Tuesday, 17 March 2009

milestones ...

Firstly, it's Paddy's Day, so salutations to all my fellow Irishmen and women, home and abroad ... I'll be heading out for a glass or two of black Irish gold a little later on to mark the day.

I've got two milestones to note in today's blog, one 365challenge related, one not, but significant to me, nevertheless!

The first of these relates to my ever-growing total. Yesterday, I hit the wonderful figure of £7000 in my fund-raising pot for Cancer Research UK, thanks to a donation by a dear old friend, Elmer Wolff, in California, and then, following a blatant shout-out on Facebook and Twitter for the £35.43 that I needed to reach £7000, the delightful Debs, another 365'er, coughed up to help me reach that milestone. I'm overjoyed and overwhelmed by the support, but I'm not going to stop just yet, and I have new targets in my sights ... next up will be £7300, which will mark 200% of my original target of £3650, and I know that it's within reach, so ... don't be shy, kind reader, if you want to contribute via my Just Giving page ...!

The other milestone relates to Paddy's Day and an event 24 years ago today that changed the course of my life, and as such, is one I mark and will toast tonight.

You see, on Paddy's Day 1985, your intrepid hero (ha!) was stomping across the Wicklow Mountains, south of Dublin, as was his wont, while back at his flat in that wonderful city, a low-life was paying an unauthorised visit ... so that when I returned, I discovered that I had, almost literally, been cleaned out ... everything I valued was gone. Not good. But, I was insured, which was my saviour, and the nice insurance company called me about a month later to tell me that they were going to settle my claim with a healthy sum with which I could rebuild my world ...

And I could have, but ... at that point, I wasn't enjoying my work, in an advertising agency, and I suddenly saw a way out ... no possessions, single and a wad of cash in my pocket! Next day, I resigned my job ... and set about planning to travel. Which I did, spending 2 years travelling, first west across Canada, then south to San Francisco, from where via a combination of events, I ended up working on an almond farm in Central California, owned by a cousin of the previously-mentioned Elmer (it all links up eventually!), then back east to New York, where I spent a wonderful year, before realising that I wanted more, and that more turned out to be to study psychology in Wales, meeting my wife Donna, in the process, and taking the career direction that lead me to where I am today ...

So, while I'd love to ask that burglar what he did with some of my rare vinyl back then in 1985, I'd also like to shake his hand and thank him for being the catalyst for the life I now live and all that has happened in-between ...

Life turns on such events ... slainte!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the £7k Colin, you're smashing all your targets!
    That's an amazing story. I never knew that. Puts a new twist on my memory of meeting you at Niagra falls as a 4 year old :)