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It’s Friday. I have an afternoon off, and thought that rather than write another satirical piece I would say a little something to the followers of this site. A thank you, for the support; and a bit of an explanation of who writes these posts, and just what it is you’re supporting.

My name is Paul Duncan. Part of the year I live in a small house in Toronto’s West End with my wife and two kids. The rest of the time I work on a large yacht as the chief officer, and occasional captain when the full-time skipper takes some time off. There is, of course, a long version of how this came to be. It starts with my dropping out of the Ryerson School of Journalism in 1999, after a first year in which I gained the loftiest heights of mediocrity; and continues through until today, where I am right now sitting on the bridge of a large motor yacht that is being buffeted by the final throes of Hurricane Jose, here on the dock in the quaint port of Newport, Rhode Island. In between leaving school and writing this note lie eighteen years of movements and travels that at their best were formative; at their worst were desultory; and in the aggregate were, of course, just another way to live a life. Throughout that time, and into today, two things have remained constant: I am a news junkie. And I like to write.

Sometimes I write these posts from a shed in our backyard. I also write them in my down time here onboard the boat, and in the passenger seat of our family car, and in busy bars and quiet cafes, and in bed beside one or the other of our insomniac children, and racked in my bunk below decks. I’ve posted from airports, libraries, taxis, tuk-tuks, trains, phone booths, ferries, and grocery store line-ups. And the question you might well be asking is: why?

Because I am a news junkie. And I like to write.

And the urge had to go somewhere, so I started this page. There have been some successes, and some abject failures. Strangers have reached out in the nicest possible ways. Other strangers have said things that were downright creative in their ugliness. I read every comment (partly to maintain a semblance of civility down there in the trenches) and I recognize many of the names of those who like, or share, or comment often. I feel a connection there – that we are sharing a laugh. Sometimes at the more frivolous aspects of life. Sometimes at the deeply fearful.

So I’d like to say thank you to those who follow The Out And Abouter, or may have read the odd piece, or just happened upon this particular missive and managed to make it this far. I really enjoy writing these. That you enjoy reading them, and take the time to respond (on any level) is a regular marvel to me. One I deeply appreciate.

Have a great day wherever you are, and whether you stay in or get out. And about.


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