Monday, 18 December 2017

Beating Bowel Cancer Merges With Bowel Cancer UK


Some very exciting news today - Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK are joining together to become the UK's leading bowel cancer charity. Read the full statement here.

After my Mum had the operation to remove the tumour from her bowel in September 2012, I began my fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer. Five years down the line, Mum is sadly no longer with us, but the fundraising continues stronger than ever. The Lives & Times charity book that I published in 2015 has raised over £3400, and the new book will hopefully be out towards the end of 2018. Over the years I have made connections with Bowel Cancer UK, in particular I have always been grateful for the support from their Chief Executive, Deborah Alsina MBE, so I am looking forward to working with her.

The purpose of the new organisation is bold and clear. "We are determined to save lives, improve the quality of life and support all those affected by bowel cancer in the UK. We are tremendously excited about the future and our pledge is bold, stretching and inspiring. Within ten years we will transform survival rates, from only one in every two people surviving bowel cancer over five years, to three out of four people surviving. There will be better treatment and care including information and support for every patient and screening will be optimal, leading to more cancers being detected early or prevented leading to fewer emergency presentations."

This will be achieved through:
  • Enabling and supporting research
  • Providing support and information for patients and their families each step of the way
  • Transforming awareness and understanding of the disease
  • Campaigning for early diagnosis and best treatment and care for all

So some big and exciting changes coming up, and it's business as usual from me. Hoping to raise more funds with the items I am selling on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website, and raising awareness about bowel cancer.

Happy Christmas From Lives & Times - A Bowel Cancer Charity Book


A very Happy Christmas to everyone, and a massive thanks to everyone who has supported the Lives & Times fundraising book so far, helping to raise over £3400 for Beating Bowel Cancer. It's a lovely book featuring photos of so many wonderful people - some famous, and some not so famous affected by bowel cancer. It would make a lovely Christmas gift, and it's available from my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website. Please also watch and share the festive video.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year, but it is also very treatable if detected early. Much more needs to be done, both in raising awareness about bowel cancer, and improving early detection rates. If everything goes to plan, the new book, The Record, will be out towards the end of 2018.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Steve 'Smiley' Barnard Features in Two Chapters of Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I am pretty sure that Steve 'Smiley' Barnard is the only person to feature in two chapters of Lives & Times, and he achieves this without actually having a chapter dedicated to himself. This has been been rectified for the next book, The Record, hopefully due out in 2018, as I went to meet him earlier this year at his Sunshine Recording Studios in Fleet. We chatted for over an hour, and he couldn't have been nicer, so I left with plenty of good stuff to write about.


When we met Smiley was in the early stages of recording his 5th solo album, Smiley's Friends In The Afterglow, which is scheduled for released early in 2018. His previous four albums have all be fantastic, and I am sure this will not disappoint. Why can't other artists take a leaf out of Smiley's book, and release an album every year, just like bands did in the good old days...


Smiley plays drums for The Alarm, and back in 2014 I went to Abbey Road to take part in The Scriptures project, which was the recording of the world's longest song. The full band took part in this session and apart from getting my photo of Mike Peters for the book I was able to get a few great photos including the above shot of the band doing a publicity shot with Andy Labrow. It was a fantastic day, and made for a fascinating chapter in the book.


I also got to take some photos of Smiley in action when he was drumming with From The Jam, when I was given a photo pass to photograph them at their gig at SUB89 in Reading in November 2014. I was able to spend the whole set in the pit, so I got the best seat in the house as well as blowing my ear drums!

The Lives & Times fundraising book along with the screen prints and mugs has now raised over £3400 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book can be bought from my own www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a four year brave and dignified battle fought with bowel cancer. As well as raising funds for the charity the book is helping to raise awareness about this awful disease. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it is one of the most treatable ones in over 90% of cases.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Special Offer from Bowel Cancer Fundraising


For a limited time only you can get this amazing bundle offer from the bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website. The bundle consists of the hardback edition of Lives & Times, the limited edition silk screen print, and a mystery print by Reigate artist Adam Green. The special price of £125 means you are getting the book, and the mystery print for free. This offer ends on January 6th, 2018.

All proceeds raised from sales are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer, and the fundraising efforts so far have raised over £3400. 

My mother passed away on August 29th, 2016 after a long battle with bowel cancer going back over four years. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, with 16,000 people lost to it each year. However if detected early it can be successfully in over 90% of cases, so we need to do everything possible to improve awareness about this awful illness, and improve early diagnosis rates.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Lives & Times Meets Matthew Wright From Channel 5



Back in the summer of 2014, unbelievably over 3 years ago now, I met and photographed Matthew Wright for the Lives & Times book in London. Matthew is very passionate about bowel cancer having lost his own father to this awful disease, and he has been incredibly supportive of this project including writing a lovely foreword for the book. I got to see his vintage motorbikes, which are his pride and joy. We talked about his daytime show, The Wright Stuff, on Channel 5 and about his experience appearing on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. He was great fun to spend time with, and is just a really nice man!


