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Malcolm Simmonds

Brief Autobiography

Early Life

Steam trainPerhaps I got my ambition and drive from my father. A career railwayman, he started off as station master at a station with one train a day. Heading towards management, he went for promotion whenever the opportunity arose. Often, this entailed a move to another area.

You can imagine how much this thrilled my mother (not).

In his mid 80s, he still has trouble staying in the same place for longer than a day or two. He's either travelling to Crewe, Manchester or London on his free first class rail pass; or planning his and Mum's next trip abroad.

Early lifeAs a result, after being born in Shropshire, we moved slowly south - Derby, Smethwick, Birmingham, Aston, Reading, Emsworth; ending up in Portsmouth and Southsea when I was 14.

After showing early promise at school, any motivation to study had disappeared by the age of 11. 'Could do better' nearlyh became my motto. I left school at the age of 16 with a sum total of four 'O' levels (GCSEs) in two tries.

Not the proudest achievement in my life.

After leaving school, my father nudged me towards a business studies course at Highbury Technical College just to the north of Portsmouth.

My First Business

At the age of 14, I set up my first business. I got hold of a bucket, knocked on doors and set up a car cleaning round.

Looking back, I wonder how I managed to work out prices. I did, though, and the schedule of weekly and monthly jobs I set up kept me in pocket money very nicely.

(Clearly, I was destined to be self-employed :-)  )

My First Proper Job

I had seven or eight months to wait until the course started and got a job serving petrol for £6 a week. I gave £2 to my mother for housekeeping. Wow- four whole pounds a week. This was my first proper job at the age of 15. 

As well as being a petrol station the garage also offered servicing and sold cars.

I had been given the taste for driving cars by my friend who once - only once, the mean sod - let me drive 'his car' up his driveway one day.

Now, adjacent to where I sat with the old boy who served petrol waiting for customers, there was a small showroom with room for two brand new Vauxhall cars.

Vauxhall VictorDriving Lessons

When the old boy went for lunch, and if there was only one car in the showroom, I would start it up and edge it forwards 15 feet, then backwards 15 feet. After a few days of this I had learned clutch control!

One day a customer could not get her car out from where it was parked after servicing. I dared to offer to help, and extracted it for her from the tight place. She was very pleased.

I made it a habit to look for opportunities to manoeuvre cars around the courtyard whenever I had the opportunity. The boss didn't seem to mind at all. What fun!

This practise left me well placed to learn to drive a few years later. A friend generously let me put 'L' plates on his rather large van and drive it occasionally when we went out together. Following this, I needed only 4 lessons to pass the driving test - admittedly it was much easier in those days. I remember on the day of my test it was the first time I had driven in the rain.

I was very grateful for my early training on that Vauxhall Victor.

Chin Hair Starts

Green Shield StampsThe other perk of the petrol job was: Green Shield Stamps.

These were vouchers you saved up and stuck in a book. When you had some full books, you could exchange them for various goods in a catalogue. Every day a few of these stamps became stuck in one of my Green Shield Stamps books.

My beard was starting to grow, and I saved up until I had enough for an electric razor. The first time I ever wet shaved was about 25 years later.

Cheap Tricks

The old boy at the petrol station regaled me with stories of naughtiness from his youth. My favourite story of cheap entertainment was this.

ParcelThese horrible kids would crap in a shoe box, then wrap the box up in brown paper and string. They'd then leave it somewhere like on a bench.

The idea was to make it look attractive enough and be plausible enough for someone to be conned into thinking it was valuable. Their childish joy came from seeing some poor unsuspecting stranger look around guiltily, tuck the package under their arm and hurry home to open it.

Highbury Technical CollegeHighbury Tech

As I said, my Dad nudged me towards the Business Studies course at Highbury. I had expressed an interest in computers, and the business studies course included a module on that topic.

During the two year course I gained two more 'O' levels, and four 'A' levels - in Accountancy, Law, Economics and British Constitution. These have been very useful in my business career. Again, I regret to say I did not work very hard to get them.

