So where to go? What to do?
Many of us feel that several times throughout our lives.
I had a wonderful holiday with my girlfriend at the time. We went to France. Went to castles, museums and to the Pompideu art gallery. There we saw modern art pieces.
A urinal hanging from the ceiling by a cord.
A coat hanger nailed to the floor.
A sign that gave the title of an art piece. It said 'Ready Made' and...
There was nothing by it.
I started to understand. I started to smile. I started to enjoy.
A grand piano covered in grey foam. A rusty drum with twisted piping wrapped around it with a hair dryer on the top of it. And a foot pedal. That invited. I trod on it. The hair dryer switched on and the whole thing shook!
Oh what fun!
Another room. There I saw a big dark blue panel on the wall at the back of the room. I walked over to it and read the title.
'Dark Blue Panel'.
That's it. I couldn't stop laughing. I was laughing so hard.
Then a serious looking security guard came over.
He pointed to me to follow him. Oh... I thought... I'm in trouble. But he didn't escort me to the exit. Oh... I'm going to get disciplined or something...
He led me to the entrance of another room and pointed me to enter it. I slowly followed his directions... but I was in another art gallery room. With another dark blue panel! I turned to the guard but he had gone!
I started laughing so much I had to sit down.
Thing is. I had given the artists making those pieces the greatest compliment. They had triggered a powerful emotional response from me. Their art had made me remember them. And that I'll always be grateful for.
During that time I applied for positions within finance but it wasn't helped by a recession that meant many recruitment doors were closed. So I did a Diploma from the Institute of Personnel Management.
I learnt how to ethically manage and had a placement with a company.
This company's Personnel Officer was going on holiday so they needed someone to fill her place.
So I did.
I found that lessons in managing people are different from actually managing but I enjoyed that difference
and so did the staff at the company. I learnt how to inspire and be considerate in ways they didn't expect. When I was due to leave they gave me a best wishes card and all of them signed it with well wishes.
During that course I met Liz. Thus began a link that transcended the limited definitions of friendship, relationship and family.
She heard me sing and trained me to sing better... (Some of my music is on
After the Diploma I got the job working at an industrial chemical company.
The evenings were different. Singing for various bands around Manchester. The first one I was in got invited to perform at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. But the leader of the band broke the band up first. "It wasn't playing the kind of music I wanted." he claimed. But Ronnie Scott's!!! THE jazz club!
I have so many stories about what went on with the other bands but that's a big blog entry in itself...
It was personally a confusing time on several levels. I poured my thoughts into the poetry I wrote.
When I read them now I realized just how angry I was. How confused I was...
And when I was writing poetry in hospital...
I was partly paralyzed on my right side in '95. The year my grandma died and the owner of the company I worked for took away the budget for a lab I was designing for Quality Control - I was the QC manager and I wanted proper testings for the products being made.
In the hospital I received drips and two nurses took me outside to learn walking again.
How frightened I was. My writing during that time was... quite dark.
During that time this company I was working at I had some important decisions that needed to be made and I took them. After all I was the QC Manager. And I was trained as the company's Quality Auditor.
But I got told off by (of all people) the Managing Director for not consulting him during a couple of decisions. I said, "A decision needed to be made at that point. You weren't available nor was anyone else. So I made that judgement."
I did that twice and, on the second time a product that we supplied was faulty. I got questioned again. I said, the test results I was given said the product was OK. If it wasn't OK then the ways the products were tested needed to be reconsidered. But they didn't dare do anything. They didn't blame me - they knew I was right. So they didn't do anything...
After I left that company only then did they recognise some of the things I did were significant. I had designed a self-checking QC computer program while there. During that time I ended up retraining staff who had been to computer programming classes funded by the company...
I was also in the early stages of designing a more advanced program when I decided to leave.
After I left I met one of the directors who told me they had been looking at my computer and noticed I was designing this more advanced program. He asked me could I complete it?
"Yeah." I said, "For a commission." He chuckled.
What do you think happened?