An anniversary gift to Andy

The best piece of advice I have ever been given was by a colleague when I was working at Hewlett Packard.  I really wanted a global role and to spend more time working internationally.  "Decide what you really want and make it happen" she said "otherwise you will just make an excuse".

This has become the mantra for how I have lived my life ever since. (I got the role by the way).   It's what has helped me to develop the resilience and drive to get through some of my toughest times over the past few years.  

I wanted to be the best possible mum for Daisy, I wanted to make sure that our other children did not miss out on childhood, I wanted to ensure our marriage would survive...

After Andy died I was determined to write the book that he so wanted me to write.  I wanted it to be published by our 25th wedding anniversary, my gift to him.

So young! 12th September 1992

So last week, on the 12th September it happened.

It's such a convoluted and tortuous journey to bring a book to print.  I was fortunate during the process to meet Helen and Abiola who had set up a new independent publishing company called Hashtag Press and it was a real meeting of minds.  I learned that you have to get used to rewriting and rewriting, to work with editors and proof readers and to be prepared to proof your manuscript over and over and over until you become sick of your own words!

Then came the unexpected.  When the book was in final edit and we were close to submitting the manuscript for typesetting Daisy became very ill and she too died.  I told my publisher that I still wanted to aim for our original deadline but needed some time.  I wrote a postscript for the book, about Daisy, I'm sorry if it made some of you cry but I couldn't leave it out.

When I was in New York with Xanthe on our much anticipated girls break away I received an email from my friend Jo with a wonderful foreword for the book.  That and permission from the Foo Fighters to use their lyrics as a dedication to Andy completed it.

Last week was tough.  Andy and I loved a party.  We were going to have the mother of all parties for our 25th, we were going to go to Vegas and renew our vows, we were going to celebrate the fact that despite all the odds our marriage had survived.  But along came cancer, the unexpected bombshell that ended our marriage.  But love never dies and last Tuesday I celebrated our love, 25 years of marriage, by dedicating my book, our story, to Andy.

I wonder if JK Rowling ever stayed up past midnight to see her book go live on Amazon?  I did.

We had our party.  In fact we had two parties - one with local friends in Wimbledon then a press party in Central London with lots of friends from all parts of our lives.

Thank you to everyone who has bought the book so far.  It's available in paperback and as an ebook from all the usual retailers, you can also order copies via your local bookshop.  In the next few weeks the audiobook will also be available.

Thank you to everyone who helped get me to this point.

I made it happen.

Happy Anniversary Andy xx

Thank you to Helen & Abiola from Hashtag Press for all your work in getting my book published

Our dear friend Benny read an excerpt from the book at the launch

Jo popped in before her show

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