Nick is 48, but claims not to feel any older than he did when he was in his early 20s. This probably relates to his attitude to life as it couldn't be further from the truth if you watch him trying to drag his oversize, overage body round a 5-a-side court! The simple tenets that guide Nick are "work to live not live to work" and "do everything with a smile on your face" - it's not always easy to stick to these, but Nick does the best he can. As you can see Nick keeps smiling even when he is holding an elephant's trunk while it is sedated (don't ask it's a long story!).

Nick was born in Cambridge in May 1960.

His family moved to Wolverhampton and Chester before they settled down in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire when he was 8. Nick somehow managed to turn early academic promise into truculent teenagery but still scraped together 8 O-levels and 4 A-levels and was able to go to Hull University to study Special Scandinavian Studies. The reason for choosing this course was simple, Nick's mum is Swedish and he was brought up bilingually and biculturally, so this was an obvious area of interest.

Nick's three year course was punctuated with a year working as an English teacher in Sweden in 1980/81. This was when he met Hans & Gerd who remain great friends to this day. He finished his year abroad with a 4-month long solo hitchhike around the US, going coast to coast in over 200 separate "rides". Nick graduated with a 2:1 in 1982 and began working in a sales role with British Steel Corporation. Nick has remained in sales for 25 years and if you want to have a closer look at what he has been up to then click on this link - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/0/479/734

Nick and Penny met in 1983 while they were both working at British Steel. Romance blossomed and they were married in 1988. They have owned houses in Gretton (near Corby), Broughton (near Kettering) and Somerton (north Oxfordshire) before moving to Burscough in 1998.

When he is not out of the country on business, Nick spends most of his spare time acting as a taxi service to Alex and Bea. He squeezes in some football - playing 5-a-side and watching Burscough FC, goes to concerts, enjoys a glass of red wine while watching TV and has become an avid eBayer with a 500+ rating, naturally at 100%.

Nick's wheels are not what most of his peers in the software industry choose to drive. In an industry where the preferred rides are Porsches, Ferraris, sporty BMWs & Audis etc Nick's most recent cars stand out like a sore thumb.

The Volvo was Nick's main mode of transport from 1998 until its reluctant sale in 2006. It was driven with real attitude - when other drivers saw that big bonnet hammering up behind them in the outside lane of the M6 they quickly got out of the way. It became affectionately known as "The flying brick" and provided many memorable road trips over the years.

The brick was superseded by the Mazda, which was a hand-me-down from Nick's parents. While not a Ferrari, the Mazda is a perky little fella with plenty of "sheeowwww" factor as Nick demonstrates on most journeys to and from Blackburn Ice Arena!

The Mazda waqs reluctantly traded in for this smart Mondeo estate - a true repmobile, but ideal for the long motorway hauls fullt laden with ice hockey bags and sticks.

So what does the future hold for Nick? He plans to keep doing what he's doing until he reaches a position of sufficient financial security to be able to change his lifestyle altogether and enjoy semi-retirement with a fun part-time job doing something. Watch this space to see how long it takes him to get there.