OK, by now I hope you know that I’m a copywriter, based in Cornwall, with plenty of experience and a successful track record in what I do. But behind everyone you work with is a person and a personality, and I’d like to tell you a few random facts about myself that might help you to know me better.
I once discovered a new worm
In one of my zoology degree projects I examined a number of museum ‘type specimens’ of pentastomid worms to check they had been described and classified correctly in the scientific literature. One jar turned out to contain two species, one of which had never been described by science. I don’t know what species name it was eventually given by my supervisor but its first name was Elenia.
I have a Blue Peter badge
While working for Cornwall Wildlife Trust as its Education and Publicity Manager I regularly did TV and radio interviews. One of the most memorable was in the Blue Peter garden, where I talked to Richard Bacon about frogs. A high point of my visit to the BBC TV Centre was meeting the Blue Peter dogs, Bonnie and Mabel.
I used to be a single parent
I was a single parent for nine years, bringing my son up from the age of eight to seventeen. Then we made a home with my lovely wife and her two daughters. They are all grown up now.
I am a Geordie
Sadly I lost my accent over the years, but I was born in Newcastle, brought up in Whitley Bay and left the area at 18. I’m very proud of being from Newcastle, although it causes me pain most weeks when I hear the football results.
I am Chairman of Cornwall Wildlife Trust
I worked for the Trust until 2002, when I changed career direction to become a writer in the industrial sector. It seemed a shame not to use the knowledge I had gained, so I volunteered to be a Trustee. I was elected Chairman in 2013.
My wife and I are Special Guardians
For various reasons we ended up being the legal guardians of our granddaughter, who was born in May 2014. The Special Guardianship Order essentially means that we have gone back to bringing up a young child. We’d forgotten how much hard work it is, but it’s a great joy at the same time.
I have had the same bike since 1970
I inherited a Flying Scot racing bike from my Auntie Margaret when I was ten years old. Although it was built in 1954, the lightweight Reynolds tubing of the frame still compares well with modern materials. Over the years I’ve had to replace most components, at least once, so now it’s fitted mainly with Shimano parts. I’ve been keen on cycling all my life, having started before lycra was even invented, but I don’t get out much these days due to time pressures.
I am a reptile, amphibian and pond specialist
Many people of my age have childhood memories of playing around ponds and catching newts in jars. I didn’t start doing that until I was 23, when I landed a job studying the great crested newt. Once you’ve worked with amphibians and reptiles you’re hooked, and I’ve retained an active interest in herpetology ever since.
I love my MG
From the time I learned to drive at 17 I always longed for an MG. I finally treated myself to one for my 50th birthday. Her name is Hotty, which is a very rough approximation of what her number plate looks like when read backwards.
Contact: Mark Nicholson Copywriting