Archaeologist specialising in Roman and Greek Classical Periods, first class cricketer, semi-professional rugby player, Formula 3 racing car driver, adventurer/ explorer and writer ... are all things I wish, at various times, I had been.
Sadly, the truth is a little different (except the last). I am an unashamed Ancient History and languages nerd and took degrees in Classics and then Management Studies at Downing College, Cambridge. Following various short-lived careers in legal publishing, as a head-hunter, sports writer, prep school teacher and fitness coach, I joined the Metropolitan Police Service, retiring as an acting Inspector after a decade to take up a post as Head of Classics at Ashville College in Harrogate.
The basic premise for 'The Consul's Daughter' was first conceived whilst I was in The Met and is based closely upon real events and characters in AD 205, whilst being embroidered with my own experiences as a front line officer. I am a very big fan of immersive history and reconstructive archaeology and get very excited about the resurgence of interest in the ancient past that began in this country, as I like to see it, with Channel 4's 'Time Team' nearly 25 years ago.
I rowed on the reconstructed ancient Greek trireme 'Olympias' in sea trials in and around the island of Poros in 1994 and look forwards to the day when another project like that reaches fruition, and only hope I'm not too creaky by then to ply an oar. I have since subjected my students to trialling a mock-up cross-section of the trireme (needed work) as well as tasting some authentic Spartan 'black broth' (tasty but bad heartburn afterwards) in lectures aimed at bringing the ancient past to life.