I am told adversity brings the best out in people and apart from me being a ‘moody, grumpy, gruffalo’ I think this is true of those I know either through work or the place I live in. It was my birthday recently and being on the receiving end of so much love, care and generosity got me thinking about the community I live in, and the incredible warmth, kindness and support we as a family have got from our little village community.
We moved down to Somerset only a week after I was diagnosed with MND and so the people we have got to know and make friends with have only known me when I’ve been ill. I worried about them only seeing my disease and my progressing disability, I was concerned that they would not know what I was like before MND and I didn’t want to be defined by it. I needn’t have worried as the village is a very friendly, open minded, sociable (boozy!) and inclusive community and we as a family feel very lucky to have chosen to live here. Sadly, there is another reason why we have been welcomed and supported so completely. I am not the first person to have lived with MND in Beckington – I find this shocking that such a rare condition could have affected another family in a place with a population of a few hundred. We have taken great strength from the love and friendship shown towards us by the Sweeney family and seeing their amazing children helps us to understand that our children will be OK after I am gone. It’s comforting to know we are not alone when coping with MND.
I now feel the need to publicly acknowledge and thank to groups of people who have been extremely helpful and generous towards us and the MND Association. Beckington Cricket Club is a successful, improving, ambitious and very friendly cornerstone of the community and they as an organisation and as individuals have shown amazing compassion towards me and my family. They are always trying to raise money to promote youth cricket in the area and despite this have found a way to contribute funds towards MND research – thank you ‘Badgers’!! Secondly, I would like to thank the ‘Beckington Players’ who have chosen the MND Association as the recipients of this years ‘Old Time Music Hall’ Gala night. The music hall is in it’s 25th anniversary year and is a highlight of the social calendar, this year should be another cracker and hopefully very lucrative in terms of money raised for the MND Association. Being included in these events makes us feel as if we have lived here for ages, although I reckon you have to have lived in ‘Zummerzet’ for at least 25 years to be considered a ‘local’.
Beyond local news I can now happily confirm that the ‘Alistair the optimist’ album is now finally mixed and has been sent away for mastering. I have just finished listening to the ten songs in their proposed running order and I reckon it sounds pretty good. With catchy tunes, interesting lyrics, a warm sound and a banjo (everyone smiles when they hear a banjo!) – there’s something in there for all the family – unless you like metal, jazz or dubstep! Hopefully a release before Christmas is still possible and I will keep you posted as to how you can purchase it nearer the time of it’s release.
Right, I’m off now as typing this with weak hands and fingers has taken ages. Besides, the kids have just come back from school and it’s time to build a den!
Alistair The Optimistx