Born in Dublin Ireland in the 1940's, I was brought up in a small house on a large West Cabra estate by a hard-working widow with 7 other children. She had a small widows pension that she added to with some work so that we were not desperately poor as some were then in Dublin and elsewhere at the time - we were maybe more like 'respectable poor'. Four or five to a bedroom later dropped to two or three as older sisters and brothers left home.
Though maybe 'baptised Catholic' by a possibly Protestant unmarried 15-year-old mother giving birth in a Catholic Dublin hospital, I was brought up an 'illegally adopted' Protestant by this kind Dublin widow Alice Walker. Around age 8, I got rheumatoid arthritis and did spend some months in a convalescent home run by Catholic nuns when I made some pretence of being Catholic - maybe just fooling the Catholic children but certainly not the nuns. Though it was run like the army and I was fearful of the nuns and greatly wanted to go home, some at least of those nuns were not bad people. And their unpleasant daily spoon of cod liver oil may even have been a bit helpful.
I attended a small Protestant church school All Saints, Grangegorman, Dublin with about 50 pupils covering the full age range from starting-school age to leaving-school age. The church was a High Church or neo-Catholic but sometimes allowed a child to do a Sunday bible reading from the pulpit, which I did once or twice. The school staff of 2 comprised a Head Mistress and her assistant, but they made time to give me extra teaching to do a scholarship for one of Ireland's best private schools - and aged 10 they helped me become the first pupil of that school to win that prestegious scholarship. Unfortunately I could not take it up as religious and government problems forced my family to emigrate to Leicester England then, with some reduction in our religious concerns.
So in Leicester I entered the nearest school which was the rather poor Dale Secondary, but 1 year later won a place in Moat Intermediate school and from there to Gateway Grammar school where the Headmaster insisted I must do Physics at Imperial College London and I would be a great physicist.
Though offered a Physics place at Imperial, not requiring A-level maths but requiring A-level Biology which required good drawing that I am still no good at. I was actually taught some higher maths at the time though I did not sit the exam. So having problems getting onto a physics degree, the first degree I took was a University of London BSc in Biology with Chemistry - and I dropped that after 2 years. I did a lot of private study, mainly of physics theory, physics history and philosophy since these remained strong interests. Later I successfully completed some part-time post-graduate study in Law or more precisely in Socio-Legal Studies. And in 1987 I successfully completed a BSc Honours at London's City University in Sociology with Economics, the first year of which included Philosophy. The excellent Philosophy Professor tried hard to convince me to major in Philosophy, but I somewhat reluctantly felt the need for a degree with a better chance of helping to feed the family that I had recently started and the university was under government funding and other pressure to stop teaching Philosophy.
Between a perhaps strange mix of various studies, I did a maybe stranger mix of full-time jobs for money and part-time activities for interest.
When young I was for a year or two a published poet and tried other writing. I also looked into a range of politics and was for a time a successful mainstream political activist. And I looked into religions and even tried to start my own new religion.
My first job application attempt around 1959/1960 was for Computer Programming with the multinational Rank Zerox, and from its IQ test they told me that nobody who worked for them or had applied to work for them had ever scored an IQ as high as me. That was my first IQ test and they failed me on the job application, so I took it that they did not hire 'too intelligent' people.
My actual jobs to date in England have been a strange mix indeed - including 1 year as a Postman, 1 year as an Art College Model, 1 year in Pharmaceutical Shipping, 2 years in Construction Materials, 5 years in government Unemployment Welfare relating mostly to the poor and 15 years in government Affordable Housing / Social Housing Finance relating mostly to housing the poor as an 'economist' concerned largely with financial computer systems. Today I am still working, partly as a rather unsuccessful shopkeeper and partly as a website and computer software writer.
1983 saw me marry late aged 41 to Mary Finn aged 21 and from Bristol, though the age difference was maybe not typical of either of us, and we had 2 sons - Colin in 1984 and Adam in 1990. But despite being younger, Mary died of pneumonia in 2001 while somehow I am still going strong at 74 in 2016.
In recent years I have made and maintained a rather strange range of hopefully useful websites based on what I have learned from my strange mix of education, jobs and activities ;
- New Science Theory on physics theory history and my own science ideas.
- World Poverty on causes and possible solutions for poverty worldwide.
- Social Exclusion Housing on poverty, housing problems and solutions.
- Buy To Let on becoming a housing property landlord.
- Wilmots on learning and recreation including forums and store.
- How To Kiss on clear simple relationship advice.