John Denby had a troubled childhood and upbringing. His teenage years saw him battling with his homosexuality in an experimental comprehensive school in a notorious sink estate, and he was thrust into a maelstrom of delinquent and criminalised pupils.
Desperate to conceal his sexuality and to prove his masculine credentials, he had a string of girlfriends and led a double life – cowering beneath the surface. He joined a youth expedition to Morocco and became tangled up in a mess of adult ideologies and burgeoning egos, leaving him bewildered and disillusioned. He longed to prove himself.
Now at the age of sixteen, his academic life has flourished, and he has a clutch of excellent exam results. About to enrol in the prestigious Stirling Academy, he must decide if this is really the path he wishes to take. Only time will tell…
Arthur Clifford was born in Newcastle and was educated at Rugby School and Newcastle University. He went on to train as a teacher and subsequently taught in schools in Uganda, Scotland and England. In the late 1990s he retained as a teacher of English as a foreign language and went on to teach English in Siberia and Budapest. He is a keen mountain climber and has climbed in the Andes and in Siberia, scaling some of the world’s most famous peaks. As a teacher, he had led expeditions to Peru, Turkey, India and East Africa. He now resides in Durham and spends three months a year working abroad for charity causes.