I’m in Lanzarote this week, soaking up the… Ok, it’s breezy, wet, cool and there’s not a trace of the sun. The weather forecast isn’t very promising either, but as I sit here on my balcony I can appreciate things could be worse.

For a start, I’m here with my darling wife Trish, and my good friend Brendan and his wife Anne. Eating out is ridiculously inexpensive and my favourite cigars about a tenth of the price in Ireland. I’m on my second book, The Green Road, by Anne Enright (the first was the excellent Holding by Graham Norton), and my stress levels are pretty low.

If the weather isn’t the best, well, you learn to make the most of it. KInd of like life with all its ups and downs. Last Tuesday I was let go at Teamwork.com, but I have picked myself up after the setback and now I’m looking at what lies ahead, and how I can maximise my enforced time off.

I have more time for catching up on books, for writing, for rediscovering that put away manuscript of the book I had been working on. I’m more positive and more hopeful than I had expected, and I’m so grateful for the amazing support people have extended to me in the past week. So many messages and good wishes came my way, and the phenomenal response to my last blog really took me by surprise.

Two years ago I left the Irish Examiner, and all my good intentions about using the time I had in front of me seemed to fall by the wayside. I wasn’t quite prepared, even though the process of leaving the newspaper I had worked at for 42 years took eight months, time I should have used to plan properly. That’s history now. I floundered along until landing work at Teamwork.com. Yes, that ended after 9 months, but I learned a lot of new skills, began to believe in myself all over again, and despite what you might think, I’m happy again.

Of course I’m not happy to be unemployed, but this time I have a lot more self belief and confidence that something will work out.

I’v always been dogged by procrastination – putting things off to tomorrow, or next week, next month… I am very determined that won’t happen again. My days will have to be more scheduled, with targets set and deadlines met. I can’t afford to feel sorry for myself and I don’t.

So when I land back in Cork I’ll fill my days with energy, enthusiasm and results. Yes, results. Just watch me.