Lots of great music in 2012, too many to mention, but the year ended on a high on New Year’s Eve with the great Paul Tilley in Whitby.
It’s an old cliché that the older you get the faster time seems to pass by, however, cliché or not, I’m sure everyone has experienced this. Add “retirement” (although I’m definitely not retired!), into the mix and it seems to have an even more marked effect on the passage of time. Where did 2012 go? Another old cliché I heard many times in the months leading up to retirement from education was “You’ll wonder how you had time to work”. This has also proved to be true. How on earth did I work 60 odd hours per week for my school and still manage to do all the other things I’m passionate about?
2012 was a strange old year for me in many ways.
Having had a wonderful and fulfilling career for almost 40 years as a teacher, and the last 20 as a headteacher, it felt strange and oddly uncomfortable to be able to make choices about how I would approach each day. By the end of February I’d got the hang of it though – there was life beyond the increasingly barmy dictates of Mr Gove and Ofsted.
Travelling to Italy, Portugal, the USA and Canada during school term time was a novelty and so much cheaper. Doreen and I are going to do lots more traveling abroad and in the UK during 2013 now that she is almost “retired” too.
One of the best things for me in 2012 was being able to really enjoy playing and singing again at gigs and informal sessions. I’ve always enjoyed song writing but it used to take me an age to finish off a song. It seems that now I have less external pressure on me I’m writing more songs and the process is much quicker – handy really as I’m part way through recording a follow up to “The Witness”. (See previous news update regarding delay.) Friends tell me that the quality is better too – I’ll leave the judgement of that however to future audiences.
When I was a teacher there was strong advice from professional organisations not to get involved in Facebook so I’ve been a late convert in using this branch of social media. I have to say I was fairly cynical about how useful it would be but no longer. It’s been fantastic to be able to get in touch again with friends from college days, from secondary school and from the music world. It was really my brother Ian, who is long-time convert to social media, who persuaded me to dip my toe in the water. I’m still not sure about twitter though! I’ll keep giving it a go – if you’re into twitter perhaps we should follow each other and I’ll pick up tips along the way. (You can follow me by clicking on the relevant buttons at the bottom of this page.)
Best news of 2012 was my mum’s recovery from serious illness. She’ll be back at some of my 2013 gigs!
Friday 25th January – Mink Bar, 25 Corporation Road Middlesbrough TS1 1LP United Kingdom
Tel : +44 (0) 1642 241 221 Email : email@example.com
(Support from The Shea Family)
Saturday 9th February – House Concert, Yarm in aid of Chernobyl Children Lifeline. Limited Tickets £10.00 including glass of wine and supper. Contact me ASAP if you would like more info.
Friday 22 February – Appearing with “Sweet Baby James”
The Lantern Theatre, Liverpool, 57 Blundell Street, Liverpool, L1 0AJ
www.thelanterntheatre.co.uk – 0151 703 0000