Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Today is the day that I'm 48 years old

and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up

so, its a month since I last felt egocentric enough to post my inane ramblings on the internet for all 12 of you to read, lets have a quick recap then

bikes , yep, I've ridden them a bit, highlights being Bill and I being the tail end charlie's for the first 40 miles of the Keilder 100, which was quite difficult, riding slowly at the back end of the race, coaching the slow coaches

and then the weekend just gone in Machynlyth with a number of my closest friends, not an exclusive bunch, but just some of the fine people I am lucky enough to know and love, others sent messages of love, others couldn't make the trip across the atlantic

none the less I felt their presence

and of course I could feel the love from my dear wife Janet all through the weekend

I came home happy and prepared for the tribulations to come

The last 18 months have seen a black cloud above my head, work has been difficult at best, and at times downright unbearable, to put this in context.....

I have worked there since leaving school at 16 years of age, I have worked in the same department all of those 31 years, starting quite literally at the bottom and working my way to my current position of the plant manager, there are still people there who trained and coached me as a youth, giving me the discipline needed to be able to hold my own in a mans world, essential skills in a manufacturing environment.

Those same people are also partly responsible for my view of the world, my politics and my hatred of organised religion, they are also responsible for my humility, my level of understanding of other people, my understanding of peoples need to have religion in their life, my understanding of other peoples point of view, my love of music and art, my taste for fine beers, and many other aspects of my character.

They will almost certainly never read this, but thank you to Chris Byrne, Bill Curry, Ivor Greenway, Bob Finlay, Bill Lowes, Dave Linacre, Tony Watkins, George Carnes, Steve Buckham, Bob Swan (RIP), Brian Butler, Bill Smith, Martin Lowe, Steve Moss, there are others....

So, where's all this leading then ?

Today my plant was given its final destination, we will cease production at the end of the year, the reasons for this are many and complicated, suffice to say that we cannot survive as a manufacturing plant in the UK anymore.

Its a sad day, the site has existed since 1949, we have produced low density polyethylene on the site since 1961, which coincidently is the year I was born, lots of folk have lived their lives out here, it truly is the end of an era.

But I'm not sad, its been a tough few years that frankly have taken their toll on both myself, my family and my friends, its a chance for a new start, hopefully I can get my financial affairs into order such that I can walk away from this ever decreasing industry, I have skills that are pertinent to my specific industry, there's no doubt that I could easily find work but it would mean working in far flung places around the world and frankly I've had enough of that.

The cloud has lifted a little, its not gone yet, the skies are still a little grey but the sun is poking through :-)

I'll be taking a year off from work (again this is assuming I can sort my finances out) to enjoy my family, my friends, do some bike travelling, learn to surf, climb some big hills, relax, get healthy.

All being well this blog will be a lot more positive from about April next year.....