My Intro

My photo
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Real Name Steve. Once went to prison for a month. Now a full time carer. Part romany/part tyke. Father and Step-father, Grandad to 14 superb kids. Was an RMN. Was qualified Fitter, Was a Shop manager, Was a Warehouse manager. Was a retail assistant/floor fitter. was a plastics fabricator/glass fibre laminator. Was a Boat builder. The best job I've ever held is the one I hold now, caring for the woman I love and who has stood by me for these last 9 years.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I have previously mentioned that I was mis-diagnosed as being "educationally subnormal" as the term in use at that time went. For the sake of one reader of this blog I will repeat, this was a MIS-diagnosis, my learning was affected because of a degree of undiagnosed congenital deafness, it was much later discovered that I am dyslexic, and this affects me in sequencing and some numerical tasks mainly. Both of these disabilities/problems I have passed on to my two sons. This is often the case both with congenital ( and hereditary problems) and with dyslexia which does have a genetic component or predisoposition.

I have also mentioned that my ex-wife and I had four children. Kirsty, the second of them was born with severe spina bifida. her back was open from just under the shoulder blades right down to the base of her back. The spine itself was not complete, having 3 vertebrae either missing or malformed. This meant that had she lived longer than her 20 months, she would have remained paralysed below the waist. Kirsty was an angel on earth. She never once cried, although she experienced many invasive medical procedures, and much pain and discomfort. The smile rarely left her tiny face. In trying to be 'strong' for my ex-wife, who was devestated at Kirtsy's passing over, I never really grieved properly at that time. However, the grief was there and making itself felt in the depression, anxiety and general inability to concentrate attest. It was on the first anniversary of Kirsty's passing that these things came to a head for me.

I lost all interest in life. No one and nothing held any importance to me, including my ex, my first daughter or myself. I became listless, un focussed, lacking in motivation, unable to sleep for more than an hour without waking up screaming from the nightmares I had. I lost a great deal of weight, and was unable to accept any help from anyone, I simply felt unworthy of this as, being Kirsty's Dad, I should have been able to help her, to protect her and to make her better. This type of thinking drove me lower and lower, but at the time it made perfect sense to me, after all, that's what Dads are for! The worst symptom I endured at this time, was the 'flashbacks' I had, seeing myself carrying the tiny white casket into the church for her service. Dads shouldn't have to do this, they are supposed to escort their daughters to the alter to 'give them away' when they marry. Not to place them on a conveyor, in preparation for the burning of her final remains.

That is my enduring memory of that time, and even when, one year later my health went out of the window, no help from official sources was forthcoming. I was told that after a year I should be over it, that we could have more children, (indeed a couple of years later we did). That I still had to be strong for my ex, as she was still working through her grief, that I had to be strong for my elder daughter and many such remarks. All made by doctors etc. Eventually, friends began to avoid me, it was too uncomfortable for them to deal with me and my one track mind. I was only able to speak about Kirsty, and when I did I got angry. Angry is the best word I can use but it describes nothing of the great emotion I had inside me and threatening to consume me.

I am not going to dwell on this time except to say that the start of the turning around of this was due to a man in the village I lived in. No-one had anything good to say about this man, who had been in prison many times, he was a thief, a drug addict and dealer, a burglar and aggression was his norm. However, one day he simply walked into my home, and literally shook me. He gave me a complete verbal dressing down, backed up with lots of shouting. My initial response was to attack him, I needed to vent my hatred for the world that had taken Kirsty, and he had just volunteered as the recipient in approaching me in this way. The ensuing fight spilled into the garden outside the back door. It was short lived. I was already exhausted from lack of sleep and none existent to poor diet. When I finally collap[sed into a whimpering heap. This 'hard' man, this career criminal, got down on his knees and hugged me. He held me for what must have been 20 minutes or more, whilst all I could do was sob.

