This is me and my wife Jane. This painting is based on drawings my kids did when they were little. I just copied them and filled in with some paint. Kids see people as they really are, not like adults who see through the filter of their fears and beliefs. Perhaps the key to everything resides within the free imaginations of our children.
When I grow small and cease to care
I’ll shine my teeth and brush my hair
And wear a kind of ragged grin
For keeping cabbage fragments in
I’ll fill my pockets full of sweets
And bother strangers on the streets
With tales of engines powered by steam
Of long shot black men with a dream
And then I’ll take to wearing ties
And challenge adults with their lies
Then lie me down and go to sleep
To sleep, so deep, so deep, so deep.
I am delighted to be in Shrewsbury now. In the past I have done many things. I have been a management trainer, a counsellor, a hypnotherapist, a therapeutic foster carer and a budgets manager at British Telecom. About a hundred years ago I graduated from Trent Polytechnic with first class honours in Creative Arts.
I once talked my way in to the South African embassy in London with two mates and did an interview with the cultural affairs attache during the apartheid era. He wasn’t a nice man. I and a couple of friends also made a video about the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and spent a few weeks there in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was attacking the country. Oh, and I stood for parliament in the 2010 general election, as an independent, and lost my deposit.
But what I have enjoyed most is working with and looking after children. Not that is hasn’t been tough sometimes. But somehow I feel I can communicate with kids in a way that is much tougher with adults. I think it is the honesty and freedom that children bring to every interaction that makes them so special.
I hope over the next few years to meet lots of interesting children and grown ups and get them to help me (and maybe you) to stay young and free.