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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Neil’s last post

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Hello readers, long time no speak. I started writing this blog in November so it’s quite a long timeline within. At the time of first drafting, ‘Today’ my plan was to have a little drive out. Mainly to see how I felt about driving rather than anything else. Was I safe? I think so. Did I feel safe? Not at all! It‘s moments like this which make my situation abundantly clearer.

They’re talking in days not weeks now so even though I’m far too exhausted to write, I said to Lauren ‘we’d better get on with this blog post!’

Another thing that’s clear is that crafting this blog has been a joy, knowing I’ve been sharing it with so many has been brilliant. It’s not many of us that have taken the time to share so many stories. For example, did I tell you about learning to ride a bike? I can still see that bike and remember the thrills and spills. It was a hand me down from my cousin. I probably had something else exciting to write about this bike but alas this is how far my ramblings got me in November…

I’ve been almost solidly in bed for the last couple of months with hardly any company than myself. I’m happy in relative silence with Tricia sitting with me and a few other visitors but no TV, no radio, no podcasts and no talking books. My medication has changed again but this time it’s feeling more right. In December I was talking gibberish and seeing things. Talking in my “awake”. It‘s all a part of a drug induced delirium, but it seems to have eased with the latest meds changes. My medication is now only there to control my pain. As Lauren wrote in her last blog, Maureen is a great pain relief!

When I receive messages like below I can’t help being touched a little.

“As a small child my daughter loved trawling through my jewellery box looking at all the trinkets I could never part with.

Last night she and I were chatting on our daily call and I was talking about you and explaining about your blogs etc.

She wanted me to contact you to tell you that seeing the silver ring that you made at Shoreditch College was the first time she realised that it was possible to make lovely jewellery. Now, 32, she is a trained and very good silversmith and jeweller.

You have had far reaching impressions on those you don’t even know Neil !!

Sending love and a huge hug xx”

“Songs that turn the mind to to you. That's an easy one, might be a little obscure to you but it reminds me of you. Talking heads 'once in a lifetime'. Nothing specific about it, it was just on one day when you kindly drove me home from a wtcs away day in Exeter (I think) and you were singing and you looked so relaxed and happy. I thought that I wanted to get there (I was not in a good mindset in those days). By the way I did get there.... It is as great as you made it look. X”

Another one of all the songs suggested, was Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Maybe not an obvious choice but a profound choice nevertheless.

Maybe another bit of music to remember me by is something equally non obvious. Tricia and I walked down the aisle to this one Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 "Organ Symphony": 2b. By Camille Saint-Saëns.

In November I wrote:

“Now hear this.

My prognosis is poor and maybe short, at best we’re talking a few weeks. I’m following a typical course. Fatigue occasionally sends me to bed. Fatigue occasionally lets me get out of bed”

It seems the few weeks have turned into a few months but in case this is my last blog I’ll leave you with this…

I have no intention of writing any more posts. A year for a bloke is plenty. I think you’ve learnt a lot about me that’s virtually no different to that which your neighbour or friend would write. It’s just that I decided to give it a go. I’m going to leave it now to the girls of my life to do with whatever they wish. Thanks for listening and offering your support. Toodle Pip!

Neil x

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Dawn George
Dawn George
Jan 14, 2022

Rest well Neil. You've more than fought a good fight and the way you have shared that with grace and stories is beautiful. It's a lovely legacy to leave. Thinking of Tricia and the family as well as you. A pleasure to have known you.


Go peacefully Neil knowing you have loved and inspired many. We will hold you in our hearts x


Jan 12, 2022

Neil, I think we have all been astonished by the dignity and composure that you have maintained throughout these difficult last few months. No more walks, coffee mornings and blogs will mean we miss you even more. If there is another place; I hope you enjoy having a tinker and putting things right - so it's all working well when we eventually get there. Mark x


Jan 12, 2022

How sad to read the words Neil's last post. You have been a friend to so many people and I am proud to be among them for the last 20 years. From your time at the Chatham, through the Mild Bunch, to that fabulous trip to France, to your parties which gave pleasure to so many and now by letting us join you through your blog. You will leave a gap in many peoples lives but for those for whom the gap will be widest it will give comfort to know they will have each other to get support from. Farewell and thankyou for the help over the years.


Spike Milligan wrote :

Tiger, tiger burning bright,

Look out!! You'll set the jungle alight.

You've been burning bright , Neil, for a long time and those of us privileged to get close have felt the warmth, the energy, and the brilliance.

And! didnt I remember a story about you setting the gorse alight ? Doudtless there have been other incendiary moments.

You will always burn bright in my memory xxxx Wendy

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