Being born in Libya is a bit of a conversation-stopper nowadays. So is having lived in Yemen. Two words: Army brat. So far, he’s lived in ten countries on three continents and is fluent in two languages but can ask for beer in seven more. Currently Melbourne, Australia is home, where Steve’s a volunteer fire-fighter, a veteran of some of the last decade’s bigger fires and a recipient of Australia’s National Emergency Medal. As a fire-truck driver, he is often surprised at how many car drivers cannot see very big bright red trucks with lots of twinkly lights and making annoying noises, and pull out in front of him.
He’s had more jobs than he can remember in places like mines, nuclear power stations, banks, the army, newspapers and magazines, radio and TV, where he was only allowed to appear as a voice. His programs have been seen in over 35 countries, translated into several languages and used as a TESL teaching aid in Vietnam. A multi award-winning journalist, he holds an MBA from Exeter University.
And he rides motorcycles. A lot. Since he lived in Aden in fact, when he was nine years old. In 2017, he and life-partner Liz rode their Adventure bikes nearly 40,000km (roughly the distance around the world) through 16 countries, on four continents. That trip is the subject of a forthcoming book which includes some epic crashes and lots of laughter.
Defying Apartheid laws and death threats, he and Liz started what became the world’s largest motorcycle charity event, The Toy Run. By its 35th anniversary, it was estimated over three million people had benefited, but like Spike Milligan, he expects that a knighthood is unlikely.
Steve has competed in about 20 types of motorsport on two and four wheels and has had one international win, many crashes and two broken necks (though not at the same time) and in the absence of any obvious talent, has retired from racing. For years his competition licence and his all-areas Media Pass had pictures of Desmo the family dog and annoyingly, no-one noticed, perhaps proving that owners do look like their pets after all.
He also volunteers as a driving instructor to help Learner drivers build up hours behind the wheel before sitting their tests; if nothing else, his students know understeer from oversteer and can heel-and-toe.
He scuba-dives when it’s warm, skis when it’s not and in between flies a Jabiru, a small aircraft about the size of a shopping trolley.
Despite being published almost daily for years, this collection of short stories is his first book, but there are already several more fermenting away. Keep an eye (or ear) out for the audio-book of Such is Life and also One Dream, Two Ride.