This website is an outlet for a "recovering journalist" who still misses his vocation. It includes journalistic articles, personal reflections and blog posts about open water swimming - especially channel swimming.
In 2012 as my 30s were drawing to a close I decided that the time had come to prepare for middle age - stop smoking, start exercising and focus more on the fun things in life. To help I set myself the target of swimming the English Channel. This goal was made from a position of complete ignorance. As the years have gone by and I have learnt more about the Channel I have realised the scale of the challenge that I have set myself.
I am at best an average swimmer, who dreams of achieving a rather extraordinary feat. Initially I hoped to make a solo attempt on the English Channel in 2015, that became 2016, then 2018 and now I am targeting 2020. En route I have learned to swim freestyle, have completed some great swims and met brilliant people. More than anything my life has been greatly enriched by becoming part of a community of characters and misfits.
Since I have embarked on becoming a marathon swimmer I have been struck by the tightness and supportive nature of this small community. So many people have offered me guidance and encouragement as I have worked to improve my swimming. On this website, and in the occasional swimming journalism, I celebrate the strange souls who are gripped by their passion for channel swimming, as well as reflect on the history of the sport.
This blog will also be part of my fundraising efforts in 2018 - a year of challenges - and for my English Channel solo attempt in 2020. These efforts will be in aid of breast cancer research - which became a cause close to my heart after a dear friend died from the disease in 2015. Details on how you can donate will be included on this website in due course.
Over the past couple of decades I have lived and worked in several countries in the Middle East & South Asia, as well as in London and Northern Ireland. I reported for the BBC from more than 20 countries on four continents covering some of the defining stories of that era including five conflicts.
Since leaving journalism I have launched & presented a nightly TV news bulletin in Abu Dhabi, as well as run communications for the first international terrorism tribunal in The Hague.