Category Archives: Prose

Stuff & nonsense

He’s Back!!

So today I returned to work for 1/2 a day & everyone seemed pleased to see me – initial butterflies were soon overcome and it all well well so the phased return is on until I take 2 weeks leave in eight days time.
Happiness is a warm abacus!

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Mummy’s Boy

I was always a mummy’s boy – clinging onto my mum’s apron strings!
One of my first memories is a knee high view of my mum’s legs and the hem of her coat in the local Post Office – I milled around the shop floor as she queued and chatted, keeping an eye on her legs and coat periodically. Although kids have no concept of the passage of time I finally wondered what was taking so long and looked up my mum’s legs, over her coat to her face to find …it wasn’t her at all – mum had left the Post Office and forgotten she had little me with her. She burst back into the shop at that moment having realised the error (it was very out of character for her and she was suitably upset about it).
Despite what this anecdote might suggest, my mum was a wonderful parent and brought me up as a well mannered boy who always thought the best of people and I grew up with a huge desire to be liked and loved by everyone that I met.
Entering the world of work meant that I came up against new human sub-species with an entirely different outlook on life; there was the world weary, jaundiced veteran who knew the company was out to screw them as were all of their colleagues, there was the cynical opportunist who didn’t care who they stabbed on their way to the top and there were many other undesirables who eroded my rose tinted view of the world.
Over time I myself signed on the line for Mammon Plc and was promoted, accepting the need to scrap the company’s final salary pension scheme and ruthlessly letting colleagues go when business needs demanded it.
As senior manager & Director of various organisations I guess tough decisions come with the territory but sometimes they and the internal politics of organisations can wear you down to the point where you question your own values.
I grew to dislike what I had become – where was that fresh-faced kid who just wanted to be loved & who believed that everyone out there was intrinsically good?
I think that’s why I grew to like Twitter once I understood how to use it (yes it did take me a little while to grasp how it worked ….ahem!)
It seemed that on Twitter the vast majority of people were really friendly and keen to assist whatever your query. I entered into the spirit of things and began to regain my own self belief – I enjoyed helping others & actually got a huge kick out of doing so.
Chatting with people on Twitter has made me challenge myself and what I want from life to the extent that I am on the verge of carrying out a Life Laundry / Life Audit to see where that takes me.
Of course Twitter is no panacea and there are some rogues on there who have really upset people but overall I think it works well.
As I have covered extensively in recent blogs, I have just lost one of my closest Twitter friends who has chosen to stop using the service and as the days pass my initial reaction is changing. I am now certain that I have over-reacted to what was ostensibly a well-meaning act.
Although I will definitely miss my friend – she has done what she feels is best and I respect her for doing that & I hope things work out well for her.

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Work

Well I’ve had my eyes closed & counted to 100 – I’m coming back ready or not!

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Milestone

Yesterday my youngest son took his final GCSE exam and, in doing so wore his school uniform for the very last time.
At six foot two with a handsome maturity he was beginning to look a little incongruous – like a man masquerading as a school boy so to an extent I am relieved that he can shed this particular skin.
Now he has a long & deserved rest before embarking on his A Level choices and no matter how many times his brother or we his parents tell him, he has no concept of how much more difficult his studies will be when he returns.
….
I love both of my sons equally but recognise that love has evolved over the years.
Once, they were small enough to be scooped up in my arms & tipped upside down with a giggle. They would run to me with open arms & smiling faces as I returned from work each day and my love for them was almost painful – it was heady, intense and manic and tinged with a fear that two so precious could surely only be on loan to me for a short time.
Now, that love remains unconditional, remains deep and enduring but with less intensity – now it is shaded with respect for their developing maturity, concern for the pressures they face in their lives ahead. Every day it seems I am surprised by their superior knowledge of science and history – when did I cease to be the oracle? Of course they can be enormously annoying and frustrating but even that cannot diminish the underlying love.
Undoubtedly my love for my boys will continue to evolve as the years pass no matter what occurs and the pride already present will certainly be reinforced.
So, no longer will we wash all those grey school sweatshirts, white polo shirts & black stay-pressed trousers. Another chapter closed – a new one just begun.

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Support is a wonderful thing

This has been a tough week.

Today however has been a good day.

Today I was privileged to be present at a meeting called at some urgency to explore the options available to a friend whose business is under threat.

The privilege derives from witnessing the beauty of a perfect support network – my friend was accompanied by her boyfriend, her Mum, her step-Dad and her accountant.

The meeting was full of good humour & topped-off with keen business acumen from Dave the accountant and business advisor yet the overwhelming impression that I took away with me was one of love.

Love of a mother concerned for her daughter’s wellbeing and that of her grandchildren. Love of a boyfriend already acutely aware of his girlfriend’s business and what it means to her. Finally, it may be stretching things a little but there was even a form of love in the close friendship and respect between Dave and his client.

The result of the meeting was that a strategy has been formed for the survival of the business. It remains fragile and tough times are ahead but my friend’s company that means so much to her will surely be around for some time to come.

And what of me? I tagged along for the ride to help if I could – a not entirely altruistic act for as I reflect on the day I recognise that in offering to help a friend I got a real kick and I feel good about myself for the first time in ages.

So I experienced a beautiful thing today, I feel good and I shall sleep well tonight!

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For Dad

Dad you are so peaceful now.

You finally found the switch to turn out your light and take the long sleep you had asked for but was not ours to give.

You are at peace – what happened to that Grammar School boy, that fast rugby full-back, that mind which cracked the daily crossword and the codes at GCHQ?

That same mind whose wires became crossed & whose messages became scrambled causing you such confusion and frustration in these last few years.

You carried us on your shoulders once, strode out across the fells & dales, you provided a safe and loving home. Then it was our turn to carry you & wipe your brow & try to keep your dignity intact.

Now you are gone, you’ve broken out of the prison of your illness to fly free on the breeze and we are happy for you.

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