On the 30th September 1971, I was born at Perivale Hospital which was located in a suburb of the London Borough of Ealing.
The first school I attended was at four years old and was in the beautiful town of Céreste a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France.
That was an intended start to my bio, but I thought it would be better to outline my current situation. I suffer and have suffered from Bipolar disorder. Although the doctors don’t confirm this one hundred per cent, all my traits point to this diagnosis. What this has meant to me and those around me have until the summer of 2018, is that I am a very colourful individual. Maintaining normality is impossible! My career has been severely affected and meant that working for more than three years at any job has been next to impossible.
The first job I had was cleaning dishes in a London Hotel/ Bar/Conference facility. I am proud to say I took this job very seriously as there was a belief in my mind that I too could be eating of one of the plates I was cleaning. Efficiency and pride is my main priority. Over the following teenage years, I was employed either at a month of months at a time in various cleaning type jobs. At one point I even found myself a carpet cleaner, this gave me access to some strange environments such as nightclubs and apartments of the well to do. Somehow in the midst of this cleaning frenzy, I was asked to assists some chefs that were working in a corporate cantine to cook and serve food. Having gained a couple of weeks experience in the chef world, I stumbled into my first proper chef job. The deal was that I would start as a commis chef and that the establishment would assist my training at the Westminster College. However being the worst student possible, I only ever attended one lesson. The only qualification I gained was a food hygiene certificate. My talent for cooking gave me an excellent reputation within the field which did open doors, but I failed to recognise them.
Time and events, as usual, took a sharp turn and I found myself in Australia. This journey made me see the world through different eyes, although my view of things is considerably different from most. Having left the burdens of work my mind became free, or maybe a little too open.
In need of money, I found myself back into the throes of work and started a trainee bakers job in Yeovil, England. Again my ability to adapt pushed me upwards to the point where I managed to get a regional bakers job for the Tesco group. My post was to train and assist new bakers in the new stores that were springing up in the south-west of England. From this job, I moved as is my way to different challenge and better money in a local organic bakery. Boredom soon set in and I found myself once again out of work and searching for a new trial.
The challenge came in the form of a computer test. This test was merely a problem solving multiple choice questions about the administration of a database. Having passed the test, I went through a security clearance process and ended up working for the Westland Helicopter group. My task at this company was to source and collect all relevant parts to build sections of seven helicopters. The system at the time was SAP and was complicated but understandable. As part of a small team of purchasers, the task took about one year to complete. As the end of the job was coming to a close the company was branching out to an American helicopter build, but for me, the post was becoming stagnant. In an attempt to jump ship I managed to convince my father to give me a tryout, as he was working in Dubai and the opportunity had different direction it could lead too.
My three years in Dubai, where the most productive I had been up until that point. My brief was to set up a new unit exploring the possibility of injection moulding in place of the older systems that the company was using at the time. When new contracts came into the company, my team and I would recalculate them and make a bid. At first, it was more trial and error, but slowly more opportunities arose. During this period I trained in many different areas such as CAD and CNC. Also, management and accounting played a significant role in maintaining the business. My training gave me an opportunity to travel the States and learn about the machinery and materials. The return journey meant a stop off in Belgium. My brief was to check up on the company that was handling material shipments from the States to Dubai. However, the materials were delayed by administrations problems. After a visit to the company, the sales representative invited me to an evening meal is a small village just outside of Bruges. Accompanying us was a female friend of the representative. The evening’s conversation was diverse!
The burden of being bipolar is the continued conversation one has with one’s self. This factor means that relationships tend to be over complicated and thus it is better to be alone most of the time. The reason for this factor is that the mind and its thought patterns work at a far higher speed than the mouth can follow. This paragraph is here to help explain the following part of my life. Until this point I was I had no real responsibilities except those that were work-related.
My marriage came about from mixed events that related to my work in Dubai and allowed my partner to visit me on my turf as it were. The freedom we both had allowed us to be very frank about our lives up to that moment. We both had similar goals and similar personalities. My wife, however, does not have the bipolar syndrome. On finishing my three-year contract, it was clear that it would be better for me to move to Belgium, which I did. My wife had trained in the hospitality business and was self-employed in the Hotel Botaniek. Together we ran the company bought a house and renovated it into bed and breakfast. We married in the first year and the following year had our first child, quickly followed by another. We spent six years running the two business and finally decided to make a change.
Due to the various jobs I had, my abilities gave me many options, but my wife and I decided it would be profitable to go into the restaurant business. Brugge has many opportunities, and when a building came up, that was suitable for a restaurant we took it. The Gastro was our combined efforts and one we are incredibly proud.
After four years of successful business, we decided that this work environment not suit us. We were overworked and uncomfortable with seeing the children only a couple of hours per week. We sold the business in 2011 during the worst financial crisis of modern times. Having said that the money we asked for the sale of the company was not an issue and we decided to use the money and take a well deserved year off from work.
Our return came in the form of my wife’s family stepping in and steering us back in the right direction. We manage to raise funds and purchase the goodwill from our current Hotel The Gulden Vlies. For my part, I started with good intentions but ended with the lowest point in my life. As what can describe as manic episodes my wife became more concerned to the point where I finally sat with a psychiatrist and outlined my personal history. It was at this point, I had heard of bipolar disorder. From this, I did research and found a book called An Unquiet Mind; I sat a read the book from cover to cover in one session. Following this, I was then advised to see more professionals in the field. Having done so has been a life changer for my family and me. I take medication to balance my biology out and have turned to ‘blogging.’ So that’s about the long and short of it. That’s not to say its a complete biography but one that should help you the reader get the sum of me.
From here onward I want to approach the subject of algorithms in life. What that means is that our modern era has exploded with interconnectivity in so many ways. Communication has transformed us beyond the animal kingdom and one that is made up of a species reliant on algorithms. Of late it has taken shape through the world wide web, and now that network is looking for governance, but how to govern a system that is mathematical? Human politics and law are becoming far removed from the present era. Information is the new currency, and it seems that a new system in the form of the Blockchain is slowly and quietly taking over. A system that has not governance is a strange one and one that I intend to understand.