It has been three months now since I took the difficult decision to quit blogging and close down the Alan W Collins network of websites, and I feel I am now able to explain in more detail why that decision was taken.
People who know me personally will know how much I loved blogging, how much I enjoyed writing and researching articles and how much of an over-excited buzz I got on the rare occasion I scooped an exclusive.
Flicking the “off switch” left a lump in my throat not felt since I left the Air Training Corps in July 2009 – I had, after all, been through a lot in that time and had taken each and every single one of you on my political and personal journey with me.
But people who know me personally will also know that there is a greater love in my life, one which will always come first: the charity of which I am Treasurer and a Trustee.
As we entered June, I sensed a difficult and turbulent time was coming – and, sadly, I was right. In June, my whole life was turned upside down when I split with my fiancée and then, while I was trying to enjoy a relaxing holiday in Spain and prepare myself for moving my life forward, a chain of events was set in motion that culminated in the agreement between Medway Council and ourselves that we would leave our current premises by 31st March.
Since my return from Spain, I have been focused on matters relating to the charity, and very little else. Indeed, readers locally will have no doubt seen the steady stream of articles appearing in the Medway Messenger – covering simply the tip of the iceberg of my activity over the past couple of months.
However, since June, my life has begun to settle into a new routine of near-normality, and I am able to re-evaluate my priorities and time once again. I am working hard for a post-Riverside RAFA Club. I am working hard to find a full-time job. And, let’s be honest, I am still working hard to adjust to a social life as a single man!
In the midst of all this, I am delighted to announce I am returning to blogging – though I must stress that it will purely be blogging. This will not be a resurrection of The View from Medway – the blog where I learnt my trade evolved into something so much more and, despite occasional nostalgic longings to return to it, I simply do not have the time to dedicate to such a sizeable portal.
You will, instead, be seeing semi-frequent posts on this new-look personal website, with a focus on both local and national politics, law and my other great love: Gillingham Football Club. Posts will be primarily opinion-based, presenting objective, reasoned content drawn from facts and careful research.
So I thank you all for your patience and understanding as, after a difficult three months, I sign on with those immortal words: