Sunday, 12 November 2017

Meeting Colin Murray at a Record Shop


This week I met up with television and radio presenter, Colin Murray at the Sister Ray record shop in Soho. It was great fun, and I can reveal that a very bizarre conversation involving customers and the manager will be included in the chapter talking about first records. We got some great photos in the shop, and the whole experience of spending time browsing through vinyls brought back memories of buying records as a teenager. 

Football mad Colin was also excitingly preparing for Northern Ireland's World Cup play off matches against Switzerland, which they sadly lost on one of the worst refereeing decisions in years. 

The forthcoming book will be raising funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My Mum passed away from Bowel cancer in August 2016, four years and five operations after her diagnosis in 2012. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness and helping to improve early diagnosis is key, and hopefully the book will help to play a small part in that too.



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Steve Norman To Feature In The Record - A Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer


Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet is a another big name to come on board my forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book. I am hopefully going to meet the saxophonist, who also plays the guitar and percussion, at the beginning of December. 

The new book, which will be called The Record, is my follow up to 2015's Lives & Times. I have been fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer since my mother had her first operation back in 2012. Although the operation to remove the cancerous tumour from her bowel was a success, the cancer spread to her lungs, and then to her brain towards the end of 2015, which sadly proved to be the beginning of the end. She lived with stage 4 cancer for four years with great courage and dignity, and passed away in August 2016 just after her 80th birthday. 

All funds raised from the book will be donated to the charity. The book will hopefully help to raise awareness about this awful disease, which can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases if caught early. So improving early diagnosis is key.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Amy Macdonald at GLive Guildford


The latest person I have photographed for the new book is singer Amy Macdonald. She kindly agreed to me being given a photo pass for her concert in Guildford last night. It was an amazing experience, and I got use the new lens I had specifically bought for these concert photos that I am being fortunate enough to do. The concert was terrific with Amy playing a stripped back set of her songs with her three-piece band behind her. I haven't had time yet to go through all my photos last night. I love this one I have edited with using a low-key effect, but it won't appear in the book. I also have Amy's first record to reveal in the book when it comes out.

The Record is about halfway completed now, so hopefully I can crack on with the book into 2018, and hopefully publish it towards the end of next year. The book is the follow up to Lives & Times which has so far raised over £3400. All funds raised will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer in memory of my Mum who passed away last August after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. This awful disease is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it is treatable in over 90% of cases. So apart from raising funds, the book will help to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which is key to improving early detection rates.



Monday, 23 October 2017

Meeting James Stevenson From The Alarm in Oxford


Friday night in Oxford was quite amazing. Firstly I met with James Stevenson, the guitarist in The Alarm, at the band's final gig of 2017 in Oxford. I was allowed into the venue to photograph, and chat with James before the soundcheck. I then got a photo pass to photograph James and the band for the three songs of their set. This would have been more than enough in its own right. However it was a pretty special evening. The band was supporting the #wearitpink day for breast cancer awareness, so the venue became a sea of pink. James was very classy with his pink scarf tied to his waist, whereas myself and many others went completely over the top with it 😊 Jules Peters, keyboard player, and wife of Mike Peters, has been undergoing gruelling treatment for this awful disease, after being diagnosed during 2016. The gig was outstanding, and I had the added bonus of getting to chat with Jules and drummer Smiley after my meeting with James - both of whom will also feature in the new book. So plenty to write about for this chapter...

Ready to photograph James and The Alarm

The forthcoming book will raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK with 16,000 lives lost to it each year. My Mum was diagnosed in 2012, and passed away on August 29th 2016. Another aim of the book will be to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. This figure falls dramatically the later it is detected. 

All the items I am selling on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website are raising funds for the charity. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

New Model Army On Board Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I have been after Justin Sullivan & New Model Army for the last year or so for the new bowel cancer charity book, and I've had to wait for a convenient gig to crop up. The band are playing in London in December, and although, understandably, they will be far too busy for me to meet them on the night, they have kindly given me a photo pass, and allowed me to ask Justin a few questions. I'm looking forward to this one, and wonder if they will play their debut single 'Bittersweet', which I bought way back in 1983, and still have in my collection.

All proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and died in August 2016 just a few days after 80th birthday. The cancer had spread from her bowel to her lungs, and then finally to her brain. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful disease, and improving early diagnosis rates.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Legend Joins The Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Legends don't come much bigger than Basil Brush, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to be part of the forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book. I'll be meeting up with Basil during panto season,  so lord knows what will happen! On a more poignant note there is a bowel cancer connection, as Ivan Owen who was the original creator, voice and operator of Basil sadly passed away from bowel cancer in 2000. 

My mother passed away in 2016. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and although the operation to remove the tumour in her bowel was successful, the cancer spread, and it was secondary bowel cancer that eventually took her. If detected early bowel cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases, so raising awareness about this awful disease is so important.All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Meeting Lauren Backler for bowel cancer fundraising book

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Lauren Backler has turned the devastation of losing her Mum to bowel cancer in 2015, into an amazing campaign to get the bowel cancer screening age in England, Wales and Northern Ireland reduced form 60 to 50. In Scotland the screening age is already at 50. She very kindly agreed to meet me in London back in August to take part in the new book. In this photo she happily posed with the bowel cancer tie to help raise awareness, and I had a specific idea in mind of the photo I wanted to take for the book with Lauren, as we were able to use Buckingham Palace as the backdrop. It's one of those photos that I can't wait for everyone to see, as it came out just as I hoped it would.

The chapter will go into detail about Lauren's story, and how her campaign and petition have taken off in such a massive way, leading her to be featured across the national media, and even speaking at Westminster. If the screening age was to be reduced from 60 to 50, over 4,000 people could have their bowel cancer detected at a much earlier stage, giving them a much greater chance of survival. Lauren's mother would have been screened a number of times if this had been the case, and most likely still be here today. Unfortunately by the time she was diagnosed her condition was terminal, and she lived for just a few months. Lauren's online petition has, to date, got over 340,000 signatures, and its about time the Government put this right! It's ever so easy to do, and takes just a minute or two of your time, so please support the petition here.

I've met so many amazing people on my book writing adventures, and Lauren was another one of those, a true inspiration. She is a very kind, giving and generous person, but also with a steely determination to achieve a successful outcome to her campaign. Although the reasons why I come into contact with so many people for the book are based on a common loss and sadness due to bowel cancer, the wonderful thing is how new friendships are being made with some very special people.

It's just over a year since my Mum lost her battle with with bowel cancer, after a 4 year brave and dignified journey. All proceeds raised from sales of this book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. 41,000 people are diagnosed each year with 16,000 losing their lives to it every year, making it the second highest cancer killer in the UK. If detected early is is very treatable in over 90% of cases, so raising awareness about it is so very important...

Please don't forget to sign Lauren's petiton! She is also running the London Marathon raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer in 2018 and and you can sponsor her on her justgiving page.