And now for the hard work

‚ÄčLast night was another one of those milestones. In a year of milestones this one felt like a biggie. Launching Rosie’s charity, Secondary1st, in front of 200 friends and family, was daunting. Yet at the same time it felt like a huge relief. 
I really wasn’t sure how the evening would go. Behind the scenes everyone involved had done so much work. On paper it had to work. But I’m somewhat of a pessimist and I usually expect the worst; when it goes well I’m pleasantly surprised. Last night went well by every measure.

So this week we’ve done it. We’ve fulfilled one for Rosie’s dying wishes. There is now a charity called Secondary1st which will raise funds to research secondary breast cancer. It is indelibly linked to a truly wonderful woman and I hope, if she’s looking down on us, that she approves.

Now friends, it’s over to you. Please join us in making Secondary1st a success. Tell your friends and family about it. Tell your work colleagues. If you work for a company then persuade them to chose Secondary1st as its charity of the year. Please donate, please support our events, please run your own fundraising events. This charity wouldn’t exist without the selfless contributions of time, expertise  and money of so many people. Now we need the contributions of many, many more .

The website should answer any questions you might have. You can donate or even set up a regular payment. If you have any questions then just email us. And I wish you the best of luck in helping us to grow Secondary1st into something that will last a lifetime.



Trying to make a difference

This week is going to be a big one, and in no way do I refer to Brexit. For almost a year now a dedicated group of friends, family and professionals from across a wide spectrum of backgrounds have been toiling away to build what I have told the children is “Mummy’s charity”. Secondary1st is the result of a conversation I had with Rosie in the final few days of her life. She wanted a charity to be established which would raise funds for research into secondary breast cancer. The charity is now here and on Tuesday evening we will be launching it.

There will be plenty to say about it, and I hope those of you who have continued to follow Rosie’s blog (for although I have taken over authorship, this is still Rosie’s home) will support Secondary1st in whatever way you can.

For now though, I’m tired, my children are asleep and I’m going to curl up on the sofa and watch Glastonbury on TV.


A year of thank yous

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, so goes the saying. Well with Rosie that simply wasn’t the case. Over the last year I’ve learned a few extra nuggets about this wonderful woman but essentially the lady I fell in love with was the same woman I lost on 16th June 2015.

The past year has been painful. It’s been one which I wish I had never experienced. I don’t much care to remember the previous year either. In the last year of Rosie’s life we made some phenomenal memories together. Our tenth wedding anniversary, 12 years spent together, birthdays, holidays, amazing meals, special times with our children, so, so much.

But those memories are currently being drowned out. I’m sure that as time goes by the good memories will break through to the surface, but for now the overriding emotion is one of loss.

The human condition is an odd one. You meet someone, you enjoy their company, you create a life together. Before you know it you have become inseparable and have no idea how you could possibly live without them. I often joked with Ro that when the time came, that I would have to pop off first because I wouldn’t be able to live alone. I half joked. In reality I knew that life without her would be unbearable. And it is.

However, our wonderful friends and family have supported me and our children through this living nightmare. I won’t single out any individuals but there are a significant band of people who have been there to look after us. You know who you are. Thank you.

Since her death life has taken on a certain inevitable rhythm. It must. One can’t constantly live a grieving life, and nor would I want to. I’ve discovered people anew. People who have been on the periphery but who now help to make life that much more enjoyable.

I’ve learned to be a single father with the massive support of our wonderful nanny and ever-present family. But when the door closes at night, and the nightmares intrude on the children’s sleep, it is I who they turn to. It’s tiring, as any parent can testify to, but worth it. And the impetus that Natalie and Joseph have given me to get out of bed each and every morning is immeasurable.

So what of the future? I can’t really say. I know that today isn’t as hard as yesterday and with a bit of luck tomorrow will be easier than today. For now the memory of Rosie serves to remind me what we’ve all lost but also supports me into the future. My love and thanks will always be there for you, my darling Rosie xxx


The day after our engagement in Venice, 23rd November 2003
The day after our engagement in Venice, 23rd November 2003