Sunday, 25 December 2016

Beware Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John aka as Stuart

First of all may I thank all of the well-wishers who have been so kind as to write to me offering their condolences re the rogue traders I have recently had the misfortune to be robbed by.

Thank you too to all those victims of this loathsome pair of individuals who have written to me to tell me their stories. I promise that I will do everything I can to bring these people to justice.

For those of you who do not know the story I shall give you a brief outline of events.

In May I decided to change my print company as I wasn’t happy with the way the sixth edition of the A to Z of almost Everything was printed. It had always been a Royal size book but CPI Antony Rowe (Clowes) initially typeset the book incorrectly – not leaving enough space for the pagination - and then omitted the side titles causing me to have to have the book re-typeset for the second print run.
The book consequently had to be restructured in A4 which effectively meant I earned no profit whatsoever throughout the print runs as their costs were prohibitive to say the least and I ended up trying to keep sales down to save myself money.

I placed ‘UK Printers’ in a Google search and a company calling itself UK Print Ltd came up at the top of the list so I rang the London number on the website and spoke to a jovial Welshman calling himself Stuart.

‘Stuart’ immediately gave me the hard sell and told me about how he printed work for the British Museum and had countless positive testimonies. He went on to say he knew my typesetter and had ‘done a couple of jobs for him’. He also told me that CPI were known to be a very arrogant bunch and that he could do a much better hands-on job for me, would turnaround the book within a week instead of the ten working days CPI took and when I suggested I was taking a bit of a risk with him he replied “It is me who is taking the risk Trev as I’ll offer you the same 90 day terms you receive from Clowes so if you don’t like my work then you don’t pay me”.

Time went by and alarms bells started to ring as ‘Stuart’ became elusive. And then an email turned up saying that for the first print run he would require the money up front. By now I had invested considerable time and effort into the project and my deadline of October 1 was looming large and after discussing things with my typesetter I took a sharp intake of breath and decided I would have to trust this guy.

Deadlines came and went and the panic started to set in. I decided to copy my typesetter into all email as a precaution. ‘Stuart’ now became ever- more elusive and just did not reply to the proliferation of email sent him, protesting that something must be wrong with his filter. Stuart tends to have an answer for every situation however unbelievable those answers appear to be. He certainly didn’t like the fact that I had a witness to our business dealings and on a rare group reply suggested my typesetter would soon get fed up being copied in to email, to which I replied it was only until evidence of the book was produced.

 After receiving my money all went quiet for some time but Stuart then turned up out of the blue with apologies and said the book would be at the two wholesalers for October 24th. He even gave me his mobile number so I could contact him directly. He never once answered this phone nor was he available on the original London number although on occasion a young boy would answer to tell me ‘Stuart’ was not available but he would get him to ring me - he never did ring of course.

The catalogue of lies increased daily but I was still disposed to believe the book was being printed as I was being texted progress reports.

I did however by now fear for the quality of the work as ‘Stuart’ had shown scant regard for any of his sales puffs and clearly was telling lies about the turnaround within a week, the printing press he owned in Gravesend, the dedicated hands-on staff, the work done for my typesetter, and the 90 day terms. 

I was by now getting even less sleep than normal as every friend I told the story too was convinced I was dealing with a conman and however plausible ‘Stuart’ appeared to be all the signs were there that this man was a complete and utter fantasist, a crook, robber, fraudster call him what you will. 

Nothing ever transpired as he said it would and then he became abusive and vague. He started looking for trouble and for reasons to be disruptive. I decided to look into this man a little further as nothing added up. I asked to meet him so I could show him the book but he flatly refused and told me it wasn’t necessary.

On the morning of the 24th I rose from bed at 8 and received a phone call from 'Stuart' to tell me the book was printed but that the binding was incomplete because he thought it was a softback! He said my typesetter must have sent the wrong spec despite the spec clearly stating the book had endpapers and a dust-sheet which are only applied to hardbacks!

