A light at the end of the tunnel 

It’s been a long time since I’ve been under the kind of stress I’ve endured for the past four months and looking back I’m not even sure if I’ve ever been under such stress. And though I know there will be an end to it at some point it sometimes is hard to imagine that until all of a sudden something happens and then you know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Twenty five years ago I carried my granddaughter Bubbles (also known as Katie) everywhere in a papoose come rain or shine and today she sent me the scan photos of the child she is carrying who will arrive and grace our family in February. I’ve always seemed to have a knack at guessing the gender of an unborn; I was right with all of my children and grandchildren. Some months ago I decreed that my Great-Grandchild would be a girl even though everyone else in the family insisted it would be a boy.

Today I was thrilled to receive these scan photos of my beautiful little grandchild who is very much the light at the end of my tunnel; and I can barely wait to to go walk about with said child in the brand new papoose my daughter has bought for me. No doubt I will need to once again practice putting bobbles in the hair as I did for both my daughter and my granddaughter although in my wildest dreams I never imagined I’d be doing that for my great-granddaughter too! I am the most blessed of men with no words to describe the excitement I feel as I look forward to meeting Olivia. My little lovely great-granddaughter Olivia X 


Spailpinfanac, a definition.

So sadly the bungalow we planned to buy didn’t stand up to a structural survey and so that is now off the cards. However since our house is sold we are still planning to move mid November and rent a house in the North East while we look for one to buy. That said we are still upbeat and happy really that we didn’t invest and lose a lot of our capital.

At sometime during this week I will give notice to resign my job; interviews were held today and it looks like my replacement will arrive 5 November so it’s all beginning to become quite real now. I have mixed feelings in that I will miss my wonderful colleagues but my excitement at moving back to my homeland is all encompassing. I have applied for several jobs and will not apply for any more now until I hear back from those. 

Over the years we have lived in four different countries and so we are quite nomadic and I’ve been very fortunate to have personally visited dozens of countries across the world. During a visit to Eire a few years ago I found myself sat in a pub in Cork during the Folk Festival. The pub was called An Spailpin Fanac and the name totally fascinated me. More so when I asked for a translation and was told The Wandering Labourer.

With a heavy heart…

So the way things are we will definitely be moving to Geordieland on 10 November as our house is sold following the survey and the legal beagles have agreed to work to that date as the new owners have all of their finance in place. Three vans will come down from the north to collect our stuff that we are currently packing although where they will take it to is not yet clear.

We had our offer on the bungalow accepted and then sent in our surveyor who’s report we are still waiting for. His report could say one of three things: yes all is well and so proceed, no all is not well and so don’t proceed or because of x, y or z we need to renegotiate the price. The worst case scenario is the last one of course and if that be the case we have decided we will rent somewhere while we look for another des res but with a bit of luck it will be the best case scenario. Whatever the case we will know over the next couple of days.

Since things are imminent I have alerted my manager and so I am obliged to give one months notice to leave the wonderful job I’ve enjoyed for the past two years on 9 October and it’s with a heavy heart I’ve begun doing that.

Every great change is preceded by chaos (Deepak Chopra)

As I prepare to move from Wales to my hometown Newcastle I find myself in the middle of a multitude of transitions all with very heavy issues demanding of my mental resources. Selling a house, buying a house, preparing to resign a job I love while applying for a similar one in the north east my main aim is staying focused while trying to find the time to stay cool and carry on. Even positive change has its challenges and on a daily basis I find myself addressing these while working at keeping something of a normal life rolling.

Since 1974 I’ve followed a Buddhist path in life and in times like this I find it very comforting. Having worked full time non-stop since 1971 I’ve also been acutely aware that the world does not owe me a living and if I want something in life there is often no gain without pain.

Having said that I am a very positive man and often take great comfort from the simple quotes given to us all by the greatest of thinkers. This quote from Deepak Chopra has always resonated with me and no less so than at this moment in my life.

Family Sunday Lunch

Tomorrow I return to Wales after a lovely long weekend in Geordieland but not before enjoying a Sunday lunch with my family in Gateshead.

Left to right is Carol, daughter Tracey, me, niece Mia, Mia’s boyfriend John, Granddaughter Katie and her fiancé Luke.

The weekend has been a whirlwind in terms of buying a house and touching base in so many familiar places in the North East and though I’m physically tired I feel very much mentally rested and loved. #blessed

Snowdonia Nature Park

Yesterday I drove up from Wales to geordieland to view the new bungalow. It was a dreadful journey of nearly twelve hours in the fog, the rain and traffic though periodically I pulled over for a break.

On one such rest I spotted this lovely sculpture which I thought I’d like to share. Meanwhile I’m looking forward to checking out the new des res this afternoon and hopefully will get some good photos:)