Who and What am I?
Apart from not being overly photogenic, I’m a pretty down to earth sort of bloke with a passion for Bruce Springsteen, Brains Beer, Cardiff City, Welsh rugby, my wife Jen and our two great kids, Calum and Liam (Caliam - now get where the name comes from?). And not forgetting Tilly, our wonderful but arthritic Springer Spaniel with a 1980's style perm - one that I can only dream of nowadays.
I always tell people that old cliche, ‘what you see is what you get’. Which, according to my doctor whose comment when I was training for a charity fund raising trek in the Himalayas was, “you're clinically obese”. And he didn’t give me a donation.
I still raised over £3,000 though.
Basically then, I’m a sort of weight and follicly challenged bloke with a good heart.
I still love History and almost certainly read more now than I ever did for the degree. I really believe that we can learn from history and from true inspirational leaders and creative thinkers like George Washington and Ulysses S Grant.
George Washington’s Continental Army’s unexpected crossing of the icy Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 preceded its surprise attack against mercenary Hessian forces based in Trenton, New Jersey on the morning of December 26. Its stunning ‘against the odds’ victory became a pivotal moment in the American Revolution.
I love having a laugh although apparently I may appear to some to be both a dour and miserable old git. If I do look a bit dark and mysterious on occasions, then that’s just the Celt in me shining through. My buzz is working with people who have a problem to solve - a Grievance that's been raised, a potential Disciplinary matter that need addressing or an Appeal arising from such processes. They may not be everyone's cup of tea but they can't be ignored and I will bring both expertise and objectivity to the process.
As much as I love music in general and the Boss (that’s Springsteen not Jen, although I love her too – just in case she reads this, can’t be too careful) in particular, I simply can’t sing to save my life. There's another ridiculous stereotype just bitten the dust - I'm Welsh and can't sing a note. I love a good curry and a few beers and going go see The City (Cardiff for the avoidance of any doubt), with my son and / or mates. Talk about still taking the pain....
Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885) led the Union troops in their final defeat of the Confederate forces outside of Richmond, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War in 1865. Despite being a mediocre cadet and later leaving the army to avoid being drummed out, Grant's career highlighted with siege and victory at Vicksburg. The strategically brilliant capture of the town on the banks of the Mississippi marked one of the turning points in the war.
The kids still just about talk to me, albeit usually at birthdays and when they want something. But it suggests that I may have done some things right as a dad even though, sadly, bribery rarely works nowadays. I still haven’t worked out why Jen married me in the first place and I guess that I should probably show a bit more gratitude on occasions?
I am passionate about getting results. I like the tangible. I’m also passionate about my first cup of coffee in the morning (proper, none of your instant stuff) and am at my real best when I’ve been awake for at least 30 minutes post caffeine.