At this point I actually cried on the phone, a combination of the deterioration in June’s health and the frustration as my worst nightmares were being realised. All my advance sales were cancelled and now I didn’t know what to do. 

At the beginning of proceedings back in May I had informed ‘Stuart’ that this book had sold more than a million copies since its first edition in 2001 and now this man ended our conversation with “Well you’ve sold three million books what’s another few thousand”.

 It was a nasty facetious comment that began to unravel the true nature of this man who had previously ingratiated himself to me by appearing to be so concerned about June’s health.

Stuart then gave me four further dates when the book could be booked in to the wholesalers and justified himself by acting as if he was divorced from the actual printing process and didn’t know what was going on although by now I already knew he was a one-man band, a farmer at best, a cold calculated thief at worst.

By now I had got an investigator onto this chap and on November 17th everything came to a head. On the Thursday morning 'Stuart' rang to tell me yet again the book would be delivered “tomorrow” but when I suggested that by now I should be on the second print run he gave the game away by saying “why not increase your order now Trev and I can offer you a much cheaper price” This instantly alerted me to the fact he had never printed any books as otherwise how could he possibly give me the normal quantity discount when the first run was complete?

Later that morning I was sent two articles about this man, one by post and another via email from someone he had also defrauded


I sent the above article to Mr Neil Malcolm Stuart John and as expected he went into liquidation that same day.

Over the course of the next week his case was escalated four times and landed in the lap of the Official Receiver in Manchester.

Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John are in fact partners in crime and partners in life. They usually steal fairly small amounts in the knowledge that victims would be dissuaded from suing as the costs are prohibitive.

Unfortunately on the same day that the truth was outed my June had a suspected stroke and was admitted to East Surrey Hospital and also diagnosed with a sepsis and urinary infection.

As I explained in my previous blog June no longer has any cognitive ability whatsoever and I was informed within days that she would never be able to come home again.

June is still in East Surrey today, Christmas Day – awaiting placement in a nursing home.

Today I lifted her onto a commode as her diverticulosis meant she was having one of her bouts of extreme diarrhoea. I was covered in faeces and whilst I was washing my hands and talking to a cycling friend of mine whose mother happens to be in the same bay as June, calamity struck as an almighty scream and crash could be heard as June fell off the commode and into some nearby chairs and table.

So that was June’s Christmas, no turkey for her, in fact she couldn’t even manage any puree food and all I could feed her was a little soft ice cream as she was able to suck it up between her teeth.

Quite ironic I thought whilst I looked at the distressed face of this angelic soul who is universally loved by all and sundry. Tears flowed for most of the rest of the day and my mind wandered to Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John and I imagined them tucking into their roast turkey oblivious to the dreams and aspirations of so many people, including children, they have shattered by their greed.

The couple have had three months to return my money but I have heard nothing from them or their solicitors Tonner Johns Ratti although I wrote to Jemma at Tonner some weeks ago. But……..

The mechanism has already started and I promise this couple will get their just desserts.

I’d like to thank all my friends from so many walks of life who have offered advice and more in many cases. I am fortunate to have met a lot of influential and able people through my career dealings from top policemen and security agents to trained soldiers and elite fighting sportsmen.

Although I am grateful to all those friends who have offered very real help in some very colourful and expressive ways I have declined all such offers in the belief that this couple will eventually see the light and repent their sins and return my money in full and perhaps also pay my costs.

Before criminal proceedings it is important to have my money returned - I need it for June’s ongoing health needs – and I have started the process.

By the way, the article is just the tip of the iceberg. Victims have contacted me on a regular basis and all the while the evidence is growing and it is not just the fraudulent use of the cloak of limited liability, in my case it is actual robbery plain and simple with no intent to give me any consideration for my money.

Because of their wrongdoing this couple are likely to be liable in a civil action above their £1 shareholding but also criminally as there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that my books were ever printed or likely to be printed. It was just theft. It would be quite wrong of me to second guess the outcome of proceedings but suffice to say I have experts on my side and am very confident this couple will see the light eventually.

