An acquaintance recently felt moved to express wonderment at the prolificacy yours truly displays with the quantity of blogs I produce. I’d have liked them to have prefixed the word blog with the adjective brilliant, however, they’re not ones for going overboard in their praise….. or lying!

They opined my penning of a daily narrative seven days a week for five and a half years as quite an achievement. Prior to querying what’s driven me to maintain that level of literary output.

An inquiry leading to my stark admission I owe this project to myself. A strategy to provide some redemption after spending most of my adult life navigating a career path in IT, which neither played to my strengths or provided the level of job satisfaction sought.

Don’t get me wrong, the three companies who’ve employed me since October 1979 have, without exception, provided a decent working environment with more than a fair recompense for my efforts.

However, through my own choice of sticking in a career which wasn’t my forte, like the alleged JFK assassin behind the picket fence on Dealey Plaza, this fascination and penchant for creativity remained enigmatically hidden.

Sure my ability to impart whimsy occasionally reared its head in work time conversations and meetings. Sadly, though, it was never going to be utilised as a conduit to underpin a career where my innovative notions would result in a pride raising tangible end product With four mouths to feed, instead choosing to pursue a less risky career path with better chance of regular income.

This labour choice meaning my wife, two children and I’d a comfortable enough lifestyle for in excess of twenty years. The kids fledgling years witnessing them attending good schools, university and ultimately gaining degrees.

My marital home was small, but laid in a sought after area of Leeds. We ate well, had an annual Mediterranean holiday, and made many memories, particularly playing/watching amateur and professional sports.

Most importantly the kids thrived in the home environment bequeathed with security, they were encouraged academically/sportingly, along with existing in a domain filled with laughter……. The latter, that very same mirth I was largely suppressing within the trinity of offices/computer rooms where I plied my trade.

A month or two after setting up my website writesaidfred.org, on separate occasions I bumped into two or three ex-colleagues in town. As I’d previously only fleeting work place dealings with these individuals, if truth be told I didn’t/don’t know a great deal about them, or them me..

During our short exchange they all advised they’d read some of my blogs which’d made them chuckle; a revelation which obviously raised my brio levels. Without exception, though, they all followed up this positive feedback with an observation I was a dark horse, proffering further ‘At work you always looked a right miserable sod!”

If truth be told, in a working environment I was pretty miserable. Disenchantment solely consequential of my decision making and frustration at longing to play to my strengths.. I want to be clear, no other person can be blamed for the melancholy experienced in roles undertaken.

The discord borne from the fact I knew I’d much more to offer,, but couldn’t risk pursuing a different career path due to the one I’d love to’ve chased was too risky for a family’s sole breadwinner. At times, circumstances which tore me apart emotionally.

So in a nutshell, that is why I’m determined to at least endeavour to leave this vale of tears with knowledge I’d attempted to fulfil a dream suppressed for three decades. A time when I sold out work role contentment to ensure my family’d a comfortable existence. Some may deem that as an overly noble assessment of the situation, but they’re the facts as they stand.

Incidentally, I don’t for one moment begrudge this ‘sacrifice’ from my kids perspective. They’ve matured into fine adults of whom I’m incredibly proud. However, I’d probably hold a smidgeon of begrudgingness towards my estranged wife who bizarrely, despite her not working a full-time job since 1990, is of the opinion my input at providing financially and emotionally for her and the kids was inadequate!!……… A mentality I also lived with for decades, contributing to the aforementioned discontentment plastered across my visage.

Since my heart attack in January 2019, the determination I hold to seek a role utilising creativity has upped a notch. That event making me more aware of my mortality, consequently driving me to get as many ideas out from burgeoning neurological corridors before it’s too late.

To my mind, even missing a day chronicling these notions creates an unacceptable delay in my redemption project……. I really owe that to GJ Strachan after years of unnecessarily putting him through decades of the ‘pain’ working outside of his real forte.