intro glyn

[Handwritten by Glyn while in hospital, early April 2016]

“I have Gon to seek my fortune”.

This was the note, pencilled by a small boy and left on the kitchen table of his parents’ farmhouse early one morning in 1945. He then set off to explore the woods and crags of their steep-sided valley and was probably home again for tea. So, did he ever find his fortune by that lonely Pennine stream? I guess that he did – not in pieces of silver and gold, but in stumbling onto a new cave, a pool in the river than might just float a tin bath with him in it, or a new island where he, Joyce and Charlie – children at a neighbouring farm – could build a den.

By 2016, my life has seen many such departures, major and minor, but never, I think, in search of wealth. I have headed off to study, to join volunteer programmes at home and abroad, to teach, to sail the seas in little boats, to marry and have children, to set up a social research unit, in sending a million tools or more to village workshops in Africa, and in carving curious stone sculptures on the Isle of Wight. Any money going towards these adventures was a bonus and the richness that I found grew from the wonderful people I met on the way. People of integrity; inspiring, practical folk, unashamed at doing manual tasks; people with inner strengths, unabashed at being called “loony Ban the Bombers” – we took and received from each other and every exchange made us richer people.

The fortune in my life has been to share it with inspiring parents, family, relatives, friends and campaigning comrades. These good people, my wife Sigyn and partner Erika among them, have put up with, cared for and loved me, combined with “The Kindness of strangers”, years of excellent health, a positive outlook, some imagination, useful artistic and practical skills—and many a crucial intervention by my “Guardian Angels” (they worked overtime!)—this was all my fortune.


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