Patrick was a wayward child who could not speak until he was four and ran away from boarding school. A disappointment to his parents and the despair of his teachers, he lacked the normal abilities that young people acquire as they grow up.
After being sacked from his job, Patrick decided to try his fortunes overseas. A timid traveller and always obedient to authority, how did he come to the attention of the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Los Angeles Police Departments South Africa's Bureau of State Security and Rhodesia's BSA Police? And why did he come to be in police custody in Tanganyika and the first white man deported by newly independent Kenya?
Back in England, Patrick's CV was no conducive to gainful employment of the kind enjoyed by his peers: encyclopaedia salesman, nomadic field-hand, lavatory cleaner, bear-chaser, baggage-smasher, waitress (yes!), factory labourer, scullion. The BBC offered sanctuary as a clerk, with few prospects of advancement. After five years of entertaining if ill-paid work in an office full of colourful misfits, Patrick fell into the embrace of the Civil Service.
A trainee again at the age of 30, could things improve? Things could, but not without a catalogue of mishaps on the way. Patrick's propensity for bright ideas tended towards disaster, including a national crisis when he set in train the events that culminated in Black Wednesday.