The first ‘Let’s Get Personal’ was centred around education and work, so here’s me without web design and more focused on my hobbies, interests and personal life… again, I wanna be as open as possible.
First off, I have many nicknames from friends, family, football friends, and they are [not crude]: TC, Tomo, Tom Jay, and Tom… long stories for each which I won’t go into. I’m definitely not the kinda guy to not be busy, don’t get me wrong I love to binge on a film or TV show or five for hours on end; but you’ll usually find me spending my free time running so many kilometres around the countryside that I’m very lucky to have pretty much on my doorstop. I always get told how mad I am going running for 10k on a freezing evening or when it’s chucking it down with rain, but for me, once the headphones are in with music I am in the zone and the endorphins are released with my confidence and well-being at an all time high. I run so much that even if I have two days off exercise I start to get a bit down and eager to run or any exercise for that matter. I’ve run 10k races in the Norwich 10k amongst hundreds of runners as well as local races and I love it.
I’m actually training for a half-marathon that I’ve challenged myself to after always wanting to partake in one. I’ve signed up to run for the Alzheimer’s Research charity and have a £500 target currently (as of April 2021). It’s mainly due to the fact my amazing grandad got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago and he is still with us however he is in a specialist home. It breaks my heart seeing my nan only seeing him a few times a week and currently via Zoom thanks to COVID-19 but he’s in the best place!
That’s running covered, but another immense interest I love is football, since the age of 7 in primary school I was part of the school team, right through high school and then I joined my beloved local football club Rockland United F.C. in which I’ve been there for 13 years strong (as of 2021) and the amount of friends and experience and life skills learned through my time there is indescribable. I designed a website for the club (www.rocklandunitedfc.uk) and have been running this for many years now with tens of thousands of visitors … it’s quite popular! It’s something I donated to the club because, well, I just love the club. As well as being the ‘webmaster’ running the social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the club, I’m also secretary and of course a footballer still going strong at 30 years of age. My partner Kayleigh (Kayles) is in charge of the Ladies team for the club also, and when our daughter Mallie (who turns one in May) is old enough I’m sure she will be a future Rocks player as well. I also play a fun evening match with local friends on Monday evenings and I play in charity matches too!
The Kayles and Mallie part. I don’t usually express with this sorta thing so I’ll be keeping this short. Myself and Kayles have been together for three and a bit years now and funnily enough we actually went to high school together during the 2002-2007 days, we probably said three words to each during that time, crazy huh. She’s an amazing mum, partner and we now own a house together after a year of hardcore saving in 2019 and just before COVID-19 struck, which was lucky, with Mallie arriving in the pandemic as well (Pandemic Baby). We can’t live without each other and we’re very lucky to have what we have! And yes, Kayles will be a Clark one day… but she still doesn’t believe me until it’s confirmed in a wedding ceremony.
I’d like to share a place that is part of me that I adore inside and out: the glorious country of Portugal. My nan and grandad in the 90s started going there with the admiration of the country from my grandad. My grandparents eventually bought their own three bedroom villa which was an amazing place to stay every year close to a swimming pool, bar, shops, golf course and amazing scenery all round … well, paradise basically. We’ve been going on family holidays for decades and now it is a place me and Kayles go alone and yes, she’s fallen in love with the place too.
It’s a place I want to work towards in the future, as in potentially move out there in later life, I’ve always thought I’ve had Portugal blood in me. I also have friends like family out there (shout out to Pedro) and the way of life for a holiday out there is a dream. Two weeks is never enough when we go and I always feel immensely down returning home, not because I dislike England, but because Portugal is a second home. Renting a villa with a pool is the holiday I always adore, and friends always say to me “you go to the same place, same area every year, doesn’t it get boring?” absolutely not. Plus, I know the Algarve inside out and there’s still plenty to explore. In case you’re wondering, the resort we go to is Santo Antonia (formerly Parque Da Floresta): it’s heaven on earth.
You didn’t ask, but I’m 100% a family man. Family is everything to me, I had a brilliant childhood and a fantastic, generous and a one a kind family. The collection we have of old family videos is huge and I’m still needing to convert them all to DVD. I’m probably the most nostalgic person you’ll know as every song, film, place and more has significance to me in life from my past. “This song reminds me of Portugal” because I first heard it there, is that a skill? I have thousands of songs in my iTunes library and I near enough know where every single one was first heard in my ears… same with films! See below an iconic photo of my cousin Rach and I with teddy in the back of my very first car.
Big shout out to our amazingly special dogs we’ve owned in my lifetime, beginning with little Lhasa Apso Milo, black Labrador Jess, and Fox Red Lab Tilly… and mine and Kayles’ dog we are to acquire soon (it’s happening). We’re massive dog people and we don’t deserve them!
I’m gonna leave this post by sharing an old family photo from 2018 of the Clarks on our annual Boxing Day [Clark Day] … everything is in this photo; I always laugh at my dad’s stare at the camera on the right (#caught), thanks for reading!