Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Bowel Cancer Statistics


My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. The primary cancer in the bowel was successfully operated on, but unfortunately since then she has had secondary cancer on her left lung and more recently on the brain. Mum was diagnosed fairly quickly and has had great treatment on the NHS. Her battle with this awful illness continues.

The idea behind me publishing the Lives & Times fundraising book was to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and to raise awareness about bowel cancer. Here are the basic facts...
  • Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer – every half an hour someone dies of the disease 
  • Each year around 16,000 people die of bowel cancer In the UK around 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year 
  • Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK 
  • Around 110 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every day, that’s someone every 15 minutes 
  • Bowel cancer affects both men and women 
  • If diagnosed early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully 
  • Five year survival rates for bowel cancer have doubled over the last 40 years
  • The majority (95%) of bowel cancer cases occur in people over 50, but it can affect anyone of any age 
  • Your lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer is 1 in 16. For men it’s 1 in 14 and for women 1 in 19
ALL proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to the charity. To see how you can buy the book click here.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Lives & Times Connecting Mike Read & Dave Fenton


I made the short journey from work to BBC Radio Berkshire on a crisp winter's afternoon in early 2015, and I spent a highly entertaining and fascinating half an hour photographing and chatting to ex Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, of course not forgetting his Saturday Superstore show too :) At the time he was hosting the afternoon show at the station.

This was a great chapter for me to write as his evening show on Radio 1 all those years ago was something I always listened to while doing my homework. The chapter in the Lives & Times bowel cancer charity book features the small confession I made to him about an incident over 30 years ago when I told a little white lie that revolved around Mike and Dave Fenton, who was the lead singer in The Vapors back in 1980s.

In fact after meeeting Mike I successfully contacted Dave Fenton, now a music lawyer at The Musicians Union, and just a few days later I travelled up to meet him in London. It was great talking to Dave about The Vapors, who recorded so many great songs including the massive hit single Turning Japanese, and we took the photo for the book with Big Ben in the background. Any fan of The Vapors will understand why. Since I published the book I was very sad to hear that Dave sadly lost his brother to cancer a few months ago.


My mother's battle with bowel cancer continues. One of the secondary cancerous lesions on her brain appears to increased in size recently and will most likely require further treatment. It's been a difficult 6 months for her having also had surgery to remove the lower lob of left lung. She has her next appointment on June 10th.

Please support this fundraising book and at the same help raise awareness about the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet one of most treatable cancers of caught early.



Sunday, 22 May 2016

Lives & Times Limited Edition Charity Prints - Beginning The Layers


Here is a look at the first layer that Guildford artist Adam Green has created at the Ochre Print Studio for the Lives & Times fundraising prints for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. I am really looking forward to seeing how the piece develops, and even at this early stage I am very excited to see the finished work.

Adam told me, "Inspiration wise..as with all with all my paintings I tend to start with a random sense of chaos which slowly forms into something more ordered. In relating the print to cancer perhaps the initial chaos and disruption people first feel when diagnosed and the alter support from friends and family. I think that is my thinking for the progression of the print."


Friday, 20 May 2016

Lives & Times Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer - The Latest on Mum's Battle...


Over the last few weeks attention has refocused on the cancer in Mum's brain, which is a secondary cancer from the original bowel cancer. Mum has had a series of scans and appointments to try and get to the bottom of the recent increased swelling on her brain, and a couple of minor episodes. Today's appointment with the oncologist was potentially going to be a really important one. In the event no definite conclusions have been come to yet, and the medical team need to have some more in depth discussions and analysis. Mum has been put back on steroids to see if that might improve her speech a little, and she has to go back in three weeks and she will possibly need to have more scans. It is an ever changing situation, but they are on it and monitoring and looking after her very well. The good news is that she can go off to Cornwall tomorrow for a week's holiday and enjoy it. Thoroughly deserved after the last six months...

In March she underwent her 5th operation in her four year battle with bowel cancer. In 2012 she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had successful surgery to remove part of her bowel. Unfortunately since then she has been plagued by secondary cancer, especially targeting her left lung. The recent operation at Harefield Hospital removed the lower lob of her left lung where the nodules have formed each time. She has made a very good recovery from that. She is back on her horse, and her blood count is down. She is desperate to drive again, although I suspect that is still quite some way off.

It's been a rough old road for her. The last few months have been particularly tough for her since the cancer, not only targeted her lung again, but also spread to her brain which resulted in a scary seizure at the end of November. For someone who is turning 80 this year she is fighting hard, and in my eyes genuinely a true fighter. She epitomises the brave, courageous spirit of so many cancer patients. It was hard fought victory in her battle with bowel cancer, and she is now gearing up for another possible encounter with this dreadful illness!


