My first recollection is from before I could walk. I was in a walker (a four wheeled frame with fabric in the middle for the baby to stand/sit upright in. Then they could move themselves around with their hanging feet).
I was near the front door of my parents house watching my dad making a frame across the front of the driveway. I didn't know what he was making but, now, looking back, I recognise it as a fence made from with raw wood planks around the edge with chicken wire in the middle. Now I don't know if it was the same memory but I can recall moving around using that walker and then one of the wheels went into the flower bed. I started to topple over towards a rose bush and...
That's all I can remember.
Sums up a lot of businesses in a metaphorical way.
But I learnt from it and I still am alive - I think. But I'm not afraid to explore. To succeed in business we have to take risks sometimes.
There are lots of other childhood memories. Some are obviously connected to some major event (one like getting my finger trapped in car door when I was about four - I needed stitches for that one!) but others I can't for any reason see why I should recall them.
Some I think are funny in strange ways.
At a primary school when I was about four I was pushed off a climbing frame and broke my leg. I had a cast up to my knee.
When I went back to school a girl said to me, "Ha ha you've got a fat leg!"
I looked at her and replied, "Well at least I don't have a fat body."
I'm sure you have similar silly memories.
I remember designing imaginary album covers for fictional bands.
I can recall the exams my parents put me through when I was about 11 for, I think, four different grammar schools. One was so stressful it had me in tears - that was the one I ended up going to...
Manchester Grammar School.
During my teens I can remember how confused I was. I went to the Central Library after school to read books on psychology.
I remember how I questioned how we all acted. I look around now and I think how we still play roles. We're still shaped by unconscious prejudices.
Do businesses learn from the mistakes of the past or do we do what so many Governments around the world keep doing?
If we do not remember the mistakes of the past we are doomed to repeat them.
The Americans keep making the same military errors it seems...
I can recall drawing my first portrait (of myself using a mirror - I still have it!) and that started me drawing more portraits of photographs of women in various magazines.
My parents wanted me to go to a university. When I had an unconditional offer (I was in whatever my 'A' level results were) to go to York University that was the place I wanted to go to.
Because I had fond memories of York when my parents took me to visit there as a child.
You see? We have powerful memories.
I also wanted to change my first name. I did that on my first day at that university. It was years before I had it made legally official.
But that's another story.
I was hard working during my first year. Studying Chemistry with Industrial Economics.
I also had my first serious girlfriend.
From the second year I became famous apparently as the guy who went from being studious to being a bit of a ... rogue I suppose you'd call it.
Skiving out of lectures. Playing pool at 3 in the morning. Getting stoned... Photocopying other people's lecture notes... gatecrashing parties.
My closest friend at that time was also a bit of a rogue. He and I stole stupid things like benches. Climbed on university walkways and the buildings' roofs. Stealing library books (got returned after the exams). Breaking into people's rooms - not to steal but to climb out of their window and gatecrash a big party...
Some 15 years later I went back to the university to look around. I went into the Chemistry block. The security guard there immediately recognised me and went directly to the class photo and point out me and my friend.
THE SECURITY GUARD REMEMBERED US AFTER 15 YEARS????!!!!
I should say we're both very very upstanding members of society! My friend is now a senior accountant and I'm now a doctor campaigning against hate crimes.
At York University I also made a large painting (for the first time!) and it was from a photograph of an amazing guitarist called Daniel Ash (from Bauhaus). I painted it on my work desk (well, I wasn't using it for work).
Amazing how life can change. And it changed so much after I left that university.