People inspire me in all kinds of different ways. The "Inspirational Person" I would like to introduce you to in this blog post has inspired me in too many ways to mention. He is also the person I was most scared of asking if he wanted to be included in this revamped "Inspirational People" section. However, I really wanted him to be the first living human in it.
Dr Derek Lee (to give him his proper title) has had several mentions on my blog (both in its original format and on here). The major reason for his inclusion in this section??? Well, you are reading it (or at least that is part of the story). I would honestly say that he knows me better than most people - he has also helped me more than most people when it comes to me putting up with myself. Not only that but he has encouraged me in my writing and blogging.
I will now let him answer some questions;
1) Let's start by you telling the readers of this blog in your own words how you know me.
We met through our mutual love for creative writing at “Scribbles”, a group for like-minded folk in the lovely little town of Market Harborough in Leicestershire. This must have been around 2002.
2) As this is about "Inspirational People" can you please tell me three people in your life who have inspired you and how they have done so (they can be teachers, colleagues, friends, etc)?
This is a difficult one. So many people have come in and out of my life over the long years and everyone has touched me in their own way. I suppose two teachers in particular ome to mind. Mr Poole was my primary school teacher. He helped me to see that I could achieve something if I put my mind to it. His favourite saying was “When it doubt, write it out”. This has stood me in good stead over the years. Mr Richardson was my English teacher in secondary school. He helped to develop my writing ability and love for literature. In particular, he introduced me to the works of D H Lawrence and George Orwell. The third person is a choice between Simon Weston from the Falklands War – he gave an inspirational speech at my children’s school – and Nelson Mandela for his endurance, beliefs and compassion.
3) What qualities do you look for in a friend?
A shared understanding of the world in terms of social justice. Some shared but not identical likes and interests in the arts. Honesty and loyalty are givens. The ability to give and take. A view of life that allows for quirkiness and humour.
4) How would your other friends describe you?
All the above! I think people see me as warm, supportive and funny.
5) Finally, please tell me something about you that I don't already know (please make sure it is something you don't mind sharing with the rest of the world)?
My first job when I left school was as a nursing assistant in a large Victorian hospital for 1500 patients with severe learning disabilities in Caterham, Surrey. It gave me a new view of the world and confirmed my desire to work in the public sector. The rest, as they say, is history.
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