This is the condensed version of the about me, if you want to waste a few hours of your life and want to read the more indepth one click here
OK here goes.
Firstly I must profess to being a Muppet at times and a dick most of the time, like a lot of people I’m told, I screw up regularly, sometimes I don’t like myself very much, which is suprisingly common, apparently, unfortunately. So if you are really bored and in need for more mundane reading as to why this is the case and blar blar blar then click here. if you read the sub page the long life story about me (if you have a few spare hours) you will see why that is in depth, you will see this has got a lot to do with the shit I carry around with me, having encountered some crap, like most people. I have now come out the other side, mentally, of this period. Although this should not in any way label me it does affect me mentally and does have a detrimental effect on my ability to sometimes switch off or to see situations and people in ways different to others whom have not gone though such instances.
However how I view myself is not really what counts to me, it is, how my family and friends view me; my self-image is slowly improving over time, hopefully after this next endeviour it will be vastly improved again. The fact is my family and friends like me way more than I like myself.
So how did I end up here planning an extended period of isolation in one of the worlds most inhospitable and driest places, cycling across some of the highest mountain passes in the world, well the long and short of that is, it’s a self inflicted challenge or a transparent evasion exercise. The goal is to do something that breaks me mentally. I am am firm believer that, we only grow, when we are pushed beyond our comfort zones. That through pushing oneself beyond discomfort we are forced make decsions, maturing as we learn from the consequences. Through acheiving or failing and learning from it, self worth is gained and self esteem is bolstered ultimately. Or at least thats what i’m banking on
I am from North Wales, born in Wrexham, where I was brought up and I brought my kids up. It’s also the place where my childhood friends live and where I have spent many a night hitting the pubs and clubs of the town. I have spend a large proportion of my time in and around Llangollen one of my favourite places in the world, it’s where many of my closest friends live and hang out and also has some amazing facilities for doing outdoor shit. The River Dee for rafting and kayaking, Worlds End for climbing and everywhere around for biking, with Llandegla only a short distance away. It’s also only a short drive to Snowdonia my extended playground for all activities and mini adventures.
I have on quests of self improvement acheived quite a bit as an adult, as a child I did not do so well, I struggled badly in school, largely as a result of the 3 sided abuse from all avenues. Academically I was very bad and when I did attend school, I was in remedial classes and could barely read or write until I attended adult classes in my mid 20’s. After a spell in army, which turned out to be as abusive as my home life, followed by a brief period of homelessness, I trained as a woodmachinist and cabinet maker and became quite good at it. After the collapse of a business venture and learning how to read and write I attended higher education, I found out I had severe dyslexia (yay, im not simple or stupid after all ). I did very well and suprised myself immensly how well with hard work I could do. My first HND i acheived the highest grades every awarded 13 overall distinctiona nd 11 overall merits, I then went on to do a Degree and a post grad diploma. I acheived chartership status as a Building Surveyor, and a second chartership as a Construction Project Manager, along with a few other professional diplomas in Architecture, Surevying. I worked for many years in the industry and eventually had my own private practice.
I worked as a professional in the construction industry in the week and as a outdoor guide or instructor at wekends, coaching, guiding or instructing, kayaking, white water rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, team building, assisting climbing seasons, assisting gorge walking, assisting mountaineering.
With 11 years of somewhat stability and in line with the death of my best friend and the collapse of a 17 year realtionship with my wife my mental health collapsed again in 2006.
I met a woman and after a period of living off griid we set up and ran two businesses, initially funded by her family, offering main tents and accomodation at events and festivals, cariad canvas and wedding tipi. The businesses were very sucessful, however they had a detrimental effect on me as I did the vast amount of the work in setting them up and running them. After 9 years my partner and I separated as I was not what she wanted, unfortunately I was ousted from the businesses I had set up and built. I love tents, I love hard work and I love working outdoors, so it was a great job for me.
I have been fortunate enough to have some really good friends to do most activities with; many I have met through the kayaking scene over the years and have gone on to enjoy good times and experiences in many other activities beyond those on the water. I have been involved with kayaking since I was 14, I’m not the best by any means, I’m competent or was, its all relative though, some of my friends are up there as being ranked in the world and some having won international events. I am a level 3 Kayak coach and 5 star trained paddler.
I love the mountains and the remoteness that comes with exploring them, I have had some great times on them and also some pretty sorryful times, as they are generally where I go to gather my thoughts and like my wounds. my special thing is wildcamping whether it be in tents, bothies or under rocks, on ledges whatever, just as long as its remote, I love it.
I love biking, I have never been on my bike riding and regreted it, im like a child on a bike, smiling as I decend fast, grinning ear to ear, i cant get enough of it.
My latest thing is paragliding, its amazing the feeling of excileration and freedom, but unfortunately UK conditions are not the best. Its odd when I land i always feel glad to have survived, like i have been reborn, afterwards all problems seem insignificant as they are generaly not life threatening.
I have spend a good chunk of my life learning how to live in remote places and be self sufficient, I have developed skills of survival and love the feeling of waking in a forest to a smokey fire, ahhh forest living, its a harmonious environement.
As mentioned I have spend a considerable amount of my adulthood on the water either canoeing, kayaking or rafting. I loved the water and a day barely went past when i wasnt drawn to it and my group of friends who also frequented it. This love wiltered and died some years ago, with the offset of my mental illness in 2008, though it is slowly being re ignited.
I love spending time with friends doing adnormal stuff in beautful places, chilling enjoying one anothers presence in remote places, mountains, lakes, lochs, caves, rivers, forests or just the quite local, talking crap and laughing generally at one of our friends and more often at me.