- Special Guest Author -
Welcome to an interview conducted with a man who has achieved some great things - Seumas Gallacher. Seumas was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphosed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in Abu Dhabi ever since.
Welcome, Seumas ...
Tell us about you and what you do.
I’m a lunatic product of 1950’s Dockland, Govan in Glasgow, glad to have grown up in the so-called ’bad old days’, which were really just ‘old days’. As kids, life in the slums had a lot of positives going for it. Retired far too often in a 50-year career in finance and corporate trouble-shooting. Determined never to be ‘retired’ formally again. Now writing and blogging for pleasure.
What was the happiest moment of your life?
Difficult call, but ranking up there must be the day I realised that I no longer have to help rule the planet… looking after my own issues is plenty.
What was the saddest moment?
Also tricky… each time a dear friend passes on to the big Scribbling Desk in the Sky.
What surprised you most?
Repeated unsolicited kindnesses, sometimes from people I’ve never even met before. I’ve encountered my share of the villains and Negative Nellies of this world, but the ‘good Lads and Lassies’ keep turning up to neutralise the other lot.
What was your greatest disappointment?
Screwing up various marriages…all my fault, and I’m not gonna tell you how many… but the common denominator is me.
Who did you misjudge? Why?
Like most folks, life has thrown up good and not so good times… the number of ‘fair weather friends’ is staggering, but the flip side is that some great pals have stuck around and come through in spades.
What or who was your biggest challenge?
Getting sober more than 30 years ago. Transformed my life, and probably extended it by 30 years to date!
What would be your dying comment? Why?
There’s a million quid buried in……(last gasp)… Why not?... everybody likes a mystery, don’t they?
Who or what stunned you the most?
The success of my crime thrillers on Amazon Kindle continues to blow me away, having started writing seriously only 5 years ago.
What would you like written on your tombstone? Why?
‘The cell-phone reception is lousy down here.’
Who would you rather have not met? Why?
Anybody and everybody who thinks their job position or alleged social standing is a supposed superiority differentiator with others. I’ve seen too many ‘Hooray Henrys’, expats, working in the Far East demeaning locals. Loathe it.
Who were you most envious of? Why?
When in my 20s, Georgie Best, the footballing genius. I wished I’d had his skills.
Who did you forgive – for doing something you never thought you’d forgive?
My father, for being the man I promised never to be, then I turned out exactly like him… and when I got sober, I realised he had been a guy just like myself, with problems, issues and difficulties of his own. It was a major pivotal point in my life, which I’m glad happened. He‘s long since dead, but I love him now, and miss the ‘what could have beens.’
What was your greatest moment in your life?
Becoming top student in my primary school at the age of 12, leading to a free bursary scholarship at a higher educational college, as our family had no means to support that independently back then.
What is your greatest achievement?
Surviving thus far.
What personal traits would you like to have in your next life?
Kindness. Emotional stability. Intelligence. Social ease.
What advice would you give to world leaders?
Step aside and let children take over.
What advice would you give to parents today?
Love your children as if they may be taken away from you tomorrow. That happens too often, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The chasm left can be horrific.
Who would you choose to be stuck on a desert island with?
For mental stimulation, the late Peter Ustinov. For social and (a-hem) other considerations, a young Goldie Hawn.
Have any heroes? Why? Who?
Hundreds. Pick of the bunch is a man called Angus Macintyre, my boss at the bank on the Hebridean Island of Mull when I pitched up there as a 15-year old trainee banker 50 years ago, having left home after a fight with my father. Angus was a cross between Einstein and Groucho Marx, and a joy to be around.
What are the greatest legacies you will leave behind?
I didn’t kill many people.
What’s lacking in the world today?
In general, selflessness at personal and national levels. We can spend trillions on sending a machine to Mars for a bucket of water, and on construction of enough armaments to kill everyone on Earth a dozen times over, but we let millions die of starvation and lack of medicines all over the planet.
Any pearls of wisdom for the rest of us?
Yes, Something I saw on Facebook recently and have constantly been boring everyone else with since, “Everybody, and I mean Everybody, you meet is fighting some sort of battle you know nothing about. Be kind.”
What would be the last sentence you ever write?
What inspired you most?
Courage in people. Often in unexpected circumstance, sometimes seemingly trivial, but acts which involved stepping in fear outside of personal comfort zones.
Who or what made you laugh the most?
My comedic God, Billy Connolly. Genius. I have CDs and DVDs of almost everything the man ever produced. Makes me laugh in seconds watching any of his material.
What would be your top three chosen careers in your next life?
God. Deputy God, Assistant Deputy God.
What is your prime focus in life today?
Trying to stay in the ‘now’ and savour whatever time may be left to me, which I hope may be quite a while.
Do you have any fear of doing something wrong?
No. Made most of my mistakes already, I think. Not much left to mess up.
If or when you reflect on your past, can you identify any world events that you believe had a significant impact on you?
As a senior executive banker, the succession of man-made idiocies leading to the global economic and credit disasters, has impacted me and just about everybody else in the so-called developed world, and even more excruciatingly on the needy in the under-developed regions.
Do you think one can live a purposeful life without knowing the meaning of life?
Absolutely. The meaning of life is whatever you determine it to be,
From your perspective - what is the way forward for the world?
Charity. Above all, proper charity.
Imagine that you were given a chance to live again, what will you do first and what will you do differently?
Learn stuff from the start. Help more people earlier. Become an author sooner.
Do you have a bucket list? Tell us more.
Sort of. Mostly going round the world several times, visiting fellow writers and great people I’ve only met on the Web.
Any great claims to fame?
The famous Andy Warhol notional ‘15 minutes of fame’ for me would include playing three times as a semi-professional footballer at Hampden Park in Glasgow, winning medals for singing in Gaelic festival competitions as a late teenager, having acquired the language in the Hebrides, and now becoming an Author Legend in my own Lunchtime.
Anything you’d like to add?
Wanna say a heartfelt’ thanks’ for such a great array of questions, Clancy. Come on over and visit with me sometime soon. Cheers.
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher
Amazon links for ‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’
Amazon.com.au links for Jack Calder series
The Violin Man's Legacy : http://bit.ly/1iuUhy3
Vengeance Wears Black: http://bit.ly/1bbPFqY
Savage Payback: http://bit.ly/I112Hg
Clancy's comment: Many thanks, Seumas, for sparing the time and offering some great answers. Thanks for the invite to the United Arab Emirates. You are on the visit list, so brace yourself.
Think about this!