'Highbury Tech' has since had a makover and looks rather snazzy as you whiz past it on the A27.

Onward Towards a Degree

Towards the end of the course - which had not really grabbed me - a lack of imagination lead me to apply for a Business Studies sandwich course degree.

I was accepted by two colleges: my local Poly, and by what was then North East London Poly - NELP.

Morris 100 VanI asked a tutor at my current college which was the better Poly to attend. His surprising advice was: "Get away from home."

I took his advice.

Come September, I packed all I owned into my Morris 1000 van and headed for London to look for somewhere to live.

Away From Home

I found a room with a single cooking ring. I remember my treat for the week was a jar of either peanut butter or jam. I foolishly worked out how to hook the single ring into the lighting circuit which bypassed the electricity metre. Fortunately I did not burn the place down.

After a few months, I fell in with a group of Irish lads. They taught me how to smoke hash. It took a lot of effort. Eventually, I got it.

I heard of a room going in an attic flat in Ilford. I moved in. There was much more room and a separate kitchen. After a while the guy who shared it with me, who was a bit of a prat, moved out and one of my Irish friends, Sean, moved in. I clearly remember Bowie's Ziggy Stardust coming out at that time and wowing us all.

Musical Entertainment

I worked in a pub to get extra money, and the landlord offered me a piano to get it out of the way. I decided the best way to transport it to the flat was on the roof rack of my Morris 1000 van.

Piano and stairsWith a couple of friends, I moved the piano outside the pub. It weighed a ton. We stripped off every removable part we could find - front panels, bottom panels, keyboard cover - and it still weighted exactly the same!

We manhandled it onto the roof, an I drove the lopsided Morris 1000 back to the flat. Now I got in more help and we dragged and pushed it up three flights of stairs. It wouldn't go round the last bend.

There was NO WAY that piano was going down again! I got hold of a saw, and (another regret) sawed two feet off the banister. Now the piano covered the final stretch just fine.

I painted it red, an put a drawing pin in every hammer which make it sound rather like a harpsichord.

NELP Days

NELP campus, based around Ilford and Stratford, was scattered. The first 6 months study was ok. Then came 6 months 'in industry'.

Well, that was a joke. Unless you got a large company to sponsor you, you were likely to end up doing menial admin for 6 months.

I started out at Nettlefold and Moser in Borough High Street, selling screws and bolts over the phone. I became an expert in the difference between 'pan head', 'countersunk' and 'black japanned'. Pretty useless information really.

I also met a girl called Sandra, who I went out with for a year or so.

The Strand Law CourtsLater I moved on to an insurance company in the Strand who had got seriously behind with their filing. I remember being shown ever larger drawers of papers to file.

Every time I got to end of a drawer, another drawerful appeared. Eventually I was shown a large walk-in cupboard full of papers, whereupon I nearly lost the will to live. Realising there was no end to it, I immediately stopped hurrying to finish.

Hardly useful experience for my degree.

In the second year at NELP, the course moved site. We were now in what had been a Kensitas cigarette factory, in Stratford. The uninspiring building was known to the students as: "Fag End".

All in all, I did not last much longer on this course. It was not me. I stayed on at one of the agency jobs I had been directed to by the college. At least I got a full time wage: my college grant was meagre.

Transit vanVan and Driver

After a short while I drifted into driving jobs. I had always enjoyed driving since the job at the garage when I was 15. Also, you were largely your own boss when on the road.

I started off working for 'Dial-a-van' who were based underneath the railway arches in Vauxhall, south west London. The employees knew them, scathingly, as 'Rent-a-wreck'.

I decided I'd like to follow the hippie trail, as various friends and acquaintances had done. Perhaps cheap hash was the main driver, rather than cultural exploration. Also: it was something to do - and I enjoyed having the target.

The pay as a driver was low, so I left and worked for a year for Texaco oil company as a computer operator to save for the trip.