I published the Lives & Times book on November 27th, coincidentally the same day she had the seizure. It has raised over £1300 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity so far. All proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to the charity. The book was completed over 18 months, and I met and photographed many famous, and some not so famous, people for the book. So many different and fascinating chapters to enjoy. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here. I would be really grateful for any support.

So who can you expect to read about in the book...
  • Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
  • Katherine Grainger CBE
  • Phil Parkes
  • Mick Channon
  • Jonathan Agnew
  • Lorraine Kelly
  • Christopher Biggins
  • Matthew Wright
  • Freya North
  • Ben Richards
  • Carrie Grant
  • Gail Porter
  • Melinda Farrell
  • Alan Davies
  • Shaun Keaveny
  • Mike Read
  • John Shuttleworth
  • Tom Rosenathal
  • Antonia Mariconda
  • Status Quo
  • The Stranglers
  • The Alarm
  • Clare Grogan
  • Dodgy
  • Mikes Hunt& Erica Nockalls
  • Horace Panter
  • My Mum!
And so very much more.... Over 100 photos and about 45,000 words.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Lives & Times Limited Edition Print The Beginning


Guildford artist Adam Green has very kindly offered to come up with an original piece of Lives & Times art to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer. I went down to see him at Ochre Print Studio where he will be putting the design together and printing the finished article. The studio has also very kindly sponsored all the printing materials Adam will be using, which means that absolutely every penny will end up with the charity. Well hopefully every penny if we can sell the prints ourselves without having to use galleries. There will only be 25 prints made so you will have to get in quick!

So in the above photo what you can see is the first layer Adam has created for the end design. He was going to run this through the screen printing process later that day. Adam's creations very much evolve as they develop, so although Adam has an idea where he is going with the design, it could very well change as he goes along working with different colours and putting down different layers. The blog will document the print's development over the coming weeks.

One of the things Adam was sorting out with Annee and Jule when I got there was the paper that will be used for the prints. This is a very important aspect of screen printing with some papers much better suited than others.



To give you an idea of how Adam uses colours and layers here is one of his finished pieces of work. The depth that the combination of colours and layers gave was really stunning. I can't wait to see the development of the Lives & Times design.

The Lives & Times charity book has sold very well with over £1300 being raised by it to date. The book features photos and the stories behind them as met and photographed many famous people over the course of 18 months. To see how you can get hold of the book click here.



Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Lives & Times Meets Lorraine Kelly


To read how you can order the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

One of the final photographs I took for the book was of ITV daytime TV presenter Lorraine Kelly. It was a glorious crisp and sunny morning last September, and I ended up meeting Lorraine in the studio right after her daily morning show had finished.

The chapter in the book describes the experience in full, and it was fascinating spending time watching a live show from the back of the studio behind the cameras. I wasn't expecting to be able to take Loraine's photo in the studio, so that was a real bonus. She was lovely and couldn't have been more helpful and accommodating, and the studio set was even kept in place for a few extra minutes to enable to do the photography. The photo above above is a photo I received from Lorraine with her copy of the book after publication. She also very kindly did me a short video message to help with the book's promotion which you can view here.

My mother successfully had surgery in February 2014 to remove a cancerous nodule from her left lung, which as expected was a secondary cancer related to her bowel cancer of 2012. This was her fourth cancer operation in two and a half years. She made a great recovery, but unfortunately last October another cancerous nodule was detected on her left lung following her regular CT scan. The plan was for Mum to have surgery to have the nodule removed, but unfortunately in November Mum had a seizure and after tests we discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain, so that operation was postponed. In January she had "CyberKnife" treatment over three consecutive days for the brain cancer. Attention was then turned back to the lung, and she was operated on in early March and they removed the lower lob of her left lung as more nodules had appeared. Although Mum made a good recovery from the operation, unfortunately now the brain cancer has returned with a vengeance and a recent seizure has put mum in hospital unable to move her right hand, right leg and has badly affected her speech. On top of all this she still requires chemotherapy to treat the tumour. If ever she has needed positive vibes now is very much that time.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Lives & Times : The Brazilian Connection


Here we have Manuela Santini pictured with her copy of the Lives & Times book in Brazil. She also features in one of the more unusual chapters in the book. The photo of her in the book was one of the few that I didn't take myself. Obviously it would have been fantastic to have been able to go there to take the photo but alas not possible. The book has many famous names, but some of the most interesting chapters are those featuring less well known people such as Manuela.