Out of interest, their modus operandi is to satisfy very small orders such as guide books and pamphlets but not on their own press in Gravesend as they tell you because they do not own a press in Gravesend, and all they do is take the money in and try to farm the work out to the cheapest bidder usually in eastern Europe. 

So they are not printers at all. You or I could do the same thing but farming is a scurrilous way to make money even if done ethically if that is not an oxymoron.

So basically they take your money and then try to arrange a print for you and cream the money off the top. They lie by telling you they can produce in a week but as they do not have a press they haven’t a clue when they can produce. On large orders such as mine they just don’t bother as it is far easier to go into liquidation and then open up under another name the following day. They were in liquidation from another company whilst dealing with me which is why their company details disappeared from my search engines.

It is quite a well-oiled machine and my investigator has discovered the authorities have been trying to nail this couple for 26 years would you believe.

On one occasion when Jemma from Tonner Johns Ratti emailed me she suggested her client had not given me a date for book production and on that fateful Thursday morning initially offered to produce the books, or part order of a thousand, by December 5th. What happened!

What Jemma should know is that I was already expecting this email as most of the victims receive the same email and usually a follow-up one where the couple offer to pay back the money in instalments but invariably do not keep to this arrangement.

In the meantime my investigator traced the bank and the address of Mr John and has been keeping him under surveillance in case he tries to skip the country as even fantasists realise when reality beckons. 

At one point I almost got my money bank via Barclays but perversely I am glad I didn’t as I want this couple stopped for good and feel it is my duty.

Apparently Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John aka as Stuart when he is robbing people at the behest of Clair, are pillars of the community on Barry Island and have put it round the island that their son is a Premiership footballer! 

Neil rarely goes out although Clair was happy to take in my written request for the return of the money they stole from me although she has not had the good grace to reply to me. 

Perhaps she thinks I will just write the money off that I took years to save. 

Isn’t it strange though that I requested to be placed on the creditor’s list although we all know I am not owed a business debt at all. My money was hardly cleared when I sussed them out and you would think they would have shown a glimmer of human decency and paid me back as it is not as if they have spent the money on anything. Shows a certain criminal intent that does themselves no favours methinks.

Yes as some of my friends guessed they do not have a post box at their home at 4, Pioden For, Barry Island, Barry, South Glamorgan CF62 5DD as you can imagine in their line of business with an ever-increasing number of irate victims in tow it would only be a matter of time before someone inflamed the situation – literally.

I wanted to give these people three months to repay me because as a Christian I feel honour-bound to appeal to their better natures before deciding on a more decisive course of action.


Time is running out for Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John aka as Stuart and all I can do is pray that they face up to the fact that they have stolen a considerable amount of money from me and really need to pay back the money now to mitigate matters for themselves.  

Incidentally, my faith in British printers was restored when I contacted an old friend at Orion who put me in touch with the Glasgow-based Bell & Bain. 

I have to say that Derek and his crew have been magnificent and despite it being the busiest time of year managed to produce my doubled order in double quick time to ensure I salvaged something of my usual Christmas market. The print quality is exceptional and gentleman that he is Derek even insisted on me sending him a signed copy as he is such a fan of the book - fabulous, what a contrast to what I've been used to.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

My beloved Juney

Christians often stand accused of being delusional in their belief of a supernatural being that can becalm the mightiest of storms and give hope of eternal life and the reuniting of loved ones.

Today I realise more than ever why I was convicted that there is a God.

I feel crushed.

I can barely come to terms with the fact that my June is no longer coming home to me – not ever.
The woman that was my role model, guardian, lover and friend since my teens cruelly struck down by dementia and now a bed-ridden uncommunicative vision of beauty who doesn’t know me nor what is going on around her, the only sign of life being brief periods of manic laughter that both frighten me and offers hope of painlessness at the same time.

June is no ordinary woman, no ordinary person. June taught me tolerance, love, understanding. She taught me by showing me and the world. She was the same you see. Behind those closed doors June had the same smile, the same disposition, the same huge heart that she showed every single person she ever came into contact with.

