My name is Mark Sippings, I was born in July, 57 years ago.
When I was in my teens, I thought people over 30 were ancient, now I am nearly double that and I still feel like I did when I was 25. It seems as you get older you have to pretend you are big and sensible. In reality your mind is still working in the same way as it did when your were little.
I have been very lucky; a happy childhood led to an adult life full of friends and adventure and only a tiny bit of sadness.
So what brings me here - I'm not sure, have a look at the site and see if you can tell me - I think it's because I want to leave a little of me in world, something that says:
'I was here'
A few years ago my daughter and I visited the Tower of London. On some of the walls were names and inscriptions dating back hundreds of years. I can remember running my finger over the letters and wondering about the person who carved them and why they did it?
I guess Cold Sunflowers is my equivalent of those carvings, something of me is now here. Some people will like it, some won't, but it's here and a bit of me is here with it.
Anyway this website is the rest of me up to date, have a good look round, comment or ask me questions.
To begin with, I have a brother and a sister, two children and live in Essex.
I read something once that said when our children come to a moment in their lives when they have to give an account of themselves and all their achievements, they should never discount all the joy they have given to their parents. That is so true and I am very very proud of my girls.
Me and my girls
Mum and Dad
I have spent most of my life as a Civil Servant, it's not actually as boring as it sounds and I have worked with Baroness Jay, the Leader of the House of Lords and Harriet Harman, who were both Ministers for Women. I made recommendations to the government regarding what services older people would like. And contributed to Essex becoming the most successful trailblazer in England, helping disabled people get back to work.
A foray into the restaurant world interrupted my Civil Service career, and I ran a business in Colchester under the name of Carl Marks - not fine dining I'm afraid, but eat as much as you like for a penny less than a fiver.
The Good Bits -
1) Around the World
I spent three months traveling around the world the route I followed was India, Nepal,Thailand, Ko Samui, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, America and Canada. It was an amazing trip, and I was lucky enough to be in India at the time of a plague - I know that sounds crazy but because of the plague there were few westerners and places were empty.
The pictures are:
- Traffic in Dehli
- The pied piper at a temple
- The serenity of the Taj Mahal
- Varanasi and the Ganges
- Kathmandu - Nepal
- Bangkok - Thailand
- Temples - Thailand
- The Bridge over the River Kwai, where my Uncle died as a POW
- Singapore Sling at Raffles
- My Uncle's house in Australia
- Sidney Opera House
- Three Sisters - Blue Mountains
- Rotorua, New Zealand
- Niagara Falls
I have played in many bands since I was 17. The two most successful have been Idle Hours, a progressive rock five piece who have a CD on iTunes. (Contact me if you haven't got iTunes music and would like a copy). And Psycho Dehlia.
Idle Hours were my passion, I wrote the lyrics and the basic music before handing the song over to the real musicians who would add their bits. I suppose every musician has a tale of the one that got away. In my case Idle Hours were on the verge of being signed by SI Music, a Dutch label, just before they went bust. Oh, what might have been :-(
Psycho Dehlia is my current band and we play retro rock covers from the '60's and '70s. We formed after the Idle Hours' drummer and friend Steve Anderson died suddenly. He was a real rocker and lived the dream, touring professionally for a while. He smoked loads, drank too much, drove a huge motorbike and told us stories to make our toes curl. His poor old heart let him down and I still think about him most days.
I thought I would hate playing covers, but it's been great fun. Click on a picture to go to the Psycho Dehlia website.
Since leaving full time employment I have undertaken some extra work which has been really enjoyable.
I had the impression that film people would be a little 'up themselves' it shows you should never have preconceptions, everyone has been amazing, so helpful and nice.
I have joined three agencies:
The Casting Collective
Piece of Cake
My roles include a Zombie, Hired muscle, Caveman and office worker.
Lunch by Wave M Studios
Contractor 014352 by SweetDoh!
So that's it we're up to date.
I have always been proud of the lyrics I have written for my bands, but I have also dabbled with poetry. Until now I have never had the courage to show anyone. If you are interested in having a look click on the button below.
Cold Sunflowers has been in my mind since I was 20, the idea of a young man frightened of living and an older man scared of dying and how they help each other come to terms with their worlds.
I tried several times to write the book but always found an excuse not to, work and not enough time being the major ones. Then a few years back I severed my achilles, which meant some sick leave and my brother suggested writing a film script. I realised this was the middle ground between poetry and a novel and it worked well, allowing me to think about the images I wanted to project.
When I took voluntary redundancy, a couple years ago the story was there and I have spent that time turning it into a novel.