As a newcomer to this blogging lark (never even really read many blogs before, now there’s an admission), not sure whether this is the form or not, but I thought I would start by introducing myself.
Well, my name’s Ian Braisby. I was born and raised in Nottingham, where most of my family and many of my friends still live. I live around 50 miles away, in Birmingham, where I first moved to study back in 1991 and, after a couple of years’ gap, returned to in 1998 to work. I live with my wife, Sally-Jayne. We met while working for a translation company and have been together for over 10 years. We got married in 2005, just before which we bought our house in the Great Barr area of the city. We have no children, and we will not be having any! My parents have both passed away, and I have one sister, Emma, who lives in Nottingham.
I work for myself, in fact I have two jobs. My main business is German – English translation, which I have been doing since June 2000. My second business, growing every year, is tourist guiding. I qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2007 and have been working hard to develop this part of the business ever since. I do tours in English and German, covering the whole of Central England. Along with a colleague, I also do the Birmingham Ghost Walks, which have been a great success since we launched them in March 2009. I love the flexibility and freedom of being my own boss, although I guess I miss the social aspects of a “normal” job at times.
So, that’s marital status, home and work out of the way. But what makes me tick? Well, since childhood I have loved reading and I spend lots of my spare time lost in a book. Thankfully, this is one of the major things that Sally-Jayne and I have in common, so there is no domestic tension over having a crammed bookcase in the lounge and a loft that is essentially a library. Music is one of my other main passions. I have wide-ranging tastes, although I prefer rock above all. Great songs and tunes inspire me, relax me and bring a smile to my face no matter what I’m feeling. I would love to be able to say that I am adept at making my own music, but that would be a lie. For a number of years I have attempted to play the guitar without much success, but since around last Christmas I have found a good teacher and finally I am improving. Too old now to fulfil childhood rock star dreams but still, better late than never. I am a big sports fan. I have been watching ice hockey since the age of seven, and still have a season ticket at the Nottingham Panthers (for my sins). Football and cricket are the other main sports I follow, although not so actively as the hockey. As with music, I have always been more of a fan than a protagonist. My own sporting activity runs to swimming, working out at the gym and my weekly boxing sessions. No list of my interests would be complete without travel. I am a keen traveller, always planning the next trip or just checking out potential destinations for the future. My best trips so far have been two months backpacking in Zimbabwe in student days, our honeymoon in South Africa and last year’s tour of Egypt. Other hobbies? I like films, although do not always watch as many as I should. My favourites are James Bond (I did a Bond marathon for charity at University, where we watched all the films made up to that point back to back), Westerns (especially Clint Eastwood) and various others. I watch TV, but not a whole lot. There are a few programmes I tune in to regularly, but mainly I watch sport or documentaries. There is always something more interesting on my bookshelf or music collection than what is on TV most of the time.
So that’s a brief intro to who I am. Maybe I’ll talk about some of these things in more detail…