June was a one-off, a true one-off. To know her was to love her. A peacemaker who hated confrontation but never found herself having to compromise her values - she simply never courted controversy or caused friction. June was never a threat to anyone. She would laugh at her occasional silliness and mine too. I loved the way she could bring me down to earth and knew I was as vulnerable as she was. I loved to observe her do her thing; spread her love to all and sundry. Somehow I felt I bathed in the reflected glory of it. 

Larger than life, the life and soul of any party, but never crude, always a lady, no bad language from June. Gentle, kind and loving. Oh so loving. No games, told me every day, many times a day how much she loved me but more than that showed me that love. From our early days when I had only a student’s grant to live on June supported me in every way. She was old school. I would make the token egg and chips on a Wednesday and Saturday and June would make the proper meals for the rest of the week.

What I would give for one of her steak and kidney pies or apple pies now.

Whatever I did June supported me. She would go to the track and time me lap after lap. When I was off playing bridge or quizzing she would often just sit in the wings and watch. When I was competing at something I always heard her voice above all others. I was always amazed that June took so much pleasure from my books. She was such a calm placid person I could never imagine her getting too excited about anything and yet when each of my books came out June would go to every bookshop she could travel to and ensure they stocked it.

My latest book turned up yesterday and I took my copy to the hospital to show June but it was a futile gesture. My June no longer has any awareness as the delirium overwhelms.

Oh God how I wish it were me in that bed instead of her.

Friends come and go, good friends stay, loyal friends are rare. June was unique. I knew her. I knew her values. I knew what she thought. I trusted her more than I trusted myself. I felt safe. Secure that whatever the world threw at me June was there supporting me telling me everything would be alright. And it was. June made it so.

Through all my flights of fancy June was steadfast and remained supportive.

June was universally loved by all and could get on with prince or pauper. We often played host to some of the country’s top brains and whether we had Kev Ashman, Chris Hughes, Mike Billson or Tony Sherwood staying with us her maternal instinct would come out and she would fuss them and talk about ordinary things. She was the same with Magnus Magnusson and Jeremy Beadle. She loved them both dearly but spoke to them as she would her brother. No pedestals no side no front just made everyone feel special and most of all me.

I’ve always got angry if people disrespected June either directly or otherwise.

In the early days of June’s illness she had a nasty fall whilst visiting my father in Weymouth. My brother thought this disrupted the holiday and we fell out over it and I haven’t seen him since except for him to tell me to “get off my land”

If I did not have faith that I would one day be reconciled with June I would be overwhelmed with grief. As it is I am constantly panicking and find it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that June really isn’t coming home and more than that she is wasting away in a hospital bed.

The great June, the great unsung hero, my idol, the girl of my dreams. How blessed have I been and how alone am I now? If I had no faith all would be lost and I could not go on with the pain.

 I cannot help June any longer. I can only watch as strangers dress her bed sores not knowing who she is and what she has been to me and so many many others.

What I would give to have her back even as she was a month ago.


Please pray that God’s will is that June passes quickly and gently and is transported to Heaven and that we might one day be reconciled

Monday, 11 January 2016

RIP David

I was a little too young for the death of Marilyn Monroe to really resonate with me and however much I loved George Harrison his stabbing and subsequent battle with cancer made me feel a little relief for him in some way. There are other famous international icons that strike a chord with me (and most of the world’s population) to the extent that we remember precisely where we were and what we were doing when we received the news of their untimely deaths.

Friday November 22nd 1963 I was laying on my bed playing a game I had invented called cricket – a high tech version of the ball game requiring only two pencils and an exercise book – when my father shouted up the stairs “President Kennedy has been shot”; Tuesday August 16th 1977 I was walking from Brighton Station towards the clock tower with my friend Kevin Searle when we passed a man crying “the King is dead, the King is dead”; Tuesday December 9th 1980 I was driving to Brighton to take an accountancy exam when I turned on the radio to hear that John Lennon had been murdered; I woke up on Sunday 31st August 1997 had my breakfast ready to go cycling with my club and turned on the television to the news that Princess Diana had died in a car crash; Monday January 11th 2016 I was sitting on the loo when a text came through from a friend informing me that David Bowie was dead.

The end of an era is an understatement. For me, once the Beatles had split up pop music began to die and all I had to look forward to was the individual output of the four lads. The only other artist I was interested in enough to buy his music was a young shaggy-haired musician known as David Bowie.

I was switched on to David the first time I heard Space Oddity in 1969. The quirky voice, space age song and flared trousers – before they became fashionable – were reason enough to find the man interesting but over the course of the next four years my love was cemented. My younger brother was an even bigger fan at this time and Shaun not only bought all David’s English albums but also those in German and Japanese – something I soon copied.

To me Ziggy Stardust lived.

I also loved the fact that this monster performer was influenced by some of the same things as I was. The Strange World of Gurney Slade was the most surreal television show I can ever remember seeing. It starred the magnificent Anthony Newley and in songs such as Laughing Gnome and Love You Til Tuesday you can clearly see how similar David’s voice is to Newley’s.

In 1971 I became friends with David’s half-brother Terry Burns and we shared many an adventure. Terry suffered from manic depression and was institutionalised at Cane Hill Hospital in Coulsdon, Surrey but I often took him for a pint to the Red Lion or the Victoria Club in Coulsdon. Terry was a massive Neil Diamond fan and would always play Cracklin’ Rosie on the jukebox and leave me to play his brother’s hits.

Before Terry’s ultimate death he had attempted suicide previously and I remember one occasion when both he and my aforementioned friend Kevin were not only in Mayday hospital at the same time but in adjacent beds, both suffering from broken legs due to jumping off buildings. How bizarre is that for two of my friends to meet each other in such a way!

On the one occasion Terry informed me David was to visit him I couldn’t resist going to Cane Hill but was totally star-struck and ended up playing snooker with the charge-nurse on the ward next door without even a glimpse of my idol.

Like all Bowie fans I followed David through all his numerous changes of style and appearances, awaited his latest videos with baited breath and was always mesmerised by his performances.

I only ever saw David live on one occasion, at Wembley in 1983 during his Serious Moonlight tour.
Wow! He looked amazing with his quaffed blond tinted hair but he truly was remarkable with a fantastic mime sequence, a rare sax solo and totally live singing of all his greatest hits plus all his new stuff from the Let’s Dance album – China Girl being truly memorable and sooo dramatic and intense.

My dear June was as mesmerised as I was and it’s such a shame that due to her Alzheimer’s she can no longer remember David but at the time she thought the concert was even better than when she saw her fellow Welsh superstars Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey.

I suppose the only way I can explain my devotion to David is that I even loved all those that loved him so I became a fan of Lou Reed, of Velvet Underground, of Iggy Pop, of Boy George of Paul Weller (who incidentally was a dead ringer for David in his early days) even though I didn’t really get their music.


RIP lovely boy x

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Alzheimer's Update

At the moment I just feel I need to write something on record as this God awful disease plays out it's dreadful scenario blighting the life of the most precious and special person I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

June Humphries, June Humphries, June Humphries, I hear a thousand times a day as my dear June struggles to know herself let alone me. Trevor......., Trevor........A to Z of almost Everything I hear being mumbled under her breath.

The deterioration in June the past 12 months has been quite alarming. Last Easter I managed to get away for three days on a cycling trip to the Isle of Man with some clubmates and although I had neighbours come in to feed June and give out her nightly medication I felt confident she was safe.
At that time June was still able to shop on occasion, turn the television on and off and make herself a cup of tea on a good day.

Unfortunately June has since become prone to taking midnight hikes, forgetting how to use a knife and fork, falling over, hearing voices, talking gibberish, wearing all her clothes to bed, leaving her food, constant panic attacks, incontinence, temper tantrums and despair! It is all that I have been able to do to get her up in the morning but more often than not I have lost that battle lately.

