“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult”
As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life.
His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream!
His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man.
What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
He is stronger on the science than on the religion, and if you have studied physics to any degree, you might not be challenged enough by the science to enjoy that side of it. However he does draw out some fascinating correlations.
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Good plug, John. I have a book list, and I shall put this on it. It sounds like it might engender some flow in my synaptic fluids in two areas of enquiry for me: religious beliefs and the universe.
Found your wordpress blog by following the link on Kona Macphee’s blog, where I am featured as today’s Six Things. Thanks for your comments there. This response is strictly a response to your own blog. Today I finished reading a book by Chris Clarke called ‘Weaving The Cosmos: Science, Religion & Ecology’. It was published last year. He explains quantum field and quantum state so simply that an idiot like me can feel he has almost understood. So that’s mainly why I enjoyed it. I know there have been various books about how quantum physics might link up with spirituality. But Clarke’s is the only one I have actually read. Also he is writing about the imminence of climate disaster. On the whole he writes quite well. I am definitely in tune with his intentions: so that’s why I thought I would plug his book for him!
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