It’s another Monday, but a good one, because I’m creating stuff. Or, at least, I’m working around a creative subject. Occasionally, I am blessed with days like these, when things move all in the right direction. There is forward momentum.
To BBC Radio Leicester, where Nic and I are appearing on the Ben Jackson show to publicise the DVD release of our movie, Starfish. We were in Manchester yesterday, taking our daughter Grace back to start her new term at university – we’ve been covering ground. Quickly.
It’s an early start, on a crisp, cold April morning. White clouds roll and billow, a chill wind blows. There isn’t time to think, except I know from experience that Ben is quick-witted, sharp, and he’ll be well prepared, so I’d better be on the top of my game. Creatively speaking. And of course, that’s exactly where I want to be, so as we approach the city, I realise that I’m happy. We’re going to a radio studio to chat about the film they made about our lives together. Whoah. OK.
We find the disabled parking just fifty yards from the BBC, which is such a blessing. Normally I turn up for interviews having stumbled for a mile on my prosthetic legs, all dishevelled and distressed. Norman Wisdom, dragged backwards. Reception is quiet – no sign of Ian Stringer, BBC’s Mr Leicester City football journalist. Damn. I look for him every time, but he’s never around. Never mind, I’ll get to meet him one day.
Ben Jackson’s off today, a guy called Ady Dayman is filling in. He’s young, he has bright eyes, a great radio voice, and within a minute of walking into the studio, we’re on air.
I love a radio studio, me. My favourite ever was at Media City in Manchester, where I think we were on Start The Week alongside Ross Noble. I love the voices, the mics, the seamless production, that sense of pursuing genuine quality. I’ve been interviewed by John Peel, Ian MacMillan, and now Ady. Everything is good. Sublime.
It’s all about the movie. The back story, that incredible event in December 1999 when Sepsis took my life, my soul, and shredded it into little pieces. Die now. But the tone is light, we’re here to celebrate the DVD release, so I don’t talk too much about the dark stuff. Plus, Nic is alongside me and she has her own amazing tale to tell about how she saved my life and then single-handedly put me back together first in hospital and then at home. Over many years.
I tell Ady that although I lost my face, hands and feet to Sepsis, I still feel like the luckiest guy in the world. That’s true.
“I’m still married to the most beautiful woman in the world.”
I nearly choke as I say it. Probably too schmaltzy, yes I know – but my experience has taught me to be frank, open, and to say the really important things out loud whilst I am still alive. Always, be proud of what’s in your heart. Be its champion. Life is brief, and it can be snuffed out in seconds.
Endpoint. Our slot is over, Ady deftly winds it up. I see him pick up our DVD and I feel incredibly proud of it.
In that DVD box is my devotion. For my Nic, for Grace and Freddy. That’s our story and it’s recorded forever.
We slide out, back into the street. Back to life. The Leicester morning is blue, white and moving at pace.
Coffee. Breakfast. We’re building this new tranche of our life together, celebrating our story, testifying to Love.
I feel good inside today.
These are the important things and they all make sense.