The past four months have been particularly tough on June with a couple of bouts of hospitalisation after falls and another couple of respite stays in care homes while I was away. The first time I took June into a Shaw Healthcare home she was not happy and was so pleased when I picked her up to take her home. Last month I picked her up to take her home after a two-day stay but June didn't want to come home so I booked her in for another day. This was on the one hand upsetting as June was choosing a solitary life in care over the loving home we shared but on the other hand it also showed me that the time to let June go is not far away.

I decided to take June up to Clumber Park, north of Nottingham, last week but it turned into a bit of a disaster as June spent the whole time in the hotel bed and although I got her up for meals, she just picked at them and even struggled with her new favourite foods of chips and ice cream.

The worst of it is that I still see glimpses of the old June. Today for instance I happen to be running a temperature and June seemed to sense I was at a bit of a low ebb and she came into my office and rubbed my back and lay down on my office bed and said "I'll be good today". I managed to fight back the tears at the irony of June comforting me but it brought it home to me what a terrible affliction this disease is. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

And you feel so alone.

Sometimes I get that feeling I used to get soon after my mother died and I kept on thinking I saw her in the street, only with June it is the pretence that she is sound of mind.

I talk to June normally, I know she rarely understands but on occasion she will surprise me. When I see her laying on the floor with shit everywhere or when I have to ring the police when she has gone walkabout in the dead of night it brings it home that I am living in a fool's paradise.

June is not happy, why would she be. June is not well, but who cares, even my own father last Easter on my return from the Isle of Man said to me when I rang him "Does June still have Alzheimer's"!! and at Christmas when I rang him and put him on to June all he could say was "the mean old bugger couldn't even send me a card" To a lesser extent even one member of June's family who June had supported and put up for a couple of years turned away although bless her she did visit June in respite and held her hands up to being weak and selfish.

You see, June is a special person, always has been. She was my first role model. I was a teenager when we met and as she likes to say I was "a bit of a lad". June made me believe I could be anything I wanted to be. She made me believe that my unconventional upbringing was no barrier to my living a normal life. June is the only person I have ever met that has no side to her. She was with me exactly as she was with others i.e. loving and kind. June never had a bad word to say about anyone nor an unkind thought.

June commands respect too. I swear some of my more high profile gravitas friends such as Jeremy Beadle, Magnus Magnusson and Alan Samson loved June more than they liked me, in fact I remember Alan, my former publisher, buying a new suit on one occasion when June was going to join us for lunch. You see that was June. A simple girl from the Welsh Valleys who worked as a shop assistant and domestic but who was every bit a lady.

June's personality was legendary. In recent years she has hosted friends of mine from my sporting clubs but also the likes of Kev Ashman and Chris Hughes from Eggheads, Mark Labbett from the Chase and of course dear Jeremy. She made them all feel special and would invariably cook them egg and chips and was able to hold her own in any conversation as she kept abreast of current affairs and would devour the morning paper from cover to cover.

I am talking as if June has gone, but of course the June the world knew has gone but I still see behind the eyes. I still see the goodness of her soul. I see the struggle for words and thoughts that is driving her insane. I feel her indignity although June could never be undignified.

When I placed her in the homes I felt the staff knew June was a special one. Of course all our loved ones are special but I do make a point of telling people about June. She was a legend as a greengrocer, she was a legend as a butcher's assistant, she was a legend as a factory worker and she was a legend as a domestic, befriending doctors and administrators as well as her fellow workers. ALWAYS smiling, ALWAYS pleasant, ALWAYS kind and ALWAYS a word to encourage or make your day feel that little bit better for meeting her. When June was well, virtually every time I accompanied her to town someone would go out of their way to rush over and say hello to her or tell me how lovely she was.

