Foreword part 2

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Part 1: Anecdotes looked at my first thirty years as I made my way in life and tried a number of part-time roles and employments, this Part 2 will follow up with where and how I applied that experience over the following 40 years.

The two parts combine to span my three-score-years-and-ten to seek out understanding, perhaps some values learned. To seek out anything I might pass on to my children and grandchildren – and theirs!

70 years – gone in a flash

Part two therefore starts as we enter the 1980s.

The title includes anecdotes, well that’s clear already, but also refers to assignments. This second period was less about pursuing tasks and roles and much more about creating meaningful operations to which I belonged.

Margaret Thatcher became prime minister and set about selling off council houses and privatising utilities, transportation and other industries. Her global politics gained her the sobriquet of the ‘Iron Lady’. She fought the Falklands’ War and had a stormy relationship with the EU. At home her battles with the unions, newspaper-printers and the miners, and her introduction of the Poll Tax led to a great deal of strife. She inspired a rise in satire and more serious attacks on her and her ministers from the Northern Ireland ‘troubles’.

This decade was a technological step-function, as silicon chip developments saw Apple head for an IPO (initial public offering) and its launch of the Mac, with IBM entering the personal computer market. Desktop publishing software and laser printers were launched, early websites were being opened, luggables, laptops and Nintendo’s Game Boy were released. Sony launched the Walkman as we started to cook by microwave. BandAid changed the nature of charitable giving, as HIV and Aids hit. The TV shows Dallas and Dynasty expanded our shoulders as we followed dysfunctional family feuds.

Whatever your politics this was a time of enterprise being encouraged and rewarded, so it was a great time for me to be looking to strike out on my own.

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