One man’s journey from the innocence of childhood in rural England to a life of adventure in the heart of Africa. A killer Autobiography by Steve Foreman. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:
When he was only nine years old, Steve Foreman spent almost one year confined to an intensive care ward suffering with life-threatening acute renal failure. Even at that young age he was dreaming of going to Africa to work with endangered wildlife.
In 1992, more than thirty years later, that dream came true.
In the interim, Steve followed careers as a soldier, prison officer, private investigator and a security operative with a few odd jobs thrown in along the way. In his sixty-odd years on this planet he has taken part in many adventurous activities, including motorcycling, caving, rock climbing, foreign expeditions, mountain climbing, SCUBA diving, parachuting, anti-poaching, gun running, drug smuggling and undercover surveillance. As a published freelance writer and magazine editor, his work has appeared in many magazines and journals. Over the past twenty years, Steve has had many adventures and misadventures in the wild places of Africa, including working as a safari guide & mountain leader and as a security operative. Steve has led an incredibly diverse life, full of polar extremes that have ranged from the heights of serving his Queen and Country, philanthropic acts and saving endangered wildlife—down to the depths of criminality.
Woven through this ever-changing life is such a gamut of mistakes and mishaps, triumphs and tragedies, bizarre incidents, ridiculous situations and myriad sexual exploits—and so many pivotal moments—that it leaves one wondering how one could cram so much into a single life. The story is at turns humorous, tragic, ridiculous, exciting and sad; but above all it is honest.
Word Count: 138000
Pages to Print: 367 /414 in print
Price: $5.99 /$18.99 in print
EXCERPT: My memories of those days are like the pieces of a recently broken church window; all are there, but cast about in a profusion of jagged shards—some big, some small, some glinting brightly in the sunbeams now entering unhindered through the cold stone arch, others partially hidden in the shadows, only to be seen when the flickering light of recall passes by, illuminating them, briefly, as if in a dream.
The fondest and most easily recalled scenes from the stage play of my childhood are those where I am the sole human actor. I was often alone; lying in a field, my eyes squeezed shut against the unbearably blue sky with the smell of lush green grass all around and the piping, high-altitude song of a lark, invisible against the cloudless expanse above me; alone; sitting on the edge of a secluded pond, while around me the insects buzz and chirr their meaningless symphonies in a harmony of noise that enhances rather than disturbs the peace; alone; pushing my way along a tangled pathway following an unfamiliar stream—jam jar and fishing nets my explorer’s only weapons; alone . . . yet seeking companionship.
There is a magic world to which only children have the key. As we grow older, that world does not cease to exist; it just fades away, and, if we are not careful and we lose sight of the key, it becomes completely lost to us. The Key is the innocence of childhood; the open minded acceptance of all one sees, even without knowledge, which is the break in the veil that shrouds the ever-present magic; a magic that is almost tangible in the world of the child.
Did I really believe that I was a naturalist, with my fishing nets and butterfly nets; made from Mum’s old stockings and coat-hanger wire (only the bits of smelly pondweed stuck in the seams of one net identified its individual use)? Did I really believe that I would see a hoopoe, a crested newt or a golden eagle? Were Camberwell Beauties and green lizards really within my grasp? In that part of England? Probably not. However, to me as a child they were all there, having just taken flight, or dived into a pond, or crawled under the bark of a fallen tree, just seconds before I arrived on the scene. Even the russet flanks of the red deer were imagined, being just errant rays of sunlight falling upon some brown leaves and glimpsed fleetingly through a gap in the tangled undergrowth. I was happy in the warm embrace of ignorance. Yet it was not all a dream: the world was real and I was content with my tadpoles, cabbage whites and hedge sparrows. I was happy with such exciting finds as the blue feather that had fallen from a noisy jay and had settled on the mossy bank of the secret stream.
Like an intrepid explorer of the African bush, I would struggle through undergrowth so thick it was impossible to pass without snagging my fishing net on some clutching bramble and leaving my legs covered in scratches and tiny beads of blood. With nets held high and the old jam-jar bouncing against my thigh on its string handle, I would push my way deeper into my secret wood, passing familiar oaks and other trees whose name I did not know, coming at last to my secret stream, where the crested newts hid from my view and the kingfishers stayed huddled deep in their tunnelled nests until I departed once more. I knew they were there of course, just as I knew that behind my back swallowtails flitted by and golden orioles peered at me from high branches.
This wonderful feeling of being at one with nature never left me . . . in fact; years later as a mature adult, I was still experiencing the same thrills as when I was a child . . .