Joined 10 years ago from South Lanarkshire
Hi, I'm Allan, the baldy guy on the right of the photograph. The good looking one beside me is Deborah, my wife of 34 years.
We have two adult children of whom we are very proud: Robert and Catriona (Cate).
Robert is a telecommunications engineer and formerly of the Scots Guardsand. He is married to Carla and the father of three of our seven grandchildren: Billy (11), Sean (9), Thomas (5) and wee Robert who is just 3.
Cate is a housewife, student and the mother of our other three grandchildren: Matthew (13), Rachel (11) and Cameron (8).
Although too much of a gentleman to discuss my wife's age, I am now 58, having been born in 1958 to a young mother who was then living with my father while separated from her husband.
My first two years were spent in Glasgow's notoriously violent and rundown Bridgeton area, until I was adopted by an older couple from the middel class Glasgow suburb of Bearsden where I was educated at Bearsden Academy.
I left there in 1975, to work in a laboratory and study chemistry at college.
Just over three years later, I switched careers to join Strathclyde Police as a constable in Glasgow's Maryhill (then C Division), an area since made famous by the elevision series Taggart.
That lasted eight-and-a-half years before I moved on to try a few alternative career paths over the next decade or so: in sales, computer programming, the civil service and banking, before settling into nursing for thirteen years.
All the while, however, I never lost two parallel passions of writing and my Christian faith, and was called to be Assistant Pastor of Redemption Church in Craigneuk, Wishaw in February 2010.
I write prolifically and passionately about anything that interests me, but it was only on becoming a member of Mensa 32 years ago that I discovered I had an IQ of 150. In the meantime my retentive mind has served me well, facilitating not only my writing but my study of the Bible; in addition to which I also taught myself a good deal of biblical Greek and Hebrew along the way.
A Christian since about the age of five, my faith is nevertheless grounded in more than mere head-knowledge - being founded on practical experience and spiritual application.
Suffice to say, my varied curriculum vitae has proven invaluable in informing my writing, which is seldom restricted to theory alone, but more often than not based on personal experience.
My background in science has given me a methodical and logical way of thinking, while my time on the police has resulted in a forensic eye for inconsistency in evidence or argument. Computer programming honed my appreciation of syntax because computers do not respond to chaotic instruction, whilst many of my carrer paths, like the police, sales, the civil service and nursing, have involved working with the public, enhancing my 'people skills' and application of practical psychology.
As a result, whilst I tend to write about what I know, I have never found this to be an undue restriction since I happen to know a lot: not merely about a lot of 'stuff', but a lot about that 'stuff'.
I do not like shallow writing or superficial arguments because I believe readers deserve better than to be patronised or condescended to by an offering of half-baked, ill thought out, or poorly presented ideas.
Instead, I believe that 'dumbing down' should be left to the dummies, because most people who are capable of reading an article are capable of understanding much more than the popular media and many commentators appear to imagine. I respect that and, in so doing, try to not only address their desire for knowlege but satisfy it.
I could go on and on, and on... But long ago realised that the best way to present who I am and what I believe is most simply achieved by expressing those things through my writing and allowing the reader to form their own opinion.
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