Philip Catshill

My first EBook Crime Thriller 'Who Else is There?' features Mike Newman and his friends who tackle a growing band of ruthless killers, rapists and robbers. Oh yes, these bad guys are in the police! The tag line is, “If you can’t trust the police, who else is there?”
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My Second novel in the Mike Newman series
Suffer Little Children

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This year, I reached the magic age of 60!
I looked back over the years and thought, hey! That was quick!
But that’s life.

If I was to balance the days of my life that I could say were happy, against those that were not, well, the balance would tip very quickly to the happy side. I have had 60 years of happiness marred only by a few months of sadness and a couple of despair.

In fact, apart from those times when bereavement has waded in, I can honestly say that I have lived 60 years in bliss, apart that is, for those few weeks which signified the end of my first marriage.
The first twenty years of my life were full of adventure. As kids, we had a great home and a mother that still makes us laugh, even 25 years after she died.
The tragic loss of my 12 year old brother when I was ten, threw my childhood family into turmoil. It was never the same again.

As a teenager I had countless adventures in the Army Cadet Force. Almost every weekend and evening there was some activity going on. When I wasn't ACF'ing, I was projecting films in the fleapit (I saw Bonnie and Clyde twice or three times a day for weeks!) It was a great time and towards the end of my teens, the late 1960’s, life for almost everybody was at its best I think. Everything was an adventure. It was a great time to be alive.

I very nearly joined the Army and even once, attended for assessment for a helicopter pilot in the navy but my ears had been damaged in childhood so I failed the balance tests. My third choice, the police, proved to be the best. I was once asked to describe my job in two words, 'A joke' I said, and it was. It was a laugh every single day bar one, and they paid me for it!

I married at 20 and parenthood followed after 18 months and, well, we are estranged now but for the next twenty years, I was a happy husband, family man, a dad to two lovely daughters who I called my princesses. A major stroke when I was thirty threatened my career but I beat it. I got back to work after 18 months. A couple of years later, I was able to drive again and we bought a caravan in Wales. The end of the eighties was a wonderful time, especially with my oldest daughter. We had a great time and great adventures. It's not every dad who takes his daughter off road driving!
But a younger man became embroiled with our family and those twenty years came to an abrupt end. I don't think we will ever agree the reason but it ended with me having a breakdown and one regrettable act which cost me my wife, my princesses, my in-law family, quite a few so-called friends, a home and everything single thing I had ever treasured or possessed. Four minutes of madness ended it all.

At these times of sadness and despair, I turned to prayer, and thank God! Prayer works! Ok it wasn’t immediately but I persevered, I prayed and it worked.
The last twenty years, I can honestly say, my God given twenty years have been as happy as any other in all of my life, indeed, now that I am free from the constant rows, fault finding, and desperate need to struggle against illness just to keep my family in a home, it’s noticeably happier!

With my second marriage, I inherited two wonderful stepchildren of similar age to my own children. I've seen them both married, have their own homes and prosper. Now it is the turn of my five grandchildren. (I have another, my youngest natural daughter has a child but, well, my daughter, her mother won’t let her see me and now, she calls that younger man Granddad.  Hurtful, even cruel are the words that spring to mind but hey, that’s not my choice but there you go, there is nothing I can do about it.)

But for everything I have lost, I have gained a thousand times over. My wife is fantastic, my home is beyond belief and life is just too wonderful to worry.

I have a wonderful, successful, prosperous life, full of family and friends. If my family from that middle twenty years don't want to be involved, well as I say, that is their choice and I think my present family will agree with this, their loss as well.

it.Since reaching my 60th birthday, I have decided to remember my previous marriage and the family that we shared, as the people they were then, in our happy times, rather than be acquainted with the people they seem to have become. I have so much love in my life there isn’t room for anything less.

I'm glad I don't harbour any ill feelings because I think hatred consumes you quicker and more effectively than cancer.
Life is for loving. We only have one crack at it and I am determined to enjoy every single minute of all that remains, and I can do that because when I was at my lowest and called out to God in despair, he was there!
Prayer works, prayer heals, try it, and persevere with it.

Life is wonderful. Live it. Enjoy it.

Book(s) By Philip Catshill

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