My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. Back then her bowel was successfully operated on, and the section containing the cancer was removed, but in the fours that followed she suffered from cancerous nodules on her lungs, which is a secondary cancer from the bowel and underwent four further operations to have nodules removed. Latterly the cancer spread to her brain and she experienced a number of seizures as a result. The last one put her in hospital for almost six weeks leaving her virtually paralysed down her right side and badly affecting her speech. It was while she was there that we got the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. She moved to a nursing home under a NHS continuation of care package where she received wonderful care in her final weeks. Sadly she passed away on August 29th, 2016.

Since losing Mum I have continued with the fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer. Lives & Times was published in November 2015. Absolutely every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book and the limited edition Lives & Times silk screen prints have so far raised over £3400 for the charity. I am now putting together a new charity book which will be called The Record. I also do my best to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It remains the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet if caught early it is one of the most treatable with 5 year survival rates at over 90%.


During the summer I got to catch up with Matthew when he came to The Big Hug in London organised by the amazing Dafydd Wyn Farr-Jones to celebrate the lives of Ben Ashworth and Anne Carlin both sadly lost to bowel cancer in 2017.

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 then finally on the brain. Mum passed away on August 29th, 2016.

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, 27 November 2017

The Bittersweet 2 Year Anniversary

Mum on Shimara with Granddaughter Anna
Today is a bittersweet anniversary. On this day in 2015 I published the Lives & Times fundraising book. It was also the very same day that Mum had her first brain seizure, and what proved to be the final turning point in her bowel cancer illness that had begun back in 2012.

The book had proved to be an amazing journey for me over the 18 months it took me to put it together. It was one memorable experience after another meeting so many fascinating people, and the help, support, and enthusiasm of those who took park will stay with me forever. I had taken as much time as required to make sure it was 100% ready, and as good as it could possibly be. I just had to decide the publication date, and eventually decided on November 27th. We knew that Mum required another lung operation at beginning of 2016, and I kept changing the chapter on Mum as things changed. In the end towards the end of October I decided that I couldn't keep changing things and the book would be presented as how Mum's health was there and then, which was absolutely the right way.

I won't deny that the build up to publication was exciting. How well would it sell, and would people like it? I was taking pre-orders, and was happy to let people who paid have their copies a few days early. I gave my brother his copy, and Mum got to see this before I had a chance to give her copy to her. It reduced her to tears - I think the only time in my life that I did this... 

Then came publication day... During the early hours of November 27th my brother called me to say that Mum had been taken to hospital, and from that moment everything changed. The excitement and anticipation about the book vanished in an instant, as all thoughts turned to Mum. She was in hospital for over a week, and the bad news was that she had two cancerous tumours on her brain which were secondary cancers from the bowel cancer. She would go on to have treatment for these in the new year. The swelling on her brain, and the pressure that was causing the seizures was managed by the use of steroids. Sadly over the following months her health slowly deteriorated, and one of the tumours did not respond to the CyberKnife treatment. The final massive seizure at the beginning of June left in hospital, and virtually paralysed down one side. Her condition became terminal and she was moved to a nursing home in Maidenhead where she spent her last few weeks. Sadly Mum passed away on August 29th, 2016. 

Over the last two years the book has been an amazing success. Along with the screen prints, so generously donated and created by artist Adam Green, and the portrait photo sessions I am offering, the fundraising now stands at about £3400. The kindness and support from everyone who has bought the book has been wonderful. The new book, The Record, is taking shape, but I guess it is still a year or so from completion. In the meantime Lives & Times can be purchased from my bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website and other retailers

I find it very difficult to even begin to put into words my feelings about the loss of Mum, and my Dad in 2009 for that matter. How am I coping with bereavement? It is such a personal thing, and I think fairly well now, but I suppose the honest answer is I don't know. I know that that there is no right or wrong way, and that I try to look forwards, and remember the happy times when I do look back. One of my coping mechanisms is to blot things out, although as a result this makes it difficult for me to remember things. Those last few months with Mum were pretty tough, and have definitely left a sadness that can be hard to shift at times. I suppose you just put it away somewhere and learn to keep it there as much as possible. I have a somewhat illogical, and perhaps selfish feeling of regret. I wish my parents could have seen me happy and settled with a family. Those who know me well, also know all too well how difficult I have found it to meet someone. I am great at making friends, hopeless at getting a girlfriend. It was something that I would often talk to Mum about, and she assured me that it would happen one day. So I have carried a loneliness with me for a long time - way before Mum became ill. However I have a great life, and some amazing friends, so I shouldn't complain. I am working hard on these things, and hope that I am on the right road.


