Pommymike's biography

written on 27/10/05



Pre me

On February 20th 1934, Stanley Lidiker was born in London and on October 10th 1936, Patricia Lesley Simons was born in Alfreton, Derbyshire. They married in Leicester on June 9th 1957 and had their first child, Louise Amanda on March 4th 1959 and their second (and best) child, me, on February 16th 1961.

1959: parents wedding
  1961: me


1961: me annd Louise
  1962: me
  1962: me and piano

In Leicester were my grandmother and all my uncles and aunties from my dad’s side of the family. Also in Leicester were my grandparents from my mother’s side of her family, whereas her brother and family lived in Sheffield.



Mini me

The early years have little to report on – I imagine that the times were good as I have no memories or reasons to think otherwise – I didn’t have to struggle as my parents did that for me. At the age of 4, I went to Overdale Infant School and that was followed by attending Overdale Junior School up until the age of 11.

1966: me and Louise
  1972: class photo


1966: me and Louise
  1966: me and Louise


1967: me
  1969: me


Teenage me

Next came Lancaster Boys School that I attended until the age of 16. Again, there are no stand-out memories from this time. I know that whilst I had fun, I also wasn’t the most well behaved boy, though luckily I didn’t get into any big trouble. I made friendships that would develop and remain for the next few years.

1974: me
  1975: me
  1976: me

Upon leaving that school I attended Gateway Sixth Form College. This was where things started to get interesting as there were more options available socially and there were lots of new people to meet from more interesting backgrounds - as a result, the pace of life picked up. Things also improved when I passed my driving test as it opened more doors and allowed more opportunities.

1979: my first love


Leaving school

I am not a smart academic person, though if I had any discipline and had applied myself to my studies, then I may have scraped through some exams and avoided joining the real world so soon. But I didn’t. I left school at 18 because I was offered a job as a Computer Operator. I had a car and I had some money and I wasn’t afraid to use either. So life was grand for young Michael – plenty of girls to meet and play with and plenty of new friends to be made. My growth as a person marched on at a good pace and all was fun. So this was life? Bring it on!

1980: me and Clive

As far as work went, the job wasn’t a challenge and true to form, I didn’t push things - I just enjoyed the lack of required effort. I moved into an apartment with a couple of mates, but that wasn’t much fun and so I left again.

Things progressed and much fun was had over those years. I had many friends and I enjoyed moving between the different worlds that they inhabited – there was somebody for every mood. I made some wonderful friendships that still exist today.

1984: me


Career choice

In 1985, I had moved from being a Computer Operator to being a Programmer and I bought my first house. Having my own space was a tremendous time for me and I discovered that there was pleasure from relaxing at home rather than being out and about all the time. I also ended up taking in lodgers on three occasions because I needed the money, though I did prefer to live on my own.

1987: strange looking me
  1987: beardy me

In 1988, I moved jobs again – another step up the career ladder that took me to new areas of work and new skills to develop. It was a job that took up a lot of my time, but I learned a lot from it and the skills learned gave me many opportunities that I am still reaping the rewards from today. The system I worked on took two years to develop and then implement and once it was in and tidied up, I felt ready for a new challenge.

This challenge was a big step for me. I had always lived in Leicester (though my last job had been in Northamptonshire), but the new job that I found was based in Madison in Wisconsin. I checked the atlas and discovered that Wisconsin was actually in the USA, so I wouldn’t be able to commute.




I moved out to Madison in November 1991 ready for great adventures, but they never came about. I endured the coldest weather I had ever experienced and then the job died on its arse resulting in me returning to the UK in March 1992 with debts and no plan.

1991: passport photo



Needing money quickly, I moved into the contracting market that was vibrant at that time. There were so many jobs that it gave me the opportunity to choose which town to live in rather than be restricted by what jobs were available. I ended up taking a contract with a company up in Leeds and the year after I took another contract in the same city. The time here had the additional pleasure of hanging out with my cousin Julliet who also lived there. And it was within that period that my heart was really broken for the first time by the wonderful Charlotte – sigh. Anyway, I digress.

