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Spot the Hippy


With a biggish family it’s hard to let others in to the family inner sanctums. It’s probably a lifetime’s adventure akin to gaining access to the Catacombs of the Vatican, finding King Solomon's mines or the headquarters of the Kingsman.

Other brothers may have invited other people, there are no rules.

Here’s a message from my Kingsman ........................


Spot the Hippy


Here I am all dressed up and no place to go! I am sitting in my greenhouse/ conservatory/ tropical rainforest awaiting the regular Tuesday Coffee Club, which does not appear to be happening. So why not use this moment of solace and reflection to contribute to the blog.


Although Neil and I have been very close for a good 50 years, I haven’t said much until now – as I see it– after all Neil is the chatty one! It seems that Neil is not well enough to continue writing regularly so it’s my turn to step up to the plate.


Neil of course will dismiss what I am about to say as "absolute tosh – what else could I do?" His bravery (yes Neil "bravery") candour and humour are an inspiration to us all. None of us know how we would respond in similar circumstances but I expect few of us will match Neil‘s example – certainly not me!


Until recently I have been in complete denial, refusing to accept Neil's situation. I was convinced that there was nothing wrong with him and that there was a conspiracy, probably led by the illuminati, operating in the medical profession. Sadly I think that this belief may have been mis-placed.


Whilst writing this I am beginning to think that you, the reader, will start to recognise that Neil and I share a similar outlook, sense of humour and lightness of touch. By this I mean we both know full well that what we speak about is intensely serious – yet we cannot resist the odd joke, wry comment.


This leads me to the topic which I have called "Spot the Hippy", in order to retain the style of the blog and get your interest. So I was looking through old photos and I found this one. Here we are, I think it was 1973 or 4, we had gone to St Ives to spot hippies. We did not find many but on reflection if we had only taken a mirror with us we might have been more successful! Oh the hopes and dreams of a teenage Neil, Mark, Birkhardt and Tracey, what were they? have they been realised – – –?


Before I finish, I need to acknowledge to you that my very minor part in Neil’s journey of recent months, is one of the most painful events in my life. Despite this I hope it continues indefinitely. I am off to feed camels in the desert for a few weeks ... be here when I get back.


(Just found out the coffee club is at 11 so I have not missed it.)https:

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Ros Hodges
Ros Hodges
Nov 18, 2021

Mark, I don't know you but just from your words I can sense that you and Neil have a very similar outlook, thank you for writing on his blog, our thoughts are with your family, floating on the ether from Sussex, its hard going though as the wind is blowing from the West today. xx

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Juliet French
Juliet French
Nov 17, 2021

Mark Lovely words for our dear friend Neil ❤ ( whatever happened to the hippy hair?) x

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Lauren Beard
Lauren Beard
Nov 16, 2021

Thanks for sharing Mark, lovely words that made me cry ❤️

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