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Iain’s Blog

Long time waiting; worth it though?

You have not heard from me for a while, and I  apologise with extravagant profuseness, as I know how many there are who sit expectantly awaiting wisdom, wit and something else starting with ‘w’ (need to work on that…). Ideas on a reply post? Well, here is my inaugural 2015 effort:

I am making very slow, sure and  steady-ish progress in so many areas – emotional, spiritual, physical, business, fun (is this allowed?), as well as broadening my horizons. One of the most exciting moments was working with Angela Rippon as she graciously came to advise 3 injured/disabled Navy/Royal Marines on public speaking. So good, an absolute professional but compassionate with it. That morning gave me such confidence as Angela was actually impressed with both the message and the messenger.

More excitement is my decision to invest in this website, to add some professional input so it does not look quite so home-made. Standby for that, work is in progress. Anyway, that’s my post done, took me a while to remember how to do it, and a bit short on wit and wisdom, but perhaps laced with that unknown ‘w’.

Tandem Ride to Heaven

Last Friday, my daughter drove me to Brighton so that I could go on a tandem ride. I haven’t been on a bike for over 3 years, so this was exciting stuff. One of the staff (great guy called Steve) from Blind Veterans UK charity (formerly St Dunstans)   was prepared to to do this for me.  So we met, he said a few things, including ‘trust me’ and we set off. Due to my eyesight the only place for me was on the back seat and as we headed down the hill I understood what he meant by ‘trust me’. I was terrified  – I had no control whatsoever,  I was totally in the hands of the man in front who I had only just met. “I don’t like this, why did I ever suggest it?”, I was thinking, “I can’t see much at the best of times, and all I can see now is a pair of broad shoulders”. We were travelling fast, and I may have mentioned something unhelpful to my driver, to which he said again, “you’ve got to trust me!”.

Little by little I began to relax, and a thought popped into my tiny mind for a brief visit. “This is like your life – not much control left, so just hold on, look at my shoulders, and pedal. Trust me”.

God, my Father in heaven, in whom I place my disabled life, was using this experience to break through to one of His sons.


A Vision Reborn

On Saturday night (26 April 2014) the vision for my future career completed its resurrection process: I gave my first ‘inspirational speech’ since my speech impairment began. The event was a wonderful dinner in Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, raising funds for St Peter’s Church – a beautiful, classic English building. Around 60 guests had the delight of listening to me talk about my experiences and lessons I’ve learnt which might be relevant for others. I say delight, because that’s exactly what it was for me! You see, the life vision I’d had about public speaking, disappeared while I underwent cancer treatment, and then died as the side effects emerged. How could I have any sort of career in public speaking, whether coaching or actually doing it, with a voice like mine? But over the past 2 years, the combined support of my family, my friends, and my faith, have lifted me to the place where I’ve given many presentations about speech impairment, run coaching workshops, and NOW, incredibly, delivered an after dinner speech to a group of people who had never met me. Even more incredible, they applauded. Sincerely and enthusiastically. A once-dead, lifeless vision, completed its process of rebirth.

Another promise fulfilled – TV interview here

It’s taken a while, but as I promised on 12 December, here’s a link to my interview with British Forces Broadcasting Service TV. It sums up really well how I sound and what I am trying to do now with my new voice. Enjoy! I would be so happy if you felt like making comment (no pressure[just do it]).

My 2014 promise delivered – it’s a real Blog!

Calm down potential bloggers, calm down. From this day forward the full blogging function is available. It scarcely gets more exciting than this. I still need to teach my self how it all works, but I’m on the edge of my metaphorical seat waiting for the first external post. Who will it be? Make sure it’s you to win my respect and admiration.

Promise for 2014

S’pose I’d better pop one on the site before 2013 runs out, I know how many of you are waiting eagerly for a nougat of wisdom (a very small number). I ought to do this properly with a grown up blog page that alerts and accepts comments – in fact, as I type, I’ve decided to set that as a 2014 task, so standby. Anyway, gentle readers, my wisdom soundbite accumulated through giving the same presentation nearly 20 times about communicating with the speech-impaired, is as follows:

    • when I delivered my award winning speech in the 2010 uk final (check out video ) I thought I was a good communicator; actually, I wasn’t – I was a good speaker. Communication is 2-way, and involves so much more than opening your mouth and uttering noise.

Fame at 51!

The excitement does not stop. Today, at the age of 51, I feel a year wiser than I did yesterday. I will pass on some of that wisdom in concise, insightful and inspirational posts in the fullness of time; have patience. I am also famous, at least in my own conservatory. I’ve had a TV reporter and cameraman from British Forces Broadcasting interviewing me. Not because I have reached 51, but because they wanted to capture my story. I will let you know when it will be broadcast on Information TV (Sky 212) and the internet.

First post (as opposed to the Last Post)

What excitement: a 50 year-old creates a Blog, having learnt the skill at Blind Veteran’s UK centre. It does not get much better than this. I’m probably right, it won’t get much better than this. Read on and let me know  (yeah, I am aware there is nothing else to read……. yet, wait for it, I’m just learning)