I’m a South African who emigrated from the country during the apartheid era. My early career was spent in the computer software industry, but then segued into aviation, for which I had nursed a lifelong passion. One thing led to another, and eventually I ran the largest private-jet operation in Europe.
Born in Johannesburg in 1948, the year that the National Party – which invented and instituted apartheid – came to power, the news of South Africa’s first democratic election planned for 1994 was compelling. The opportunity to vote freely and personally for the first time in my country’s history proved irresistible, and for a brief time I returned.
I did not engage in politics, nor associate with any press or literary organisation. This gap year in my career was intended solely for the satisfaction of witnessing the end of an era that had so dominated my formative years.
While in Cape Town, I donated services to a voluntary air ambulance operation. Piloting various medical flights around South Africa and its neighbouring countries, I encountered circumstances so utterly bizarre they demanded documentation, particularly against the backdrop of Africa, a continent already well-known for unlikely events.
Many years were to pass before time and opportunity allowed this recollection, and Tales From The Cross is a fictionalised account of those experiences. Time and chance permitting, there will be more. In between, my wife Lesley and I spend time photographing wildlife in Africa, live in the Seychelles (where occasionally I might be spotted helping out as a scuba diving instructor), and have a holiday home in South Africa.