My Grandmother, my sister and my niece 


Found this lovely #blastfromthepast photo of my grandmother Hannah, my sister Kerrie and my niece Mia which I love. It was probably taken in the seventies up in Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear where they lived. Sadly Hannah and Kerrie have passed away now but MIA still lives in Rowlands Gill and we Remain very close X 


(2016 With MIA in Newcastle) 

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 

Sometimes even a writer is lost for words

For about a year before I retired I’d been mooting the idea of treating myself to an old classic convertible. I had one years ago (An Emerald Green Triumph Spitfire which I loved but traded in for a caravette when our then dog Bodie became poorly which I used to take him on a last holiday to the Lake District).

Today my fab son in law Dan took me into an old barn on some excuse and said ‘Happy (early) 60th birthday’ pointing at something. It appears he and my lovely daughter Benita had bought me this Rover convertible in British Racing Green and he had spent months stripping it down and restoring it.

With the engine running and John Lennon coming through the sound system I was left speechless. I’m totally humbled but very very proud to have such a loving, thoughtful and generous family; although Dan still needs to finish off the car (put the seats back in) he had no option but to show me the car today as he has to move it out of the barn as the farmer needs the storage space. After the past few weeks I’ve had the surprise was a wonderful tonic; thank you so much Dan And Beats. X x love daddy x x

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To Australia with love…

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On Monday our beautiful grandchildren emigrate to Australia and so we spent a last day with them today at the coast; Skegness. Having lived abroad a couple of times (India and Gibraltar) we know it’s a wonderful opportunity for the children although from a selfish point of view there’s no doubt we’ll miss them. If there is one consolation these days it has to be technology because it’s made this world much smaller and easier to stay in touch with loved ones wherever they are. I guess it’s one of those times when I’m excited (for them) and sad (for us) both at the same time. Wherever they are, they always have our love x x

Time with my family…

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My lovely daughter Benita and her hubby Dan are with us for the weekend (up from Wales) with the kids as they travel north to go camping for a couple of weeks in the Whitby area. The nicest thing about our impending move to Wales is that we will get to see them all on a more regular basis.

Old friends

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Really nice to meet up with my old friend and reader Brian Pears in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, while I was in the North East. As always we put the world to rights, in particular the education system and social care while we had a cup of tea. Newcastle truly does have talent! And what Brian doesn’t carry in that shoulder bag of his really isn’t worth carrying!

Naturally while in the North East we also caught up with my family Tracey, Bubbles, Mia, Elisha and Eden; great to see everyone x x CU all again real soon x x

Private Journey

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Between 1989 and 1995 I went through a period of reflection during which I had quite heavy counselling; the past seemed to have caught up with me and I wasn’t in a good place. At the time I was well known in the press for my artwork and so my counsellor suggested I used my art skills to depict my feelings. Over a period of about a year I sketched at bedtime on bits of paper and the backs of envelopes and this collection is the result. ‘Private Journey’ became the first of three exhibitions I would stage, the second being ‘Journeyman’ and the last being ‘Journey’s End’ in 1995. I haven’t exhibited since. I deliberately haven’t given these sketches a clean up because I prefer them to remain in their raw, organic state.

Through my work over the years with vulnerable adults and children I have often encouraged people to use their creative skills as a way to address some of the pains they have experienced in life and have become a firm advocate of Creative Arts Therapy. As time goes by and I continue to develop my website I will, at some point, come round to uploading the other two exhibitions as (like Private Journey) they are a major part of my biography. Meanwhile if you would like to see this collection please click on either the link below or the one above x

https://spailpinfanac.com/private-journey/

Having a ‘down’ day? No. I don’t think so.

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Life has had it’s ups and downs. When I have down days one of my strategies is to count my blessings and one of my most cherished blessings is my family. This picture shows just a few of my Motley Crew and just looking at a picture like this lifts my mood and gives me the strength to face anything. Although I woke up feeling quite low today I’m feeling better already.