June is a one-off. She did voluntary work for the League of Friends once she retired and also for the RNIB. Everything she did was done quietly, but earnestly and meticulously. June always went that one step further than others and is quite unique in being universally loved and never having had a falling out with any of her friends or acquaintances. You see June was never a threat to anyone. Direct, plain and simple. Not afraid to speak her mind but always with a smile, a glint in the eye and a warm heart.

I write this as much to remind myself how lucky I have been to have been loved by this great lady and how through all this apparent misery I trust that God will look after June and deliver her safely because she has done God's work all her life and I have witnessed it.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Timing Differences

Today I read in the newspaper how thousands of Jimmy Savile victims will receive compensation from his estate.
Jimmy Savile, a man praised relentlessly during his lifetime and only after his death was his reputation tarnished.
What is his legacy? What lesson will be learnt by humanity?

Another story that caught my eye was the murder of Dave West, a neighbour of Stephen Fry.
This man made an estimated £100million from a string of nightclubs and lap dancing establishments.
Dave West was known to live life excessively. His son “Little Dave” apparently murdered him.

Ask yourself this question:
Would you rather have fame and fortune during your lifetime but be vilified after your death or live your life quietly with dignity and modesty but risk not being remembered at all?
I specifically qualified my question not to suggest that seeking fame and fortune was necessarily a bad thing - after all there are many philanthropists who use their fame and fortune in a positive way (this is of course how Jimmy Savile was perceived)

This morning I watched Bette Midler sing that timeless ballad Wind Beneath My Wings and as ever it brought a tear to my eye as I reflected on my own unsung hero.
This love song is the most-played at British funerals – and why not – so many people leave this earth after leading good honest lives and it is fitting they are remembered with love.

I can recall countless examples of great people passing without ever creating more than a ripple at the moment of their death but during their lives influenced many. One such person was my old headmaster, John Piper, and another was a friend, Val, who ran an adventure playground for many years.
I was pleased to read in the newspaper this week that my friend’s husband who also ran the adventure playground was honoured. Phil would be chuffed but it wasn’t important to him – it’s not why he has been a lollipop man for the past eight years.

June Humphries is a lady that has led an exemplary life.
During her lifetime she has spread love wherever she goes.
She is still alive albeit afflicted with that terrible snatcher of dignity - Alzheimer’s Disease.
June is a legend around town and I can hardly take her into a shop without someone coming up and asking how she is or remembering happier days when June’s always smiley face made their hospital stay more tolerable, their shopping less of a chore or their bus journey more exciting.
I have always known June was a true one-off. Universally loved – love that you can feel from people, tangible love emanating from that quality we all have to love those that do not threaten us, to love those that show us love and to love those that are humble, modest and dignified.
June is fading fast. She is barely there anymore but I love her now more than ever.
June growed me up so to speak. She gave me direction in my formative years and she was my first role model.

It is wonderful that June is surrounded by love and when that love dims as the woman that June was fades more and more we will all have our memories but most of all – God will remember.

And why I named this blog Timing Differences?


The thing that defines humans is our propensity to be tempted very easily and to crave instant gratification by whatever means - sometimes to the detriment of others. It is all vanity – transient happiness but only the few appreciate that joy is the key everlasting joy rather than fleeting fixes.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Well done Cleggy - you're in the final of Britain's Got Talent yippee

I hope that all the locals will get behind comedy impressionist Jon Clegg in his quest to win Britain's Got Talent 2014. Jon is a smashing guy and obviously very talented, just like his father, Dave, who uniquely also won a major television talent show. He used to help me out hosting charity quizzes and can impersonate almost anyone.

I'm particularly pleased for Jon from a personal point of view as I was with my brother in Weymouth when he was performing at a holiday camp. Gary loves cabaret acts but for some reason best known only to him decided to walk out as Jon walked on. We fell out the next day (the day I mention in my previous blog as the day I believe June's dementia first reared it's ugly head) and haven't spoken since so in a way I hope Gary watches the show and remembers back and might consider that his behaviour was a little disrespectful, both to Jon and to June and ultimately me his brother. I love him to bits and I understand why he did what he did but Jon's performance in getting to the final in a way makes me feel almost as proud as his father given all the circumstances. I have never actually told Jon or Dave this story but the circle of life fascinates me - vote for Jon if you want to see a really decent man taste a bit of success.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Alzheimer's update

The first thing most people say to me when first learning of June's Alzheimer's is "But how are you?"

