Come see about me!

DSCN0731And then one day I found myself standing on a platform in the Lyons, France Airport railway station. Otherwise this photo is a kind of non sequitur, but it enabled me to use non sequitur, which is appropriate since I was in France at the time, and also because I find a lot of my life to be a non sequitur as well.

I began my grownup days as a high school teacher of English and history. Initially I really liked it. I enjoyed the teaching part, and liked the kids, and especially liked the fact that I, at 24 and reasonably tolerable to look at, seemed to appeal to all the pretty little thangs of 17 and 18. I finally got to be an appealing dude just a few yeaers after I finished high school. Not that I ever took advantage of my position, for that is a behavior I find despicable, despite the trendiness (it seems) of teachers boffing students these days. As my grandfather would have said: “They should be horsewhipped!” No, I am only talking esthetic appreciation.

As time passed I realized — for a host of reasons — that I no longer wanted to be a teacher. This left me in a quandary. What was I to do for the rest of my life? Well, I had always loved to write, so a number of circumstances led me in the direction of the newspaper business. I first became a columnist, and then a reporter, and later an editor at the sorely missed and much beloved Green Sheet (aka the Comox District Free Press, voted a number of times as the top community newspaper in Canada). In my first year there I earned the award for the top community newspaper columnist in Canada (ahem), so it seemed obvious that my career choice was working.

In 1980 and 1981 my then wife went on a teacher exchange to Great Yarmouth, England. I went along for the ride and was able to secure a column in the local paper, The Mercury. I loved my year abroad and gained a wealth of experience from the venture.

In 1994 the Green Sheet folded, much to the dismay of the community, and much to the dismay of me. I later went on to the new Comox Valley Echo. At that paper, in 1998, I wrote a series of articles on the illicit drug scene in the community. It was well-received and I decided that rather than just write about it, perhaps I should become just a tiny part of the solution. So, I got accredited as an addictions counselor.

So, today, I still do some counseling, I write freelance, and I work on book manuscripts and I cherish the diversity of my life. I also cherish my home and my marriage to Wendy, and , as Linda Elerbee used to say, so it goes.

Otherwise, I love to travel, I read, I garden, and I just generally try to keep my sanity in a world seeming to grow increasingly mad. Probably it’s not but, as I said in my former and still lamented blog Or So I Thought, I try to keep curmudgeonliness at bay. Sometimes I succeed.

15 responses to “Come see about me!

  1. I was based in East Anglia in the 80s….before it all got trendy. I’m glad you enjoyed your time there.
    I’ve now been in France for years, but contemplating another move….
    I have just found your blog and am enjoying it very much.
    Thank you.

  2. Thank you for dropping by here and to my blog. I am now going to check our yours. Where in East Anglia were you based?

  3. I discovered your earlier blog which led me to this one. I just wanted to tell you that I’m your new biggest fan!!

  4. Hello from Australia

    Very much enjoyed our visit to your blog!

  5. Hello… Greetings from a sunny Salisbury, England.

    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you…. I found you via your ex-blog and not realising that it was an ex at that time may have sent you a message in cyberspace that may never be recovered! Found you again and thought I should resend…

    My name is Sacha Hayward and I am the niece of Pauline Hayward nee Dalgarno who was the nurse mentioned in your uncle’s autobiography.

    My Aunt died last week at the age of 88. She was an astonishing woman, very elegant, private and dignified. I found your uncle’s book and took it into hospital to read to her in her last days. It had a profound effect on us both. For Pauline it brought back many happy memories and for me it was a great privilege to see another side to her wonderful character. I found the story of your uncle incredible. I am proud to be the niece of the woman who took him to his first concert!

    I found your blog and wondered if you have updated the book…? My Aunt was a physiotherapist over in Canada with her sister, Shelia Dalgarno…. a stylish redhead!! Perhaps the connection is perhaps just a tad too far fetched yet the hopeful romantic in me did wonder! She was there with Pauline and Norman in the park that night when they were stargazing, drinking coffee and toasting marshmallows.

    If I find any more information, letters etc that relate to those years I shall let you know.

    I hope this finds you well and please forgive me if you find this an intrusion in any way.

    Kind regards


  6. Kudos to you sir – even among the small minority of equally skilled writers in the blogosphere, few of these are as likable. You have a very direct and authentic voice.

    I tried to be an English teacher but only got halfway through training. I liked the kids and went in with high ideals, but the reality I faced was too hard to swallow. It was all about cramming and exam targets. I do a little voluntary tutoring now, one-on-one.

    I don’t find there’s much inspiring idealism or purposefulness to latch into in society at this time. People have been conditioned to be very individualistic and cynical. Civic duty has been replaced with personal incentives – I think that for this reason perhaps more than any other, it is indeed a world growing increasingly mad. “The centre cannot hold.” I’m still looking for some fitting role that amounts to more than shuffling money around. Looks like you’ve done something right.

  7. Dear Mrwriteon,

    It was lovely to find your blog and learn more about you. I too have worked as a writer and freelancer as well as in the drug treatment industry. Now, I’m a librarian looking for work. The diversity you enjoy in your life is something to which I aspire.

  8. Thank you so much ‘e’ for dropping by. I shall check out your blog on a regular basis and add you to my list. Cheers.

  9. I stumbled on your blog while looking for a link to the MacLean handwriting method. Like everyone else in BCs elementary schools in the 1950s I spent hours making loops and curves – and now I’m glad I did. I have lovely handwriting which is always admired and the admiration makes me feel like a contemporary of John Hancock. Not all good, but then, not all bad. 🙂

    At any rate, I’ve been scoping out some of your other blog articles and have enjoyed them. I’ll visit again.

  10. You’ve got a really nice writing style. I happened upon ‘Or So I Thought’, as I was doing research for a blog entry on happiness that I will be posting later today. That led me to your current blog. Love your topic choices, your irreverent but thoughtful musings, and the genuineness of your character that shines through in your writing.

  11. I just discovered you blog as well and I am also one of your greatest fan. Wow, I wish I could say all that I feel as eloquently as some of your fans. Oh well…. write on!

  12. I am enjoying following your writings and musings, Ian. You have pride of place as the only blog I follow!

  13. Hello and greetings from Prince Edward Island, Canada. I happened to read your blog by chance and just wantto say that I am enjoying your writing. Take care.

  14. Ian – I’d love to send you an image, if you can give me an email address, or tell me how to attach a file here…

    Call it a blast from the past – and I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing it.


    • Well, hello down all the years. Nice to hear from you Graeme. I picked up your email address from the info you sent me and I’ll email and send you my address. Hope all is well with you and I’d love to catch up. And, of course, I’m all agog about what you are going to send. By the way, ‘all agog’ is one of those expressions that people rarely use in conversation but it seems apt in written form.

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