When I could cry no more, he helped me to my feet, took me back inside my home and we sat and talked from then (tea time) untill lunch time the next day. Actually I did all the talking, he simply listened, but he listened with his eyes as well as his ears, he challenged me when I started feeling sorry for myself, he made me look at my loss through different eyes, with his questions and statements. He literally saved my life, because I had been at the end of my emotional tether for a few weeks and was actively planning on ending my own life to 'be with Kirsty'. Terry, you did what was needed as it was needed and I am eternally grateful.

For any readers who wish to make comments about this aimed at trying to make me feel less of a person, it wont work. I have been to hell, and nothing on this earth compares to that. Misquotes and nasty comments do not serve the purpose you have for them. They cannot hurt me, I know pain, and words are nothing. ( Yes, dear readers, these comments have been made, but they mean nothing to me).

More soon.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Today I will discuss some of my earlier memories. Some people may not believe thuis but some situations are still there in my mind from when I was living in the first home I knew. My family left thia house when I was three so my memory appears to be able to recall from when I was even younger.

I was born in that house, a two up two down terrace in a mining village in west yorkshire. I can remeber things like, the old iron framed bed, and the gas lights in the bedrooms. Yes actual town gas run gas lights, with 'mantles' that would need periodic replacement.

The bath was an old time 'tin' bath that when not in use was hung from a nail on the back wall of the house and it would be filled by heating water on the 'york' style fire in the kitchen, which had a hob and oven. To this day I swear I have never eaten Yorkshire puddings as good as the one cooked in that coal fired kitchen range. Back to bathing, the water had to be heated in large pans and carrried to the bath which was placed in the kitchen in front of that roaring hot fire. In some houses Dad got the first bath, then mum then the kids were placed in the water that was left as it had colled enough for them by then. Not in our house though, we had seperate bath nights, and a bath in front of that chererful coal fire on a winters evening was a pleasure that remains with me to this day.

The toilet was built seperate to the house, at the far end of the yard, next door to the coal store (or coal-house as we called them). this was not a pleasure to use, especially in winter and I clearly remember having to break the ice in the toilet bowl before using it. Brrrrrr!

I also remember being one of the first families in our street to own a tv set. Younger people will not believe how wonderful this magic box was. Brainy black and white picture, that often went in 'loops# from the bottom of the approximately 12 inch screen to the top. Programmes did not start till tea time, but I distinctly remember family friends and neighbours coming to our house for some shows. I also remember that people used to clap at the end of tv plays and dramas!

It was safe to play on the road in front of the house too, cars were a rarity, and did not travel as fast as they do today. besides, everyone knew each other and kept an eye on each others kids, I thought all the people on that street were my aunties and uncles. People took great pride in their homes, sweeping the pavements outside at least weekly and using 'donkey stones' to clean the front steps. it was a game I loved to play helping mam to do ours.

I also enjoyed helping her to dust and polish the furniture, most of which was of polished wood construction. No Pledge in those days, just dusters, elbow grease and beeswax. That smell still sends me back to those happy days. That house still stands, and is lived in by people that I am related to.

Our next house was a 'council house', newly built and a world away from the previous one in the facilities it offered. It had three bedrooms, a bathroom and seperate toilet upstairs and a toilet downstairs. There was a living room, dining room and a huge kitchen and pantry.

Best of all to me, it had what at the time seemed like massive gardens front and rear. When I pass that house nowadays, the gardens look tiny, but to a 3 or 4 year old they were the place of adventure, where many a dragon or monster met it's end at the point of my sword. Where wild beasts from africa walked along side exotic creatures from asia and the americas and australia, not to mention those that would probably be more at home in the childrens books I first heard about them in. Cowboys proved their bravery against massed hordes of red indians in full war paint. Castles were there in abundance as were rivers and oceans and galleons pushed across the foaming waves on the breathe of the wind provided by that young boys very vivid imagination.

As I got older the brick built 'out-house' (actually a purpose built storgae shed) became my den. It was cramped in there and full of spiders, but I didn't mind squeezing in between my dads gardening tools, and besides, to a young lad spiders make great pets!