1992: Charlotte



Finding myself getting too comfortable in Leeds, I wanted another change and ended up taking a contract in the wonderful city of Bristol. What a year 1994 was. A great bunch of people and so much fun socially – I had a great year, despite the three months in plaster when I broke my leg playing football – ok, I didn’t break it, somebody broke it for me, but it was the same result.

1994: Dad's 60th



The project that I was on then moved to Hursley and I and a couple of mates lived in the most sensational old house in the beautiful city of Winchester. The house was build in 14xx (I can’t remember the actual year, but it was 500 years old) and was situated in a cobbled street just behind Winchester Cathedral – stunning. It was during that year of 1995 that I worked with some Australian’s that would result in the major change down the road. It was a fantastic time in a great place with some marvellous people and I was also seeing a strange being called Fatima at that time.

1995: winchester
  1995: Fatima


The year after, I worked in Cardiff, Wales. Cardiff was an unexpectedly beautiful city. I lived on a marina and just loved being there – it was a wonderfully relaxing phase and during that time I sold my house as I didn’t feel the need for a base in any particular place – I hadn’t lived in it for a few years anyway.



My next adventure was to move to Oxford for more fun times. In Oxford, however, I lost impetus. Nothing really happened and I wasn’t making new friends. I got bored. So to ease my boredom and to distract me from another ended relationship (Fatima this time), I went over to Australia to visit my cousin Vicki who was in Sydney and also the Australian (Melbourne) friends I had made in Winchester. I loved Sydney because it was exciting and huge and had wonderful things to see and visit. But I loved Melbourne more because of it’s pace, lifestyle, friendliness and people.

Having had a great holiday in Australia and returning to the tedium of Oxford, I decided a new adventure was required. Whilst looking around for a new job, I received a call from an Agency asking if I’d be interested in a job in Melbourne. This call came in November 1997. There was no reason to say no. I had sold my last house, I wasn’t in a relationship and I was bored. When do you want me to start?

1997: Australia holiday


I moved to Melbourne on February 2nd 1998 and started work the next day. I arrived here with no expectations, plans or goals – I was just hungry and open to the experience.


Clifton Hill

That first job was a contract with Coles Myer at their offices in Tooronga. It was an easy transition into Melbourne life as I was staying with my mate Murat in Clifton Hill and that meant that I met his family and friends and had things to do from the start. With that security behind me, I was relaxed and comfortable as I began to explore my new surroundings.

1998: Murat and Maria



Three months into my time here, I met Francine whom I went out with for the next 18 months. Meeting her gave me a whole new circle of friends and inlets into Melbourne life and the discovery of what Melbourne has to offer. We explored what was out there and discovered its’ possibilities and also its’ music. Six months into my time, I rented a house in Richmond and it was good to finally have a base camp set up to return to.

1998: Francine
1999: me in Aus
2000: Vicki

A year later, I moved into the house opposite – a sensational place with a huge balcony and a great view of the City. When my contract ended, I took a holiday back in the UK and whilst there, I was emailed about another role in Coles Myer (this time in the City) and I returned to take up that contract.


South Melbourne

In 2002, when that Contract ended, there were few jobs around and it was a scary time. To preserve my money, I gave up the apartment and moved into a shared house in South Melbourne. I stayed there until I found a new contract (at a company called SPL) and got back on my feet again – I had been unemployed for three months. Not only was it tough as I was earning money, but my visa status meant that I might have had to leave the country, so it was a close call.


City life

Once I was working again, I moved into another apartment (on my own) in the City and soon after transferred to another Contract at Coles Myer. In 2003, I moved apartments again – still in the City and moved jobs to work at the National Australia Bank (NAB). This was a great contract and I met some fine people and made some wonderful friends – it was marvellous time.

Unfortunately, in 2004, there was a problem with my visa. Well, not with my current one, but with a past one that resulted in me being classed as an illegal immigrant – this was a great shock as I had done everything right – as far as I knew. I had two weeks notice to leave the country and wasn’t allowed back for over seven weeks – a depressing experience, but a happy ending. I got to spend time with my good friend Jodi and good friends Rocky and Tanya (and their boys).

