Friday, 26 May 2017

This Silly Old Man Is a Happy Old Man

This silly old man is a happy old man.

Yesterday marked one week since my beautiful daughter Rebekah passed away.  I have not been writing diary entries, it did not feel right but I do have a lot to share with my readers so here goes.

A week ago I could not imagine life without my Little Miss Sunshine, that was what we called her.  During the past week so much has happened, so much that has actually left me feeling happy.

My family has been inundated with flowers, cards, letters and beautiful, beautiful messages.  Beck obviously touched the lives of so many people and those people have rushed to send their love to Rebeha's husband, to my wife and to myself. I feel so warm, so strong and supported. All of this leaves me feeling happy. Yes, happy is the right word.  I am smiling my way through the days.  I am laughing.  I am joking.

My wife and I have now legally changed our names to include Rebekah within them, we have to start practicing new signatures.

Our garden has forty sunflowers smiling for our Little Miss Sunshine.  

Her friends are organising a fun run to support Rebekah's loved charity, Ronald McDonald House.  

Once the celebration of her life has formally taken place on Tuesday 6th June I will be promoting this fun run like crazy.  The friends have set themselves a target to raise one thousand pounds, as of this morning they have raised two hundred and five pounds.  We will smash that target several times over.  HAVE A LOOK.

Ronald McDonald is, of course, the face of the international fast food giant but he is also, and more importantly, the face of Ronald McDonald House providing loving accommodation for families who have children seriously ill in hospital.  There are fifteen Ronald McDonald houses in the UK and THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE in FORTY TWO different countries of the world.

Without Ronald McDonald my family would not have been able to cope with all we had to while Beck was a child. She loved Ronald McDonald.

If you take a look at Ronald, clowning around, that is how I feel.  This silly old man is a happy old man.  I may not have my Beck with me in a physical sense but she is with me in a new and very happy way.  I will not be living the rest of my life without Rebehah, she will always be a central part of it.

For a moment, a week ago, I wondered if I should end my fifty year old hobby of writing.  This diary is just a small part of my hobby. I am engaged in a major writing project for a novel THE BRIDGE HOUSE.  Rebekah, I know, never thought much of my writing but an author writes for himself and not in the hope that people will actually read what he scribbles. 

The Bridge House starts in 1901 when the central character is eleven years old and Queen Victoria has just died.  The story will end shortly after Rebekah was born in 1983. 

Having lost Beck I wondered if I could finish the story. My wife said I should write it for Rebekah.  That I am doing and from the website I have set up to work on the draft story I am inviting Beck's friends, those who knew her and all who read my writing to help me with the story.  This diary has readers in ten different countries of the world.  I invite everyone to help me write this story.

My plan demands I finish the draft for Chapter One by 4th June, the date of Rebekah's funeral. We are not using that word but a celebration party is being held on 6th June.  My plan is to finish the story completely and be ready for publication by 15th October. Beck's Ronald McDonald fun run is happening on that very same day !  My plan was written before Beck passed away and before the idea for the fun run.

Strange ?  Coincidence ?

The central character in the story is my grandmother, Lily.  Her childhood home was The Bridge House.  NO that is not The Bridge House in the cover image and NO the lady in it is not Lily.  Read the website, click the picture, for an explanation or simply go to

Ever week my grandmother used to bake fruit cakes. I had started to write this into chapter one when it was decided at Beck's celebration we would have cakes. We are asking everyone to bring cakes to the garden party celebration, many more than we can possibly eat. The next day we will be taking cakes to the school where Beck worked and to the hospitals where she was cared for.  Cakes and Rebekah are woven into the story.

The one type of cake I can make myself are those same fruit cakes my grandmother used to make.  I will be making a few dozen for the celebration.  My grandmother could also make an incredible bread pudding. As a student she would make me bread pudding.  I love bread pudding, could never make it myself and it is not easy to buy these days.  I am just starting to weave bread pudding into the story.

Rebekah had invited us to tea last Sunday and was going to give me a gift as a thank you for taking her to and from hospital while her dialysis programme was being set up.  She know how much I love music so had got for me an Andre Reiu CD. The ONLY music I have listened to since losing Beck is that CD, I have played it over and over and over again.
  There is one song in particular, Santa Lucia which I love.  I am weaving this into the story.

As the writing progresses there will be more and more of my Little Miss Sunshine buried deep inside it.  The reader will probably never know about this but I will.
The finished story will be published both as an e-book and in a traditional format.  Yeh, I love the ego boost when I see lots of copies of my writing have been sold but the actual writing is what is important.  When The Bridge House is finished I am going to promote it like crazy, I want it to sell an amazing number of copies. All of the royalties will be given to Ronald McDonald to help him care for families of sick children in hospital. 

Please will you help me write this story ?  Please will you support, encourage, criticise, offer suggestions ?  Keep me writing and make sure I reach the deadlines in my plan ?  Make sure Chapter One is finished by Beck's celebration. make sure the whole work is published on the day of the fun run. Please go to and read the draft.

This Silly Old Man is a happy old man.  Thank you for bringing that happiness into what could have been the darkest time of my life.

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