I have lost count of the number of occasions I have fallen into this trap, having taken so much time setting up my revamped website, which included my online blog, I automatically go into shutdown and then find a reason to avoid adding some content to a site, a site that I have to say that I am particularly proud of.
But when you have a site that is lacking in content, it can become a pointless exercise, which was never my intention, especially with my broadcasting projects as well as my activities as a writer.
Despite the lack of activity, I certainly have not been resting on my laurels these last 12 months, following the publication of my last instalment of my Butlins Trilogy, “How do you get the Donkeys up the Stairs?”
Too many things have happened, too many to put in this post; but during that period I have gotten a better understanding of my mental health challenges, which took a significant turn for the better following my diagnosis of dyslexia.
Whilst I felt that a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders, I knew that I had to make some changes in the way I worked when it came to broadcasting and writing. Especially as the deadline for the last book was changed on several occasions. I could not figure out why. Now I know.
I had to work out a strategy to focus on my strong points as opposed to letting my weaknesses dominate my day-to-day life, which it had been doing. I had been trying to rely less on scripts and go with my gut instinct.
There was a time when I could walk into a studio and do a two-hour show not worrying about running order and act on my gut instinct. And for several years, it was working. But the restrictions on working from a family home were affecting my creative thought in everything I was trying to do.
Then having produced a few audiobooks in recent years, I started to enjoy the process from the other side as a listener, something that had been recommended to me following my diagnosis. I cannot explain how, but I avoided my normally biographical stories and settled for a Detective Story, which for some reason flushed away the negative cobwebs in my brain.
The following morning, I found myself writing the first four thousand words of my new book, where Holiday Camps, Redcoats, or “Hi-De-Hi” does not feature throughout.
With the writer’s block sorted, there was still a lot of work to do in terms of mental resilience. I then turned to one of my latest TV Binges, the addictive “SAS, Who Dares Wins,” namely books written by Ollie Ollerton.
Because of my dyslexia, it would be asking a lot trying to read hard copies of the book, but because of my newly found audiobook habit, I started to become engrossed in their writings, not so much the military side of it, which was interesting but how they have used their experiences to strengthen their mental resilience when it came to dealing with day to day life, which we all know is a challenge in itself.
I cannot go into too much about what they said, but I had what I could only describe as an epiphany moment.
After listening to those books, I discovered how not to ignore negative thoughts, but not to let them take over your life, realise when things need to change and how to go about it.
I started to discover a belief in myself that had been missing for a long time and I was ready to take on a new challenge, making a “Father of the Bride” speech at my daughter’s wedding.
Like other planned nuptials, events had to be rescheduled due to Covid. There was never any doubt that it was going to happen, their main concern was what I was going to say in my speech.
For two years I made them sweat. I never knew I had so much power.
In the end, the wedding could not have gone any better, as for the speech it was a satisfactory outcome, even if I say so myself. I am pleased that there were people there that liked my contribution, especially the Bride and Groom, which was the most important thing.
What pleased me was that I was able to do something that I had not been able to do in years, think on my feet with a microphone in my hand. In recent years I would have needed my Red and White uniform. But I was on a voyage of rediscovery.
I did not just discover the old me, I discovered a new stronger version. One that deals with any challenges that come their way. I might not always get them right, but I do not beat myself up as a result. Something I used to say was a reason why I never did Karaoke.
But when Mrs. Frankie Boy and I travelled to another meet up with my Butlins Family down in Western Super Mare, I was a different model compared to the last time we met at Torquay the year before. The video evidence is out there. Same with the pictures.
I got more involved with Karaoke for a start. And I had a lot more fun.
When I returned to the regular mundane day to day tasks of my day job, (I must pay for my creative life somehow), I have continued to grow strong in mind, not quite in body yet, but I am working on that.
I have become more efficient in my creative endeavours. I am not quite there, but I have certainly made enough progress to tell me that I am moving in the right direction. The fact that this post is over 1000 words is proof.
So at the weekend, Mrs. Frankie Boy and I decided to make a day of it, taking in a film that I have been waiting to see for a long time.
For years, we have been fans of the work of filmmaker, Baz Lurhmann. Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge, feature prominently in our home movie collection. So when I found out that he had taken on the story of Elvis Presley, I could not wait till it arrived at our local Multiplex.
I had only ever joined two Fan Clubs during my teenage years, one was Bucks Fizz ( that’s another story) and the local branch of the Elvis Action Club.
My brother and I were die-hard Elvis Fanatics. I have strong memories of us going to see the movie concerts at our local Picture House, “That’s the way it is” and “Elvis on Tour”
And when I saw “Elvis” the movie, their attention to detail was so on the money, which for me included an Oscar-Winning Performance from Austin Butler in the title role, I felt that we were back in the Greenock “Regal” and the “Gaumont” reliving what was magical concert footage and childhood memories.
I thought that the Queen Movie, Bohemian Rhapsody was a great film, which alongside the great performances, their attention to detail was second to none. It deserved the awards and plaudits. But as an Elvis Fan, this new film about the “King of Rock n Roll” ticked so many more boxes for me.
As I mentioned before, my brother and I were huge Elvis Fans. He regarded Rob Kingsley, the star of the Elvis Tribute show, “A Vision of Elvis” as a special friend (and also the best in the business when it came to tribute shows).
A few months before his passing, Rob gave him a bucket list moment when the show came to Greenock when he got to sing an Elvis song with his band.
I know that if my brother was still with us, he would have loved watching this new movie about the “King of Rock” as much as I did.
Pics Copyright Alan Maynard