Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Boys From The Alarm

I met up with two members of my favourite band The Alarm in Soho, and took their photo for the new book Lives & Times. Don't worry the photo I will use in the book will not include me. Nigel Twist and Eddie Macdonald were out for a meal in London last October before Nigel headed back to the USA, and they kindly agreed to have their photo taken. Since the band split in 1991 Eddie has established himself as a highly respected professional photographer, and Nigel is a Senior Investigator at the San Francisco Public Defenders Office. They were really friendly, interesting and great fun ensuring that I have another cracking chapter to add to the book.

As things stand I now have 3 out of the 4 original band members photographed for the book, leaving just Dave Sharp to come on board, can it be done? Time is running as the book is almost finished...

By the way watch out for Eddie's new musical project Smalltown Glory with a new EP coming soon.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Lives & Times

I can announce that the title for book 2 is to be "Lives & Times". It will need a subtitle / slogan, and I am open to suggestions for this. Suggestions should incorporate the fact that the book is going to feature photographs of people and will be raising money for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

I am hoping to have the photographs finished by the end of the year, and get the new book out maybe on my birthday next year on February 21st :) However if any kind souls come on board approaching this deadline I will put it back.

Over the next week I am meeting the cast of Stomp and John Shuttleworth. I am waiting for a confirmed date to meet Gabby Logan, and keeping my fingers crossed that Jonathan Agnew from Test Match Special will agree to be in the book.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Two Sides of Bowel Cancer

Over the last 24 hours I have experienced the two sides to bowel cancer, and both the good and bad sides reinforce the importance to me of raising awareness about this terrible illness.

Yesterday I met up with the ex West Ham Utd, QPR and England goalkeeper Phil Parkes. Phil has recently successfully beaten bowel cancer after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumour. The survival rates in many cases where there is early detection is 90%, therefore it is so important we are aware of the possible symptoms and go to the doctor if there is a change in bowel behaviour. I spent a fascinating hour and a half with Phil talking about his illness, and his career in professional football including a wonderful story of his reaction to being overlooked for an England cap by then manager Don Revie. He was keen to point out that bowel cancer does not distinguish and it can strike down any of us. We chatted about how sadly for Bobby Moore diagnosis came too late.

On the other side of the coin sadly today we learn that Lynda Bellingham has lost her brave and dignified battle with bowel cancer. Her story has touched us all, and reaffirms that it is still the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK in spite of it being treatable in so many cases. I am not aware of the specifics of Lynda's case, but I have read that the she had probably been living with the tumour for 18 months before it was detected. In the last few weeks of her life she stopped her treatment and courageously faced the end in the spotlight of the media, and doing everything possible to ensure that people in the future might not have to suffer a similiar fate. A remarkable lady finally at peace.

Both the Beating Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book published in 2012 and the follow up book coming out early in 2015 aim to not only raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, but also to help raise awareness about the illness.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

My Hometown Club Maidenhead United To Be In Book 2

I have just found out that the manager of Maidenhead United, Drax Hippolyte has agreed to meet me and be photographed for the new book. This is particularly exciting for me as my late grandfather Jack Darvell was a club official at the club in the 1930/40s. The club is steeped in history and it's going to be a fascinating experience and interesting chapter to do.

Monday, 13 October 2014

More People Agree To Be Photographed For Book 2

It's going to be a busy few weeks with the new book as some more people have come on board. 

I am meeting ex footballer and world class goalkeeper Phil Parkes at Upton Park this weekend, and he has been fighting his own battle with bowel cancer.

I am hopefully getting a photo pass for the gig by Bruce Foxton and From The Jam at their Reading gig in November. I have seen them a number of times in recent years, and there is no better way seeing the music of The Jam played.

Lead singer of ASH, Tim Wheeler is releasing a solo album, and I am hopefully going to meet at his album launch gig at Bush Hall in London in November. 

Plenty more irons in the fire let's hope its keeps on coming! :)

Friday, 10 October 2014

Support Comes In Many Ways

I had a different type of support this week for the new book. On discovering that TV chef Tom Kerridge is the man behind The Hand & Flowers restaurant in Marlow literally a 5 minute drive from work, I thought he would be a great person to get for the book. Unfortunately he wasn't able to do a photograph, but he very kindly sent me a signed copy of his new book that accompanies the current TV series on the BBC at the moment. This signed copy will be raffled by the charity.

This was an incredibly kind gesture. I sometimes wonder what it must be like for people on the receiving end of my messages? They don't know me from Adam, and they must be inundated with numerous charitable requests. The kindness shown by so many people has been amazing, and I have to admit to being tempted to keep Tom's book for myself to improve my culinary skills!

The search for a celebrity chef to be photographed continues...