Whilst I lived in this house an entire new estate was built joining the one I lived on. This was built specifically to house the scots miners displaced to England by pit closures in their home country. This was a real bonus for me as the building site provided a wonderful (though looking back on it very dangerous) play ground. It also when it was finished, provided an influx of new friends. The down side to this was that the land it was built on had been a wilderness for years, thick with thorn bushes, long grasses, ferns and even a stream. This was lost as the place where my friends and I used to gather and fill our school summer holidays with adventure and fun.

More to follow......

Thursday, 11 December 2008


By the way to those of you who helped spur me into making this Blog and who I see are visiting it on a very regular basis, don't worry!

The disclosures here will be personal disclosures about myself, not about others, most of whom will, in the finest tradition of this type of writing, have their identities protected, besides, most of you are merely bit players on the stage of my life :)
Apologies for not having made another instalment as yet, health and other issues in my home life have dictated my use of time these last few days, but this journey to my inner me will continue in the next few days.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Having started on the route to self disclosure....

I find a sort of fascination as to where this may lead. An odd sort of comment, but I am far removed in time now, from events in my distant past. I now have the advantage of hindsight with which to view those events and the 'players' on that stage. I can calmly look at my own contribution to the highs and lows I have experienced, calmly yes but not always without regret. For instance in the general description of my early years I ommitted to mention my second child. I said my wife and I had three children, this was not true. We actually had four but, in an attempt to make sure her memory cannot be sullied by others I decided to leave her out of this narrative.

I have had time to reflect on that decision and now find it flawed. If anyone tries to use what I post about her against me, then that says more about them than anything else. Kirsty, your mum and dad are proud of you and love you, and both of us, though now divorced know and share the knowledge that one day we will all be re-united in the 'summerlands'. I cannot claim this to be an honest discourse if I do not mention you too sweetheart. You were and remain a vital part of my life and you will take your rightful place in it's description.

You see dear reader, I made the claim myself that this self-disclosure was going to be honest, and it will be. Nothing and no-one will divert me from this. I have already stated that so far I have only done a general description of my earlier years. This will be rectified in forthcoming instalments. I will be breaking down that description into chapters, each going into a little greater detail of the times already described. When this is done I will move on to a general description of my latter years, then onto chapters of each distinct stage within them. each chapter again going into more detail. I am 52 years of age, and in that time there have been many ups and downs, they deserve to be told. Once this has been done I will go on to my hopes and dreams for the future, and God willing, some of these plans may come to fruition.

Stay tuned, you do not have to read about me elsewhere to know who I am and what I may or may not have done. All will be revealed right here, straight from the horses mouth so to speak. This is an interesting project for me on may levels, but it is also strengthening and empowering as each word added removes from others the ability to try and make disclosures that they assume I prefer to be kept 'secret'. Taking the wind out of their sails will give me great pleasure. More importantly, because I will be including information about me that is not as 'savoury' as I would wish, any right-minded person will safely be able to deduce that I am being honest elsewhere too.

My next 'chapter' will appear very shortly.

Friday, 5 December 2008

A Different Christmas Poem

This is not my own work, but seems to be doing the rounds in e-mails etc. It gave me pause for thought. If this is copyrighted and the copyright owner wants me to remove this I will without hesitation, I have tried to find publisher/author details to ask permission to post it but so far have been unable to trace this information.........................

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the garden to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Grandfather died in France ' on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gran always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of Burma
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... a Union flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a trench with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbour no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Dedicated to all who act in defence of their homelands and those unable to defend themselves. The armed forces of the free world, with particular thanks to those serving in the British forces (but only because I'm British too). The politics of war may be abhorrent, but these people serve us all so that we may enjoy the freedoms we do, safe and secure. God Bless you all and keep you safe, I wish you all a speedy and safe return to your homes and loved ones.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Ok time to start the journey.

