Purple Text Blog

I have been writing about running and endurance at 26.2 & Beyond since 2012, but Purple Text is the place where I put anything relating to something other than that.

Like anybody who writes in the public arena, I always do my best to be clear but I know I can be guilty of purple prose at times – hence the name of the blog. My writing style is basically a mixture of my own speech pattern with a smattering of literary prose and journalistic styling.

As my interests evolve, shift and change over time, so will the content of Purple Text, so essentially you are looking at a blog that covers what I’m interested in at the time of writing. You will be looking at a pretty rough around the edges, grassroots blog as I am not writing to make money or to do anything other than find an outlet for my thoughts.

I will give my opinion in some posts and I will do my best to remain impartial in others. If you like what I have to say please do comment and share. If you don’t like what I have to say, do the same but please try to remember we are all entitled to our opinions. We don’t all have to agree with one another.

The blog does not follow a regular pattern of publication. I don’t aim to post once a week, every month or even quarterly. I am just post as and when I feel like it. The beauty of blogging means I am not beholden to editors or deadlines so I may take my time one month and hurry up the next! At times, I might not blog for months.

As for where my desire to write comes from, that started at young age when I wanted to be a journalist. Between the age of 8 and 12 I honestly believed I would one day become a newspaper journalist covering football and my beloved West Bromwich Albion. Then my eyes were opened to the wider world when the nightly news began front line reporting from Russia’s war in Chechnya between 1994 and 1996. I was so engrossed with the reporting that I used to record the reports on a Dictaphone and transcribe them either that night or the next morning before school into a journal. Football journalism faded into a distant memory almost immediately as I began to explore conflict, warfare and politics.

I think it was 1995, at the age of 11, I took a deep dive into the politics and conduct of the Vietnam/American War – I immersed myself in the subject. Reading books, attending military fairs to purchase material from the war itself, watching any film about Vietnam I could find and generally becoming a huge geek on the subject. I read Michael Herr’s ‘Dispatches’ and Neil Sheehan’s ‘A Bright Shining Lie’ and discovered two very different ways of reporting. Around this time I started to keep a close eye on the news to see what else was going on in the contemporary world.

My next obsession became the Israel/Palestine conflict and between 1998 and 2000 I again immersed myself into the issues of occupation and insurgency. I developed an understanding of the interconnected nature of state power and oppression and the often militant, sometimes ideological opposition to the misuse of that power not just in Palestine but in such diverse places as Colombia, Sri Lanka and Ireland. Then came September 11th 2001 and the world seemed to quite literally explode and split into very visible sectarian East/West delineation. I attended the protest in London opposing the war in Iraq and around this time I started looking at ways I could find a voice in the cacophony.

At this stage I was 20 years old and the previous two years had not been the kindest to me or my family, to say the least. I managed to find an escape route to Lancaster University and my dream of becoming a journalist or someway involved with international affairs was still alive. I arrived in Lancaster in 2004 with high hopes and a sense of freedom, to begin a BA in International Relations. Long story short, that first year did not go very well at all and I eventually ended up graduating in 2008 with a BA in Criminology. My path then led me away from conflict journalism and reportage and into the field of mental health which is and has been my day job since 2009. Yes, I’m happy with my career and I love the fact my work has a positive impact on people’s lives, but that nagging voice has never been far away – the ‘what if voice’, if you will.

The Purple Text Blog is my response to that ‘what if’. It is here that I follow, very much on a part time and hobby basis, my long held desire to write about a wide range of subjects – everything from conflict, people and people to sport, motorbikes, mental health and sociology.

I always have a lot of different ideas swimming around in my head, a lot of things I am researching or reading about at any given time. Sometimes I focus on something for months, other times a few days. I have learned over the course of life so far that those ideas will likely change, themes will drift and new interests will supersede others and so it is that Purple Text will ebb and flow.

I hope you enjoy reading.