Mostly though, I am doing it so that there is a record of my life for my children. Otherwise when I am gone, what will there be left of my existence, apart from a few hazy soon forgotten memories? Oh yes, and a few mediocre paintings.
I have told you some tales from my childhood. About the people I knew then. Some of them kindly and some of them horrid. At times, it feels to me that I dwell too much on the nastier side of peoples characters. Let me tell you that I met a lot of decent people too.
In the turbulent ocean of my somewhat fractured childhood I was fortunate enough at times to find calmer waters and sunnier shores.
Unfortunately the stormy times are the ones that dominate my memory. Which I suppose is not surprising, since the bad things are the ones that affected me most. How lucky I am that I have a strong survival instinct.
Apart from a short breakdown in my mental health during my thirties, which I spoke about previously and which I attribute to childhood trauma, I think I emerged from being an abandoned child, relatively sound mentally. Though I have to say, not everyone would agree with me on this.
However, I went off the rails with a vengeance during my teens and into my early twenties. The chip on my shoulder was more the size of a tree. Fighting and drinking, tore my life apart. Disrespect was my watchword, both to others and to myself.
|Merchant Navy training. Fit as a fiddle and well behaved.|
Friends would tell you I am a good man. Kind hearted, generous, loving, a good father. An emotional, sentimental, heart on sleeve type of guy. Yes, they would. I have asked them.
I tell you these good things about myself, so that when I mention, somewhat casually, that I have spent time in prison, you will base any judgement you might make, on the person I am today, rather than the immature, broken youth, I once was. Let me add that my crimes although warranting punishment, were all to do with a massive inferiority complex, which, combined with a serious alcohol intake, refused to let me back down from confrontation. The resulting skirmishes must have been my fault. Everything was my fault in those days. Also I was involved with a tough bunch of hard drinking 'friends'.
The courts did take my troubled childhood into account when sentencing me, and I was given a lot of chances and professional help to get me back on the right path. But I would not, or could not, learn, and finally the Sheriff, Lord Hamilton, in the high court of Aberdeen, who had got to know me well, decided that I needed a harsh lesson and packed me off to prison.
Did I learn anything from my prison sentence. Yes I did actually. Unfortunately, most of what I learned was about how to be a real criminal. But I also learned that I did not enjoy incarceration.
I was still in the merchant navy and on my release went back to sea. Where, if you will forgive an unintended pun, I began to get my life back onto an even keel. Almost.
Whether in the prison, going to sea, working ashore or travelling around the country with my Mother and her on and off paramour Fergie. My life was once full of adventure.
Do you still like me? I do hope so. If you do, please stay here with me, and I will do my best to keep you interested. There is so much more I want to share.