I have written stories about the lads I sailed with from 1950 to 1990. Most of the lads will have gone now for I am in my eighties - but look at he lives we seafarers have had!
Someone once said, 'The men that go down to the sea in ships do business in deep waters.' I've heard of office workers who sat in the same office at the same desk, filling in forms for over forty years and spent their evenings watching 'Coronation Street'. That was their choice and they would never dream of changing it.
My forty years in the Merchant Navy included long spells of hardship necessary to keep a ship's engines running. That was my choice and I would never dream of changing it, for that gave me graet satisfaction and also included long spells of the sheer bliss of being ashore in some of the world's greatest cities.
In every case I was in the company of a breed of men that helped make Great Britain 'Great' and I am proud of every damned one of them.
In my books, 'Shark', 'Diverse Verses', 'Heroes and Half-Wits', 'What a Life' and 'Retired' I have praised these men, which is my whole reason for writing them.