It was always other people who did grown up things - made marriages, had children, bought second homes, stashed for their old age, acquired wisdom.
Me? Well, I often seemed to be doing the stuff that my married friends wished they could do if it wasn’t for their partner, and the kids and the mortgage. I’ve travelled a great deal, funded largely by working intermittently in IT in the Middle East during the eighties. My travels have taken me 25,000 miles across three continents by motorcycle (1983/84); on shorter overland trips though Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas; and closer to home, by bicycle from Lands End to John O'Groats (2005). It’s unlikely that gadding about the world really does broaden the mind. It does, however (along with writing and religion) enable one to present a facade of worthwhile engagement while in reality doing nothing useful at all.
I’ve done less pointless things in my life, but not much more so. I’ve studied Hindi, Indian Art and Archaeology, Massage (no, really), and British Colonial History. I’ve spent (done?) time at Buddhist centres, where I experienced elevated states of profound and excruciating boredom. During my forties I contrived a living in London, working as a freelance business analyst in The City. I also had a stint working for the BBC.
In 2005, I quit my job, sold up, and left London, and lacking any clear direction as always, I studied for a degree in English and Creative Writing at Plymouth University. Somehow I’ve since managed to keep from penury by concocting a livelihood as a wordsmith and photographer.
Most recently, in July 2012, on the verge of closing a lucrative book deal with a major publisher, I was diagnosed with stage four tonsillar cancer. Which rather put the mockers on the book deal. Still, at least I’ll have more time (but maybe not the energy) to devote to my blog. C’est la vie.