January 2023


Today I discovered on on of my periodic trawling exercises on Facebook that someone who was once upon a time very important to me, died back in September. May they rest in peace and rise in glory, indeed.

This gave me the opportunity to reflect on that time in my life, where I was going through so many changes, mostly to my character, some to my place of living, some to my outline plans for the future. Certainly it was a time of major upheaval in my life, passing my motorbike test, moving house, learning to live my life in a post-cancer world and upheavals in my career and starting to do part time lecturing at Southbank Uni and the London School of Economics. My good friend Fiona moved back home to Australia around then so I was a bit out on a limb, and I had not met BFF Adam yet so…

I remember borrowing my flatmate's car and driving to St Barts each night for visiting. This went on for so many months. Some evenings I was so upset I could not drive so got the 56 bus from Upper Street. Flatmate Ricky was good at just watching over me, but as I remember all I can really feel about that time was an overarching pressure and twilight. Of course that all came to an end, I bought a townhouse down in the Wild West that was Kings X and my weekends were spent catching the train to Axminster on a Friday night and back on the Sunday. Yes that 1994-96 time was one of great change, events good and bad - or worse, but certainly all character forming and set the ground for the next 25 years!

What happened previously?

During Covid time I had very little to write about, so I stopped. My time as Grand Commander of OSMTH which continued throughout that period still went on, but online. Keeping monthly meetings of 23 different countries, and my monthly management meeting kept me occupied in what was very difficult circumstances. Once the C-19 immediate danger passed then it was back to normal.

During C-19 I did not realise that not seeing people - friends and neighbours mostly - would impact me quite so much. Our young friend who we saw as a bump was born safely and healthily but he was quite the toddler when we did get to meet him in November 2022! Neighbours Jams and Loretta kept us going with cake now and again and my many online consultations with various University of Dundee professors kept me alive.

I was elected for the final 2022-2025 period of being Grand Commander in Bulgaria in October 2022. I think my final years will give me just enough time to find a legacy to leave, so I shall be working on making the Order the most fit it can be for operating in the 21st century… After 2025 who knows what for me. Perhaps, if I am spared, I will start my journey towards being The Bonnetmaker!