Monday, January 01, 2001

New here? Read this...

When you turn up to a new blog, it’s not always easy to figure out what it’s about. The latest entry could be out of the ordinary, or full of references to past posts the new reader knows nothing about. So I’ve created this entry to make it easier for you get a bit of background and decide whether this is a blog you’d like to get to know better. So pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable and I'll stick another log on the fire.

My name is Kim and I live in South West Scotland. I’m an overweight middle-aged bloke with a beard, in the heart of a midlife crisis that’s been ongoing for the best part of 30 years. The title of this blog, Ramblings of the Bearded One, is a sort of in-joke from my university days where "The Bearded One" was used in a kind of mock reverential way, with reference to wise men, or hermits in the hills contemplating the universe. I had a beard and I studied philosophy, so that was good enough for my friends.

I’m married with 2 children – my son Rogan who’s 17 and daughter Meg who’s 15 and has Down’s Syndrome. The DS doesn’t dominate this blog in the same way that it doesn’t dominate my daughter’s life – it is only one aspect of who she is, but certainly not the defining one - but it does crop up from time to time, which is why I thought I’d better mention it here. I have 3 older stepchildren, who have all now left home, in their mid twenties to early thirties. The middle one has 3 children, thus making me a grandfather, which still feels odd as I’m only 46.

My wife, Maggie, is the love of my life. We have been together for 21 years and married for 16. She is an artist working with textiles and mixed media. She is also the most wonderful cook in the whole world.

I play the bouzouki and mandolin and play in a band called The Cracked Man, which is a lot of fun.

I used to run a web design business in Central Scotland, but one day we realised we just were not happy with our lives. So we set about envisaging the kind of life we would really want to have, where Maggie could be an artist, I could try my hand at writing and we could be nearer the sea. It all sounded so much better than what we had, we set about changing our lives forever. Far better to try for the life you really want than live out one you don’t.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to capitalise on the new found freedom to the extent I wanted to, as for over 5 years I suffered from excessive tiredness, which has now been labelled as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

However, a few years ago I launched a Portrait Photography business at http://www.kimayres.co.uk where half the fun is in taking the photos and the other half is in digitally manipulating them. I've built it around the CFS to fit my varying energy levels. You can also find my portrait photography page on Facebook

In February 2005 Maggie and I changed our eating habits and began tackling the various physical and emotional issues that had led to us both becoming morbidly obese. The idea was not somuch to focus on weight loss, but to focus on healthy eating and allow the weight loss to be a side effect. You can follow much of my progress over at my other blog, Losing a Hundredweight.

Now you’re up to speed, feel free to leave comments on any of the posts. You’ll find most of the regulars are a pretty warm and welcoming bunch so you’ve no need to feel intimidated or shy. Make yourself at home and I’ll go and stick the kettle on.