Bowel cancer has changed me massively. Losing a parent to it is heartbreaking, but getting to know and meet so many amazing people also affected by it has been one of the best things to ever have happened to me. It is a staggeringly warm, and giving community in the face of tremendous adversity. I only have to think of what others are facing, and I realize that my own demons are pretty minor really.

The fundraising will continue. So apologies in advance but I will keep pestering people and try to sell many more copies of my book, and raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer. I don't exactly know how many copies of the book have been sold so far, but it is in the hundreds. That means there is a potential market out there of literally millions of people. I do pretty everything in terms of the marketing, so if anyone out there wants to help, or give some fresh ideas on how to reach a wider audience with the book I'd be happy to listen.

Finally I must stress how important it is to keep raising awareness about bowel cancer. Too many people are being diagnosed at a later stage when the chances of long term survival are greatly reduced. If detected at an early stage, bowel cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. 16,000 people lose their lives to this awful illness each year making it the second highest cancer killer in the UK. There is a wealth of useful information on the Beating Bowel Cancer website.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book Meets Gabby Logan


One of the longest quests for the book was trying to meet Gabby Logan. I initially made contact with Gabby on Twitter, and she immediately agreed to be in the book. After months of near misses, cancellations and me nagging her agent, we finally did the photograph for the book in Reading of all places being where I live, where Gabby was supporting the Great British Tennis Weekend in 2015. I met up with her towards the end of her stint, so time was against me, but she kindly chatted for a few minutes and happily posed for photos including this one with the bowel cancer tie. The chapter includes the near miss story of going to do this photo at the BBC Match of the Day studios in Manchester. Gabby was absolutely lovely, and I really appreciate her support for the book.

My mother sadly lost her long and courageous four and half year battle with bowel cancer on August 29th 2016. She died peacefully with me, my brother and sister at her bedside. My fundraising continues, and the book is now dedicated to the memory of our wonderfully brave and courageous mum. Please support this fundraising book, which is available on my website, as every sale counts both in raising money and raising awareness about bowel cancer. All proceeds raised from sales are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Over £3250 has been raised so far.

Over the course of 18 months I met and photographed people from all walks of life to form the chapters of Lives & Times. Every single person taking part has given up their own time to do it and all funds raised go to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. As well as Gabby, others included are, Sir Steve Redgrave, Katherine Grainger, Jonathan Agnew, Nadine Dorries, Lorraine Kelly, Christopher Biggins, Matthew Wright, Freya North, Gail Porter, Alan Davies, Shaun Keaveny, Carrie Grant, Mike Read, Status Quo, The Stranglers, The Alarm, Clare Grogan and many others.

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Lives & Times Charity Book Makes The Ideal Christmas Gift


This Christmas why not treat someone to a copy of the Lives & Times fundraising book in support of the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The paperback, and hardback, are both available on my website for £7.99 & £23.99 respectively. ALL proceeds raised from sales are donated to the charity, and it really does make the perfect stocking filler.

The book is a heartwarming and uplifting read inspired by my own mother's bowel cancer journey. Sadly Mum passed away last year after her dignified, and courageous battle with bowel cancer. As well as raising funds for the charity the book is helping to raise awareness about this awful disease. Bowel cancer is the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, but is one of the most treatable if detected early with a 90% survival rate. If one person gets checked out, and successfully treated as a result of reading the book then that would be my perfect Christmas present.

Lives & Times features photographs of celebrities who came together to help beat bowel cancer. Included in the book are Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger, Gabby Logan, Lorraine Kelly, Jonathan Agnew, Matthew Wright, Gail Porter, Alan Davies, Mike Read, Clare Grogan, Carrie Grant and many others. Each photo is accompanied by the anecdotal story behind the meeting. It was not just celebrities who supported the project and the book also features chapters on some amazing and fascinating everyday people. Everyone gave up their free time to take in the book. It took 18 months to complete, and contains over 100 photos and 44,000 words. To date the book, and other items on the website have raised over £3400.

Lives & Times Christmas Video

The book is available in hardback, paperback, and eBook formats, and can be purchased from www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk and AMAZON. To see all the ways to buy the book click here.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Lives & Times Meets David Fenton From The Vapors


A couple of years ago I went up to London to meet Dave Fenton, lead vocalist in The Vapors. They are best remembered for their worldwide smash hit single Turning Japanese. I decided to try and track him down for the book after I had spoken with Mike Read about Jimmie Jones, which was a minor hit for the band. At the time Dave was the in house lawyer for the Musician's Union, and so I took a chance and sent an email to their press office. Within an hour he'd replied in person, and 48 hours later we met up outside Westminster tube station. Dave was extremely helpful, and happy to let me choose the location. There could only be one place for me to take the photo, and that was with Big Ben in the background. The Vapors best single in my opinion was News At Ten, and the picture sleeve of the single was the classic ITV image of Big Ben striking 10 o'clock for their news programme. I will regularly have The Vapors playing on my iPod, and the other stand out song, for me, by the band is Letter From Hiro, which is just magnificent.

