I was born in Exeter, Devonshire, in
1955, and educated in
Sheffield and Old Coulsdon, Surrey. I originally studied molecular
biology at what is now the University
of Westminster, but dropped out after my
year to pursue other interests. I have since had a wide variety of
jobs, such as working as an
engineer for the chemical industry, as a PA in the MOD at the start of
the first Gulf War, in the DoT Press Office at the height of the roads
protests, as a finance officer in HM Treasury and at the Home Office,
and in a mental institution. There are more
similarities between these positions than are at first apparent!
I also ran my own business as a weaponsmith making martial arts weapons such as swords, kusarigama and shuriken from tool steel. My reproduction Japanese
swords, which were based on one of Muramasa's katana, acquired a very good reputation. As this was before Paul Chen was established - and long before the internet - I was, at the time, the only source of real martial arts weapons; the rest of the market consisted of 440 stainless steel, alloy and mild steel weapons.
In 2001 gained a BA in Archaeology and History at Birkbeck
College. I went on to gain my MA in
Archaeology in 2003, having submitted a dissertation that challenged
the conventional interpretation of Celtic and Romano-Celtic pagan
iconography. In my spare time I am also a musician, photographer,
writer, martial artist, smith and healer. Additionally I have travelled extensively in
America and Europe, and have visited parts of Canada, including spending
two weeks camping alone in the Rockies. There were also a couple of roadtrips around the US. My favourite occupations are
watching cats, beating red-hot metal with a hammer, and watching our daughter grow up.
Ryujin Swords is located in rural Derbyshire, not too far from the Peak District. At the moment I spend my time between running my business, helping my partner with her business, helping her run the smallholding, and helping her look after our daughter.