Now that the big freeze seems to be relenting if only for a short while it seems to be as good a time as any to start reminiscing.
To understand my memories and attitudes I suppose you really ought to know something about me!
Well I was unleashed on an unsuspecting world at the unearthly time of 5.11 on the morning of 29November 1951. Like a lot of people I can not say that I remember anything of my childhood before starting school. I can even remember my first teachers name-Miss Williams. Life at home was I suppose fairly ordinary with one major exception. My father ran his own cycle repair shop and even in those days small traders were struggling and my parents spent a long time deciding to sell the shop and take a paid position as a manager therefore ensuring a regular income. In the end they decided to sell. My Mother even delayed buying the Sunday joint until after 4 on Saturday afternoon when the local butcher reduced the cost by a shilling.
Money might not have been plentiful but two things were, love and respect. These two things have stayed with me all my life and they are still very important to me. Love is a strange thing to describe, I never use the word with anything but the utmost sincerity.
Sadly my Father died in 1961 and in the last year of his life he could not manage to climb the stairs and he slept downstairs and many mornings I would wake early and go downstairs just to talk to him. Despite his illness he was adamant that life should go on and not stop just for him, an attitude that I have followed during my illness. Probably every body says this but my Father was a great man and in those conversations he taught me a lot of life skills especially on an interpersonal basis.
After my Father died we spent every Christmas with my Grandmother and I well remember Boxing Day 1962 and when it started snowing in the evening one of my Uncles said 'it will turn to rain by the morning'! Well as history records it did not and it snowed every day until March.
In those days the benefits that are available now simply did not exist and my Mother must have struggled to bring us two boys up. This was something that I was aware of at the time but only realised the enormity of it in later years. Again I have learnt another lesson here- people are more important than any possession. Even to this day my philosophy has been to try and help people be happy and content.
I hope this explains something of my attitude to life and even though my life is fragile due to cancer With all sincerity I hope that part of my legacy will be that I spread just a little love and care.
On the subject of health my appointment at The Royal Marsden is this Friday.