Philosophy for the older age

Now I’m in my early seventies, the perspective shifts a little. I have just a single mentoring client remaining, and all my ‘work’ is pro bono now, or voluntary to be less posh about it. I have expanded my Pro Bono page to reflect this.
It might be noticed that it’s all in the Health sector, and that’s because it’s where my interests and incentives lay. Volunteering is a two-way street where the volunteer gains something too; it might just be the satisfaction of contributing to the common good, or it might be knowledge relating to oneself.
In preparation for a mentoring conversation I thought about what are the big things that are important to me now, and I came up with the ‘three Fs’: Family; Fitness; Philanthropy. (Yes, I know, but it sounds like an ‘F’ :-). Family always comes first, and I imagine that’s true for most people. Maintenance of Fitness, mental and physical, is important at my age in order to do anything else. When in my 40s I would have had ‘make a difference in the world’ on this list; now through Philanthropy I try to help other people make a difference – locally through donations to Plymouth foodbank and energybank, and nationally through donations to homelessness and my work in the various health charities.

General notes on Major change

I think yesterday’s reported coup in Myanmar must have inspired that heading. My major changes are in location, lifestyle and work patterns.

In May 2020 my wife and I upped sticks from Greenwich (the acceptable face of inner London) and moved to Plymouth, way down in the South-West, where we knew no-one. I hear a cry of why? We stumbled upon the perfect house with a view across Plymouth Sound, 5 minutes walk to the beach and the same to the marina where our yacht is now ensconced. The decision was easy, and Plymouth is an excellent city with lots of culture, activities and hostelries on offer … once Covid-19 is controlled. It’s also as maritime as Greenwich – Devonport is the largest naval base in Europe, and there are always ships to watch.

The lifestyle change is one of being outdoors a lot more, enjoying the fresh air and the coastal scenery – it’s our thing.

The work pattern has continued to shift to more voluntary work, and there are updates on the pro bono page. The mentoring continues and of course we’re all very good at working remotely. Meanwhile the scribbling is blossoming – modestly in publications and a little more so in personal effort – do check out my activities on the writing page.

Live Performance

At the launch of the flash fiction anthology called “Story Cities: A City Guide For The Imagination” published by Arachne Press and available at this web shop, I was invited to close the show of live readings. It was subsequently called a ‘glorious finale’ on Twitter, which is nice. You can suffer it too by using this YouTube link

I have to say I wrote it as a rather dark piece, and was therefore slightly surprised by the amount, and timing, of the laughter. Perhaps they saw (heard) something that I didn’t, perhaps it was hollow. Whatever. We used to say in business that ‘the customer is never entirely wrong’, and the same goes for the listener/reader. I enjoyed the applause.

Fiction breakout

In Jun 2019 my first fiction appears; a flash fiction in the anthology called “Story Cities: A City Guide For The Imagination” published by Arachne Press and available at this web shop – follow the #StoryCities story on Twitter.

To be fair, my non-fiction book “How Can We Make This Happen” does have the innovation of fiction flashes at the beginning of each chapter, to illustrate the chapter contents in real-life scenarios. Story Cities however is the first standalone fiction to be selected by a publisher.

Osteoporosis aka fragile bones – pro bono work

I have been a member of the National Osteoporosis Society in the UK for many years. I serve on their Members & Volunteers Committee, where we advise the Charity’s Trustee Board on the patient/public view of new strategies, services and documents. I also deploy my skills and experience in reviewing and writing documents concerned with the Care and Support of people who have osteoporosis (which includes myself … as I carefully type this with a broken shoulder blade and 4 fractured ribs).

My latest contribution is the Information Sheet aka Patient Information Leaflet, which explains the Charity’s recently published Quality Standards for Osteoporosis and Prevention of Fragility Fractures. This helps those with, or at risk of, osteoporosis to understand what services they should expect from the health professionals.

I personally believe strongly in the ‘patient as partner’ model, wherein the patient is fully informed at every stage of their interaction with the health services.


The Salmon experience

Being a Portfolio person is tougher than being in a regular job, in terms of juggling commitments and managing priorities. I knew that when I started, right? As a professional manager with huge experience, I’m not going to be caught out, am I? Hmm – learning is a lifelong experience my friends, and I’m always quick to put my hand up when I think/know I could do better.

So finally I have swum upriver through the demands of University employment, pro bono health sector work, book promotion, film extra work, family support, and even holidays … to move/update my old website content onto this new site.

The trigger for increasing the priority on this background task so that it gets some attention is that I am closing my Limited Company after 23 years (needed for full-time contract work as an interim manager) because outside the University it is now better for me to be self-employed. The old website is paid for through the company, naturally. The fact and hassle of changing over the payment details is just enough to push/embarrass me into getting on with the transition. Hoorah.

The Swan effect

You know the principle – serene and unchanging appearance, yet working hard under the surface.  Well, that’s this website and me.
Book Launch & publicity events:
University start of year:
Pro-bono health committee & event work:,

One day this website will catch up with all that.  For now I have to rush to prepare for the next event.