Although born in England, my father’s job took the family to Australia in the early 1960’s, where for two years we experienced wall-to-wall sunshine before returning to England just in time for legendary the winter of ’63.
After several weeks of shovelling snow away from the front door, my father had had enough and simply announced one day …`bugger this weather for a joke, we’re going back to Oz.’
Whilst for most people this opportunity might have seen in a positive light, I personally am predisposed to thrive in arctic conditions. Having already experienced two years of the unrelenting, and usually ferocious, antipodean sunshine, my lily-white skin shrivelled just contemplating a life down-under.
Despite my reservations, Australia proved to be the land of opportunity, and I rapidly adapted to life amidst the snakes and spiders.
Indeed, I still have fond memories of getting up before dawn during the Christmas holidays to go snake chasing. A game that rapidly loses its appeal after ones quarry has warmed up sufficiently and turns the table… where-after the hunter invariably becomes the hunted.
In my teens I discovered that sunshine did serve one delightful purpose; it was conducive to girls wearing skimpy bikinis, and that fact alone somehow made the sunburn worth while. Not that a skinny, lobster-coloured teenager could compete with tribes of athletic, bronzed Anzacs when vying for the affections of the fairer sex.
After completing my education, I returned to England and briefly worked in a metrology lab based just outside Cambridge ( that’s measurements, not weather )
Two years later I formed my first business, Helius Designs, designing and manufacturing esoteric audio equipment.
Until the advent of CD in the late 1980’s when vinyl became a victim of the digital revolution, Helius had been very successful….However, there’s nothing like the threat of poverty to inspire a rapid reappraisal of ones personal circumstances so I diversified the business into building computer controlled astronomical telescopes.
Beyond that, Helius evolved through a variety of optical projects culminating in my being awarded international patents in laser optics and winning several government technology awards.
More recently, the music industry has diverged into two distinct camps, digital downloads and its counter-response, the resurgence of interest in analogue audio. As I still love music and the audio business, I succumbed to temptation and revived Helius hi-fi.
And now I come to writing. An unexpected, left-field jump you might think….but I do have a life outside technology, and as I’m approaching that age where you start counting birthdays backwards, perhaps its time to start looking back on life in a more philosophical way and voicing some ideas that are as bold and controversial as my engineering.
More and more I ask myself two questions, what’s gone wrong with the world today? ..and, is their a greater purpose to life that can be articulated without invoking the metaphysical?
Is life simply a natural consequence of the universes continued evolution? … and where does it go from here.
This series of books is my answer.