After leaving school I first joined the police force. It was a ‘Walter Mitty’ decision. At the time I was a keen motorcyclist and wanted to race motorcycles like Jarno Saarinen and Barry Sheen. I thought that I could ride police motorcycles in the week and race my own at the weekend. Big mistake. I soon learned that if I injured myself racing, I would most likely lose my job. Anyway, two good things came out of this mistake. Number one, I met my wife, who has stuck by me all these years, no matter what mistakes I have consequently made. Number two, I did manage to train as a police traffic patrol motorcyclist and this has allowed me ride safely all these years, accident free, for which I am very thankful.
After two years and six months police work, I went to university to study clinical biochemistry. I published my first research paper in 1981, using an enzyme donated by scientists at Porton Down, which at the time was the U.K.’s biological and biochemical weapons research establishment. Not as hush hush as it seems, it was a trial commercial enterprise.
Not long after I changed careers again and became a high school chemistry teacher. I graduated with a Master’s degree in education from Bristol University. With the introduction of GCSE’s, I published a number of educational textbooks in the U.K., helping teachers conduct and assess scientific research in schools. Allied to this in the 1990’s I was a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Committee, awarding grants for research projects in U.K. schools.
Following a Commonwealth Teacher Exchange to New Zealand in 1990 my family and I moved to Auckland a few years later where I continued teaching high school chemistry. However, not long after I won a scholarship to study a PhD in clinical biochemistry. I undertook post-doctoral studies at Massey University and became a senior research officer at Auckland University of Technology. I have published many scientific papers in prestigious journals and co-authored chapters in nutritional textbooks.
I now live peacefully in New Zealand with my wife and two married daughters. Amongst my many hobbies from which I have drawn expertise from are: Kendo; Sub-aqua diving*; Caving*; Cave diving; Hang gliding; Motorcycle racing (I did manage to race in New Zealand for a few years); Parachuting; Skiing;* and Photography both underwater and caving.
(* as an instructor)