When something interesting is happening in my life, I generally like to talk about it. For me, it’s all part of the build up, and I get almost as much pleasure from discussing things as I do from actually doing them.

So you can appreciate then, dear Reader, how hard it’s been for me these last few weeks to have had to keep a secret from you.

But now finally the cat is out of the bag and I can tell you all about the massive changes that are afoot in my life.

It all started when I realised that my time at the Western Mail was drawing to a close. I was feeling restless, unfulfilled and ready for the next step.

But what exactly was that next step? Journalism jobs aren’t exactly thick on the ground and anyway, was that really what I wanted to do?

After all, my deepest desire was never to be a journalist, but to write novels. Wasn’t it time I got started on that dream?

Also, I wanted to do something more worthwhile. Writing about what shoes are in trend and which anti-aging moisturiser works best can be fun – but it doesn’t exactly change lives.

I won’t take you through the long and arduous journey I’ve been on since making the decision to have a career overhaul, but the upshot is this:

On Friday January 8th, I will bid farewell to the Western Mail after 4 ½ years of working first as a trainee reporter, then senior reporter and then senior features correspondent and editor of WM.

On Monday 11th January I will travel to London for a training day with the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference programme. Yes, I’m one of 500 lucky applicants to have won a grant aimed at allowing people to work for a charity of their choice for two months. Certainly ticks the ‘worthwhile’ box, doesn’t it?

On Tuesday 12th January I will start my placement with Aid International, a fabulous charity run by my church, with whom I have signed up to do a trip to Zambia next summer (if you want to help me meet my £3,000 fund-raising goal you can do so here).

Then, on Friday 15th January I start another new job, which bears the impressive sounding title of ‘arts lecturer’ at Eastwood Park Prison. In actual fact, I will be teaching a variety of crafts to the juvenile girls there, assuming I get security clearance for any of the materials I want to use!

Finally, with an extra 10 hours a week freed up by not having to commute to Cardiff any more, I have every intention of getting to work on that novel I’ve dreamed of writing since I could hold a pen.

So there we have it: my new life in summary. It’s going to be exciting and scary and challenging and all sorts of other things… and I absolutely cannot wait.

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