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) 

Old friends

brian alan saltwell

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

My Art is on Twitter @AlanDDixon (Spailpinfanac)

With retirement looming it’s been really nice to have quite a lot of interest in my artwork (from around the world); having been a freelance artist for about 35 years I’ve always known I would never starve as long as I can use a pencil. Although I’m hoping (at some point) to upload all of my artwork here on my website much of my new art (for now) goes directly onto my Twitter account because of the ‘Arty’ connections on there. If you’re one of my Arty-type readers and want to see  new art as it happens please feel free to join me on Twitter @AlanDDixon (or just type in Spailpinfanac into the Twitter browser). Meanwhile here’s a few pix to brighten your day xcollage1 collage2 collage3

Trevor Morpeth, a true blessing in my life

alan & uncle trevor

I spent years searching for him and wasn't disappointed 
when I finally did.It was like finding a piece of my own 
life's jigsaw that made sense of the whole messy picture. 
Charismatic and funny he took away a lot of the 
heartache I had carried around through not knowing what 
I desperately needed to know;  strangely his need to tell 
me was as strong as my need to listen to his every word. 

Before I met him he was my father's brother - the father 
who for fifty years I had mentally castigated and crucified 
for the disgraceful way he had treated his family. When I 
left - my father became Dad, a man who I could look up to 
and be proud to be called his son: and my Dad's brother 
became my uncle. My only uncle. Uncle Trevor. Someone who 
to me was almost like an older twin brother.

I was blessed to have spent time with my Uncle Trevor and 
loved our similarities - the cheekiness of his facial 
expressions, his sense of humour, his broad accent. When I 
walked into his home he almost collapsed thinking I was my 
Dad screaming 'Bloody hell it's Charlie!'. When he realised 
I wasn't we both fell about. 

I will be at his service on Friday in Geordieland, tucked 
quietly away somewhere among the gathered. It will be a 
flying visit for me, such is life, not just to pay my 
respects. But also to say thank you (with love x).


ManBoy Geordie. Memoirs of a child in care.

south-shields-1958A few new readers asked if I would republish my memoirs of life in a children’s home and through foster care. I had taken them off to do a sort of final edit but have put them back on line because of the recent interest. There are four chapters which detail the breakdown of my family, life in a children’s home and my subsequent move into foster care. They were difficult memoirs to write and there have been times when I’ve questioned why I wrote them. I think initially, as a displaced child, I had a great need to make some sort of sense of my life and put things in their proper place. Having worked in the social care profession for 25 years I now know how important life story work is and how healing it can be. I think I somehow had the idea too that my writings might be helpful to others brought up in similar situations and be a catalyst  giving them courage to face their own demons, although I afterwards felt that to be patronising and arrogant.

These days it isn’t unusual to see dozens of books on sale written by people who have had dreadfully abusive childhoods and it’s very easy to become cynical or fed up with hearing people bleating on – and I can equate with that. Readers of this post (or those who read my memoirs) are very welcome to express whatever they feel about my writings; I’m a big boy now, far removed from the vulnerable little man in the photograph. I’m also incredibly strong mentally; probably due in part to having the balls to stare pain straight in the eye because if I’ve learned anything I know that’s what takes it’s power away.

ManBoy Geordie chapters 1 to 4 are here on my website and readers are very welcome to read and comment as they wish


Today I met one of my followers!

Today has been an amazing day for me in that I met and spent time with one of my followers, Brian Pears. Brian has followed my blog for some time and helped me put together some of my childhood history through his own research which has been so priceless for me.

We met in Saltwell Park, Newcastle on Tyne, had a cup of tea, a walk around the lake and chattered about life in the north east, my life and his life. In the short time we spent together our virtual friendship became a real one which I hope will be an enduring one. Such things to me are what the Internet is really about. Take care Brian, and Jai Ho!