Hello Blog, it’s me – been a long time …

Hello Blog, it’s me – been a long time … I’ve missed you.

I missed a lot of things in the past nine months. I tried, I really did, but a blog a month was all I managed – why? Well, I didn’t want to write about the main thing in my life back then as it wasn’t only mine to write about, but now, now that my dear and lovely Dad has passed away, and I am just resurfacing, I can say – yes, looking after Dad took most of my ‘spare’ time and all of my emotional effort to remain cheerful and upbeat for him at times when I really wanted to cry. He always hated to be dependant in any way – and I could not let any strain show for his sake.

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Taken just before his 90th birthday

So we saw him though operations and radiotherapy and the realisation that the cancer had come back into his lymph nodes and that nothing more could be done. He had his last wish and died at home in our lovely old house, where he’d lived for the past twenty-seven years, having seen his grandsons arrive from all over the world to sit with him in the last days, hold his hand, talk or watch old episodes of Dad’s Army with him when he was really tired.

Yet, he was 91, an age he’d never expected to reach when he was young. He’d had a varied and interesting life and had achieved much.9781909936904-Perfect_FINAL copy Sadly he never got to see the second volume of his memoirs in print – but he did write it, and I will edit and have it published. However, this second volume only takes him from 18 years to 28, so I will have to add a little to fill in the remaining years even if only in bullet pointed highlights. This is one of my targets for this year, even if my own writing takes a back seat.

I don’t think many people expected to do a music hall sing-along at the funeral tea – but that is just what one of his grandson’s arranged. You see, Dad had been talking about this song two Christmases ago, and it was found and played to him … with resulting laughter all round. Here’s a youtube link to a video of him listening to it:

And this is the original – so you can hear properly what the hilarity is all about.(Note:it pauses half way through to turn the record over!)  Dad would have loved it, proper Cockney humour and a proper old-time sing-along!

So that’s where I have been and what I have been doing while I’ve not been talking to you, dear blog readers…

What has the past nine months brought you? Happy times? Sad?

Do share – because I really do like to hear from you

x
Ann

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THIS …

THIS is the reason I have been absent from my blog for  so long. 9781909936904-Perfect_FINAL copy

Yes, my father’s book, his first volume of his memories … and it only takes him up to the age of eighteen!

So, why would it be that editing a book for someone else absorbed every last spare minute I had (including my own writing / editing time).

As it happens, and as he will cheerfully admit, he was never given a good formal education but has had a ‘life-education’ in a lot of areas and is self taught in many others. He is also now ninety … so that means his writing is slow and difficult. He has a tendency to write as he speaks, and for the story to ‘just come out of the pen’ as it would come out of his mouth, including running on without a full stop.

AND THEN being the favourite link between what not only had to become sentences, with full punctuation, but then also paragraphs and chapters.

Then, there were the Devon dialect terms he used, not because he knew no different, but because they were used to him and formed part of this fascinating ‘education’ he received. These all had to be checked and, in some cases, explained.

Words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into cohesive chapters with titles that form some kind of sequence of their own and … to keep it all in his words – not to change anything unless the meaning was obscure without some clarification..

This all took a lot longer than was expected … and the deadline was fixed – no fudging this one – His Ninetieth birthday!

So, this had now come and gone – and a successful ‘book launch’ made as he gave copies to the members of the family. After all – that was his only intention originally – to let future generations know ‘where they started from’ – ‘where they’d come from’.

We are rather proud of the finished article (click on the picture to read the blurb on the back)  – it seems to have hit the right spot – it is in his own words – and a fairly easy to follow, great story with lots of insights into social history possibly not recorded elsewhere.

Currently the book is only available from Pendown Publishing but we are wondering whether to make it more widely accessible as those who have been reading it are reporting back as to how much they are enjoying it….

So – it’s welcome back if you have taken he trouble to read this weeks blog – and I’ll be writing again soon, completing that look at gut bacteria and starting out on something new…

And, even though I’ve been absent for so long, I still love to hear from you – so what’s on your mind 🙂

Ann

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