Manuela kindly translated the first charity book I published, Beating Bowel Cancer, into Portuguese. That is how we met in this virtual social media world that we live in. The above photo is taken with a stunning backdrop, and I believe it is from São Paulo, where she lives and runs her own translation business. The book took an age to reach her, which was rather frustrating, as she bought it from Book Depository upon my recommendation. However it's still a great site for the shipping the book worldwide with free shipping.

The potential of increasing sales through people sending me photos of themselves with the book should not be underestimated and really does help. Sharing these posts and photos makes a massive difference, so please help with doing this whenever possible. If you have yet to send me a photo of yourself with your copy of the book please can you do so :) It would be great to see a few more photos of the book in the various destinations it has reached so far. There have been some photos sent from the United States, but I am still waiting to get a photo of the book from Australia for example.

To see how you can buy the book click here.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Lives & Times Charity Book Raising Funds For Beating Bowel Cancer


As we head into June the Lives & Times book has raised over £1350.00 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. which is totally due to the fantastic and generous support of everyone who has bought the book so far. What would be absolutely fantastic is for the book to raise as much as possible, and after the start it has had I am sure there is much more to come. However I still really need everyone's help. Marketing is a massive challenge when you are self publishing and every bit of extra help makes a big difference.

There are a number of ways people can help. I am asking everyone who buys the book the to send me a photo of themselves with the book for the gallery I have created. This also includes some of the people who are featured in the book. In the photo above there is Lorraine Kelly from ITV, Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave, author Freya North and Eddie Macdonald, a musician and photographer.

Sharing posts on Facebook generates interest or better still writing something original about the book and posting on Facebook which adds that extra personal touch that just might resonate with someone. The same goes for Twitter, and the potential to reach a much bigger audience on Twitter is massive, but to do this I need the help of my fellow Tweeters! :)

Publicity which is kind of like the Holy Grail... I have worked very hard and trying to get the book publicity. I have some success so far. It was featured in the Maidenhead Advertiser a few weeks after publication, and also in the Henley Herald which is an online paper. There was also a brilliant feature in the Maidenhead United football programme on December 28th for the home match against Hemel Hempstead, which sadly ended in a 3-2 home defeat. All these are local to Mum, who lives in Maidenhead and was born in Henley. To date coverage on local radio and TV has eluded me. As far as national media goes I have tried contacting Sunday supplements, book magazines, health magazines for some coverage. I did send a copy of the book to a health magazine for reviewing so it will be interesting to see what happens there. I am sure that the more people who come on board and talk about the book the better my chances are of getting some coverage.

I have used videos to promote the book. Some of the people featured in the book have sent me videos to help with this process, and I have been busy creating my own videos which I post on YouTube. It would be fantastic to have a professional video trailer made, but I recently was quoted £500-£1000 for the most basic option which is sadly way out of reach for me. If there is anyone out there who can help with this I would naturally be very grateful.


So I am trying to cover all the bases, but I am sure there will be people who read this who might have some new thoughts and suggestions on what I could try? Please drop me a line timdarv@googlemail.com

So who are the people featured in the book...
  • Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
  • Katherine Grainger CBE
  • Phil Parkes
  • Jonathan Agnew
  • Lorraine Kelly
  • Christopher Biggins
  • Matthew Wright
  • Freya North
  • Ben Richards
  • Carrie Grant
  • Gail Porter
  • Alan Davies
  • Shaun Keaveny
  • Mike Read
  • John Shuttleworth
  • Tom Rosenathal
  • Antonia Mariconda
  • Status Quo
  • The Stranglers
  • The Alarm
  • Clare Grogan
  • Mikes Hunt& Erica Nockalls
  • Horace Panter
  • My Mum!
And so very much more.... Over 100 photos and about 45,000 words.

So many fascinating experiences all put together in one book. Available in paperback, hardback and digital eBook. The Lives & Times can be bought in three different formats. Here is the breakdown on how you can order your copy. Please support this book and every penny I receive is donated to the charity.

Hardback Edition

  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. This is the website I have set up. The book costs £26.50 + P&P of which the £8-£10 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Amazon. The book costs £35.00 of which the approx £4.80 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
Paperback Edition
  • Bowel Cancer Fundraising Website. My website. The book costs £10.25 + P&P of which the £5 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
  • Amazon. The book costs £10.25 of which the approx £2.50 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
Ebook Edition
  • Amazon. The digital edition for the kindle is only available on Amazon at the moment. There are free kindle apps that can run on your iPads and laptops. The book costs £5 of which the approx £2.50 I receive will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.
Worldwide (outside the UK)
  • Amazon. Search "Lives & Times Tim Darvell" and you won't go too far wrong. 
  • Book Depository. Offers free shipping to anywhere in the world so is a brilliant way for buyers living outside the UK to buy the book.
    Finally I am quite happy to sell physical copies of the hardback and paperback editions directly bypassing the websites. Please contact me on email me at timdarv@googlemail.com and we can arrange it on there.


