It wasn't much of a big deal for me, truth be told. I guess this is largely because a lot of the big goals in my life have been realized. I've published a book, travelled a bit, formed some enduring friendships and married a wonderful lady who has, with a little help from yours truly, provided me with two daughters that make me glow with pride as often as they make me laugh. My career path has been unpredictable, from the building trade to the electronics industry and then onto law and order, with a few minor diversions on route. Oddly, I've never been driven by career ambition. It's always been enough for me to enjoy what I do and to make some kind of positive contribution. Along the way I spent two years studying counseling with the Central School Of Counseling & Therapy, followed by two and half intriguing years with the Samaritans. I gained a qualification as a computer hardware engineer from a company I can't remember, and spent half a day training to sell Kirby hoovers. It wasn't for me and I never returned from my lunch break. Actually, technically I'm still at lunch because I never formally quit. I also spent a year doing temporary work whilst studying. Now that was, on reflection, eclectic. I spent a day doing refuse collections, another few days opening tins at a frozen food plant, and also a short period portering at the now closed Stowe psychiatric hospital. And no, I was never a patient. I was once told by a man that all work is honorable, and I think I generally agree. I'm not sure what the girls down at Kings Cross think of that, but still, that isn't my concern. I've worked in a pub, and also spent a bizarre evening behind the bar at the Aylesbury Civic Centre at a hunt ball, the place crammed with hundreds of middle to upper class folks who seem to think that tearing foxes apart constitutes a good days sport. All things told, my life has been interesting, yet without any discernible pattern. I definitely calmed down in my early twenties and lost a good deal of the attitude that had alienated teachers and adults during my teenage years. I remain prone to acts of spontaneity, although as a father and husband these are generally far from extreme. There have been times when I've made huge decisions based on little more than gut feeling, which by most people's standards would border on the insane. Whether my life would have been better or worse had I been more considered seems largely a mute point to me. I've made my bed, at it's comfortable right now, so I take that as some indication that I have not veered too far off course. By the way, there's absolutely no purpose to this blog. I just fancied a splurge. I've seen people born and people die, lives wasted and lives renewed. This thing we call life really is the most remarkable project. We should never tire of reminding ourselves of this. As a person I'm familiar with both my weaknesses and my strengths, and I regard both as old friends, different sides of the same coin. As for the future, I frankly have absolutely no idea. But this much I know; I won't conform just because society dictates that I should, although I'll try to balance the responsibilities I have to my family with my need for self expression. I want to look back and reflect on a life that, whilst not always well lived, was at least passionate and genuine and always seeking new horizons to explore.