Fantastic family holiday – Creating Memories

We’ve just returned from a fantastic family holiday in Lanzarote where we stayed at Becky’s bosses (Gareth ‘Cooch’ Chilcott) house for the 3rd year running. As always, Freddie was a dream on the plane, especially on the way out when we were sat on the runway for an hour before take off.

You may have noticed I’ve travelled a lot recently, and now that I’ve made my condition public it might explain why !

I’m not really a possessions type of bloke, I don’t wear expensive watches, shoes or clothes I’m more about experiences… Hence the rather lengthy and extravagant bucket list. I doubt I’ll get through the lot but I’ll give it a damn good go (although when you have MND the price of insurance sky-rockets and that’s before I need any serious assistance) so watch this space.

Since my official diagnosis in October 2016:

  • Becky and I went to Berlin (Christmas markets… Basically gluhwein and sausage), to have a little R&R and get things straight in our heads.
  • Next off the bucket list was a lads golf trip to Estoril in Portugal ( a stunning 5* hotel I’d happily return to).
  • We enjoyed that so much I booked a second trip, this time to Alicante with a smaller group.
  • Top of my bucket list (and I suspect many peoples) is Las Vegas…. What started with a small group of 8 or 9 suddenly became 16 as a few other friends found out. Next we had some interest from Australia and New Zealand and before we knew it, we we’re looking for flights and accommodation for 30 with a few more who have said they want to come but can’t commit yet. Getting a restaurant booking could be interesting !

I’d love to say they have all signed up because they want to see me and support me, but lets be honest, its Vegas – its just a bonus that its somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.

Fantastic family holiday – Creating Memories

That brings me back to Lanzarote and a chance to spend some quality time with Becky and Freddie. And this is where things get a little watery eyed (certainly for me anyway).

Watching Freddie on the beach playing in the sand and splashing around in the sea and pool was wonderful. He’s a lazy boy, so while he can walk, he chooses not to more often than not, but he’s adventurous and really started to walk about the tiled floor house investigating every cupboard and drawer.

We are very lucky in that he’ll happily sit a watch, planes, boats, people and anything that flies… also known as quack quacks. I can’t say he ate the healthiest, but he likes to try things, even if he does spit them out into your hand. Of course ice cream is a real hit and the look on his happy face is embedded in my memory.

Now, this for me is the difficult bit….

I’ll remember these times as will Becky, BUT Freddie won’t and that’s what worries me. I don’t honestly remember much before I was 5 and sadly there’s a possibility that I either won’t be around or his only memory will be of me in a wheelchair or worst of all unable to communicate properly. That’s where I’ll have to rely on Becky and you lot to tell him the good bits about me. Hopefully this blog will also serve as a digital legacy for him too.

A Humbling Experience

A couple other things happened while we were away. My mate Matt donated a Lions 2009 rugby shirt to be auctioned at a Lions preview dinner at Cheltenham Rugby Club. This raised £2300 for the ‘Freddie Fund’ but also brought forward my announcement and launch of my blog. Perhaps a little earlier than I’d planned but I was ready to tell the World.

My announcement late on a Sunday evening saw an amazing response from you guys. People from all over the globe have reached out to me with messages of support. People I haven’t spoken to for a decade or more have got back in touch. Old rugby friends and even people I have never spoken to before have messaged me which frequently had both Becky and I in tears. Thank you all so much for you kind words, It comforts me to know that Becky and Freddie will have your support when I’m gone.

Anyway, enough of this morbid nonsense, what’s next on the list….

  • Wembley Royal Box,
  • Premier Final at Twickenham,
  • Golf at Bowood and Evesham Vale and that’s just this month


Looking beyond that we’ve got….

  • Glastonbury
  • Lads trip to Wales
  • Wimbledon Tennis
  • Champagne up the Shard
  • Helicopter flight
  • Hot Air balloon
  • and my Charity Golf Day

I’m exhausted just thinking about it ! Which is perfect timing for another family holiday!

Oh and I’ve got to fit in a fair few websites too ?