…being the oldie I am…

Hallowaah! Just an update about my Twitter. I did deactivate it for a while but (being the oldie I am I can’t even remember why). Then – some time later I started it again but (being the oldie I am) forgot to tell my readers here on my website. On top of that when you deactivate Twitter it totally disappears (unlike Facebook) and then when you go back on you have to start from scratch. Anyway with all that said if you would like to follow me on Twitter I am @spailpinfanac and it would be great to have you there. Alan X 


The boy is moving on…



Today I had the call to formally offer me my new job and I formally accepted and so I’m very excited.

Plant Dewi is the Diocese of St David’s very own Children’s Project, where families matter. They believe in strengthening families, nurturing children and building communities. Their projects are available to help parents, children and young people to receive the local support they need and they work throughout South West Wales in the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. I’ve put a link to their website if you’d like to have a look.

My role is Project Worker working partly with the Dadventure programme delivering Parenting Support Programmes to Dad’s of all kinds (foster Dads, single Dad’d, expectant Dads…) and partly with families who have children 0-4 years old.

Hopefully after relevant DBS checks and references I will be moving to Wales sometime in August to start my new job in September so between now and then I’m going to be a bit of a busy bunny. I’ll miss the crew I work with in Nottinghamshire but hopefully we’ll all keep in touch somehow. Meanwhile…Jai Ho!!



Many of my readers will be aware that my website is my autobiography and that the first chapter (Manboy Geordie) is already published here. Today I’ve opened a new page for my second chapter called ‘Sailor Daze’ (no it isn’t a misspelling) to chart my Naval Service between 1971 and 1981. Part 1 is a series of memoirs from my basic training at H.M.S. Raleigh and is published now and available to read. As I add new parts to this chapter I’ll put an alert here on my home page or alternatively readers may want to click the button to get email update alerts.

I hope you enjoy my stories and anecdotes from this ten year period in my life when I served on several warships and travelled extensively all over the world and if you are ex-RN or serving RN I’d love to hear from you and read a few of your tales.

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

Private Journey


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


Silence is (not always) golden.

Image Continuing my drive to restore old artwork from many moons ago I’ve just opened a new page called ‘Silence is (not always) golden. I produced this booklet in 1993 in support of a Development Worker for Deaf People and it wasn’t until I had done this work that I realised how difficult life could be for people without hearing. In some ways it was something of a wake-up call for me because the message conveyed in the booklet seemed to resonate in my own day job of working with vulnerable adults and children. Today I get the feeling there is still something contemporary about it which I think is another good reason to republish.


A brief pit-stop…


Just a brief pit-stop between preparing for a job interview on Thursday to say hope you are enjoying the sunshine. Thank you for your warm messages of support and the ‘likes’ you have been putting on my posts, they really are uplifting. Whatever the outcome of my interview I’ll let you all know. Fingers crossed xx

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

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

mothers day

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.