I had grand plans as an eleven year old.
You see the plan was this – write a best seller – and retire at the age of 40, travel around and live by the sea.
Well, I could say I got half those targets (loosely)
You see, when they had me under the surgeon’s knife “To fix the plumbing” They never told me about the knock on effects
The Balance, The Co-ordination, The Memory loss…
I Got to FE College , studied Computing (Sadly Creative Writing wasn’t “Vocational” enough to be on the college books in the 1990s) and other little things associated with it….My first volunteering gig started there – writing web pages for volunteer groups around the college. It led to an HND two years after leaving.
Not bad given the Memory loss thing.
I picked up my foreign language skills again – French, Spanish, German – they would come in handy when I started volunteering at the athletic events…they’d also help order dinner when the family was taken off for our first foreign soiree to the island of Eivissa.
That led to other travels, Mallorca, Zakynthos, Antalya to name a few.
When Manchester got its chance to hold a major sports competition – I put my name forward. After a short space of time I got picked – allocated to Heaton Park (the venue for Lawn Bowls) and was trained up on looking after the printers delivering results to the press office….but quickly changed jobs when the gaffers needed me elsewhere
Delivering results in a different Manner – through a venue scoreboard.
and I did climb the heights at that one – up the steps of a giant portable office that looked over the venue. Communicating with judges using a headset before sending results to the screens.
My Accreditation, Pass and Medal a reminder – “I did that!” (Oh and somewhere in the archive the Manchester “Flat Cap” and purple volunteer polo shirt and jacket signed by the Earl of Wessex)
I aided my new chums at the sports venues after that and continue to do so. Teaming up with Sale Harriers means I’ve helped with set up and marking on events
In 2005 I got involved with Imperial War Museum North, in a customer service volunteer role (which i’m still doing) – helping visitors get around the building and answering enquiries where necessary – I also did a spot of writing
All this worked towards 2012, where I helped out the Manchester Volunteers at the Olympic and Paralympic Training sites –
What’s more – they made me a team leader.
Favourite part of the job – organising the court crews for the Brazilian Sitting Volleyball Squads….and an Olympic relay baton to go along with my Commonwealth Medal.
My scribbles on the Olympic Experience ended up on their official website called “Storytellers” , sponsored by BT and the poetry for that ended up on Allpoetry.com…and Foreward Poetry who published one or two of them!
So I might not have retired at 40, or be living by the sea
The Manchester Ship Canal suits me fine, and there’s more to do and write.