Proof reader urgently required

Hi there,

as you may or may not know I lost a member of my family recently, my nephew and not only did I lose my friend, my nephew and a wonderful guy but he was my proof reader for the Col Sec series. He was my sounding board, my encouragement when I thought I was going wrong and he enjoyed Ronin almost as much as I did. His death has not only left a huge hole in my life but has left me with a question. Should I farm out the proof reading task to someone else or should I take on the task myself?

I think it would benefit both myself and the work if another set of eyes should check my work before I publish. So, hoping that whomever I pick lives up to the high standard my late nephew set, I ask for volunteers. If there is anyone out there willing to take on the task then please contact me either by leaving a comment on here or you can reach me at my email address which is

See you soon,


Sad Farewell

Hi there,

it’s been a while since I’ve been able to post anything on here due to one thing or another, but now I’m back hopefully to post a little more regularly.

Friday 13th of January was a sad day for our family for it was when we said goodbye to our Matt. As I’d posted earlier the young man died in a tragic accident on the 29th of December. He was one of life’s purest souls, never a bad word about anyone crossed his lips, he had a joy for life that was contagious and he was not only my nephew but my friend.

In his all too short life he achieved so much and could have gone on to do a lot more had he been given the chance. He was British Champ at 12 in Shukokai karate, one of the youngest black belts in the country, he was a talented percussionist and actually won the young musician of the year for Staffordshire, something a percussionist had never done before. His band entered a talent contest on the BBC called Get your act together, a forerunner of X-Factor which they won and before he died he was helping to bring music to disadvantaged young people. Our family are trying to set up a trust fund to help continue the good work he began.

The funeral was moving and awe-inspiring to say the least. There was a procession of around 20 bikers who accompanied the hearse, which was a modified bike with the hearse actually being the sidecar. Three Police motor bikes gave a dignified escort to the procession both from the home to the church and on to the crematorium.

Eulogies were read out by his best friend and his music teacher and in the church it was literally standing room only. After the cremation we all went to a pub where a slide show of young Matt was on show at the side of the stage upon which several of his friends performed songs to celebrate his short but eventful life.

Now comes the hard part, carrying on without him.

How do you continue living when you miss someone who was so important in your life? There is only one possible answer to this question, and that is, one day at a time.

To allow grief to cripple us is not what Matt would want. He would want us to carry on and live our lives to the fullest, to do all the things we wanted to do, what we had planned to do and to celebrate being alive.

I’m no grief councillor but I will set goals for me to meet in the coming months. First of all to get over a chest infection that has plagued me since before Christmas. Secondly, to continue writing, I have Omega almost ready for publication and Discovery almost completed which are the next two books in the Col Sec series. Matt was as enthusiastic about these endeavours as myself and I hope to do him proud. We are soon to be moving house which I’m really excited, nervous about and later in the year my daughter will be getting married so all in all a truly eventful year ahead filled with promise.

If recent events have taught me anything it’s this.  If you have goals, go for them, don’t let anything hold you back. You can do whatever you set your heart on. Cherish what you have because it can all be gone soon and finally love and support your friends and family as I’m sure they will you and don’t be afraid to tell them you love them. Life is too short for regrets and if you have regrets, make them for things you’ve done and not what you haven’t.

See you soon,


Ministry of Common Sense.

Hi there,

I was watching the news this morning and there was a report about the dangers of heart attack in people who had recently had a  bereavement. It went on to state that the shock of losing someone close to them could bring on a heart attack, especially in those with an ongoing heart condition. I mentioned that numerous studies had been completed on many cases to deliver the results, they mentioned statistics and quoted numbers and I sat there thinking that it was a bit like the old Monty Python sketch about the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Who in their right mind would come up with a study like this? Do they honestly think the general public is stupid? Of course the loss of someone close to you will affect your heart, the stress alone is enough to incapacitate most people so it stands to reason that if you have an ongoing medical condition the risks to you are much higher.

It’s common sense.

Do we need reams of studies with statistics and numbers to tell us that if a brick falls on your head it’s gonna hurt? No because it’s common sense.

Come on people let’s get back to reality here, how much money and time has been wasted  running this survey? Surely it could have been put to better use doing anything else.

That’s my rant for the day,

see you soon,


How well do we know our friends and family?

Hi there,

it’s rapidly approaching the time for an event that I am not looking forward to, the funeral of my nephew, for the obvious reasons. I know my sister has planned it well, it will not be a mournful occasion, there will be tears of that I’m sure but it will be more of a celebration of the young man‘s life and not a sad farewell. Having said that, the reason I am not looking forward to it, and forgive me for labouring what to some may be the obvious, but I am not looking forward to saying goodbye. I will never see that young man again, never share time with him, laugh with him or discuss topics of interest we both share. I am still struggling with the basic fact that he has been ripped from our lives by some callous act of chance, so saying goodbye is out of the question.

During the funeral service I will listen to comments, anecdotes and revelations about him from various friends and family members and it brings back memories of three funerals I attended in the last few years which brings me to the point of this post.

At each funeral I learned things about the departed that I never knew, in some cases things that I’d forgotten about and reminded about others that we all had laughed about at family gatherings. At my Brother in law’s funeral around two years ago I learned what others knew about the guy and it opened my eyes. They were talking about a wonderful person, full of humour, warmth and generosity. My opinion of Paul was coloured, I’m ashamed to say, by my first impression of him. The first time I ever met him was, and I remember it as if it was yesterday, a cliché I know but none the less true, the night Stef, my sister brought him home to meet him. This is not quite how it sounds because they had dated a few times and I remember my parents talking about it and Paul in general and that they knew very little about him other than what my sis had told them, which was not a lot. Well you can imagine that, that wasn’t going to go on for long. Previous dates had ended with them arriving home, Paul would say goodnight at our gate then disappear into the night and Stef would come in. The night in question we all waited for her return, it was a saturday night and my father kept going out to the gate to catch their arrival.When they got home Dad was waiting at the gate, Paul had no avenue of escape and when invited in he had to say yes.

In they came, Stef introduced him to Mum and myself, I was still at school and although my sis and I fought like most siblings, I looked up to her and when I saw Paul my first thought was “What the hell is she doing with him?” I expected her to come home with a hunk, tall, muscular with model good looks, in other words in my young mind someone worthy. Now Paul was the same as the rest of us who don’t quite fit my parameters for my sis’ ideal partner, in other words normal and quite frankly not up to her standard and therefore not good enough for my big sis. I’m ashamed to say that it coloured my perception of the guy and it changed our relationship. I never got to meet the real Paul, I only knew the Paul I met on that first day.

How many of us have done that I wonder?

I know I’m going to learn things about Matt, my nephew that I never knew, I’m going to see things that others saw and I hope I’ll be richer for the knowledge. It makes me want to immerse myself in the family I have left totally, to really get to know them and them me, to learn every facet of their lives so that  when the time does come to say goodbye they, and I can say that ‘Yes’ I knew them.

In closing I urge everyone to cherish your friends, family and loved ones. Spend time with them, talk to them about your day, listen about theirs and above all never be afraid to tell them you love them. I know from experience that chance, fate or whatever you want to call it can take them from you at any moment so cherish what time you have left.

See you soon,