Cornwall

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1997, I had made it to a new beginning, Hannah and I had nowhere to live apart from a tent, a VW beetle and a small amount of money, and that wouldn’t last long.

Lucky for us it was summer and we decided to camp out in the bird sanctuary in Marazion, haha, rebels to the end. We found work picking flowers which gave us cash in hand (basically beer tokens) for food and other items. The tent was a small two man tent, but we made it our pad. A few weeks past and life was good, we were off the grid, no phones, no rent to pay and free from trouble, Until the local wildlife man rudely told us to pack our tents up and piss off the sanctuary. Well, that was that, we packed up and decided where to go next. Holy-well bay was our next destination, it had everything we needed, sand dunes to set up camp, a pub next to the beach and we could find work easily.

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Perfect, so that’s what happened, work came easily to us and we enjoyed our holiday I suppose. Met some people, had a few more drinks and bbq’s on the beach, nearly got hit by lightning a couple of times in the tent, but we managed to survive. Before you know it, 10 weeks had pasted and sleeping in the tent was beginning to loose it’s appeal. We needed to find a home and real jobs. We found a converted garage to rent for a good price, although it had a massive dog that would try and attack you every time you tried to enter or leave the building.

Hannah was the first to find work at a place called PAL that made medical equipment, I was soon to follow once she was settled. Life was looking on the up, we had a good set of friends and for once in my life I felt secure. PAL was a job that paid well, unfortunately it was a very mundane factory line work that I found very mind numbing. After about a year or so doing the daily grind, I met a young man in the same job called Nick Davies, a loud and confident chap and it just so happened that his dad ran the local Taekwondo school in Porth, right opposite our favorite pub the Mermaid. Was this fate? I think so. Nick asked me to come to a class to try it out and it didn’t take much persuasion as it’s something I’d always wanted to do. His dad also owned a Cafe underneath the Dojang which will also have a massive part in the start of catering career.

I met Master Davies for the first time, he didn’t give much away at first and I was just another student in the back of the class, I think he needed to size me up first before integrating me into the class. I was still an aggressive person and he knew this, but I stuck at it, going 3 times a week and learning fast. We had moved to another house by then in Quintrell downs, a lovely little house and our first proper house with a garden. It was great, life seemed a lot more sunny and my life, our lives were getting better and stronger.

After I had been doing Taekwondo for a number of months and still working at PAl, I had had enough of the factory and was looking to get out. Master Davies asked if I’d like to work at the Compass Rose Cafe for a season, I accepted, this was the beginning of my career!

At this point I would like to mention My step son Aaron Tidmarsh, who has been in my life since 1996 and turned out to be a strong and clever young man. Also in the photo’s is a lovely woman we knew called Gale Briggs, she was taken away from us after a few years of knowing her, a beautiful soul, We think about you always x

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