I’m never sure what to write in these areas, so here goes, I will probably add to this as I go along.
Born in 1964 in one of the rougher areas of Edinburgh, an unremarkable childhood and schooling, aiming for the dole as most of the kids in our area were and getting on with this quite nicely…
One of my first ‘jobs’ was on a Y.O.P. with a photography lab in central Edinburgh but transitioned to taking photographs for the Craigmillar Festival Society for a year or so while helping with the drama outreach programme.
Then I met a girl who was training to be a nursery nurse whilst I was training to be a doss head, kept meeting her from her training placement with under -5s earlier and earlier, going in and reading stories to kids, me with my Robert Smith hair-do as well. Eventually the head teacher said I should apply to become a nursery nurse, I think this was just to get me out of her face.
I then worked with children for over 30 years. Running my own nursery for a couple of years and for 20+ years I’ve worked with children on the autistic spectrum, more specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, in a residential school in North Yorkshire. Eventually it took its toll and I now work as a senior children’s bookseller for Waterstones.
Whilst working for Waterstones I’ve been a long list reader for the Children’s Book Prize several times and on the judging panel for the winners once, and I’m currently reading for the HWA Gold Crown Award 2022. I was also one of The Booksellers Bookshop Heroes in 2021.
I’ve also set up the two directories Indie Bookshops and Indie Publishers, cataloguing independent bookshops and publishers with the goal of having a post for each one, a written directory for the publishers, and to visit every indie bookshop in the UK and Ireland (big goals).
Tarot and Esoterica
My time with tarot started in the early 80s in a Goth-phase when someone bought me the Thoth deck for my 18th birthday, I liked it but it never really seemed to fit.
Three years later I was reading tarot on The Mound during the Edinburgh Festival using the Thoth deck when a friend came with a new deck and told me that she felt this was much more me. This was the Sacred Rose Tarot and I’ve used this deck on and off since 1985 now and I feel a really good, deep connection with it.
During that period I was also reading palms, runes, astrology charts, and I-Ching, though over the years I’ve only really kept on the tarot as it seemed the most popular with family, friends, and the occasional client.
I studied Art History with the Open University and achieved a BA Hons (Open) and this has helped me to understand my own and others artistic practices, and has helped me develop a body of photography work.
I’ve been involved in a couple of exhibitions and had my work permanently shown in a community hub.
I will be showcasing my photography and other art forms, I mainly use a Canon and my iPhone now, but will be branching out into different techniques as I go.
I’ll be sharing my projects and development processand I’ll be putting images and ideas for possible future projects here as well.
I’ll also be writing reviews of any exhibitions I’m able to get to, another project will be exploring art and photography an image at a time on a weekly Substack newsletter.
I’ll also be using my social media to talk about current, past, and future projects and also art thoughts, technique, and less project focused photos/art.
- ‘Steel’ – 13/02/16 to 13/03/16 – Palace Arts Gallery, Redcar (Prayers of Steel)
- New Year Show – 10/01/15 to 15/03/15 – Palace Arts Gallery, Redcar (Blue Trilogy)
- Amateur Photographer – Photographs of Sage, Gateshead – 14/06/08 (8 images)
If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Indie Bookshops) you could become a Subscriber over on Ko-Fi which also lets you read the growing collection of original short fiction.
If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated and will go toward the goal of a new laptop.
You can always email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions.