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Mike has had an interesting life, ultimately triumphing despite the adverse conditions of his childhood in wartime docklands. With the death of his mother when he was five and his father’s return to Germany to get remarried, he was left in the care of his father’s eldest sister and her husband, the latter of whom believed that sparing the rod spoilt the child. Rescued four years later by other relatives, he became part of a family only to have his father return, after nine years, to sign him into the army. Married with two young children, he left to pursue a career as an architect. He divorced when his wife met someone else and, with custody of his children, moved to Yorkshire to become a full time student. There he found himself involved in the burgeoning community arts and environmental movement and engaged in some sex, drugs and rock “n” roll. Along the way, he had a number of relationships and worked as a barman, cleaner, pizza chef and odd job man.
He left architectural school to work in the voluntary sector where he rescued a number of charities from closure, turning them into successful organisations. In recognition, in 1994, he was shortlisted for the Jamieson Award for an outstanding contribution to the voluntary sector and highly commended in The Guardian Jerwood Award for excellence in the charity field.
Following bouts of depression and a pattern of failed relationships and self destructive behaviour, he went into therapy. As a result, he has now been happily married for twenty years with a young daughter and three grandchildren. He has also renovated five properties and run the London Marathon twice. In 1999, he set up his own business and now, beyond retirement age, has embarked on his sixth and, likely, final career as an author and public speaker. Crucially, he now lives the life he always wanted on the other side of the doors he thought were closed to him.
“Remarkable man. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.”
“I found it impossible to put this book down and would recommend it to all who have ever felt they have lost their way in life. An open attitude to confronting one’s demons can lead to change and the evidence is within its pages.”