A bit of history
I lived in a small town called Birstall, 3 miles from Leicester, for my first 18 years. My mum and dad were both born in Leicester, dad's childhood home was 49 Westbourne Street, mum's 91 Cooper Street, five roads apart in the Belgrave district of Leicester.
Dad was born in September, 1936, and was a draughtsman and worked at Rolls-Royce in Mountsorrel and the Brush in Loughborough. Mum was born in June, 1939, and was a secretary and receptionist who worked at the county analysts laboratory in Wanlip.
My dad died in May, 2005. Dad had a great sense of humour and passed on a love of comedy (particularly Tony Handcock and Laurel and Hardy), and of music. I can still vividly remember him listening to music on a Sunday morning while doing odds jobs around the house. Unfortunately dad also passed on his love of Leicester City, a "gift" that has caused me much pain...
Mum also has a great sense of humour, and a lust for travel that I inherited - she's also my favourite cook in the world!
My sister, Samantha, was born in September, 1966, and we got on very well together though we could drive each other crazy. She left school at 17 and worked as an accountant for the local government. Then she joined the navy and met her first husband John Farmery with whom she had two great boys, Matt (born in 1991) and Tom (born in 1993). Sam and John divorced and Sam later married Steve Chard and they lived together in Melton Mowbray, and had a lovely boy Ollie (born in 1998) Sam tragically died in February, 2007. Matt and Tom are now both at university, and Ollie lives with his dad Steve. Sam had an amazing lust for life and energy, and crammed a lot into her 40 years.
Dad was an only child and mum has one brother, Clive Dakin, who moved to New Zealand in 1970 with his wfe Sue. They have four kids, Phil, Mark, Steve and Rebecca
After leaving Leicester I spent 8 years in Nottingham, as a student and lecturer at Nottingham University. I then moved to London and spent 9 years their, before leaving for Seattle in 1999. Soon after arriving in Seattle I met Zoe Moodie, a prairie girl from Winnipeg. We married on July 25th, 2002 in St. Johns, Newfoundland. My daughter Ellie was born in October 2005, and my son Eric in December 2007. Zoe's mum and dad, Pat and Ric Moodie still live in Winnipeg, as does Pat's mum, Eleanor Andrews. Zoe's sister, Erica, married my best man Dave Stephens (who I've known since my Nottingham days). They married in August, 2006, and now live in Montreal.