A historian passionate about Welsh history – especially about Welsh militant history in the 20th century. Contact me for discussions, information or invitations to lecture or speak about this subject. As I am not a fluent Welsh speaker, please contact me in English, as it will take time for me to translate.
Hanesydd sy’n angerddol am hanes Cymru – yn arbennig hanes milwriaethus Cymraeg yn yr 20fed ganrif. Cysylltwch â mi am drafodaethau, gwybodaeth neu wahoddiadau i ddarlithio neu i annerch ar y pwnc. Gan nad wyf yn Gymro Cymraeg rhugl, cysylltwch â mi yn Saesneg, neu fel arall fe all gymryd peth amser i gyfieithu.
Having been asked to provide background information about myself, here goes! I was born 3 November 1967. I stand just over six foot, am a little over fourteen stone, have blue eyes and enjoy good health. This I maintain through very regular exercise and a healthy, balanced life-style. I have suffered with intermittent migraines, hay fever and mild asthma since infancy: none of which has ever prevented me exercising, or resulted in my taking notable time off work. I have worked in the care sector for nearly twenty years, taking time out to complete my degrees and to go ‘back-packing’.
I left school in 1984 with no formal qualifications, having spent all my time avoiding hard-work, application and lessons. Instead, I thought of the weekend and listened to vast amounts of music and read history and politics at home. For all its positives, it is an educational directional course I would not recommend. For those classes I disrupted through what I believed at the time was ‘hilarious high jinx’ and ‘breathtakingly funny quips and retorts’, and indeed, to those fellow pupils who were denied an education due to my immaturity and selfishness, I am truly sorry. I eventually returned to education (through the support of those around me) and having both applied myself and received very solid help and encouragement (from most notably, David Worgan, Catrin Stevens and Martin Johnes), did quite well. Through my time reading at home through those formative teenage years, my politics were shaped. I am an unapologetic ‘magpie’ when it comes to political ideology and – for all their respective party faults – I applaud the ‘safety net socialism’ of the Labour Party, the Nationalist agenda of Plaid Cymru, the ‘get on your bike’ and improve your lot doctrine of the Conservatives and the protection of our environmental splendor as especially espoused by the Greens. (I appreciate of course that it is not only the Labour Party, for example, who believe in protecting society’s vulnerable, but you get my point). As I say, a magpie and proud of it.
As for my twenty months ‘back-packing’ venture, it proved a wonderful ‘journey’ both in the literal sense and with regards my emotional and spiritual development. It truly was a hugely beneficial undertaking. Forgive my Radio 4 speak! I love that too by the way! I also enjoy music, particularly The Beatles and Bob Dylan, but much more besides, including some classical – please refer to a list below of my favourite songs (some are included for reasons of happy memories rather than particular musical enjoyment). I also enjoy choral and other more ‘relaxing’ styles. Furthermore, as a very proud Welshman, I greatly enjoy visiting Welsh historical sites. I am also rather musical, playing the guitar, harmonica and to a lesser extent the piano to a fair standard. I was once part of a band called Uncle Tom: titans on the Llandrindod music scene! Alas, fame and fortune it was not be!
In 2004, I married my long-term partner Sue. We have known each other since 1980, when we met one Friday evening aboard a bus from Llandrindod to Brecon Swimming pool on a youth club trip. I sat in the row in front of her and annoyed her there and back! We started ‘going out’ in November 1981 and remained together throughout much of our teens. We got back together again at the end of the 1990s. Moving on a few years, our hopes of starting a family – including our trying IVF – proved but a dream. It is no exaggeration to state that the frustration of another monthly failure bordered on the agonizing and for those in a similar situation, I truly sympathize. In May 2012, I became a father after agreeing to be a donor. I am now the proud ‘Daddy’ of a beautiful, healthy girl called Chloe. I am very proud of her; so too her Mummies (Claire and Jo’) and my wife Sue for all their support and kindness. With regards my wider family background, I am the youngest of three ‘boys’, to parents who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2011. Both my brothers (who salt of the earth types) have children, totaling five between them. I am also proud of them, and all thankfully, are happy and healthy.
Anyway, that’s enough about me I think! If you would like to comment on the book, or ask questions about it, me, or anything to do with Welsh History/Militancy, I will endeavour to respond as well as I am able. I look forward to hearing from you. Can I please ask that you don’t use bad language.
With very best wishes,
Cymru am Byth.