I was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1944 and that makes me an Old Age Pensioner as they used to call it but more importantly, I am a husband of 50 years to Frances. We have two ‘children’ Catherine (Cath) and Alastair (Ali). Cath has two children, Huey (7) and Orlaith (5). Ali and his wife Laura have Bonnie (4) and Alfred (2) and also Lauras daughter Rose who is 18.
After an uneventful education (I liked to learn but didn’t like the way I was being taught) I joined the Army and fulfilled my 3-year engagement with the Irish Guards spending the most time in London but also got to see Germany and Libya. Whilst in London I did my stint guarding Buckingham Palace and as I tease my grandchildren and anyone who stays awake long enough to hear; one day when I was on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace the Queen stopped to speak to me and someone outside the palace railings was overheard saying “Who is that talking to Stuart Smyth”.
I spent most of my career involved in selling, mostly to education and the NHS. I had an interesting position with an old established laboratory balance manufacturer (Oertling) and loved going to schools and universities selling both traditional and electronic machines. Later I not only sold but made our own patented products for NHS laboratories for the safe handling of specimens. When this got too big to handle I got a job with our biggest competitor and spent the last 15 years of my working life with Jones & Brooks ltd still selling the same product which at last was becoming the standard method of transporting medical specimens for all hospitals.
During my retirement I have kept myself busy with various hobbies including woodturning, and making toys for the grandchildren.
Frances and I are keen caravanners but as we live in a lovely part of the country we rarely need to go too far from home. I fact one of our favourite caravan sites is on a farm just 20 minutes from home where we have a lovely view of Middleham village in Wensleydale. One active part of my early retirement came to a sudden end 6 years ago with the death of our beloved springer spaniel Bobby, how we all miss him. I also like to dabble on the internet and have active accounts with Ebay and Amazon. Also, you are reading this because I am currently on John Thornhill’s ‘Partnership to Success Training Program’ and more about John and his training elsewhere.
In the last few years, my health has taken a dive and I have had open heart surgery as it used to be called to repair a faulty mitral valve. That repair has been very successful for 17 years now and the hospital consultant promises a few good years yet to come. More recently I had radical cancer surgery and chemotherapy after a tumour was discovered in my oesophagus (gullet) but it was successfully removed during an 8-hour operation when I had incisions in my front and back totalling 61 stitches. I liken the resulting scars to a shark attack! I am hopeful that the cancer will stay away but I am having regular follow-ups with my surgeon who is pleased with my progress. My wife Frances, however, is not so happy with my weight having lost nearly 2 stones in the last 2 years but it is gradually being put on and I have gained 2 lbs in the last week.
Now I do think this is enough about me and to sum up I am looking forward to getting further involved with the training program and hope you will be interested in this too and have a further look into my Blog.
Thank you for reading this.