We were able to chat about not just the band and some of the difficulties they had the time with record companies, but life after the band finished and his life now working at the Musician's Union and the problems the bands of today face. All in all it was a fascinating experience, and a great chapter to get for the book.

David sent me a photo of himself with his copy of the book after it was published at the end of 2015. When we met David's brother was beginning treatment for lung cancer, but sadly by the time I published the book he had passed away. Another example of just how awful cancer is. My mother's bowel cancer journey also ended in great sadness. She was diagnosed in 2012, and although the operation on her bowel was successful, she had four further operations on her lungs after the cancer spread. She was coping really well, and bounced bounced very quickly each time. Towards he end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain. I n spite of CyberKnife treatment her health declined, and she went into hospital in June 2016 following a massive seizure. She passed away peacefully on August 29th 2016. 

The Vapors at 229 The Venue 10/11/2017
When I met Dave, he gave me no indication that The Vapors had any intention of reforming, but the great news is that they are now back on the road. I got to see the band in Wolverhampton last year. It was a fantastic gig, and finally getting to see the band live, and perform the songs of my youth, was amazing. I saw them last Friday night in London, and this was definitely at step-up or 3! The band were out of this world. I will always have two stand out tracks by them, 'News At Ten' and 'Letter From Hero', and they were not surprisingly the highlights for me, but every song was top notch. Looking forward to seeing them again next March.

Lives & Times has now raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here. I am also pleased to say that Ed Bazalgette, The Vapors guitarist, has agreed to be in my next charity book, so I will hopefully be meeting him soon.



Wednesday, 11 October 2017

From The Jam Feature In Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Seeing From The Jam perform the songs of The Jam is one of my favourite nights out in the musical diary. Recreating the arrangements with such precision and having the superb voice of Russell Hastings accompanying Bruce Foxton makes the whole thing work wonderfully well.

When I started to put the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book together I wanted to get as much stuff about The Jam, past and present, in the book as I could. What price getting Paul, Bruce and Rick together for a photo? Well yes of course we can all dream. I never managed to get a response from Paul or Rick, although I did manage to get a request to Rick through his book page on Facebook. Thankfully fortune was on my side as when I approached From The Jam to be in the book I was successful. I was given a photo pass for the Reading gig on the Settings Sons 35th anniversary tour.


Normally being in the photo pit you are restricted to the first three songs of the set, so I made sure I was primed and ready. As things turned out I needn't have worried as I was able to stay in there for the whole set, which gave me unlimited photographic access up close and personal. And of course I was also able to enjoy the concert from the very front!

SUB 89 in Reading is a great venue for bands to play the town these days, and From The Jam always fill the venue to capacity. The lighting in there makes photography quite challenging, and it took me quite some time to decide on which were the best photos to consider using in the book. These two photos of Bruce and Russell made the shortlist, but not actually into the book.

As a 16 year old I saw the final tour of The Jam at Wembley in 1982. Seeing these songs again 35 years later is nothing short of an absolute joy, and my heartfelt thanks to the band for participating in the book.

I published the Lives & Times book on November 27th 2015. It has so far raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. All proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to the charity.

I have been supporting Beating Bowel Cancer since 2012, as it was then that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Although the operation to remove the tumour in her bowel was successful, Mum also had secondary cancer on her left lung. This is where the primary cancer spreads to another part of the body. She had four operation over four years on her lungs. The cancer also spread to her brain, and in spite of "Cyberknife" treatment her health declined and she passed away on August 29th 2016.

Information about the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and the work that is does can be found by clicking here.

I am currently doing a new book in my mother's memory. The challenge for this one is to try and Paul and Rick to take part... Can anyone help me with this?

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Stiff Little Fingers supporting Bowel Cancer Charity Book



Back in March 2015, I travelled to Oxford to see Stiff Little Fingers play live at the O2 Academy. Having made contact with Jake a few weeks earlier, he invited me to go and photograph the band at their sound-check before the gig. This particular photo shows Jake sporting the bowel cancer tie, which I asked many of the people in the book to do a photo with to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It was fascinating going back stage to meet the band in their dressing room, and the gig itself was absolutely brilliant with the band playing many of their classic songs alongside tracks from their most recent studio album, No Going Back. This was a great chapter to write, as not only was it a brilliant evening, but having first seen the band play live in 1987, and buying the 'At The Edge' 7" single in 1980, there is a long history of me following the band. 