IBM 360 computerComputer Operating

In the mid-70s the computer setup which occupied a 10 metre square air conditioned room was probably 100 times less powerful than the one on which I'm now writing this account. The hard disks, which we had to change regularly, were about two feet across and weighed four or five kilos.

In November 2008 I was at a futurism conference at the Computer Museum in Silicon Valley. Walking around the museum bought back memories - seeing these same hard disks displayed, as well as other equipment, which had been part of my daily chores over 30 years before.

On the night shift there could be hours with nothing to do. I used the time learning some computer programming.

VW MicrobusHippie Trail

My travels overseas took about six months. I went by VW Microbus to Istanbul, through Turkey and Iran by bus, finally arriving in Herat, just over the Afghan border. (This was pre-Russian invasion.)

Afghanistan was pretty desolate even in those days: though at least most of the buildings were standing. My two friends and I travelled to Kabul in the East by bus, along the only main road in the country, via Kandahar in the south.

Our brightly coloured rucksacks on the roof racks announced our approach far and wide. It was a bit embarrassing, really. Dull rucksacks would have been better.

Arriving in Kabul, we went into a restaurant and bumped into friends from London who I didn't even know were traveling. What a shock!

Pakistan

Khyber PassThe trip through the Khyber Pass into Pakistan by bus was beautiful and the scenery dramatic. The road, cut into the mountains, enable navigation through this forbidding terrain.

In Pakistan my two friends and I made north up to the lovely Swat Valley and rented a hut on a hillside for a few nights.

I remember cooking one day. We found out that the butcher was open one day a week.

Sawt Valley, PakistanOn the appointed day every piece of one butchered goat were laid out in his window. I bought a few bits and pieces and made a goat stew. It was awful.

We crossed the border into India and travelled North to Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Then down to Delhi, and by train to Agra - the Taj Mahal. We continued to Goa. This was well before it became popular with other than hippies.

Goa looks from a distance like a Mediterranean town, because of it's Portuguese connections. Its capital is even named after a Portuguese - Vasco de Gama.

Goa beachWe stayed on the beach in a wooden framed hut threaded with leafy branches - coconut tree braches, I think. Every year the branches were blown away during winter, and replaced the following spring.

At this point my two friends traveled to Thailand, while I continued south in India, eventually arriving at the southern tip, Trivandrum. Then across to Madras - the film centre of India - and back up to Delhi by train.

Madras & Return to Delhi

When buying my ticket at Madras I noted the time of arrival of the train in Delhi - it was near enough 24 hours.

An hour before we got there I was chatting to another passenger. He told me bad news: the journey was, in fact, 48 hours. Not an hour to go but 25 hours to go - on hard seats. And me with a sore bottom from the scabies I had picked up!

I was in a poor state emotionally at this time, having developed hepatitis - unbeknown to me - from eating unwashed fruit.

I felt uncomfortable socially very easily. My concentration was shot. I did not know where to look when talking to someone. I would forget what they were saying half way through a sentence. I would wake up at night soaked in sweat.

Old Delhi Railway StationHappily, back in Delhi a travel agent contacted good old Mum and Dad - and they stepped in to pay for a flight home.

Back home, as I lay in the bath enjoying the first soak in six months, I looked in the adjacent mirror and saw the whites of my eyes were yellow. A sense of relief engulfed me - I wasn't bonkers - I had a physical illness!

Back to Work

After a couple of months recuperation my mum hinted that it was time to get a job.

During the super warm summer of 1976, I drove around the lovely Surrey countryside collecting laundry for Bramley Linen Care. This year enabled me to slowly start to rebuild my confidence and social skills which were both at a low ebb. It was probably 5 years before this process was near completed.

My persistence kept me ever positive at what could have been a difficult time. I look back on this as a time of valuable rebuilding.

What Next?

So, what was I to do with my life?

