January 10th, 2020

Good morning

It's, well, very early.

I should be in bed but I'm here, and that feels right.

I survived the first week back at work. 

It's been quiet but it's sure to pick up very soon. I've got a big contract brewing that will, no doubt, take me away from the office and home for a few days — another hotel somewhere in the West Midlands I suspect.

But, hey, I'm not grumbling: I enjoy what I do — the law that is — and, as I know from bitter (private practice) experience, it could be a lot worse! 

What do I mean? 

I mean, if I was now working for a law firm (a partnership of some sorts), I'd be beating myself up for (a) not working hard enough — or someone obliquely telling me that, and (b) I'd be living on a knife-edge of not knowing when the next claim from a disgruntled client would come hurtling my way. (To be clear, I only ever had one claim against me in 14 years of practice which was a complete try on and from a solicitor who should have known better.)

You see, much like a lot of medicine, law, these days, isn't practised as it once was: it's practised (mainly) to cover your back. That means that lawyers and their clients don't trust each other and there's a huge tension between the best job possible and going well over the top with the advice to make sure you've dotted all the i's and crossed a plethora of t's.

But I digress.

I'm here, sitting at my desk and life is flowing. I nearly said "just flowing" but that would be desultory of what we've been gifted:

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My secondary school

I'm not long back from my lunchtime stroll. 

I get 30 minutes for lunch, and unless it's absolutely hammering it down ⛈️, I always make time for a walk. 

I'm not interested (in case you're wondering) in the number of steps I do. Instead, I take time to bring myself back to the present moment — not that I've really got a choice.

Don't ask me why, but, today, I started to think about my secondary school (I started aged 11 and left in June 1983 aged 15).

I thought: 

"How the hell did I go from the worst-performing school in these parts (then and probably now) to qualifying as a lawyer?"

Not that that amounts to much — if anything! — but quite a number of my year ended up doing bird. That's prison in case you were wondering. 

As to the rest...?

Who knows, but given the lamentable standard of education and support, they hardly had the best start in life.

To be clear: I didn't leave school and then decide on a career in law. I trained as a mechanical engineer before jacking all that in and starting in recruitment. And I was very, very average as a student. Trust me, I was more interested in sport than education.

In the end, my decision to go to University was inspired by nothing more than a challenging question from the Human Resources Director of Northern Foods who, in essence, told me (and I believed her) that if I didn't get a degree, I wouldn't amount to jack sh*t. 

Quite why I chose law is a mystery. In hindsight, perhaps I should have studied psychology or theology. 

Never mind.

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