I had an unremarkable childhood apart from being the physical focus for the delusions my mum suffered following the birth of my younger brother. At that time diagnosis such as perpural psychosis were unheard of, and my situation was undiscovered for some years till my Grandfather walked in the house one day. What he saw led him to bundle me into his arms and take me home with him where I lived for the next 10 years. My father was upset at first as he genuinely had no idea what was happening whilst he was at work at the colliery.

The only other really memorable thing about this time was my being assessed as 'educationally subnormal'. A not too nice label to apply to some-one, but it turned out to be a turning point for me. My real problem was a degree of congenital deafness. (This affects some males in my family as does dyslexia). Once this was diagnosed through the interests shown by one of the teachers at the Remedial School I was then sent to, I was able to start and try and catch up with the rest of my school year. I did in some aspects but still suffer difficulties with numbers and sequencing. This however is also partly due to my dyslexia (not all dyslexiia sufferers have difficulty with words).

I returned to my parental home when I started to attend my high school. Here I was an average student, but quite good at sports, even winning a scholarship to the Midwestern Methodist college in the USA. I did not take this scholarship up though owing to the financila needs of my family. Instead I began my working life as an apprentice mechanical fitter, with the (then) National Coal Board. I reached the level of Chargehand/supervisor in that job.

I was involved in the strikes of 1972 and 1984/5. On the day we returned to work in 1985 I refused to clock on and go into the workshops as some Kent miners were still picketing trying to get sacked miners the promise of having their jobs back. I was one of only 9 out of a workforce of over 300 that did this. We 9 were later all victimised at work by the management, and not allowed to take voluntary redundancy under the 'enhanced scheme' introduced by Mrs. M Thatcher and her American Coal Board president. Insted we were refused this until the week after the first anniversary of the strike ending, at which time all 9 of us were made redundant on normal redundancy terms, meaning a financial loss (comparatively) of thousands of pounds each.

Before I finished my apprenticeship, I applied for and was granted Grade 1(a) status which meant I was paid as and expected to work as a fully qualified fitter. When this application was successful I married the girl I had been courting since meeting her at school. She stood by me throughout the strike and was unflinching in that support despite finding out that she was expecting our third child one week after the announcement was made regarding taking industrial action.

That 12 months was very difficult, I lived a long way from my place of work, and recieved no support from my union because of the practical difficulties. In fact our branch was so small only the single miners recieved financial help and that was pitifully low. Social security said we recieved strike pay so nothing came from them (we never have had strike pay from the NUM in any dispute), more power to the likes of Arthur Scargill for refusing to draw his salary during that dispute in solidarity with his members.

I worked for a short time on temporary contracts, outside the engineering industry for which I was qualified. The reason for this is partly conjecture on my part, but I believe (though I cannot prove it) that there was a blacklist of ex-miners who were not to be offered jobs in mining or related industries due to union activities). I believe my name was on that list, if indeed it did exist. Officiladom denies any such list, other sources claim it to be true.

During all this time and for 2 years after the strike I was a member of the Territorial Army but will not discuss that except to say that those who laugh at this part of our armed forces and call them 'saturday soldiers' etc. are way far of the mark. Most of these lads and lasses hold down full time jobs too and commit to many more than the mandatory training days, many actually do see active service and not just in rear areas, but in theatres of operations too. I for one am proud of them, as I am of our regular forces, the best in the world bar none.

I will travel further down this path later, the path to self-disclosure and the truth of my life. Why, because I can, but also because I'd rather any inyterested persons get a picture of the real me and not the manufactured me being espoused elsewhere by people that know next to nothing about me. It will at times be a convoluted journey, but it may hold some interest for any observers.

Monday, 1 December 2008


Many thanks to those that have recently taught me that a voice is something that no matter what it says, right or wrong, good or evil, truth or lies, can be shared on the internet.

Thanks to them for giving me something to do with the little spare time I get.

To any friends that find and use this blog, welcome, relax and be at home.