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.



(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.


(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)


A turning point in my life…

Ferreting through hundreds of sketches up in my man cave this little one jumped out at me. It’s from my sketch book of 1992/93 and shows me with my granddaughter Katie (aka Bubbles). The sketch on the far left shows me on walkabout with a papoose under my coat and a little head can just be seen peeping out. 

Although the artwork would never make the Tate gallery the sentiment is priceless to me. Bubbles arrived at a time when I was in a very dark place and having her in my life became a turning point, it gave me hope back. Finding these little sketches have made this old man very happy, particularly so because Bubbles and I have remained close to this day X 

Just a buskers memory…

I played a solo gig back in the 90s I think in a seedy suburb of Nottingham because I needed the money. It’s when you touch base with the under belly of a place that you sort of start having an empathy with it. Half way through Bob Dylan’s Times are a Changing the place was raided by police for drugs and sex workers and a guy was stabbed in front of me. This is just a pastel I did to record the event. I always meant to do something more elaborate but you know what, I don’t see the point. Sometimes it’s just better to be organic and leave things as they were.

Memoirs of Gibraltar

Some readers have asked me for the link to my Gibraltar memoirs as the previous one I posted had stopped working for some reason so I’m happy to post it again.

My memoirs are called RockHeart and are currently being edited offline. However if readers would like to read them now they are very welcome to its just that the online version is chronologically in reverse order and so you will need to click the link back to the start (it’s easily done).

When RockHeart has been fully edited it will be being published into book form and all the proceeds will be given to support the Children’s Garden in Alameda, Gibraltar.



New page added today! Dixys Diner, culinary creations from a non-cook

Recently my wife broke her leg, quite badly, and has had her whole leg plastered for the next three months. As a result I naturally have stepped up to the plate as Chief Auxilliary which is a posh name for doing the necessaries. One of those necessaries is to cook the meals which sounds easy enough to most people but for a non-chef like me that’s a pretty daunting task. So for the next three months I’ve decided to record my efforts photographically and have opened a new page specially. My first meal, Pesto Chicken, is posted today. If you want to check in daily to see the culinary creations of a non-chef you’re very welcome. Just click on the page X Alan 


A few of my songs….

Hi everyone. 

I had a couple of messages asking if I would put a few of my music tracks back on the site again so they could be downloaded. I’m happy to oblige so have put a music player on the blog pages (to the right of this post or at the bottom of this page) with about seven tracks; readers are welcome to just listen to the music if they choose to or download tracks  free by clicking (right) on the track and saving it to your computer. 

All tracks are my own and all are MP3. I do have many more but they are not yet MP3 – I have to convert them from other formats e.g. WMA. Hope you enjoy these few. I’ll be taking the music player back off the site after a week. Alan 🙂 

PS Sorry the tracks aren’t properly named yet so just for now:

Track 1 – Always the Clown (Autobiographical)

Track 2 – Elegance the Lady 

Track 3 – Through the eyes of a child (For children everywhere)

Track 4 – Rhapsody in Red (40 years)

Track 5 – Xanders Theme (Instrumental piano for my grandson)

Track 6 – Endless Days (From my Journeys End exhibition – see page) Live Rock/Blues

Track 7 – Goa my heart, Goa my soul (Memories of Indoa 2007-9)