My parents had successfully undergone osteopathy treatment. So, although I didn't feel that drawn to do it, I thought maybe osteopathy could prove an interesting career - at least for 10 years or so.

That was a plan.

I moved to Crouch End in North London, took biology and chemistry 'A' levels at night school, and read about the different alternative therapies. I had always been an avid non-fiction reader. I frequently had half a dozen books in the house from several different libraries.

I now took out all the books on alternative therapy that I could find, and focus my attention on identifying which one would be the most suitable.

Acupuncture Wins

There wasn't a strong draw for me to any of them. I had been to the main osteopathy colleges in London for open days and decided against. I thought that acupuncture was the most useful and versatile of the alternative therapies.

I visited all three acupuncture colleges in the UK at that time, and chose one in East Grinstead, Surrey, to apply to. The course was three years long, and I graduated in 1982.

Move to East Grinstead

I moved out of London to East Grinstead for the course so I could commit myself to it fully.

I started working at Queen Victoria Hospital, working four days a week, including every weekend, for just over 40 pounds - ten pounds a day.

Window cleaningMy Window Cleaning Business

A friend in London had previously told me about his job window cleaning. I knocked on doors for a few evenings and arranged what I thought would be a day's work. I bought a ladder and a squeegee.

Blow me down! On my first day I earned £30! I quit my job at the hospital soon after. I cleansed windows cleaner for two and a half years. God - I'd had enough of it by the end!

Again, looking back, I wonder how I decided how much to charge. Anyway - it worked out.

Big SCult Lodging

My first lodging in East Grinstead was with a family of Scientologists. What a weird cult.

The landlady, who enjoyed having a lodger, was very sweet and also a little dim. I liked her a lot.

The husband was a bully. On a couple of occasions he was angry with me. His nostrils flared, and he breathed heavily whilst controlling his agitation. His Scientology auditing had, I imagine, helped him to control his anger somewhat.

Similarly, Scientology had helped the wife to cope with the bullying husband. So, weird cult as it is - and it is - there is some good in it.

Self Improvement

While living there, I exposed myself to every self-help and self-improvement book I could lay my hands on. One which sticks in my mind is: "The Lazy Man's Way To Riches". The first half of this book is about positive thinking. The second half was about what the author considers the best possible way for an individual to go into business - mail order.

I took this in but couldn't think for a moment what I might sell. I did not imagine that in five years time I would have my own mail order business - selling herbs.

My interest in self-improvement continued avidly for twenty years - until I had read all the books and listened to all the tapes I could find.

Anthony RobbinsMy favourites are Tony Robbins - who I saw on stage in Memphis in about 1985 - and Brian Tracy.

Tony Robbins got me very interested in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which I read a lot about and later did a few short courses in.

OK - he's big, loud and American: but I have also found him bright, ingenious, will to learn and change, and humble.

NLP

My best 'win' with NLP was with public speaking. In common with many other people, I experienced high anxiety when speaking in public. At acupuncture college I would get palpitations after a few seconds if I put up my hand to ask a question. Using an NLP technique I thankfully reduced this anxiety by 95% or so and it took just a few minutes.

Back to East Grinstead - hardly any other acupuncture students had move to East Grinstead - most commuted in. So I had little chance for meeting with others. A lad who was born in East Grinstead told me the height of entertainment was playing on the trolleys outside Salisbury's.

So in my spare time, I read, learned my 365 acupuncture points, and bought an electric typewriter and learned to touch type. I also started to learn juggling.

JugglingThe Danger of Juggling

After about 18 months I was thrown out by the husband, as was usual with lodgers in that house. This was prompted by me making a comment which I thought was lighthearted, but which was actually rude. I was prone to such misjudgments. The husband commented that my dropping of the balls was noisy. I riposted (wittily in my mind) that it would be less noisy if he carpeted the floor. This did not cause mutual amusement. I was out of there a couple of weeks later.

Although I was studying acupuncture, I was keenly interested in any therapy which could promote health.

