If you have ever read inkyworld you will have noticed there is a section called “Inspirational People” where I introduce you to some of my friends who I consider to be inspirational.
Today’s “Inspirational Person” is someone who I really like working with for several reasons. He is kind, funny, passionate about helping people, and (this is a very big plus in my book) willing to learn as well as to educate others.
I must admit Roger intrigued me when he first entered my orbit. He was still a Police Officer at this point (he was on the verge of retirement). The best thing was – he appeared to be a Policeman as opposed to a Policeman. This may seem like a strange distinction (especially when you realise our initial contact was through Twitter) but the former category are officers who remember they are human and treat people accordingly, the latter give the impression of being drones in a uniform (bad in real life – even worse on Social Media).
When he told me he was setting up Simple Solutions, I decided to see if we could work together – I wanted to find a way of educating people about sight problems and the challenges they can pose in a “business” environment. So, I sent him an email with a bit about my background as well as a bit about how I thought we could work together. Luckily for me he was willing to take a chance and he has turned into a really good friend.
Anyway – that is enough of my ramblings. Time to let Roger “speak”.
1) Let’s start by you telling the readers of this blog in your own words how you know me.
I met “Inky” on Twitter. She is a very engaging lady who joined a conversation on line and this intrigued me. She asked questions about my job that made me realise that she was asking what a lot of people wanted to know. Later we became Blogging Buddies and with the rise of Simple Solutions and Vulnerable Veterans we have become friends.
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)?
The first inspirational person was Capt. W.E. Johns who wrote the Biggles stories in order to pass on air fighting tips to future pilots. My mum gave me a book of Biggles short stories when I was recovering from chicken pox as a boy. I was transported into another world and became an avid reader which was an inspiration. But Johns wrote about grim humour in adversity, the bonds of friendship, honour, reliability and strength of character. All good attributes for life.
My next inspiration is my wife Lucy (who has a lot to put up with) and whose gentle love keeps me slightly in order, mostly. Her limitless patience and kindness are a source of strength and she will tell me when I am being foolish or negative. We have a good time together and she has never said “you’ve missed a bit”. The poor girl has a lot to put up with but I am a very lucky man.
My final inspirer is Malcolm ‘Mac’ Howells and amazing man who both encouraged and challenged me to be a better man and a better police officer. Mac was laid back until he needed to adjust an attitude. He showed a caring, considerate side to management and had a limitless supply of thoughts for the day that he placed on his office door. This used to have folk go out of their way to read them and gave Mac an extra opportunity to influence each of the visitors. Mac hasn’t had it all easy and his quiet, uncomplaining strength is an inspiration all of its own. I have never heard him be negative.
3) What qualities do you look for in a friend?
The same qualities I would want from anyone: Honestly, trustworthiness, kindness, reliability and compassion.
4) How would your other friends describe you?
I really don’t know – but “bonkers” might capture their general mood. I try to be a good friend and want to go the extra mile when it matters but I am a nightmare with my diary.
I would like to bee seen as a positive influence and only wish to leave footprints in the sand when I leave this world.
5) Finally, please tell me hsomething 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)?
Ooooh, Ineke, there’s so much to tell. Well I went to Chethams Hospital School as a lad and was there when it turned musical and became Chethams School of Music. At that point I decided to give up playing the violin (I had reached Grade1). After an hour of ‘negotiations’ with the headmaster in front of the whole school my decision was ratified.
I went on to put out a lot of chairs for lots of musical performances after that. However my finest musical moment was to be drafted in to sing in the chorus for Die Meistersinger at Manchesters Free Trade Hall – “we just need you to make a noise.”
I’ve been making a noise ever since.