Having just returned from a road trip around California and Nevada with my wife and some of our closest friends it got me thinking about some of the fun and excitement we had in San Francisco, the gambles we took in Vegas, the wrong turns in LA and the regrets at not staying in Yosemite for that little longer. Where have the fun, excitement, gambles, disappointments been in my own life?
I’ve just celebrated my 10th anniversary as an employee at Softcat, an IT reseller in the Uk with a turnover of 400 million pounds. I currently head up the networks/security team in the managed services division of the business, a role I have been in for 2 years after previously enjoying 6 years as a security field engineer travelling the UK. The last 10 years have seen me work hard at forging a career in IT……As such the career has also enabled me to enjoy one of my other great passions in life….travelling. I’ve been privileged to travel the world with Softcat visiting the most amazing places like Machu Picchu, Angkor Watt, St Petersburg and Vietnam. Outside of work travels I have trekked to Everest base camp and surrounding mountains in the Himalayas, I’ve sailed around the Greek islands, driven to soccer world cups in beat up old cars and finally made it over to Australia this year. My motto ……work hard play harder!
2011 also saw in a brand new chapter in my life. After 10 years together with my partner Kate we finally tied the knot in Gloucestershire. Last year we moved into a 350 year old cottage in Haddenham, a village on the Buckingham/Oxfordshire border and some of my recent time has been spent renovating that. Interestingly the village was also were I spent my very early years though memories are somewhat brief.
Kate and I first met in 2002, at a time when I was at a cross roads in my life. I had successfully attained a BSc honours sports science degree at one of the top sports university in the country (Loughborough, class of 2000) and gained my independence during my 3 years away from home! I had previously spent 2 years at an oxford college also studying /playing sport 24×7. Upon leaving university I had been working as both a Personal Trainer and instructor for the US Air Force at a small USAF air base in Northamptonshire. Although I had brought my first house and enjoyed my time at the air base something was missing…I believed I was going to get bored pretty quick doing this as a career. At the time I met Kate, during her break between finishing Uni and taking a job in Leeds, my parents were just breaking up after 25 years of marriage. I figured why not take a Vegas type gamble to go back to university with the hope of moving into a different career afterwards. I took an MA in business at Leeds met and lived with Kate 2 days a week while travelling back to the family home. I came out with a 2:1 and by this time had found the job at Softcat which facilitated the move back to my house I had brought in Bicester. Dad had conveniently rented this from me for a while Kate moved back to her parents presumably she thought the horizon looked good for us! The job in IT was for me a dynamic environment but at that time with no experience of IT still a bit of a leap of faith.
Sport had always played a massive part in my life in and outside of school. Between the ages of 18 and 26 and really up until work began to take over I played semi-professional soccer enjoying success with some of the top non-league sides in the bucks and Oxon counties including Thame united and Aylesbury united. Injuries however curtailed a prolonged career in soccer and I stopped playing regularly by the age of 26. Playing soccer professionally had always been the dream. From 16-18 I was involved with Chelsea fc youth, at a time when Glen Hoddle was manager of the first team (just before moving on to become the English national soccer coach) and big names such as Ruud Gullit were coming to the club. Prior to that I had been on Oxford United’s books since the age of 10 and represented the district and county of Oxfordshire every year. Unfortunately at the age of 14 though I broke my leg in my last ever game for my junior side. I missed a year of football and 4 months of school meaning my physical development was somewhat hindered which ultimately may have had some effect on my progress. I saw this as somewhat of a blessing in disguise as too many of my friends left their schooling behind while reaching for the professional sport dream. However it hit home how important an education was and I left school at 16 with good grades. This was a driving force behind my acceptance into college and then a good university. Whilst at secondary school, and making a name for myself in the football fraternity I was also representing the county at athletics (1500 m). Never the most gifted natural athlete I did however see what hard work could do and the rewards it could bring on a sporting and educational front and this seems to have served me well throughout my life
My time at junior school in the small village of Launton where we grew up was where my interest in sport was really been born. Every day without fail I would be out with friends from the 80 or so school population kicking a ball about and muddying my trousers. I enjoyed Village life and living on a small holding always surrounded by animals was also really nice. We spent most of our years as a family in Launton with several of our neighbours being us military personnel based at RAF Upper Heyford, then one of the biggest us air bases in the country. It was always fun seeing the f1-11 jets flying in and out.
As a middle child born in 1978 in Oxford, to Mike Edward and Gloria Jane Tregurtha, my first real memories of my childhood bring us in a full circle. As a young family my brothers and sisters spent our first few years growing up in Haddenham. One of its claim to fame is that it is one of only 2-3 villages in the country where a significant proportion of its houses are made from traditional witchert dating back to 1500/1600s. More amusingly (and a fact I always enjoy sharing to this day over a beer with friends) is that it also appeared in one of the Muppets films. Ironically my abiding memory from my time at Haddenham was my first taste of junior school life. A long walk to school and then without fail an episode of screaming when mum left me and I had to fend for myself. I always find that interesting bearing in mind my lengthy time studying!
My only regret in life is that I never really got to know any of my grandparents and their history. They all died fairly early on in my life when I was still young and my grandfather, Edward Tregurtha I never knew at all. I guess that’s why the project Tregurtha is of such great interest to me.
My future aspirations are to continue to enrich my life culturally. My wife and I would like to start a family sometime soon and personally I would love the opportunity to work abroad and experience the challenges and differences this would bring.