Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Friday 1 May 2020

Going your own way

Ever since leaving school I've attempted to stay true to myself and live life guided by the values and beliefs which had been adopted during those formative years. Can't say that I'm any kind of saint because of this, nor particularly different from the rest of humanity, but what I can say is that I remain an individual and proud that I've stuck to my guns, particularly during periods of adversity. Never sold out, certainly never sold my soul to the quest for the mighty dollar yet, somehow, I've made it to here and find myself in a very comfortable position. Yes, indeed, I've been incredibly fortunate with the way my working life has evolved. If I ignore that fling (1974 -79) with The Medical Research Council (The Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine, Dagger Lane, Elstree, HERTS - I'm actually a fully qualified Medical Lab Technician), then my whole working life has been factory/warehouse based, shop floor pure and simple, for just three employers; Kodak, Unilever and, now, Fujifilm SIS. Loyalty is a fundamental belief in my way of thinking, these three multi-national organisations have provided me with reciprocal treatment, helping to guide me through many of life's challenges. Certainly stuff you didn't get taught at school. Marriage, divorce, birth, periods of ill health and death, these companies have been there to support me, when asked, through some of the toughest periods of my journey. Human Resources departments aren't just there to administer warnings over piss taking of the sickness rules or unacceptable behaviour within the workplace, they exist to assist members of their staff to seek help with problems, of whatever nature, well placed to offer sensible advice and point individuals in the right direction of where to find this information.
I'll happily admit that factory life isn't for everyone, especially the limp wristed, office dwelling, feint-hearted, it can be brutal at times yet, for me, it is a place where I'm well within my comfort zone; having a thick skin and more than two brain cells between my ears certainly helps! The banter, the camaraderie, the whole factory vibe is why I've stuck with it and enjoyed the experiences along the way. So what's this all about? At 12.40 hrs, today, I left site knowing that I won't be going back for three weeks due to being "furloughed". It will be the longest period I've not been at work in my entire working life and I'm not too sure how I'll cope?
Gavin Haig has blogged about "Plan B" - I don't even have "Plan A"! Steve Gale ends the "laid back garden challenge" on 7th May. What to do next? Well, as an individual, the #BWKm0 will continue until the "lockdown" is officially over, it's been a brilliant distraction from the reality of this current madness, thus far. A garden safari might be a project worthy of further exploration? I simply don't know because I've never been here before. A new moth trap might well be in the equation if things don't look like changing any time soon, then there's the garden foxes to photograph - a bat detector? Now there's a thought.
The garden will be central to whatever happens over this next three weeks, thus the feeding stations, bird and hedgehog, will play a major role in the way my days pan out. That hedgehog house will get built and there's a chapter for Ben Ward's Tring Angling History to get completed. I'm not without projects, it's simply the unknown pathway this current situation could lead, that is causing me so much angst.


  1. Dyl, concern yourself not.

    We've been here before. You now have plenty of free time.

    The current lock-down is an extreme situation which doesn't bear much relation to having 'free time' as we have come to view it. So we have to find different ways to fill it.

    But you do have one advantage. You have the resources to fund that free time. Many don't.

    I've been on free time for years. I feel no guilt about that. I pay my way. It's all society wants or expects of me.

    The way I see things. If anyone wants to work when they don't have to. Then charity work is the route to go.

    1. Ric,
      Cheers for this comment and I agree with most of what you say. I work because I want to, not because I have to, and that pisses off loads of guys in the factory for whom work is a necessity. My Dad worked until he was 74, Bev's Dad finished when he was 78, both said to me to keep working for as long as I can. It's not about money, it's about social interaction and regular disciplined routine.
      Charity work is certainly an avenue worthy of exploration when my body is no longer able to cope with the demands of factory floor involvement.
      Cheers for the comment - keep safe - Dyl

  2. Dylan, you have a garden, you have income, you have a natural affinity with your environment, you actually have "free time" and an active mind UTILIZE it!! Also you have your Blogs to update which I and others look forwards to. I live in a Flat with no garden a real big oversight on my behalf! I work 12 shifts in the NHS < I unwind through Nature and Primarily fishing, man do I miss this too. Heads up this will all ease off soon and i hope we all appreciate our environment and one another (unlikely) more for the experience. stay safe.. Phil

    1. Phil,
      I'm under no illusion that my situation isn't many times better than that of so many others, in very different living spaces. I am, indeed, very lucky to have the garden/location that I currently enjoy. Free time - yes I have it in abundance, but free choice has been removed from the equation so, to my way of thinking, I'm wasting my life.
      There is much to be said for the garden birding as covered by the #BWKm0 laid back challenge instigated by Steve Gale, however, it only runs until Thursday (7th May) and then I'm on my own! Sitting in my study writing the chapter about Tring in the 80's does nothing but remind me what I could be doing with so much time on my hands - if only I was allowed?
      Sorry the post was such a downer - it's just a statement about my perception during these incredibly difficult times.
      Thanks for taking time to offer your own views, always nice to see another perspective - all the best - Dylan

  3. Good post Dylan. I am really interested in your take on life and feel I can learn from you. For the life of me I cannot see why anyone would work if it was not a must. For me its something that gets in the way of my real life. Look at it this way, if I didnt get paid, would I still go to work? Not a chance, so the conclusion is that I am only there for the money to pay for my real life.
    I have been lucky enough to continue getting paid, working from home online from 8 -4 5 days a week. This is week 7. How will I cope when I have to go back and interact with humans, I dont know but it will be done I suppose.
    Role on 4pm, the sun is shining outside, other beings are calling me... :) Stay safe.Keep blogging. If nothing else it gives me something to read during the day ....

    1. Hi Stewart,
      Not too sure there's much I could teach you mate? My values and beliefs are a result of an individual's journey through life and, therefore, are not transferable or applicable in other situations. That I am lucky enough to have a job which I enjoy, for the most part, is why I continue to use work as part of my weekly disciplined routine plus it allows me to interact with a wide cross section of opinions as defined by the other members of the workforce. I fully understand that it's not for everyone, but it works for me and that's all that matters in my world! Take care & stay safe - Dylan