At the time of the meeting my Mum had been living with bowel cancer for three years. Although she had successfully had the tumour removed from her bowel in 2012, she also had secondary cancer on her left lung, and underwent four operations over a four year period to remove nodules. On the day that Lives & Times was published in November 2015, Mum had a seizure, and the cancer had spread to her brain. She underwent CyberKnife treatment in early 2016, but more seizures followed and her condition slowly deteriorated, and she sadly passed away in August, 2016. All proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer, and it has raised over £3250 to date.

41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives. Importantly, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more work needs to be done to raise awareness about this awful illness, to increase the numbers diagnosed early, and help reduce the number of deaths. There is still a stigma attached to anything related to bums and poo!

The book contains chapters on people from all walks of life, including the world of music, sport, television, and people affected by cancer. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lives & Times Meets Blowers From Test Match Special


Photographing Henry Blowers Blofeld for the book was particularly interesting as I met him in my Mum's road! Blowers was one of the main stays on BBC Test Match Special, commentating on cricket for over 40 years before his retirement after the final summer Test against the West Indies in 2017. His unique style of commentary painting such a wonderful picture of the game will be much missed, and I wish him a long and happy retirement, although I suspect he will remain pretty busy.

Henry was appearing with the former TMS producer Peter Baxter at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, and was very happy to meet me before the performance to be photographed for the book in spite of spending all day travelling to get to the venue. He was terrific, and it was another wonderful experience and a great addition to the book.

My mother is the inspiration behind the Lives & Times book. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and after a successful operation to remove the tumour, she also had four lung operations over the next four and a half years. At the end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain, and her health slowly deteriorated and she passed away in August 2016.

All proceeds raised from sales of Lives & Times are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity with over £3250 raised so far. The book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 each year. If detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Lives &Times Meets Dave Sharp From The Alarm

With Dave Sharp in Llandudno 2017

Dave Sharp played at The Gathering in Llandudno earlier this year, so it was really nice to have a quick chat and photo with him, and update him on the book, which has now raised over £3400 for Beating Bowel Cancer.

Dave Sharp at The Railway Inn

I met up with Dave, the original guitarist with The Alarm, at his acoustic gig at The Railway Inn, Winchester in October 2015. I had been on Dave's trail for the book ever since I had photographed Nigel Twist & Eddie Macdonald from the band a year or so before. In fact Eddie had hoped to try and get Dave to be at the meeting with Nigel, which alas didn't happen. Dave proved to be somewhat elusive, and as the publication date drew close I had pretty much given up hope of hearing anything. I was going to his gig in Winchester so I thought it was worth emailing him one final time, and I was delighted when Dave emailed back just a couple of days before the gig and he was very happy to be part of it.

I hadn't seen Dave play live for a few years, and the gig was absolutely brilliant. He is a real master craftsman... It's a great venue and I was lucky enough to see a bit of the soundcheck where Dave went to great lengths to ensure he got the sound absolutely right. This paid dividends for his set as the sound quality was superb. Dave was very enthusiastic about what I was doing and we were able to have a chat in the bar before doing the photo. He was also keen that the photos were as good as we could make them. He certainly has a creative eye and it made my job really easy. The photo I use in the book is a great black and white photo of the man.

So I managed to meet and photograph all four original members of The Alarm for the Lives & Times book. Short of getting them together in the same room this was quite an achievement and one I am really pleased about. Bowel cancer remains the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet if caught early it is one of the most treatable cancers. All proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and over the course of 4 years following her successful bowel operation, also received treatment for cancer on her left lung and cancer on the brain. Both cancers are secondaries from the original bowel cancer. Sadly Mum passed away in August 2016, but the fundraising continues now in her memory with a new book in the pipeline.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

That Feeling You Get When You Publish A Book..


Victoria Derbyshire's book, Dear Cancer, Love Victoria, detailing her account of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is published later this month. It's a book I am looking forward to reading, and the above screenshot is taken from a lovely video Victoria posted on her Twitter feed this week when she received the first copy of her book.


It got me thinking back to when Lives & Times was published on November 27th 2015. It was a day that I was naturally looking forward to with much excitement, as its not every day that you have a book come out. A few people had received their copies in advance including Mum, who was reduced to tears (good ones) by it, which took me by surprise and was very moving. It still makes me feel emotional now when I think back. The day of publication itself is one that I will never forget. What should have been one of the happiest and exciting days of my live ended up quite different. I got a phone call in the early hours from my brother, as Mum had been taken into hospital with what turned out to be her first brain seizure. Of course all thoughts about the book and how many copies it might sell on the first day went completely out of the window. Mum was in hospital for a week or so, and came home knowing that she would have to undergo CyberKnife treatment after Christmas. Looking back now this was really when the pendulum began to swing the other way, and Mum's health began to decline. The secondary bowel cancer cancer on the lung had been treated successfully each time it had occurred, but once the cancer went to the brain, and didn't successfully respond to the treatment, options became limited. Mum passed away on August 29th 2016 four and half years after her original  bowel cancer diagnosis.

