Heading for the finish line…

pink shirt

Pretty much neglected my blog in recent months partly because my job has been full on but also because I’m still between houses. The old house is still up for sale after nearly a year so I’m currently in a rental till it sells. The downside of that is most of my things are packed and so doing anything from music, art, writing or study is just so onerous it doesn’t get done. Complicating life even more is that I’m also now between jobs.

When I returned to Geordieland back in November I took a six-month agency job thinking that the house would sell during that time but since it hasn’t I’ve taken a permanent role starting 1st August. The new job is working with children and young people who are looked after by the local authority and so is certainly within my skill set. With retirement only 21 months away it’s probably an appropriate way to end my 50 years of non-stop full-time working as I head for the finish line.

In the Autumn of my years….

Along life’s road I can’t deny I’ve been deeply hurt by people I trusted and like anyone I have regrets. It takes real strength to overcome some of the most painful things in life and more often than not, years. Sadly some things can never be excorsised and so we have to learn to live with some pains and manage them as best we can.

Thankfully in life there is balance and things come along to feed and nurture our souls. When my daughter’s daughter gave birth to her daughter I almost felt reborn. When I hold her and look at her I see a beautiful pure little being who I am so blessed to have in my life, in the autumn of my years. X 

I’m behind with everything but I’m happy

The past four months have been really challenging and exhausting since my lady broke her leg; as well as keeping my job down I’ve naturally also had to step up to the plate and become her main carer. Her leg has been plastered since 6 June and although she is hoping to have it taken off on Friday we remain concerned because there is still a lot of pain, needing morphine and other pain killers which suggests it isn’t fully healed yet. To say I’m physically tired is an understatement.

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desk

(Acrylic on canvas. A welcome to young people above my desk)

My day job is at a Young Persons Trust as the Outreach Worker and as you might imagine, though it’s a fantastic job, it can be demanding. Recently we have just had a further three years funding to deliver a more intergenerational service (called Point Across Communities) and so there’s been even more to do in terms of preparation before the project begins proper. My role has been about creating a new database and to brand our organisation which has had something of an impact on my mental energy. It’s been literally years since I picked up a paintbrush but found myself having to make the effort in order to grab people’s attention – on the plus side it’s been good practice for when I get round to creating my Gibraltar Art to compliment my RockHeart memoir. Due to my workload I’ve had no annual leave yet at all this year and so I’m really looking forward to having a ten day break from Friday.

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(A work-in-progress inviting visitors to feedback on our service)

For several reasons over recent years I’ve had to put my studies on hold but with everything being work-work-work lately I have decided to resume them from October as they are something I feel are for me personally and I want to try and improve my work-life balance. Having said that I’m also in the middle of editing my recent memoir RockHeart and so there’s little room in my mind for much else. I suppose the truth is that I’m behind with everything…but I’m happy 🙂 Hope you are too. Alan 🙂

From Harbour Village

(Photo taken today from Harbour Village overlooking Goodwick breakwater)

National Play Day

Today was National Play Day and as part of the Flying Start Team in Wales I spent the day at Scolton Manor, Haverfordwest; the idea of a Play Day was for children to put their iPads away and get involved in some traditional play activities. Among the varied activities were all sorts of field games, treasure hunts, face painting and more; in my tent we made shoe box guitars with the children after which we had sing songs with the children playing their new instruments.

During the course of the day we had 21 workshops with 8 children in each workshop and so had a total of 168 children through our little sessions. A really nice day for everyone – especially me 🙂 

A day out with my daughter. I am a man blessed.

Recently I’ve been writing memoirs and reflections about my life forty years ago and one of the things that occurred to me was how much I missed being a young daddy. As I write my daily blog (see memoirsofgibraltar.com ) I sometimes wonder where the past forty years went but take heart and comfort (in my Autumn years) from the closeness I still have with my children. Today I spent a magical day out with my eldest daughter who very much shares my sense of humour and it’s been totally lovely.

Forty years ago I adored my child……….


Forty years later no change, I still adore my child.


I am a man blessed X