. . . for my kids. . . and good friends

What holds all this together?

It occurs to me that this blog may look a bit of a rag-bag. Random would seem to sum it up. In praise of juicers; the impact of globalisation; investing on the AIM; the relevance of Dutch consensus democracy to Lebanon; what next?

I guess you have to regard it as a kind of survival guide to this crazy world, from someone who's still finding every day fun and worthwhile. I'm writing it for my kids (five and two halves of them), for my friends (some of whom I've known for over 50 years) and for anyone else who finds it . . .

So the simple answer to the question above is, me. My interests, insights and obsessions. Stuff I've picked up on the journey, which began a long time ago as an early member of the baby-boom generation.

My mother is now 92 and I'm increasingly aware that my access to my own history is disappearing by the day. She has kept a simple diary, in tiny writing, for most of her adult life. Disconcertingly, she told me a few months ago that she'd thrown them all away by mistake. It's unlikely, as I think they're buried in a box at the bottom of her storage cupboard. I shall find out soon enough.

My father died when he was just 80. A former local newspaper editor, he'd settled down, eventually, after retirement and chronicled much of his own life; before and after the war. And, fascinatingly his childhood between Derby and Manchester where he recounts rivetingly the tales that his old relatives passed to him about rural Derbyshire life in the mid 19th century.

So it doesn't surprise me that I've started down this track myself; not really knowing why or where I'm heading. I had writers' block for about four years, until I understood who this was for and now, as you can see, it's pouring out!

If I'm interested in where I've come from, then it's probable my own children may want access to similar background. And as, sadly, I don't see much of them (since the divorce), the responsibility is mine to make it available.

Having spend my life writing and broadcasting, I was never going to abandon those skills and turn into a cosy diaryist. I don't have the inclination, imagination nor probably the talent to write a novel. And I like the chaotic and free-form nature of this blog -- whatever takes my fancy, day by day.

Perhaps, one day I'll manoeuver it into some kind of order; or not. Still it might be helpful to have a bit of a time-line from which to hang it. And that might enable the passing reader to make more sense of these notes from a hurrying man (apologies to Brian Patten) hurtling towards the future.

Reluctantly, in these times of identity theft, I've decided to put the timeline itself in the password protected section of this site, called The Family Room.  Below is a truncated version that tries not to give away too many personal details but still helps to explain what holds all this together!!

I was born in the Midlands, which explains the football team I support; we sooon moved to S Wales, which explains my brother's team; then to the NW, which is why I retain a soft-spot for a couple of the teams there.

I grew up and went to school under an hour's train ride from London; after Oxford I joined the BBC; married and left to live self-sufficiently on a tiny-holding on the Welsh borders; rejoined as a freelance, working for File on Four, The Today Programme, 24 Hours, and On the Record. By then I was married again, living in border country between London and Porsmouth.

Parliament, communications consultancy, foreign reporting, four children and a move to the MIddle East to open everyone's horizons. The family went back, I never did really; they've all done well; me too. Built a media training and development NGO with EU funding, worked with Al Jazeera and most of the big MENA TV and media organisations.

Then a master's degree in social development; a second move to the Middle East and the transformatory involvement with a bedouin family in Wadi Rum. Now based in Amsterdam, the Dead Sea, Aqaba and the UK, developing sustainable tourism, lecturing on inter-cultural communications, seeking new challenges and waiting to move to Africa, via the Middle East in 2014.



Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 06:20  

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