The Lives & Times book is without doubt one of the finest achievements of my life. It's something I am immensely proud of, and it has successfully raised a significant amount of funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and hopefully played its part in helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. This awful disease claims 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.


Victoria kindly agreed to be in the new fundraising book I am doing. The Record still has a long way to go before before being published, but it is hopefully shaping up to be every bit as good as Lives & Times.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Clare Grogan From Altered Images Supporting The Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


I met up with the lovely Clare Grogan back in 2014 after she agreed to be in my bowel cancer fundraising book. She was performing an Altered Images set at Let's Rock on very hot summer's day in Southampton. The day turned out to be quite eventful, as for starters the chapter in the book describes how I managed to get myself thrown out of the press pit whilst photographing Clare and the band. After Clare came off stage I took a very special shot back stage after having had a chat with her. Clare's husband Stephen has had bowel cancer, and it was fascinating talking to her about our own experiences of having a family member with bowel cancer. Here's a photo I took during her performance that's not in the book.

Sadly since Lives & Times was published in November 2015, my Mum lost her battle with bowel cancer. She fought this awful disease with immense courage and great dignity, but she passed peacefully away in August 2016. The book has raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity to date.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Lives & Times Book Kindle Edition


The kindle edition of the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer is available to buy and download from Amazon. It costs £2.99 and all sales proceeds are donated to the charity. 

I have been heavily promoting the physical versions of the book. The hardback and paperback version are available on my own website www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk, and so far they account for over 95% of the sales. I must admit I am a fan of reading both physical books and eBooks. However I have to be honest that with Lives & Times I love the physical editions. That being said I have the eBook and am constantly referring to it, and love having it on my phone at the touch of a button. Many people now only read books on their devices, and that is something that I am happy to embrace.

Mum passed away in August 2016 after bravely fighting bowel cancer for over four years with great dignity. The idea of Lives & Times is to raise as much money as possible for Beating Bowel Cancer. The book in all formats, alongside the limited edition silk screen prints, has raised over £3250 to date. The book also aims to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but in over 90% of cases patients can live for five years or longer if it is detected early. We need to get past this taboo about talking about an area of our body we would prefer not to, and something that involves using the words "bum" and "poo". 

Please support Lives & Times in any way you can and do our bit to help beat bowel cancer.

Raffle Idea for Beating Bowel Cancer


I am considering holding a raffle to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. My initial thought is to put one of the screen prints up as a prize and have 125 x £1 tickets. This way for a minimal investment everyone has an equal chance of getting hold of this wonderful item. 

The other way I could go is to approach some of the very kind people who have featured in the books, and see if they might donate a prize for a bigger raffle with no limit of tickets...

Artist Adam Green has created the Lives & Times screen print to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. The print sized 39cm x 49cm on 300gsm Somerset paper is limited to just 25 copies. This wonderful piece of art was done at Ochre Print Studio, who have very kindly donated all the materials Adam used ensuring that the whole of the purchase price is donated to the charity.

The print is also on sale in the web store on my bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website or you can email me directly. Get your own piece of art for just £125 and raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. 

Adam's description, "The print I have produced has been inspired by Tim's book, Lives & Times. A book created to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer after Tim's Mum was diagnosed in 2012. I was really taken with the concept of what Tim was doing with his book, travelling the length and breadth of the UK to meet and photograph famous sportspeople, musicians, actors, DJs etc. The front cover of the book shows two silhouettes facing each other. I took this idea and developed my print with this in mind, thinking about the one to one interaction Tim had with many people in order to create his book. The print is made up of many different layers, each one possibly signifying the different stages in the journey that people follow once being diagnosed with cancer. I am very pleased to have produced this print for Tim and his charity. I really hope it brings joy and positive thoughts to all those who purchase one."




Thursday, 10 August 2017

Norma de Bidaph from Gearlink Kawasaki features in the Lives & Times bowel cancer charity book


I can't believe that it was 3 years ago now that I met Norma de Bidaph, who runs the Gearlink Kawasaki motorbike team with her husband Michael. Norma is in remission from bowel cancer, and is a keen fundraiser for bowel cancer charities. She has also been especially supportive of my fundraising efforts. She sent me this brilliant photo of her with the charity book.

The chapter on Norma in Lives & Times, which was published in 2015, moves away from the celebrity angle of some of the chapters, and shows how the book contains chapters on the everyday person as well. She invited me to the Thruxton Circuit to a round of the British Superbikes Championship. In the chapter I describe our meeting, Norma's battle with bowel cancer, and the whole experience including my efforts to photograph the motorbikes that were flying past at speeds in excess of 200mph.

