About Me

About Me | Rheumatoid Arthritis

A little about me outside of work, though at times it is hard to tell the difference. Essentially, I am a practical person who likes working with my hands and this ranges from house renovation, to scratch model building. I am reasonably artistic and enjoy art galleries and buying the occasional modest item. We are fortunate to live relatively close to both Glasgow and Edinburgh which have wonderful galleries. The first thing that I did when I started working in Texas was to join the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) where I now spent a lot of my free time.

Purely for my own enjoyment, I do try to draw every day and find that this helps me relax and hopefully improve my skills. This artistic streak rolls over into the company where I have produced all of the educational and case-study video materials.

I particularly enjoy time with my dog 'Moth'. She energetically walks with my wife Lorna and myself when we all happen to be in Scotland at the same time. Fortunately much of Scotland remains unspoilt for walking, boating and driving.

It isn't always easy travelling but I seem to handle this very well and it has provided the opportunity to make many new friends.

I am a very enthusiastic reader and can hardly visit a book shop without spending a fortune. My friend and colleague, Serge Diekstra, jokes about my $35 coffee habit when I am in Houston. This is because I go to Borders bookshop to have an espresso and end up buying a stack of books. Inevitably in my job, I read endless accident reports but, here are just some of the other titles that I have enjoyed recently.

Probably top of my reading list was:

American CaesarsAmerican Caesars, Lives of American Presidents, Franklin D Roosevelt  to George W Bush, by Nigel Hamilton, Random House, ISBN 1847920020
I really enjoyed this partly because, apart from FDR, I have lived through all the other presidencies and had a personal view on most of them and certainly from JFK onwards. This is a fairly easy read, which I consumed on one transatlantic flight. Each president is covered in three sections; early life up to becoming president, the presidential years and finally personal background.

A History of Modern BritainAn up to date fascinating book about the Britain that I have lived in since the mid 1940s was:
A History of Modern Britain, by Andrew Marr, Macmillan, ISBN 978-4050-0538-8

The Atlantic OceanA series of short stories giving a personal view of modern times is:
The Atlantic Ocean, Essays on Britain and America, Andrew O'Hagan, Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-23885-9

Saints and SinnersAnother collection of short stories, just published, and giving a great insight into Irish lives is:
Saints and Sinners, Edna O'Brien, Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-27031-6

BrooklynAgain Irish is this the powerful story of a young woman immigrating to New York in the 1950s:
Brooklyn, Colm Toibin, Viking, ISBN 978-0-670-91812-6

The TrialAs investigators we are constantly considering the question 'What is the truth?' This question is in no way to suggest that we find people lying, but rather, for a variety of reasons, being unclear as to what actually happened. This book covers a very long history:
The Trial, A history from Socrates to O.J.Simpson, Sadakat Kadri, Harper Collins, ISBN 0 00 711121 5

Attention all ShippingThis is a just a small selection that excludes the many novels read on planes including the Stieg Larsson, Girl with The Dragon Tattoo trilogy and many more books. Finally a great delight of mine that I enjoyed so much that I bought copies for others was:
Attention all Shipping, A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast, Charlie Connelly, Abacus, ISBN 978-0-349-11603-7
If you have ever listened to the shipping forecast on Radio 4 and wondered where all those places from North Utsire to Trafalar are, then this is the book for you, and it's fun to read.