I started my career by joining Shell Research Ltd, then moved every 5-7 years to Shell UK IT then Shell UK E&P, they find Oil & Gas so they had lots of money to “invest” in IT and then finally in Shell International in the Netherlands. I took early retirement and did contracting in Qatar for seven months. When I came back to England I set up a small IT business which dealt with PCs and Networks. My customers were mainly charities and small businesses.

I enjoyed most my working life and looking back on it I can see there is a link between creative writing and the process of analysis and design of software and then the coding. This last part is a question of style and getting syntax and grammar correct! Of course some of my jobs were not enjoyable but fortunately I managed to change jobs before too long. Certainly Shell gave me stability and looked after me when I was not well enough to work; it must have been cheaper to keep me than let me go.

Stopping work was a transition that took three or four years.