Like many, who have battled with cancer, Norma doesn't consider herself brave, but just having to face the illness head on. I found her truly inspirational, and the affection she is held in by everyone associated with the sport was shown time and time again during the day. She is absolutely lovely, and looked after me very well in spite of being on the go non-stop all day. I am looking forward to returning to a race meeting and seeing Norma again sometime soon.

It is now almost a year since my Mum passed away after fighting bowel cancer for over four years. I am currently doing a new book dedicated to her memory, which will once again donate its proceeds to Beating Bowel Cancer. As well as fundraising, the books also aim to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer, and yet if detected early can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

To see how you can buy a copy of Lives & Times click here. ALL proceeds raised are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book has raised over £3250 so far.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Cast of STOMP Feature in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book


One of the most amazing experiences whilst doing the Lives & Times book was going to meet the cast of the London stage show STOMP. The amazing production combines dance, comedy and music. Dustbins, brooms and kitchen sinks are all used to create a unique rhythmic experience. I contacted the show after I had been to see it, and I was delighted when some of the cast agreed to meet me. I met Alua Nascimento, Paul Bend and Hugo Cortes at The Ambassador Theatre one afternoon to photograph them for the book. The guys couldn't have been more helpful, and were happy to do some shots on stage with me before we had a long chat about their careers and the production. It was absolutely fascinating and made for quite a unique chapter in the book. I am not going to reveal too much here, but the chapter is worth a read...

Alua Nascimento with the Lives & Times book

My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and she had a successful operation to remove the tumour from her bowel. However the cancer had also spread to her lungs and she had four operations to remove cancerous nodules. Finally the cancer spread to her brain, and this was one final battle that she couldn't win. She passed away peacefully on August 29th, 2016 after fighting the bowel cancer with great courage and dignity for over four years. 

The Lives & Times book has now raised just over £3250. To see all the ways you can order the book click here. ALL proceeds raised are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK. If detected early it is treatable in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness is key to reducing the 16,000 lives that are lost each year to this awful disease.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Lives & Times Meets Shaun Keaveny From BBC Radio 6 Music


After 18 months of travelling here, there and everywhere to meet and photograph people for the Lives & Times fundraising book supporting the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, one of the final photos I took for the book back in October 2015 was when I met Shaun Keaveny, who has presented the breakfast show on BBC 6 Music for the last decade. As Shaun will testify the photography would have been completed a week earlier, had it not been for a bit of a mix up at his end with me coming off second best to Bloc Party! The full story features in the book.

We met at the 6 Music headquarters in Great Portland Street, and Shaun was very generous with his time for me, especially having been up since some god unearthly hour to do his early morning show. Following on from our meeting, Shaun was happy to send me a photo of himself with the recently published book, and he also kindly did me a video snippet to help promote the book. He took a great interest in the book, bowel cancer and my mother who, at the time, was still battling with secondary cancer from the primary bowel cancer. Sadly, in August 2016, she passed away after a 4 year brave and courageous battle with bowel cancer.


Lives & Times was published in November 2015, and has so far raised over £3500. All proceeds I receive are donated to the charity, so please support the book if you can. As well as raising funds for the charity, the book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, claiming 16,000 lives each year. However if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Bowel Cancer Website Continuing for Another 12 Months


I have decided to continue hosting my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website for another 12 months. Whilst the Lives & Times book is now almost two years old, and the follow book is a year or so away, I think it makes sense to continue with the website and selling products, even if sales are pretty quiet at the moment. I think the cost of hosting the site is worthwhile, and I continue to pay that myself, so that all proceeds donated continue to go to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

We lost another brave cancer warrior, Ben Ashworth, this week. I never got to meet Ben, but I followed his amazing fundraising efforts, and his brave and courageous battle with this awful illness. He inspired so many people, and my thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.

So far just over £3250 has been raised for the charity by Lives & Times, and the other items on the website. I'd love to push the figure as high as possible, so please take a look at the website, and I'd be grateful for any support.

It is now just over 10 months since my Mum lost her battle with bowel cancer. She was diagnosed in 2012, and fought it for over four years before passing away in August, 2016. Bowel cancer takes 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness about bowel cancer is key to helping to reducing this figure, and the heartache endured by so many families.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Carrie Grant Supporting Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Carrie doing voice-over work for The One Show

Back in November 2014, I went to Soho to meet Carrie Grant when she was doing some voice-over work for BBC's The One Show. This was another first for me, and it was a fascinating experience watching how this work was done. Carrie was keen to support the book as she suffers from Crohn's disease, which is a potentially life-threatening bowel condition. People with Crohn's disease are a higher risk of getting bowel cancer, and the two conditions share many symptoms. Carrie has lived with Crohn's disease for more than 20 years and still suffers from excruciating stomach pains that can stop her eating for weeks. Read more about Carrie's life with Crohn's disease here

Carrie was very interested in the book, and my mother's battle with bowel cancer. Once we had finished the photography we went outside and were able to have a quick chat. Carrie gave me some useful tips in my quest for meeting celebrities for which I was grateful. This was especially helpful in me finally getting to meet Gabby Logan for the book.

