Isn’t it amazing. One thing you know for sure, with me you get ME. What ever I write I use the name everyone knows me by Maffi and there is a picture of my ugly mug There is often a picture of my boat (blog, FB etc). If you see me out and about you know who I am. I do not hide behind pictures of dogs, cats, flowers etc. Everyone on the canal I have met or had some interchange on the net knows me as Maffi. Few know me as Stephen Russell. I don’t hide the name my family know me by. They know who Maffi is it is not a problem.
Why Maffi? Its not difficult. I wanted to call my boat No Problem but there are six of those so I thought to call it No Problem in another language. Well at the time I was deciding I was in Saudi Arabia. So I chose Maffi Mushkila which is more or less No Problem.
When the CWDF started up in 2004 I signed up as my proposed boat name Maffi Mushkilla Lots of people do it. I was member No 37. I never expected people to call me Maffi, but when it happened I thought I would stick with it. My blog became Aardvarks & Maffi’s Boat. Aardvarks is plural Maffi’s is possessive. Most people don’t see that. I am often asked, “Who is Aardvark.” Aardvark because it is at the top of the alphabetical list and usually comes first on search engines. It’s all about selling me.
A couple of years later when my boat was finished I returned home. So there I was on my boat meeting people who only knew me as Maffi. Do I tell them otherwise or leave it as it was. I decided to leave it. Not one of the thousands of people who knew me on CWDF or the thousands who watched my boat being built on the net knew Stephen. So why change it? The reason my boat is called Milly M and not Maffi Mushkila is because I really didn’t feel like remembering my time in Saudi with such a huge reminder (the name on my boat is quite big even now).
I never hide who I really am, all people have to do is ask and I will tell them about me. About Sherwood Park School, Rowan Secondary, Tamworth High, my family, my 25 years in the RAF my experiences getting robbed of a shed load of money by the fecking Arabs I worked for. I don’t need much to switch me on.
Of course I much prefer these days to be Maffi the writer. I have been published in a few magazines, I have written a pile of poetry, song lyrics, short stories, a play and I am working on a TV series (its not going well) and am working on a couple of books. When I get bored with one I do some work on the other.
I have 3 daughters and one son the three daughters have produced 6 grandkids 1 boy the rest girls. My dog is Molly. My boat, The Milly M, is named after my mother, now deceased. My father has been gone about 25 years. I am an orphan! Boo! Hoo!
Most of the rest is boring I have never been arrested although there was an incident with a gun back in the nineties but I was only doing my job so said my boss and my Group Captain. The Provost were livid but I was fire proof, and any way no one died. After leaving the RAF I worked mostly in the Middle East Oman, Kuwait, Saudi see here.
I am probably one of the most boring people you will ever meet, but I do have manners. I am a good writer, but I am lazy so I don’t push myself. This is why I am not widely published. If I correct you spelling/grammar don’t be offended I just cant stop myself. It would be easier to stop breathing. If you see me turning blue it means I am holding back.
I am not ashamed of who I am or what I have done in my life, that’s for you to worry about you paid me to do it.
I am writing this because there are a lot of people on the water today who don’t know this stuff.
Of course there are people who pick up on the fact that I use another name, but then so did George Orwell, George Elliot, Mark Twain, there is a long list. Who knows Robert Allen Zimmerman, (Bob Dylan). Harry Webb (Cliff Richards). Did you know that Henry Deutchendorf was once the highest paid performer in the USA? You of course would know him as John Denver. There is no shame in reinventing yourself as you see I am not the first and I certainly wont be the last.
Do not accuse me of being false or hiding because that is not the case. If I write something you have a name and a picture always! Its not a picture of a dog/cat/horse etc its me. When you see my boat you will see me on it. In the nine years I have been aboard I have only stayed off it for little over one month usually just two days at a time. If you have met me you will know I am straight (no not that straight). I like a laugh and a pint, and I love to be in company. I love to help people. When it comes to the internet I am so transparent.
Of course others are not so transparent. They are a pain in the anonymous!