August 9th

For the last five years, August 9th has been a date I have found pretty difficult to bear. My mother would have been 67 today, and I wish so much that I could still visit her or call her on skype and see her, and talk to her, and spoil her with champagne, chocolate truffles, and flowers for her birthday.

I wish I could get excited because she was planning a visit to California to come see me and my life. I wish I could show her my life and my gratitude.

Nothing ends the numbness I feel when I realize for a moment that she is gone forever. It pauses for a while as I am busied by life and things and days and those thoughts that come from nowhere.

To go from believing that there would always be a person around that had your back no matter what, no matter how much you messed up, to feeling unsure what you would do if you ever hit rock bottom and really truly needed someone, is a jolt to the psyche. I have experienced the slow realization that my connection to life is cut at one end. Not only that but the memories and anecdotes of my own very existence died with my dear mother.

When Susan Newton died in November 2012, part of me died too, and more parts die forever until I’m gone.

I miss you and love you and close my eyes so hard and wish you were still here for me.

Yorkshire Day 2017

Yorkshire Rose
Happy Yorkshire Day!

I, David Newton, being born in the West Riding of Yorkshire declare:

That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1142 years standing; That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire; That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women; That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

These declarations made this Yorkshire Day 2017. God Save the Queen!


Me and Mum

Four years ago yesterday, at 3.08 am Pacific Time on the 10th of November 2012; I received a phone call from my little brother in the UK. I fumbled in the dark for my cell phone and answered. He said, “I think mum’s dead.” She had suffered a heart attack, and my brother found her at home on the couch in her living room.

Twenty hours after the phone call, four years ago today, I had made the trip from Vancouver Island, Canada, back to my hometown of Sheffield, UK, and I was at my mother’s bedside in the Northern General Hospital. She laid there unconscious and connected to various machines that made all kinds of beeps and clicks.

Four years ago tomorrow, I was holding her hand while she passed away. She was 62 and had retired only two years previously. The doctors said that there was nothing they could do. The amount of time she had been unconscious meant that she had been without oxygen for too long. Read more

The guilt of letting someone go

I manage a team of people. I am responsible for their hiring and training. I interview them when they apply for a position and then I make sure that they get all that I can give them so that they may best perform their role.

This system works. We get talented people, and they meet or exceed our expectations, and they stay until they find another challenge to begin.

Sometimes this does not turn out as expected. People can interview well, and you can believe that they will work out and become a productive, self-sufficient and functioning member of the team, but until they are there, doing the job, or their version of it, you can’t tell. Read more

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