Thanks to the amazing support of everyone so far, the Lives & Times book has raised over £3700 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother passed away in August 2016 after a four and a half year battle with bowel cancer. The initial operation to remove the tumour from her bowel was successful, but the cancer spread to her left lung, and then to her brain. She fought the cancer with great dignity and courage, and was able to continue doing the things she loved, including riding her beloved horse right until the last couple of months. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness about this awful disease is key to helping to bring down the figure of 16,000 deaths each year in the UK. All proceeds are donated to the charity and the book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. 

Thanks again to Carrie for her support, and she also sent me this lovely photo of her with the book after it was published in 2015.

Carrie with her copy of the book

  

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Mike & Jules Peters Support Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Mike & Jules Peters at Abbey Road
During the summer Mike Peters, from The Alarm, and his wife Jules featured in the very moving BBC documentary, Mike & Jules: While We Still Have Time about their cancer battles. Mike has been fighting leukemia for 20 years, and it was while the documentary, originally about a year in his life, was being filmed that Jules was diagnosed with breast cancer. The documentary follows Jules' journey through diagnosis to treatment. 

Back in 2014, I went to Abbey Road Recording Studios in London to be part of The Scriptures charity record, put together by Mike, for the Love Hope Strength Foundation. I got to play a bit of guitar and wrote a verse for the world's longest song. I'd contacted Jules about them taking part in the book, so during the day Jules sorted out a photo opportunity for me. Looking back on this photo today, it is so much more than that of a rock 'n roll couple. The happiness in their faces shines through, and for anyone who has seen the documentary, for all the horrible cancer stuff, their love for each other is plain to see. Inspiration can be an overused word, but in this instance it is very true indeed as they are a real inspiration to so many people.

Me and Mike with his copy of Live & Times at Reading Hexagon in 2016
The Lives & Times book was published in November 2015, and it has raised over £3400 to date. I'd love to push that figure as high as possible before the follow up book, The Record, comes out in 2018/2019. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and the operation to remove the tumour from her bowel was a success, but unfortunately the cancer spread to her left lung. She underwent four further operations on her lungs over the next four years, and was doing really well. Sadly towards the end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain, in fact her first seizure was on the day that Lives & Times was published, and although she had CyberKnife treatment her condition deteriorated with a massive seizure paralyzing her down one side and putting her in hospital from which she was not to recover. She passed away on August 29th 2016, a week after her 80th birthday.

All funds raised are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and the book is also helping to raise awareness about this awful disease.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Book Cricket Fest


When I started putting together the Lives & Times book I set my sights on trying get Jonathan Agnew on board. If you get the book you will see that this turned into quite a mission, but in the end I managed to photographic him at Lord's which was fantastic. Considering we only had a few minutes together we managed to cram loads in, and that included a video message he kindly did for my cricket club, Knowl Hill, who had been bowled out for just 48 the previous week.


After that the cricket theme in the book went into overdrive. I was fortunate enough to be going to the first day of The Ashes series in Cardiff, so the night before I sent a message to David "Bumble" Lloyd on the off chance he might meet me, and to my surprise and delight he came through. I met him for a quick chat and photo during the morning session. Earlier I had been interviewed before the day's play started by Steve Harmison. I said to him that I would do the interview if I could photograph him for the book! Then finally to complete the hatrick that day I managed to get legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding as he was leaving the ground at the end of the day. That could have gone badly wrong as you can read, but he was lovely.

At the end of the summer I tracked down Australian sports journalist and broadcaster Melinda Farrell, who was covering the cricket for ESPN Cricinfo. The original plan was to meet up at the Edgebaston test, but with the game being over early that fell through. We ending up meeting outside Bank tube station a month or so later in London. She was great fun and was the first person to record a video message for the book.


Last but not least I captured the broadcasting legend Henry Blofeld on his 2015 autumn tour with Peter Baxter. This was fascinating as they were performing at the Norden Arts Centre in Maidenhead, which is in the same road where my Mum lived. In spite of having made a gruelling journey from the north that day he was a great sport and we got a photo and video done before his performance.


So all in all it became a bit of a cricket fest for me, and it was brilliant fun meeting them all. The one person who eluded me was former England captain Michael Vaughan, but he is still on my radar for the new book.

The book has so far raised £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To see how you can order the book click here. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a 4 year battle with bowel cancer.