A town called Bedford, although it depends on who’s asking? Napoli and Puglia, come va… tutto a posto? That’s right, the heel of the boot. That’s where Papa’ was from. My spell in Italy was beautiful, real fond memories. Picking lemons and collecting pine nuts, an incredible period of my life. Now I can reflect on my heritage and I’m proud. Proud to be British, proud of my roots. We’re a family of stereotypical hairdressers and barbers. They’ve all got salons back home but I wanted a different life. I’ve always been creative, very tactile, inquisitive and always outdoors. With no real direction, just a comfort in the arts and the solitude of my own mind. A working class lad, driven by ambition. No disrespect but it’s a privileged industry and I hope to be a role model for the next generation. For those people like me. Did my own thing in Manchester, bespoke furniture and fit out, very local. Difficult but immensely rewarding. Word spread quickly and I was offered a job in teaching, change of path, associate lecturer. Then life happens I guess. Time spent with loved ones is where it’s at, that and an early morning spin class or a weekend 50 miler in the saddle or even a late night vinyasa (cat cow, downwards dog, chaturanga) Local lido looms large too. No no no, yeah yeah yeah, that’s about right.! Knackered yet feeling alive!