I studied Ortho-bionomy, a method of adjusting bones which are out of place. This had been developed by an Osteopath, Arthur Pauls. He was a bit of a wacky man whose methods of adjustment I liked . To save tax, he had established Ortho-Bionomy in California as a church. I attended a couple of weekends, which were extremely interesting.

Drs Jensen and Christopher

Bernard JensenOne point of interest was a chart on his Pauls' wall - it was a chart of the eyes, produced by a pioneer of iridology, Bernard Jensen.

Quite soon after this I heard that Jensen was coming to England to lecture. I put my name down. It was fantastic to see the great man at first hand.

Some months later, another iridology course followed. The main attraction was a guy called Harri Wolfe. The secondary attraction, for many, was a herbalist called Dr. John Christopher. As it turns out, this man was the biggest medical influence on my life.

Dr ChristopherDr. Christopher was a lovely, lovely man. If there was ever an archetypal grandfather figure, Dr. Christopher was it. Gentle, amusing, wise and quite long white hair. He talked with simple eloquence about the successful treatments he had carried out of various conditions over the decades.

He told of his trials and tribulations; being arrested by the American authorities and jailed on several occasions for practicing herbalism.

This harassment was why he had turned to education. It was now his mission to teach as many people as possible the value of naturopathy combined with herbalism - and to teach them about how this combination could simply improve their health and their lives.

My Start With Herbalism

Dr Christopher was a real inspiration for me and I decided to incorporate his herbal formulas into the acupuncture practice. Particularly useful would be the ones for poor bowel regularity and those to help balance hormones for women - in PMT (PMS) and menopause.

I immediately scoured London to find the ingredients for the herbal formulas. This was a long and difficult search. Many of Dr Christopher's herbs were not easily available in the UK. Also, it required the powdering of herbs which were often very fibrous or very hard. I got there in the end and made my formulae.

A big motivation was that the only other supplier was very expensive. I was not prepared to pay that price.

Move to Brighton

BrightonAfter graduation from the acupuncture college, there was no way I wanted to return to London - it was just too busy. I had a couple of friends in Brighton 40 miles to the south, so I decided to head for there.

Good decision! The Southeast certainly is expensive, but Brighton is a lively and lovely town, within easy reach of London.

An old friend from my hippie days was just leaving a flat rental where part of the deal was to keep half an eye on the old lady who rented it out. Mrs Hutchinson - 'Hutch' - was a lovely old lady, who told me later her doctor said I had saved her life when treating her lung infection - bordering on pneumonia - with elderflower and peppermint tea. This was a combination passed on to me by Dr Christopher.

So I suppose I earned my cheap rent! £16 - excellent value for a 1 bed flat even in 1982.

I developed a love of vegetable gardening. Hutch gave me my own area. Her garden had probably the highest population of slugs and snails in the south of England.

My practice in acupuncture and herbal remedies begun. It was slow. I tried many ways to build my business, including giving public talks - which was very uncomfortable for me (and probably for the audience).

By this time I was supplying my herbs to fellow practitioners I met on courses, who weren't as keen as I was to source the herbs and mix them up. It started out as very much a kitchen table business.

Family Matters

At a natural health exhibition where I gave iridology readings for 5 pounds, I met my future wife. She had two lovely children, one of whom now runs my herbal business, and we had two further lovely children between us. Sadly, we separated in 2000.

I really appreciate the relationship I have will all my children. Communication is very important to me and I always wanted my kids to feel they could talk to me about anything. I think I have gone a good way to achieving that. 

(Gosh - the stuff they tell me!)

I love them all very much.

Herb Business Expands

Passage to PowerIn the mid-90s I was contacted by well-known health author, Leslie Kenton, who said that if I could make my herbs available to the public she would recommend me in an upcoming book on menopause - Passage to Power. I did so.

This resulted in thousands of customers hearing about us and ordering from us.

A couple of years later, another author - Karen Kingston - who would become very popular, recommended us in her book on feng shui.

