I thought it important that I give a bit of background about myself so that the site isn’t just about my thoughts, my illness, where I’m at, and so that you know about the man behind the keyboard & who I was before things became as they are now.
So, hello, my name is Simon Rickards. I’m 42 (true at the time of writing this in June 2017) and was born in Gloucester in the south-west of the UK. I have a younger brother, my mum & dad are divorced so I also have a step-mother, step-father, two step-brothers & two step-sisters. Although single for quite some time I have a 17 year old daughter from a previous relationship who, unfortunately, I don’t see. I recently moved to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire which is absolutely stunning with vast areas of forestry walks and scenic views which are as good as any in the UK. Due to current circumstances I am unable to work, but in the past I have primarily worked in IT both as a technician and consultant which has seen me both office based, travelling around the UK and within parts of Europe.
I have quite a number of passions and interests, not all of which I am still able to indulge in, but still hold close. One which I still occasionally partake in is photography, made easier by the fact that I walk a lot and there are so many fantastic subjects to take pictures of in the area I now live. The picture on the right is one I took whilst walking in a place known as Cannop Ponds in the Forest of Dean, just 4 miles from where I live. It’s typical of the beauty of my surroundings – I really am blessed with riches of all that nature can offer. I took a course last year whilst I was waiting to go into hospital and actually got a distinction – something I was extremely proud of as it was hard to dedicate myself to it when I was so unwell. I’m a devotee of the Nikon brand but funds aren’t what they were and I’m limited to dreaming about what I want. My kit isn’t too bad; I get great scenic shots, I’d just like to be able to get better actions pictures but lenses are SO expensive.
I also have a huge passion for music. Music has probably been the biggest part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a teenager I sang in a few bands but also learnt to play guitar and drums. I occasionally write my own songs but over the years my confidence has diminished and I don’t perform live anymore. That passion, however, has taken me to promote bands and events and then onto manage a number of bands and artists. Until I became ill I spent all my spare time doing this and had some amazing adventures and met some of my musical heroes, hung out with some of the biggest names in the business and experienced things I never dreamed I would. It’s fair to say that this is the thing I miss the most and, although I help out a bit online with one artist still, I hate that what I’m going through stops me from feeling the thrills I used to get from whatever I was doing – watching, listening, being at the cut and thrust of the business, and latterly even taking pictures (as you can see to the left).
I’m also a lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers fan and have, in the past, held a season ticket. It’s a painful thing supporting this club, they’re the perennial yo-yo team but once you’re hooked into a club you’re pretty much stuck with them. I love them and hate them all at the same time – pretty much as any fan of any team does. Again, until I got ill I still got up to see them as much as I could. Other than going to a gig nothing compares to the buzz you get when your team takes to the field or gives their opposition a sound beating. I’ve been there at their best, I’ve been there at their worst and I’m sure I’ll be there again in the future. As I said, once you’re a true fan you’re stuck with it – heaven help me!!