In 1956 I arrived into the world as a direct, but belated, product of WWII. My English mother and Irish father met at the Royal Ordnance Factory Bridgwater in Somerset: she a war widow, her first husband being shot down in a Wellington; he recovering from being a Japanese POW, working 3 years & 8 months on the Death Railway, now a War Department Policeman. The factory had quickly geared up to make prefabricated ‘Airey’ houses, many of which were built on site for married couples. I was conceived and born in a house conceived and born on the site where my parents met.

With such DNA and multiple conceptions, it was only natural for me to spend 29 years working in the very same factory. Such is life. West Country culture could have defined me except my father died in 1961, my mother in 1974, so I was left as a 70s teenager with no guidance. Thus, I built myself. Being pragmatic it also means I have no one else to blame for me, but me, and as my central tenet in life, it serves me well.

In 2016 I reached my timeline milestone of 60 years of age, and was bemused at the suddenness of this looming number as the journey towards it had been an unplanned wander. I have tripped over wonderful things and staggered through disasters, but, generally, my forward progress has been relentless. I run, write, climb and tend towards laughter, remaining far more Viking than Versace.

Racing the Reaper Man is a training blog and also the title of my future book, which reflects the journey I have taken, from fitness, through a middle-aged drift into portliness, a return to fitness and my attempt to return to being competitive in my new veteran age group. The first planned race was the 2018 Alonnisos Challenge 30km trail run. I will include all my successes, errors and milestones so others can gauge whether age is necessarily something that has to slow us down. The Reaper will catch us all, but I want him to be panting when he gets me.

I am a writer, with one non-fiction book published, my first novel Mr Gupta goes to the Sea published in 2020, and several novels written or in process. My enjoyment of poetry, especially free verse, has also inspired me to create my own: these are seldom planned, but jump into my mind as I watch the world and an event or sight stirs my emotions.

Mountains, rocks, beasts and plants are my other great loves. There are pages for my observations and reflections of  these vast and wonderful subjects.

This website will grow and if you want to make contact, ask questions or offer a critique, feel free to do so. I will answer emails when I can and am happy to receive anecdotes and information upon my chosen subjects.

All website content ©Paul Comerford, author, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.