jacksonville is a city with a small town mentality and despite my qualifications and experience, it proved impossible to find suitable employment. My marriage subsequently ended in divorce.
I went back to the UK for a time to reconsider my future and was on the point of returning to the United States — plane ticket booked, removal firm scheduled and utility companies contacted — when I received the offer of a job with the China Daily in Beijing. A job in China trumped no job in the United States. I had to cancel all my arrangements regarding moving back to the United States and two months later arrived in Beijing, working in a job I love doing and enjoying being part of a vibrant and major city.
I am a former journalist with The Birmingham Post, England, and had a short spell, as a reporter, with Adweek in the United States.
My roots are in Stoke-on-Trent, where I was born and raised; hence my life-long support of Stoke City.
I attended Manchester University and began living in Manchester permanently in 1973. I completed my doctorate in geography in 1977. It never quite brought me the rewards I envisioned but it did provide me with the ability to spot a charlatan at 50 paces and a loathing of cant and hypocrisy.
I am not a political animal. I do not see the world in terms of black and white but rather as a spectrum of colours, some of which I prefer more than others. However, I do believe in truth, justice and fair play.
I hope people visiting this blog may find some amusement, perhaps even some good old-fashioned common sense.
And so, “Cry ‘havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war!”