Born in West London in 1955, I studied English Literature and English Grammar to university levels before turning my back on linguistics to follow my father into the steel erection industry. Deciding that 120 feet in the air, without safety equipment, was not my real calling I trained as a bricklayer - gaining my Advanced Craft City and Guilds Certificate and being awarded the NFBTE prize for best apprentice bricklayer in the central and city area of London in 1975.
During my apprenticeship I also concentrated on my football career and actually made it onto the substitute`s bench at Stamford Bridge before my cruciate ligaments decided that I had come to the end of the professional road, and Chelsea FC decided that they no longer required my services !!!
With further studies, I attained a Higher National Certificate degree in Building science and technology and membership of The Licentiate of Building (LIOB).
I then went self-employed (I still am) as a building contractor, renovations, extensions and property development until Thatcherism took its toll in 1989.
Moving to Germany in 1991, I carried on in the same vein with specialised facework projects- architectural facework, marble facades, ceramics etc.
Having spent half a lifetime working in the construction industry I was faced with the prospect of either dying on a building site, or finding an alternative method to make ends meet. At the age of 46, I decided to go back to my original roots, working in the linguistics sector. At first I concentrated on adult education and, as a matter of course, drifted into business English. As a follow on from training people to speak English, there were always requests for translation work, accompanying managers to conferences etc. so I began to offer a translation service which, up to now, has been very successful.
I now divide my time between training German business people for their English skills, everything from telephoning to presentations and negotiations. When not in companies, I carry out translation work from my office and accompany my clients to meetings, trade fairs and provide linguistic support at seminars etc.
In the last few years there has been an increasing demand for simultaneous, whispered and delayed interpreting services as my clients slowly go more global. Whether sitting in a negotiation or an interview with GER_ENG_GER or in reverse, the days are never boring.
All in all, it is an interesting and rewarding life, much better than my previous one.
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