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My name is John Rippin. I became a trainee reporter at the age of 16 and have spent a lifetime as a journalist, including 27 years as editor of the Loughborough and Shepshed Echo, Leicestershire's leading paid for weekly newspaper. Since my retirement in July 2004 I have continued to write an opinion page for the Echo.

Although I probably seemed like a very conventional person, around 15 years ago I began to take an interest in everything connected with the New Age. My horizons were broadened considerably when I took part in courses on dowsing and crystals. I also developed a thirst for firewalks. So far I have walked over hot coals seven times and found that on each occasion my spirits were given a tremendous boost.

For some time I have been working to put the finishing touches to a novel that I started 30 years ago.

Theoretically, I ought to have a lot more time now that I am retired. But this is not proving to be the case, particularly as my wife, Rosemary, is always finding DIY jobs for me to do around the house. Rosemary and I have three grown-up children and one grandchild.

Our favourite holiday destination is the wonderful Balearic island of Menorca, where it is still possible to find quiet spots away from the crowds.


Writing, reading, listening to music, positive thinking, firewalking, New Age spirituality, surfing the web, walking, public speaking, photography, playing the cornet (badly), nostalgia, working out what makes people tick