Keeping The Balance

Fast forwarding a few years, in 1983 as a couple, my wife and I settled in Royal Wootton Bassett and had 2 daughters. I was still working as an accountant for various different companies in the local area (not at the same time!), and progressed through many disciplines of accountancy roles. At the company where I worked as Group Chief Accountant in Swindon, I reported to a person with the same name as the then current Prime Minister, John Major. This made for lots of fun conversations with friends and family about my work!

With a rather sedentary job, finding a way to stay fit and healthy was important to me. I always have had a love of cycling, especially since watching the 1976 Tour De France in Paris on the Champs Elysee. So turning my hobby into a way of not only keeping fit, but also a way to commute to work (15 miles there and back!) was an easy decision. After a while I joined a cycling club, which has given me plenty of amusing, if not painful, stories to tell!  

During this time, the family business was still carrying on until my parents and uncle retired and then it was sold to another company. It was sad to see the business leave the family, but life moves on as they say.

Just over 20 years ago from today, I was working for a major company near Swindon, that had a gave me an opportunity to switch from Finance to an IT role, specifically looking after their Finance systems. I was still not travelling much at that stage, although I had a few business trips to Munich. 

It was not until I was head hunted by a software company based in Alton, Hampshire when I took on the role of a Finance Systems Consultant. I was then sent to many different locations where their clients were, to provide support and work on specific projects at the time.This position took me to Manchester, Redhill, Cambridge, Kings Lynn and many more. I had always enjoyed driving and at that time I was driving a Vauxhall Omega pictured below which was so comfortable and smooth, but also a great family car. 

Our final Vauxhall before we bought our first Jaguar in 2006

Our final Vauxhall before we bought our first Jaguar in 2006

I now discovered that like my father, I had the stamina to drive long distances. As I have said in previous blogs, my father was also an RAC recovery driver, rescuing people whose vehicles had broken down. It was fun to hear about my father’s stories of people he had picked up and taken to their destination in different places throughout Britain, with their vehicle behind them on the trailer. I seemed to have found my ideal job as I was fulfilling a passion for driving, but was able to earn an income from a demanding job as well. As with many good things, there was a down side. With the increase of travelling, I was spending more and more time away from my growing family.

This was a situation that was difficult to balance, but after 3-4 years with that company, I found a role with another major global corporate company in the area that was just 6 miles away from our home. By then, we had a third daughter who was growing up rapidly, so this seemed ideal.

The bonus was that there was still some travel, but not nearly as much as before…… initially, that is.