I finished my 'A' levels at Cray Valley in 1969 and much to the chagrin of tutors, I took my excellent results, not to a university, but to the London College of Printing where I could study the subjects I loved! After a lot of fun and an HND in Photography, Film and Television, I joined London Weekend Television as a cameraman in 1972. After many interesting programmes first at Wembley, then the south bank studios I realised this life was not for me. You could say I dropped out and settled in Orkney for five years. Here, apart from having two children, my career turned to freelance photography, predominantly tourism and oil industry work.
Orkney was a beautiful experience but I decided to get my PGCEd. and after a year at Garnett College in London, I began teaching Photography and TV in Teesside. Teaching was very rewarding and allowed me to live with my expanded family close to Richmond, North Yorkshire. Here I could canoe, mountain bike and walk in the beautiful dales. In all I taught for 15 years and still hear from students who went on to successful careers in TV and the media. In 1987-88 I was a Fulbright Teacher and with my family, we swapped homes and jobs with a high school teacher in Forest a Lake, Minnesota. It's true to say that for the whole family this was a life changing experience.
Almond Tree Villa featured in a TV programme, 'Four in a Bed', made several years ago but still repeated five times a year in the UK, as well as repeats in Australia, Belgium, Holland, Sweden etc. As a result we are frequently recognised in public places which can be handy! Last December for instance we were returning from Bangkok to London on a BA plane, a 13 hr flight, when the stewards recognised us and from then on we were showered with extra drinks and even got a 'carry off bag'.
For much of the rest of my 'official' career I was in education with heavy involvement in the field of Educational Technology. As well as my FT job, I did PT work for G&Guilds, BTEC and gained an M.Phil. My latter education roles were in management of online learning and I organised several European projects testing out new online learning techniques, including mobile learning. I left the UK in 2007, with my civil partner to build and set up a new guesthouse in SE Spain.
We have had so much fun with lovely guests here in Spain. They come from all over the world and filled Tripadvisor with lovely reviews. But now in 2016, I am ready to 'retire' from this and hoping to seek a new adventure, an Ibiza base and more world travel perhaps.