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Raising Other
People's Children

About Raising Other People's Children

“If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit.

No use being a damn fool about it.”


W.C. Fields

This is the book that never got written.

Apparently, writing a book is like a relationship.  Blog posts, essays and short stories are like holiday romances but writing a book is like maintaining a relationship.  Even you don't want to be writing it, you don't want to be thinking about it, you don't even want to acknowledge its existence; a book is something you've got to be committed to.  I read that somewhere and, no, that's not my handing out unwanted relationship advice.

I am said to belong to the 97% of all writers - writing folk - that write without finishing.  As a result of this reluctance to finish, or my affinity with procrastination, I belong to the 99.4% of all those who write who is unpublished.

But I do enjoy writing and I have recently discovered that my thoughts, my ramblings, my (sometimes desperate) attempts at being funny and my (even more desperate) attempts at being thoughtful are appreciated by others.

But what is so special about me?  Why should you read these pages?  Well, there is a short version answer and there is a longer version.  The longer version you can find here.  The short version is that there isn't that much special about me.  I am a regular person (EDI translator: single white male in his late forties) with a regular job.  I am special to my mum, my wife, my daughter and a handful of others.

Though in recent years, I have discovered that in the course of having regular jobs for about thirty years now, I have been placed in a position of looking after children an awful.  In fact, I've spent more than half a lifetime looking after children, the lion's share of which weren't actually mine.  The lion's share of which I didn't know until the moment they were placed in my care.  There were the children I used to babysit, the children I used to coach football, the children taught, the children I looked after in very random circumstances and now the children that we live with.  And of course my own daughter.

I am not that special but believe, looking after other people's children is really, really special.  Special because children are special - they lead special lives.  Special because they're special to their parents - in ways that even I don't always understand (but then parents, parents, are bloody special too).  Special because children are different in different circumstances - different with different people.  And special because children do dumb stuff.  Like, genuinely dumb stuff.  I tend to think that children are capable of doing dumb things, adults are capable of doing evil things; the difference is that adults know.

Anyway, all of this is good material for a book and for many years, I have been writing that book.  It's just that it seems I only do holiday flings.  Essays, short stories - a Website.


This is that book.  The book that never got written.

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