I am a freelance researcher, editor (or wordsmith) and trainer in adult education. I have thirty years experience in researching and teaching industrial relations, from a trade union perspective, in trying to shape public industrial policy at national level so that it reflects the views of those who work in industry, and in leading the development of other adults.
And I am also a proud househusband. Or home-maker. Or chief cook-and-bottle-washer.
I took the decision in the spring of 2016 to resign my full-time employment, which I had held for over 18 years (I have only ever had two jobs…), become freelance, and join my partner and live among the people of the community of South Uist. I should be clear at the outset that I am neither farmer (crofter) nor fisher (though I like dogs and have had pets; and am definitely fond of eating fish (de-scaled, often filleted and otherwise usually processed); while my DIY skills tend to be limited to knowing one end of a tool from the other, and the sorts of use to which it might be put; as well as a few people who can actually wield them and with suitable and appropriate intent. And without having to fetch another tool to put the damage right done by inappropriate, or amateurish, use of the first tool. Here on Uist, primary skills come definitely at a premium.
This website – part-(photo)blog, part-diary and part-confessional – is my attempt honestly to come to terms with the new world in which I find myself, as a 50-something male looking for new opportunities to put what skills and experience I do have at the disposal of the community here and in seeking to convey the attractiveness, and the reality, of living here. It is not about work, although my background – I am a lifelong researcher in employment affairs, which not only provided me with the means to live but was also something which existed as a strong personal interest of mine – means that issues in the world of work will feature quite a lot among my posts. It will offer some opinions and some personal thoughts; some reviews, substantially of books; some observations; some photos, largely of Ardivachar, where I live; and perhaps even a bit of descriptive (not necessarily creative) writing about how this new world appears to me and how I see and, increasingly, define my new place within it.
Thank you for reading; and I hope you find enough of interest both to stay awhile and to return later. Comments are welcome and will always be responded to.
None of what you read here is intended to indict any organisation which has been kind enough to shelter me in the past.
But, please do join a trade union. Obviously.