The ‘about’ page seems to be quite popular – on any site. There are more page impressions here than almost anywhere else at the World of Wad. Aside from the home page, only one apparently random restaurant review gets more hits.
So this is about me; my opportunity to introduce myself, and hopefully to reveal what you wanted to know when you clicked through.
But there is a health warning. What I choose to share is necessarily subjective. What lies ahead is a précis; it is an exercise in spin. My judgement is you don’t want to hear what I had for lunch on the day I wrote this; that shall remain one of my many secrets. But I believe you do want to understand the context in which I write.
If you really do want to follow my eating habits, check out the Munching Mariner’s restaurant reviews.
I was born and grew up in Randalstown, Northern Ireland. The Troubles were an ever-present backdrop to my life. We lived opposite a police station. In October 1989, it was demolished by an IRA bomb. Our home was gutted and we had to move out for six months while it was restored. I believe it shaped my outlook.
I developed a fascination with the politics that perpetuated Northern Ireland’s instability. Few of our problems were religious; they were tribal, and born of widespread social injustice.
I am community-minded. I care about my neighbourhood, both locally and globally. I believe that, while we are each responsible for our own actions, our behaviour is demonstrably influenced by social and cultural factors.
I recognise that while some of us are better behaved than others, we are all fallen. None of is perfect. I am a Christian who is on a continuing journey. I have many faults.
I am obsessed with knowledge, especially news and current affairs.
In 1995, I set off to study Broadcast Journalism at the Nottingham Trent University. I took a year’s sabbatical as Treasurer of the Union of Students, then specialised in television news.
After graduating, I worked for Broadcast Media Services, producing films for corporate clients. I later moved on to a production role at Sky News, then BBC News. I have worked there ever since, aside from a six month secondment as a news editor with the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva in 2011.
My specialism is international news. Beyond our borders, there is an awesome world, too much of which is ignored. But wherever we are, our neighbourhood is important too. Whoever we are, our world is both local and global.
A crucial part of my world is my wife Vanessa, who I married in 2008. We lived in east London until 2011 when we moved to Epsom, just outside London.
Vanessa is a therapeutic counsellor (at Feel Free). She is driven by compassion, and a desire to be alongside people in their hour of need. She is an excellent wife! Together we have a wonderful son, Caleb, born in 2013.
Vanessa and I enjoy travelling, and new experiences. I enjoy offshore sailing, skiing, swimming, squash, running and photography. I also like to settle down with a black coffee (or preferably a pint of Guinness) and read The Week, The Economist or a good book. I read many other blogs too.
The World of Wad is an eclectic portfolio of my latest ideas and ruminations. There is no single theme, but I aim to ensure everything I publish is in some way current. Some posts are expressly personal, but most are aimed at a wider audience.
The process of writing helps me develop my own ideas. Articulating my views helps me shape them. Any views expressed here are always my own, unless made otherwise explicit.
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I hope you enjoy your visit to the World of Wad!