We've had a few revelations recently in my family, some good, and one which has caused a great deal of sadness. Sometimes things just pile up on top of you, and you don't appreciate the good times as well as you should.
I forget sometimes that I'm a very lucky individual. Okay, so I've not yet made it as a Children's author, and money is tight, but I have a decent job with a terrific boss, a wonderful girlfriend who has supported me in everything I've done (and I, her), and a family of blood relatives and close friends who have always got my back when I need it.
If there's one thing the last seven years since walking out of Eltham College and into the big wide world has taught me, is that you can't live your life always on a high. You must have bad times, low points, ruts, in order to fully appreciate and be grateful for the good times.
We are a privileged people in the Western world, of many and varied heritages, but we are all of the same flesh and blood template. So many aesthetic and trivial differences compared to the physical reality of it all.
I think back to some of my favourite memories, and then I see only the smallest sample of some the suffering that happens globally, on a daily basis, in the media, and I know that there's so much more I can do to make this world a better place.
But where to start? Clearly I want to support railway heritage in this country. It's my passion, and my ambition to make a difference. However, there's more to life than the just the history - it's the people who will be around to appreciate that history in the years to come.
Last year, Ryan Hagan of the Sodor Island Forums and I auctioned off a print of The British Railway Series main trio of characters, to raise money for the Railway Children charity. This year I think we can go further, and raise more money for this wholly positive charity.
The question is how, this year. I want it to be a decent amount, but at the same time I want it to involve as many like minded people as possible. If this can be an educational and entertaining bit of fundraising for a deserving charity, all the better.
Until next time.