About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 28) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999

Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    Fasten your safety belts

    Why have I called this blog “No, Luton Airport”?

    Most of you will be too young to remember, but there was once (1976 actually) an ad on TV starring(?!) Lorraine Chase for Campari. When asked by an upper-crust smoothie “Were you truly wafted here from paradise?“, she replied (in her best Estuary accent) “No, Luton Airport“.  Since that ad was on TV, I’ve probably had the phrase “No, Luton Airport” repeated back to me more times than it was screened.  As soon as I let on that I originate from Luton, such is it’s place on this planet, that expression is the first thing people think to say.

    Campari Luton Airport

    Incidentally, the ad was written by the late Vernon Howe, architect of the “Heineken refreshes the part other beers cannot reach” campaign, amongst others. It probably wasn’t a bad campaign, I seem to remember that Campari sales improved drastically at the time. It just didn’t do much for Luton. And who will ever forget The Cats subsequent smash hit featuring that line. What, you don’t remember it? Let me remind you.

    Anyway, I escaped about 16 years ago and ran away to Scotland, where I now have a nice family and a crumbling house in Leith within crawling distance of the infamous Port O’Leith Bar.