After many years in a variety of occupations ranging from farrier to fast jet pilot for the Royal Air Force, I started writing humorous poetry by accident (some people say it shows!). I was 36 yrs old and had just moved to Australia and on a whim wrote Name Calling. Fifteeen years later that poem is still amongst the most popular - which tells me I haven't improved too much.
The main vehicle for my rhymes is a tubby panda bear called The Big Bamboo. I chose a panda because, being black and white, they represent both extremes of life and living. I wanted a character, a force, an entity that captured all races and creeds as well as all opinions. My mother was Chinese-Malay, my father, English-Irish, and I have lived variously in Malaysia, Germany, the UK and also Australia. This spread of loyalties and experiences left me a confirmed internationalist.
My childhood was shared with a myriad of wildlife as my father had a penchant for collecting exotic animals - mostly reptiles. But we also had foxes, a weasel, many types of wild birds living with us and most famously a pet Lar Gibbon, a type of tailless monkey, that shared my cot with me until I was almost two years old that would also bottle feed me and later spoon feed me.
Nature and the preservation of our environment is two of the themes I frequently bring into my poetry. But whether it is nature or simply observations about life I write about, it is important to me that my work educates as well as entertains.