Quite a few different people have asked this and I have promised to tell them... once I'd figured it out for myself first! So, this post is hopefully (for the reader) the beginning of an interesting insight into a somewhat crazy mind; with the by-product of being rather cathartic for that crazy mind too.
I think its going to take a bit of writing to get around this, so I'm going to spilt it into easier to digest (and write!) chunks - hence this being Part 1. Here goes...
An Adventurous Spirit
I guess I've always had an adventurous streak. Or so I've been told. I don't remember, at the age of four, cajoling my little sister into joining me, on my version of Grand Theft Auto, or hatching the plan to sneak past the Milkman, whilst he was distracted, by my very beautiful young mother at the door; but the story has been retold many times.
The street we lived on had a dead end, with a grass hill, at one end, which I do remember playing on - even then anywhere 'green' was a magnet. The plan, it seems, was simple; to make our escape and head for the sunset, in the slowest vehicle ever invented - the electric Milk float. The big flaw in the plan was that I was only about two feet tall, step in Sibling, with rivalry temporarily put aside. I would steer whilst she did the pedals with her hands. This is why I take full responsibility for sending it the wrong way and up the grass hill, she couldn't see a thing.
As far as I've been told, the milkman was very upset and my mother had to placate him, which I'm sure he didn't object to too much. So I single-handedly invented the first off-road/4x4 milk delivery vehicle. If they'd have taken off, I'd be rich and famous.
Jump forward to my teens and I found myself in the beautiful East Sussex countryside, living in a small hamlet, called Palehouse Common. My sister and I would spend hours roaming the fields and woods with our mates, Simon, Nigel and Timmy (full name Timmy Leaves - yes, T. Leaves). Naming places (such as "The Clomp") and inviting unsuspecting townie school buddies over - setting booby traps all through the woods, Rambo-style, to show them who was boss of the wilderness!
So, most of my youth, to some extent, was based in the 'wild' and wonderful outdoors; like most of my generation. Then came the (ironically not) 'wilderness' years. This involved getting on the wheel, career, family (who have been a joy most of the time!) and puzzlement at how such an adventurous soul ended up spending eight hours a day sat in front of a computer, under the illusion he was being 'creative' and gazing out of the window, dreaming of escape.
Now the family are becoming independent and flying the nest, so am I! I'm allowing my being to revert to a child-like state of wonder, at the world around me, that I had lost, in a cloud of consumerism and materialistic abandon.
Reason one sorted... I have been craving an adventure. And I'm hoping there's a dragon at the end of it, but I'm not too worried about a pile of gold - I'll be happy with a nugget of purest green!