1. About Me

‘Freedom’

1. the state of being free  or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: 

2.exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

3. the power to determine action without restraint.

 What is behind the idea of ‘free at last’? It conveys two ideas; that of no longer being constrained and the concept of finally or eventually. Both are apposite. Both imply that sense of having waited and longed for something that has now come about. I am thrilled and excited at the prospect of new adventures and a new way of life, with the leisure and time (DV) to enjoy them.

 At some stage within the next two years, I shall stop working. In doing so, I shall free myself of the constraints of having a job. I shall hang up my ties and suits. No longer will I experience the excitement of Friday leading into the weekend; neither will I experience the tensions as Sunday slips away inexorably introducing the prospect of another Monday. No longer will I be constrained by the requirements of a business and of others’ demands on my time and energy. Days will be my own to be filled with those activities I chose and enjoy.

(Afternote: I have now finished working for a living. I am now living to do my own work.)

 Since July 2011, I have been freed of the constraints, however pleasant, of being married. I have always imagined myself married and have been so for most of the past 37 years. But I have not been as successful as a husband as I would have wished. I have married three times and three times my wife has left me. I do not wish to pretend that it was all their fault; it wasn’t. But where ever responsibility lies, I am finally free to be alone. I very much enjoy my own company and love the freedom that it gives me to create a new life.

(Afternote: Since November 2016 I have been happily married to a lady I have known for over 30 years. It is the right place to be.)

 To the extent that one is ever free, or wishes to be free, from his family, my children have grown and are independent. Some now have children of their own. They are all a source of great joy and I love being with them. But they no longer require me to be here; to live near and to provide support as used to be the case. We will see plenty of each other both in this country and in others. My flexibility means that I can be near when required and far when not.

 At present, I am constrained by needing to live within reach of where I work. In this, I am like all of you. But this constraint will last only a short while longer. I do not need to live in a house; indeed I long not to be doing so. I have no desire to be established in a local community; to know and be known. I am happy with the company of those I meet along the way; to know them for a season and then to move on. Through this medium I will share myself with those who are interested. Through the day I will be content with a friendly word, a few shared moments as we pass by. 

(Afternote: I am now living in Broadway, in a house, in an established community.)

 Thirty years ago, I had to decide whether to settle in Canada or continue serving in the Army. Continuing to serve had great attractions but meant that, inevitably, I would eventually have to live in England. This was a prospect that I did not relish. I was born and brought up in Kenya and had always loved England but from afar. My preference would have been to continue to have a long distance relationship with a country that I now both like and dislike, probably in equal measure. I admire much about England and Englishness, but I also greatly dislike the country and society that it has become. Part of that may be the sense of dislocation that comes with years as familiar things are replaced. A large part of it is that I never wanted to live here in the first place. I had no choice. Following a major heart attack in South Africa in 1961, the security offered to my father by a health service that was highly rated from the perspective of Kenya, proved too attractive. We all ‘returned home’. Nothing could have prepared us for the reality of the England we found.  It was not home to my mother, brother, sister or grandparents. For most of us, it never became home. But it is where we lived. Now I am free to leave.

(Afternote: I am still living in England. My opinions have not changed.)

 So, as the old spiritual has it, ‘thank God, I am free at last’. 

11 thoughts on “1. About Me

  1. Hello Robin
    It was a pleasure meeting you at the entrance of the camper site in Richebourg. I wish you all the luck you may get in finalizing your writing on the 1915 research you’re doing at this very moment.
    And I hope meeting you again on one of our trips through France, UK or elsewhere in Europe.
    Good luck.
    Best regards
    Patrick and Patricia Putman – Vanwetteren
    Brussels
    +32 470 352 176

  2. Hello Robin,
    I’m hoping when I’m in England with Claire, that I’ll be able to meet up with you at some stage.
    I finish my tour in Scotland on 25th May, and am hoping that I can see you 26th/27th May.
    Where will you be on these dates?
    Just reply to this message and Claire will pass it on to me.
    Thank you very much for the last letter you sent.
    Love Paula

    • Hello Paula and Claire,
      How lovely to know that you will be in England in May. I very much look forward to it. And rather like getting the house clean before the Vicar visits (!) it gives me incentive to get the van as ready as possible. In May, I will be in Macclesfield, Cheshire where Amanda is expecting her first child on or around the 20th. I am sorry that I will not be able to offer accomodation, but I will investigate a discounted rate at the local Premier Inn. Very much look forward to seeing you again.

      Best wishes

      Robin

  3. Wow! Read this just after your phone call this morning. Very interesting – and couldn’t agree more with your comments about England. Despite your remarks about a friendly word and moving on, I do hope that Goldsmith and Stuart-Lees will remain in touch. You are a very old and dear friend. Hope that by this time next year you have begun to live the dream. x

  4. Hi Robin, many thanks for your communication on Facebook. I am well, thank you. I have not been to Kenya for a year now, but I dealt with my share of John’s ashes before I left.
    I am sorry your marriage did not work out. I like your site and shall read with interest your blogs.
    I hope your dream is all you hope for.
    All the best
    Heather

  5. Hello Robin,
    Muff has just told me that you have this site. As I read it I could feel some of the same thoughts & I know when Mum reads it she will be in a similar space. We folks who have lived abroad will continue to follow your interesting site. Great reading & can’t wait to see your motor home before you depart for southern Europe. Happy converting!! Claire (Paula’s daughter)

    • Hi Claire,
      I’m so glad that you have found this and that you will share it with Paula. I am grateful. I hope it may be of interest and it will certainly keep you up to date with my travels.
      Best wishes
      Robin

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