Again, very many customers resulted. This firmly established the retail side of our business.

Hove Business CentreI had moved to business premises now, to Hove Business Centre, an old ex-perfume factory adjacent to Hove Station. From the train you can see the attractive mosaics on the outside spelling out the advantages of their perfumes and soaps.  

In 1999 the landlord from whom I was sub-letting my space went bankrupt; so my lease with him became null.

The superior landlord wanted much more money. I quickly moved to premises rented by the council by the day near the centre of Brighton. This block was a contender for the ugliest business block in the city. One factor which impressed me was that it has a lift so large you could drive a forklift truck into it. Not that I had one of those - I just found it impressive.

Portslade HallPortslade Hall

I started looking for somewhere without a landlord to go bankrupt - somewhere to buy. I bought Portslade Hall, a lovely old 3 story building of 4,500 feet. I had been introduced to a property consultant by a friend, who negotiated the price down from £170,000 to £130,000. This was the best buy of my life. He was worth his £3,000 fee.

The upper level of Portslade has a ceiling rising to 20 feet and with lovely exposed wooden beams. It was built in 1850 as a grain mill, and in about the 1930s wooden paneling was added and it became Portslade Civic Center.

It was now in a dilapidated state, though.

Major Refurbishment

Together with my father-in-law - a retired carpenter - and my brother-in-law and his friend - two hard workers - we refurbished Portslade Hall in a month such that we could move in. I managed the whole job and did much of the grunt work myself. I had learned the basics of building and plumbing on my own house, which came in handy.

We had to completely rewire and re-plumb. New central heating was necessary. The inside roof had to be re-plaster boarded, many walls re-plastered. We build six internal rooms. An extension had a wall falling down and that had to be demolished and rebuilt.

I got in craftsmen for the bigger jobs - rewiring, plumbing, plastering and central heating. Another 'generalist' called Tom was very handy- having bricklaying, plastering, damp proofing, drainage and general building skills. 

It turned out Tom had worked on the same property 25 years earlier! 

Sophie and Lydia decoratingI even got daughters Sophie and Lydia and some friends to help with the decorating.

We also had a lot to do for security - both building work and installation of an alarm.

This was a hell of a job - but I was driven to do it quickly by the desire to stop paying both rent and a mortgage simultaneously. We moved in in just over a month.

Great Location

The location of Portslade Hall is excellent. Portslade high street is 30 metres away with dozens of shops. Portslade Station in 100 metres up the road with a couple of trains to London each hour. A good-sized Tesco is my next door neighbour, and a workman's' cafe is my other neighbour - for when I'm feeling naughty. In my drive there is parking for half a dozen cars.

EU Problems Emerge

In about 2005 I learned that a European Directive was coming which threatened to make 80% of our herbal formulas illegal - unless we licensed them. this was clearly going to prove to expensive in most cases. Clearly there would need to be some changes to our business in the years ahead.

Exposure To Anti-aging

In 2007 I had a life-changing experience: I came across the book Fantastic Voyage by Ray Kurzweil.

Fantastic VoyageI was familiar with Ray because I associated the name Kurzweil with an early version of dictation software - with which I am dictating this article. I didn't know then that he was also the inventor of the scanner, and of the first electric piano. Clever man. He is an inventor, technician and futurist. He has over 20 degrees and doctorates - so many people think he is bright. A great deal of his work has been motivated by helping people who are censorial deprived.

In Fantastic Voyage, Kurzweil expounds the theory that with the coincidence of increasing computer power and scientific advances a time will soon arrive when life expectancy for the average person will increase by more than one year each passing year. This raises the prospect of living forever, which interested me greatly. I begun to research it.

Blood Tests

I had realised that without comprehensive blood tests you when flying blind when trying to look after your own health.

I travelled to America in early 2008 for 63 blood tests. Reading widely helped me to interpret some of these results, as I learned more about the technicalities of nutrition.

