About the Author
Nic grew up in Penzance, Cornwall and spent these formative years either hanging out on the beach surfing and diving or taking photographs. At the age of twenty he talked himself into a job as an architectural assistant with a prestigious practice in London and spent the next seven years designing banks and partying in the city. By the age of twenty seven, the wander lust hit him, and he headed off to Montego Bay in Jamaica, there he both ran a diving school and freelanced as an architect for hoteliers.
For five years he managed to keep this up and himself narrowly out of trouble. Until after one too many close calls, he decided it was time to leave. He boarded a plane and headed for Singapore to visit a Singaporean girl he’d got to know.
Singapore or more pointedly the Singaporean girl managed to calm Nic down, somewhat, and for a dozen years he based himself out off Singapore working in various fields. He taught diving and escorted dive parties to remote locations throughout the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Indonesian archipelago. He designed the odd hotel or two in the Maldives and Thailand and expanded his photographic repertoire to become one of the foremost photographers in the region.
He also diversified, into the moving picture industry to eventually shoot several short films and documentaries including Burning Earth for the Discovery Channel. Where he spent many weeks camped out in the burning jungles of Borneo and hung out of helicopters with a camera on his shoulder. But he did find the time to get married to the same Singaporean girl and produce two sons, Adam born in 1996 and Dan a year later.
In 2003 he moved back to the UK and built a house overlooking the Wye River, on the outskirts of Ross on Wye, in Herefordshire. The move back to the UK was prompted by two very different reasons.
Firstly, the events in the US on the 11th September 2001 changed Asia; it had always been a lively place to live and work but the atmosphere had changed. Throughout Malaysia and Indonesia a pronounced anti western attitude was taking hold, culminating in the Bali bombings at the Hard Rock Cafe, where Nic used to hang out along with his sons.
The second was his awakening to environmental issues. The fires he filmed in Borneo were certainly one of the catalysts; another was the visible degradation of the oceans and reefs he couldn’t help but notice. The coral bleaching of the Maldivian reefs, the raw sewage pumped into the ocean by hotel developers, mangrove swamps destroyed to make way for prawn farms and the over fishing, all of them taking a horrendous toll, and plain for anybody to see. All prompted him to be a part of the solution rather than ignore these issues as the majority of the planet seemed to be doing.
Armed with an idea inspired by villagers growing seaweed on one of his favourite remote islands groups Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, he set about working on a concept. This concept entailed growing macro algae in marine farms along with fish and shellfish; the fish and shellfish already had a ready market and the macro algae could be processed to produce renewable fuels.
Being the foolhardy and impetuous soul that he can be much of the time, Nic thought he could make this contribution on his own and set up a research company, Taylor Made Marine to work on his concept. The concept was good and he is still working on it today, although no longer alone but the financing of it was seriously flawed. And these flaws became evident in 2007, when the bank pulled the rug from beneath his property development company, developing sustainable and affordable housing, which provided the funding for the research. Resulting in the collapse of the company and seizure of his assets on which loans were secured.
Undeterred by this catastrophe, Nic whose marriage had also disintegrated, a consequence of the stress but not before having another child this time a daughter named Shakira, moved to Plymouth. In Plymouth he joined forces with Plymouth University to continue with his research and work towards a PhD.
Nic now spends his time equally divided between his research, the Plymstock Oaks Rugby Club, where he coaches the Under 15’s, runs several projects including coaching rugby to the disabled and using rugby as social inclusion vehicle to get kids off the streets. And his writing, his first book “A Plague of Dissent” has just been published and he is presently working on the sequel, Gaia’s Warriors
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