‘He’s in hospital again … and he’s not eating. Perhaps you should think about coming back,’ Brenda said. ‘I don’t think your dad will be going home this time.’
When the call came, I was just setting out on a new life in France.
My two daughters were grown up. With divorce behind me, I was free, and single, and still hoping to find love once more. This was supposed to be my time.
Now it was clear my father was dying. And my mother was in a care home.
I didn’t want to go back, but I knew I would.
Though what the trip would hold – for me, for my father, and though I hardly dared voice the thought, for my mother – was too much to take in.
‘An honest and thoughtful memoir. Moving but, ultimately, full of hope. Beautiful.’
The Languedoc Trilogy
‘A beautiful, intimate story of love and understanding – candid and funny. This is a lyrical memoir of hope and forgiveness.’
The Salt Path
‘A vital subject, a really strong voice and, hurrah, humour makes this absorbing reading.’
Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime
‘A heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and beautifully humane account of loving and caring.’
What Dementia Teaches Us About Love
‘An eye-opening – and at times jaw dropping – account that will make you weep with its tenderness and compassion . . . A highly readable tale of redemption and a celebration of love’s many hues.‘
I have worked as a journalist on local papers and in local radio, made social action and documentary programmes for television, and produced for film, including a role for Illuminations on the Emmy award-winning performance film, Gloriana.
And that is not all…I have also worked as a paella chef, a hot air balloon recovery chap, a painter and decorator, and a teacher of psychology.
LOVE AND LETTNG GO is the story about the maelstrom that is middle-age, a time often written off as uneventful and staid, when the reality is more like an odyssey through dangerous and uncharted waters.
Riding his bicycle – a model called the ‘Odyssey’ – the length of Europe’s longest cycle path – called – ‘La Vélodyssée’ – Shaun fights off oversized ants, sees the forests recently devastated by wildfires, skirts a nuclear missile site and spends time in a naturist resort, taking stock of his life…until the call comes to tell him it’s time to go home.
He returns to see his daughter through a life changing operation, deal with the loss of loved ones, suspicious of a blossoming romance, and his elder daughter with issues to resolve, battling on all fronts even as his own fears of ageing and dying are coming to the fore.
Set in 2022, dubbed the year of ‘permacrisis’, (Collins Publishers) and describing the perfect storm of political upheaval, pandemic, war and climate change, Shaun must ask himself how all the philosophy of the ages can help him avoid drowning in such cruel seas.
All my stories are rooted in my own life. But I like to find parallels between my own experience and the tales of my heroes.
Because I believe in the notion that we are all of us everyday heroes, each in our own way.
Whether you’re a parent, or a child, a lover, or alone in life, it takes courage to get up each morning and meet the day; to deal with adversity and loss, to secure a little joy, and when the journey’s done, to find your way home again.