That November I travelled to Silicon Valley to a 'futurism' conference - or 'unconference', as they liked to call it. Here I met Terry Grossman, anti-aging doctor, and co-author of Fantastic Voyage. I decided to visit his anti-aging clinic in Denver.

I went there for a thorough two-day programme - including various consultations and tests - in July 2009. My partner, Karyn, decided she would like to do the same. These two days were much more informative about my health, and about anti-aging matters in general. I see Terry as a valuable anti-aging guide, now.

Streamlining The Business

Back to 2007 when I took a basic change in direction with my business. This was prompted by meeting Simon, a business coach, who had employed someone to pitch me over the phone.

His method was to help me to get my business running based around systems rather than people. This means that if the people of the change, the new people have the system they're ready to learn. His direct inspiration was an Australian, Brad Sugars, a very, very successful business man and exponent of this method; so much so that he franchised it.

E-mythAn elegant method - also the foundation of the popular "E-Myth" book by Michael Gerber.

Simon helped my apply these methods to my business - empowering and facilitating me rather than doing it for me. He also became a good friend.

Shelley Takes Over

After a year, we had many systems in place, helped by those who work here and especially by Shelley, my daughter. She came back to work nearly full time 'after children'. She loves Specialist Herbal Supplies, and was delighted to take over day-to-day running. She is a great asset.

Shelley's number one strength (as per Now Discover Your Strengths) is: Responsibility, and it shows. This is great for her role and I love her for it.

Nowadays, I keep well out of the way in my office most of the time. We both like it that way!

Workaholic? Don't Think So (But I Might Be)

TennisI enjoy my work; so much so that much of it does not seem like work. Sometimes I work from 6.30am to 10pm with breaks for food, watching half an hour TV and, 3 times a week, a couple of hours' tennis. I probably spend 60 hours a week working.

Two thirds of this is for Specialist Herbal Supplies - writing emails to customers, special offers, designing flyers, developing new systems and new products.

Website buildingWebsite Empire

The rest of my time is spent on my other projects - including website building, blogging, Tweeting, and studying - either health or Internet marketing.

My aims are to build up Specialist Herbal Supplies' business and also to establish a second stream of income - passive income. This will be my pension. When I have done that (may it be soon) I look forward to spending more time doing what I want, rather than what I need, to do.

I love to travel, and writing about where I go. I have several travel websites including ones about Aracena (Spain), Cuba and Colorado.

Now in 2009, I want to refocus my health sites around one main site. I currently run about 5 sites and 3 blogs actively, as well as having ten or more other sites. That's too many.

The new site - this one! Health Number 1.

Healthy Number 1

I want to gather a community of people who are actually taking action, or are willing to do so, to change their health for the better.

I want to attract people who take complete responsibility for their health and who challenge their limitations head on. I want both to learn and inform. 

I'm not looking for people who are 'perfect' in their healthcare approach; but rather people who are pleased to take action - even if slowly - and continually move forward.

Comprehensive Health Site

There is much knowledge about health which is simple to learn - if you know where to look. Some of it is also fairly simple to apply too.

LongevityIt will be stimulating for me to share this knowledge, and prepare a widespread repository of articles and information about every aspect of healthcare involved in longevity.

By 'longevity', I mean extending healthy middle age as long as possible - not being kept alive while in a decrepit state!

I will be writing key articles for http://wwhealthynumber1.com, which will, eventually, become a membership site - probably a free one.

I will also maintain a 'Healthy Number 1' blog.

I have started to embrace Twitter and have started to gather followers there.

Follow me on Twitter @malcolmsimmonds.

Moving Ahead With Anti-Aging

Since my initial visit to America in early 2008, I have returned in 2009 to a leading anti-aging clinic - Frontier Clinic in Denver. I spent two days there in July 09 having multiple tests and consultations.

I will continue with my anti-aging investigations and personal path in that direction. I am hungry for knowledge and will continue spreading the word about what I learn.