Out of Africa
Married to an American; in the mid ‘90’s I moved to La Jolla, Southern California. En route, travelling around Europe for 3 months, I wrote my first novel, LifeGames (see Fiction section of this site) with a pencil, sitting on a Spanish beach.
Of course, San Diego is a fantastic city. While resident, I sold three non-fiction books through my Malibu agent, Wendy Keller (see Non-Fiction section of this site).
I also started a business consultancy and a secondary marketing research company.
This led to various lecturing opportunities at local universities, which drew me into the fledgling dot-com arena.
Ultimately, this provided a platform to develop an online marketing company funded through a venture capital investment.
But, Africa has a heavy gravity – once you’ve known Africa you'll forever more be drawn to return - as I did.
Just days from turning five, on my mom’s 4oth birthday, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. With no TV in our country back then, we tuned in to the scratchy and patchy recount of launch, landing, and re-entry on the radio, and I was captivated by the drama and mystery of it all.
To this day I regularly visit YouTube to; in a rash of gooseflesh; watch the last 20-seconds of countdown to Apollo 11’s launch. I’m a space nut.
I guess I was eight or so when they tried to get me to catechism; some kind of confirmation ceremony where I was urged to agree that I was a believer (fortunately the use of thumb screws, whips and nooses as persuasive mediums were out of vouge by then); but I asked too many questions, and I was sent home with a note saying I “wasn’t ready”; a condition that has never passed; I just couldn’t stop asking questions, I hope I never will.
When I was sixteen I read Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and I was hooked – hooked on answers that can be had.
I am now a fully blown science nerd.
So - in 1964, I was born into paradise - a full house - a mom and dad married and devoted till my mom's passing just short of their 50th wedding aniversary, Grandparents married long beyond that milestone.
I was further blessed with an older brother and sister that everyone who meets them loves. A doting grandmother, endless friends, all the education I wished to have.
When I was tiny, every night I’d kneel to pray alongside my kindly and devout Catholic grandma who lived with us.
It couldn't get better.
I studied economics and marketing, worked in Cape Town's clothing trade, bought a small company producing chocolate.
Our Clifton was not the mansion strewn suburb of today. It was a place where families lived an almost subsistance off a boutiful ocean.
Such a pity that has gone, but progress always comes at a price.
My genes make me a bit of a mutt - though 5th generation South African, from what I can figure I'm maybe 25% Irish, 50% Dutch and/or Scandinavian, some English, and who knows what.
But around 1919, my paternal grandfather made a fantastic decision - he took a job with the council and was sent out to what had been a camping area known as 'Clifton' - now, a world famous Atlantic seaboard coastal suburb of Cape Town, South Africa.
His job was to develop infrastructure and bring order - armed with a spade and .303 rifle, that's what he did until he retired in the 1950's. Look out for his news cuttings into my Gallery of pics.
We become our environment - and, dirt poor as they were, my father, his siblings - and the family my mother he formed in this small paradise are the kind of people anyone would be proud of - and I am.
Now the most expensive real estate in all Africa, Clifton has gone on to become world famous as a playground for the super-rich.
It has influenced me deeply, and I'm afraid you will perhaps become sick of seeing photos of it. Sorry about that - though it is easy on the eye.
I have been an exceedingly lucky chap. Every day, I remind myself of that in order to remain grateful to be alive, to have had the health, family, education, community and opportunities I've had.
I hope you are equally fortunate. Visit my Amazon page
Before I was 'me'
Each of us born today and reading this has our lot.
You can improve yours - yes. But what really counts is that, collectively, we change the future.
Change starts with ideas - with perspective, with a realization that change is possible, with ideas that convince us to make that change; or make the change inevitable.
I pedal ideas. I hope to infect you with good ones.
Writing is a passion - I simply have no choice in the matter.
Is my writing worth anything? To me it is - I hope it resonates with you.
I sincerely hope it does - there is nothing I would like more than to devote the rest of my life to it; but there is only limited room at the top for a few - my objective is to somehow squeeze my way in.
That you have read this far means I have a sliver of chance - so thank you for the effort.
Anything to do with the ocean - count me in; floating on it, diving under it, riding it's waves - It's how I commune with my 70-millionth ancestor.
Alternatively; Weekends away in the mountains with good friends is my next favorite thing.
You can keep 5 star hotels, any manmade environment... and egotists. Give me nature and balanced, sober, happy people whoever they may be.
I prefer my own cooking to any restaurant food I've ever eaten - keep the music melodious.
But, what, besides the physical world, interests a confirmed nerd?
Our modern world is built on technology and threatened by ideology and our myopia toward the environment; itself in large part a symptom of ideology.
So, it is these considerations that I spend much of my spare time exploring and pondering. Some people play golf - I read and I write on these topics - on technology, environment and our species' ideologically driven impacts on them.