    In April I had a very successful day at the Beating Bowel Cancer Patient Day 2016 selling copies of the book on stand generously supplied to me by the charity. About £130 was raised on the day with over 20 copies of the book sold. I also got to meet Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE who is the charity's patron. I would love to try selling the book at a few more events like this.


    I was also recently sent a very limited signed screenprint of The Kiss by artist Horace Panter, who kindly donated the print to help raise funds raising £200 for the charity. The art news keeps getting better as artist Adam Green is going to create an original print based on Lives & Times with all proceeds donated to the charity. Not  forgetting there is already a lovely painting donated by Cathi Simpson of Mike Peters from The Alarm for sale on the website too.

    I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, as it was then that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. In September 2012 she had a section of her bowel removed and then at the start of 2013 she underwent two further operations on her lungs where she had a cancerous nodule ,which was a secondary bowel cancer. Mum remained in remission for about 18 months, but unfortunately in November 2014 another cancerous nodule appeared on one of her lungs. She underwent surgery in February 2015 which was successful, and made a fantastic recovery. Unfortunately last October her CT scan revealed that the cancer had come back on her left lung and more bad news followed a few weeks later when she found out that the cancer had spread to her brain. Mum underwent "CyberKnife" treatment in January for what is probably her biggest battle yet, Following a recent CT scan one of the tumours on her brain has got bigger so she will have to have more treatment. In March she had the lung surgery to remove the lower lob of her left lung where the cancer keeps returning. The treatment and care she has received throughout has been wonderful. Information about the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here.

    I would like to thank everyone for the encouragement and support given so far. I am hoping people will decide to buy the hardback and paperback editions through me or my website to maximize the profits, but every purchase makes a difference. Please support me on this venture. It took over 18 months to put this book together and it's been fantastic to finally see it come to fruition.

    Wednesday, 4 May 2016

    Ochre Print Sponsoring Materials For Lives & Times Charity Prints


    I am really happy to be able to announce that Ochre Print Studio in Guildford will be sponsoring all the print materials that artist Adam Green uses to produce the Lives & Times prints. This means that all the proceeds from sales of the prints can be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

    Ochre Print is a non-profit organisation. It is an open access print studio, that welcomes and encourages artists and printmakers of all abilities to engage in the create process of both traditional printmaking and contemporary print technology.

    Adam has already suggested that I go to see him create the prints at the studio, so I am looking forward to going there to see how it is done and what goes on there.

    A massive thanks to Ochre Print Studio for coming on board this project. To find out more about the Ochre Print Studio click here

    I have been supporting the Beating Bowel Cancer charity since my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. She is still fighting secondary cancer from the bowel that has spread to her left lung, and more recently her brain.

    Tuesday, 3 May 2016

    Lives & Times Links


    I have added a links page on both the blog and fundraising website. I am very happy to add a link for anyone who is the book, or who has brought the book, or contributed any help towards my fundraising. I will be adding links myself gradually, but if you wish to have a link to a website added, please contact me with details.

    To see the links page on the blog click here or in the header bar

    To see the links page on the book's website click here.

    The first couple of links I have added are both artists by coincidence. Horace Panter has kindly donated a limited print of "The Kiss" for me to sell to raise funds for the charity. Adam Green is going to design an original piece of work and the limited edition prints will be sold to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer.

    I think embracing networking and social media is a great way and building up a following and generating interest in both my book and the links to other websites.

    Monday, 2 May 2016

    Artist Adam Green To Create Original Art Piece For Lives & Times


    Reigate artist, Adam Green, has very kindly offered to create an original piece of work to help raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. ALL the proceeds from sales of the limited edition prints will be donated to the charity.

    Adam is a long time friend of my brother Noel having met whilst travelling in Africa. Recently Adam kindly bought the book and having made touch with him on social media he made his kind offer. So today myself and Noel went to meet him for lunch and discuss the idea. I think we have come up with a good plan and I am really excited to see what Adam comes up with.


    We also had the opportunity of going to Adam's studio to see some of his amazing pieces of work and we also went to see this mural he has recently painted in the centre of Reigate. He has recreated a scene of the High Street from 100 years ago inspired by an old photograph from The Francis Frith Collection.

    More news about this exciting project to follow. Adam's website www.adamgreenart.com is well worth a visit.