I think this is probably an empathetic response based on their own experience with the disease either as a professional or someone who has been challenged with it more directly.

You see, to care for someone with Alzheimer's is not an easy process and it only ever gets harder.

When you love someone and witness their struggle but can do little to relieve them it leaves you quite numb and becomes all consuming. Much of the time you are grieving for a person who is still alive. The professionals all warn you that things will only get worse but you cling on to the faintest of hope that maybe it is a misdiagnosis and a miracle will happen. On a good day (haven't had one for some time) the glimmer of normality lulls you into a sense of false security and you find yourself celebrating the tiniest of successes only for the stark realisation to quickly snap you back to reality.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists and friends all tell me how important it is for me to have a life and not to let the circumstances overwhelm me. They mean well of course and as I say I understand that this is a natural response from people who know they cannot help the actual patient so try and do the next best thing. The problem is this disease makes you bare your soul and strips you naked of emotion. The guilt is always there. Why June, why not me or someone else who was less good than a woman who has only ever spread love all her life.

I often contemplate when June first showed signs of dementia and I have worked it out to be a fall she had in Weymouth two or three years ago. June fell through a bus shelter when she leaned against what she thought was a glass siding which turned out to be smashed. The fall itself was nothing major, a cut shin and abrasions to her head which the local hospital x-rayed and found nothing amiss, but June's reaction was just out of character. June is tough but she looked so forlorn when she staggered towards me and she cried like a baby. At first I thought it was just shock but as the day went on she seemed more and more distant and was not responding in the normal way to concern. June spent the next few days in bed and I was very worried about her as everything seemed doom and gloom in her mind. The GP thought it was shock but I knew it was more than that. I'm not saying the fall caused the condition, I just don't know, but I do know that nothing was ever the same again after the fall. June became terrified of falling, terrified of cars, terrified of Christmas. I found her sometimes saying "June and Trevor" to herself just as she does now. The ever present smile was no longer there when I caught her unguarded. Yes, the clues were there but I was in denial.

Since June was diagnosed officially just over a year ago things have worsened rapidly, almost on a daily basis. At this moment in time June can no longer cook, clean, shop, dress, bathe or leave the house and she is incontinent. All these things she could do to some extent at Christmas. Now a good day consists of getting up out of bed. It takes a lot of reassurance and a lot of cajoling. June is aware of her condition which makes it worse of course. We do not use the actual name, preferring to call it anxiety caused by memory difficulties, but she knows. She tells me every day she wants to die, she wants to shoot herself. She tells me that she has given up hope of getting better and feels she is only going to get worse.

She sees things and hears things that stop her leaving her bedroom. The kitchen is often guarded by some unknown entity. She used to try and go to the shops but invariably never made it past the porch. I asked her was she scared of losing her way home but she told me there was somone stopping her leaving the safety of the porch. The frustration is now etched on her face as she is such a dignified person.

The worst thing for me is the mood swings. If I forget to buy sugar I'm inconsiderate, if I show even a glimpse of frustration I'm accused of being evil. This is from a person who has no malice no temper and so it is at these times I am more aware than ever of her struggle.

Fortunately the Lord gives me strength and June and I together will overcome. What would I do without my faith? Well I'm trying to hold down a full time job as a writer/publisher. I'm dealing with printers, newspapers, retailers, wholesalers, salesmen and the media on a daily basis. June is always here by my side, often in the sofa bed I put up in my office to save me the walk to my bedroom! I don't know how the Lord works, I long since gave up trying to second guess Him, but I do know that all this is for a reason. It might be as the consequence of sin but I rather think it is something else, something too complicated to even express. God only gives us what we can endure. He knows what is best for us. That goes for me, June and every one of you!