  Rocky and Tanya (1972 photo)

I rejoined the same project at the NAB upon my return and stayed there until the project ended, at which time I moved to my fourth Contract at Coles Myer. I left that contract this year and took a permanent job at a company called Norwich Research out in Notting Hill (Clayton) and have moved to an apartment in Richmond.

So that is the story of how I came to be here in this place at this time.



Melbourne life

With that history covered, let me say a bit about who I am at this time and how I fit into this world.

Since arriving in Australia, pommymike was born to the world. I think that he had always existed, but he hadn’t been fed enough to evolve towards his potential. He thrives on experience and Melbourne has provided that in abundance.

Defining why I thrive in Melbourne is a combination of factors whose total is greater than its parts. In no particular order, these are some of the reasons:

. Space: The streets are narrower and the houses aren’t as tall as they generally are back in the UK. This gives the feeling of space and openness that transfers to behaviour and attitudes – it is a open place containing open people.

. People: The people here have more time and interest in those around them which results in rewarding interchanges with people that you meet along the way. In the UK, people are more guarded and suspicious and are less likely to talk with strangers who they have no real reason to talk to. In Australia, there are interesting conversations to be had in most places most of the time. Also, in the UK, there is a lot of anger and aggression around the place that can be sensed a lot of the time - in comparison, this is a much happier and calmer place to be.

. Climate: The weather is less severe and therefore people are out and about more, so that is more inviting. Because of this, there is a lot more outdoor activity and there is a good mood generated by wandering amongst people. The café’s and restaurants have outdoor areas, so you walk along and hear the conversations and laughter of people and that gives you a skip to your step – for me it always feels like I am on holiday.

. Options: There are so many things to do at any time during any day. This means that you have the choice to pick and choose what you wish to do – you can be as social or private as you wish – it is always your choice. Because of all the options, kids also are out and about doing stuff rather than hanging around and bored, as they seem to be in the UK. Being sociable is so easy and affordable here.

. Music: The talent of local musicians here is second to none. But more than that, the accessibility of the artists and their music produces a great energy around the place.

. Accessibility: Though Melbourne is a big place, it also has an excellent public transport system that makes all places accessible regardless of whether you have a car or not. I enjoy the journeys as much as the destinations, so distances don’t deter me and I am not in any great rush to do anything, so it all seems too easy.

I think that we all have a natural pace that we move at – probably based upon the pace of our home towns and the people we grew up around. Every place that we visit has it’s own pace too. So when we visit somewhere that moves at the same pace that we do, things are most comfortable – that is how it feels with me and Melbourne – this is my home.



Anyway, that is a bit about the journey that bought me to here and who I am.

A few weeks ago, I posted an application for Permanent Residency in Australia. It has been something I have wanted to do for a while, but circumstances have to be right for an application to have any chance of success, so by accepting my current permanent job, this has enabled me to have a reasonable chance of success.

If my application isn’t successful, then things will carry on as before. That is where I just make the most of every day knowing that my time here isn’t going to last. It encourages me to embrace adventures that come my way and to enjoy all that I encounter. I live in the moment and all moments are the same and they all have the same potential – what we create with any moment is up to us.

If my application is successful, then I can carry on the same way, but I have more options available to me as I’m not tied to a particular profession or Agency, but am free to follow whatever direction I desire. Whether this results in many changes or not will be discovered down the road - it isn’t for me to make decisions for a future me - I will be a different person then and that me will make the decisions at that time.

Maybe it is being in this waiting stage that has led me to consider taking this snapshot of where and who I am at this time.

My time in Australia has been an incredible one in terms of pleasure, happiness and growth for me. When I say growth, I mean growth in who I am, growth into the person who I am and unfortunate physical growth that I should address.

Whilst writing this biography, my father suddenly passed on, so I have have just had an unscheduled trip back to see the family in the UK which has been a bit of a shock.

2005: dad
  2005: family



So to summarise - I'm enjoying this life