Alan Tomkinson has had a rather eventful life. As well as being a musician and songwriter who wrote and performed with some global music stars, he's built up the country's largest boarding cattery from scratch, done a spot of motor racing, befriended a lion, built up a lorry-building company, and about twenty years ago, when he was seventy, he retired. And then built his own house.
A few years ago, Alan popped into AMP Guitars on Chestergate. He was looking for somebody to do some piano arrangements of some of the songs he'd written over the decades. Chris, the guitar whisperer who owns the shop, pointed him towards me.
Three years later, and Alan and I have since become good friends, sharing coffees and experiences and music and ideas. I've done a few arrangements for him, including his Scottish Anthem, which is getting some serious recognition, and we've had a trip up to Scotland together to do some promotion and visit some of his old friends. We've had some terrific times.
Up until now, the only thing it seems Alan hasn't done is to write a book about the things he's done. So guess what he's doing now?
Even before I was entrusted with the editing and promotion, it was one of the funniest collection of stories I've ever read. I absolutely implore you to come and enjoy his stories on his Patreon. It's only a couple of quid a month, or whatever you want to pay, and every week there's another terrific story coming out.
In fact, it's quite incredible that all this happened to one person in a single lifetime.