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Book Ends

February 21, 2017

Two pieces of news: one good; one sad.

The good news is that my latest book has been published and is now available to buy in paperback and e-book versions.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-neary/where-have-all-the-milkmen-gone/paperback/product-23073926.html

The book is a diary of Steven’s and my life during 2016 and getting it published feels like the end of a long chapter. Since Steven’s move to his new house last October, our lives have changed considerably and I get the feeling I won’t be writing so much about our experiences in the future. Driven by Steven, we’re going through a very positive separation where we are both building new lives for ourselves. The book could well turn out to be the concluding part of an adventure that started 22 years ago.

The sad news is that thanks to the help of Miguel, one of the followers of this blog, I have found Uncle Frank. As I suspected he ended up in an institution, in his case, the Derby Lunatic Asylum. He was admitted in 1955, which ties in with the time he disappeared from the electoral register in Southall and he died in early 1957.

A strange quirk of fate ties the two stories together. Next Thursday I will be travelling up to Derby to speak at a Best Interests Assessors training event on Friday. This is the gig where the other speaker is Justice Peter Jackson. Even though I’ve done this talk over 100 times now, I’m getting increasingly nervous and emotional as the big day approaches. I’m hoping I get my copies of the new book delivered before I travel because I would love to give a copy to the man who saved Steven’s life. Also, as I’m in Derby, it would be nice to find Uncle Frank’s grave, although i suspect that is going to be difficult to discover. If I do find it, it would be nice to leave a copy of the book there too – just to let Uncle Frank know that the life of someone with a learning disability is very different 60 years after his death.

But perhaps it’s not. If Justice Peter Jackson hadn’t intervened, Steven would now be in that hospital in Wales and in terms of physical and emotional distance from family, there isn’t much difference between Derby and Wales.

1957 to 2017. What’s in 60 years?

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From → Social Care

7 Comments
  1. Lisa Eaden permalink

    Followed you for a while now. This is a beautiful post and has left me somewhat filling up. Thankyou for your insightful and frequently moving posts. All the best to you and Steven as you move forward to the next stage of your lives x

  2. your Uncle Frank’s ‘ story ‘ came across vividly in the few words you wrote about him , so pleased you found him , hope you can visit a grave at some point now or perhaps later. Very best wishes for whatever comes next for yourself and Steven and good luck with the nerves on Thursday.
    Have a great faith in ‘ quirks of fate ‘ and chance meetings with people, so wish you plenty more of those in the future. Health and happiness to you both.

  3. Frannie permalink

    WOW your writing is always so on the nail heartwarming and inspirational
    Thanks

  4. simone aspis permalink

    for those who do not want to spend time working out the price of your new book please tell us what it will cost with or without VAT and packaging – I really get frustrated when the full price is not said up front. Let’s make life easy what will the book cost in one single figure please. Why does the price need to exclude VAT – if books are not VAT then no need for it. If VAT needs to be added to the book purchase – thanks.
    Good to see your first book is available – when I looked on your website last year – it said books were sold out.

    • I’ve no idea Simone. It’s commonplace now to have a price exclusive of VAT. I don’t think the book will have VAT added on. I’ve just brought 20 copies for friends and family and wasn’t charged any VAT, just extra for postage and packaging.

  5. Very emotional.
    Whether you write less or not, your post is hear to read.
    You’ve worked so hard writing all your stories, and it’s a great learning resource.
    What you’ve done is groundbreaking and I hope I bump into you at a conference somewhere 🙂

    • simone aspis permalink

      Your books will be my treat when I complete this dam university project – unsure if MPHIL is any different than to a PHD – same requirements but a few thousand less words – still have to submit 60,000 words, have to do a critical review and produce some orgional piece of work and be assessed by 2 examiners and an oral to top it all!

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