My name is John Nixon and my Internet handle is TheSupercargo. Although I have lived for most of my adult life in Sweden, I was born and brought up in Britain and when I write creatively I write in English.
I write fiction, poetry and biography. I also have a long experience of writing material for education. I translate other people’s writing from Swedish to English and also edit other people’s English language texts.
Apart from writing and translating I take photographs, make illustrations, pretend to be a web designer and mess about on the Internet. I am also working to become my own publisher.
Read more about me by clicking on the labels below.
I have been writing for most of my life. I can’t remember when I started, but it must be sometime after my 7th birthday. (The picture to the right here shows me when I was a student at Leeds University aged about 20.)
In my teens I started writing stories and poems that I submitted to magazines and anthologies. As long as I remembered to include a stamped, self-addressed envelop, they were returned. On one occasion some poems were accepted by a small press magazine. Oh, the excitement! But the magazine died before my poems appeared. (And they never came back.)
On the other hand I sometimes managed to get reviews and essays published, and I started writing and using my own teaching material soon after becoming a teacher in 1982. However, all through my twenties and into my thirties I wrote my stories and poems mostly for the desk drawer. There was a fallow period and then came the Internet.
Nowadays I publish selected poems and short stories here under Articulations.
I have been known to participate in word games on Twitter.
I started taking photographs when I was about 8 or 9 years old when I learned to use my mother’s Kodak Box Brownie. Over the years I worked my way through a number of different cameras from the ridiculous (a 110 mm ‘spy’ camera) to the sublime (an Agfa Isolette with a bellows front). Today I’ve joined the digital age and currently I use a Canon Powershot SX50 HS and a dinky little Sony Cybershot DSC-HX90.
Between September 2012 and November 2014 I published a daily photograph from Gothenburg on GBG365.
You can read more about me as a photographer here.
I was going to write “artist” here, but I think that might be going a bit far. Even “illustrator” is pushing it. However I do make my own pictures – not just photographs – to illustrate my blogs, poems and stories. Sometimes I even make pictures just for the hell of it. These get published among my Articulations.
Although I don’t have a certificate (and so cannot undertake legal or medical translations) I do translate Swedish texts to English.
Please note, you should always employ a translator to translate into his or her mother tongue. I do not make translations from English to Swedish!
The most of my experience is with technical translations in the mechanical engineering and chemical engineering fields, and with translations of texts for educational purposes. I also occasionally undertake jobs where I translate websites or parts of websites. Contact me here.
I’ve been doing Mera’s News Quiz for 12+ years now. I translate the questions for their weekly “News Quiz” to English. I do this for 36 weeks each year during the Swedish schools’ term time. I also write the weekly “Commentary” with extra information and links to what I hope are interesting and relevant websites.
I’ve been working for Medtech4Health on their website since April 2017.
Sometimes I carry out English editing – proof-reading texts in English and/or correcting other people’s translations. If you need help with a text you are writing or translating, once again – feel free to contact me.
When I was setting up my own website years ago, I realised that while “John Nixon” is a fairly unusual name in Sweden, globally it isn’t. I felt I needed a moniker to distinguish myself. “TheSupercargo” came to hand.
Originally the supercargo was the person aboard a merchant ship with responsibility for the cargo. On this voyage – on this web-ship – I am responsible for everything you see. I am my own supercargo – I am TheSupercargo!
How did I light on the name in the first place, you ask? Gothenburg, my adopted home, was the hometown also of the Swedish East India Company (Svenska ostindiska kompaniet). Founded in 1731, the first supercargo was Colin Campbell, a Scot. I am remotely Scots (Nixon is a borders name). It seemed like a good enough reason to appropriate the title.
Sadly the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) doesn’t think I ought to call myself TheSupercargo – apparently there are still supercargoes out in real the world. Consequently my company name (as of September 2014) is SC Words and Images. (Previously it was John Nixon English Language Services.)
In the illo William Hartnell and Peter Capaldi are the first and most recent incarnations of Dr Who, Roger Delgardo and Michelle Gomez play the first and most recent incarnations of The Master, Colin Campbell and I (in pirate mode) represent the first and latest incarnations of TheSupercargo. [I’m going to have to update this illo soon, I know!]