Related to: 'Stalking God'

Trapeze

My Mad Dad

Robyn Hollingworth
Authors:
Robyn Hollingworth

'This is a wonderful, rather special book: funny, warm and loving but also thought-provoking and deeply moving. Absolutely unforgettable - ironically.' ADAM KAY, Sunday Times bestselling author of This Is Going To HurtInadvertent cross-dressing Attempted murder Jail break A waltz at a funeral A hernia the size of GuernseyHeartbreaking and darkly comic, these are the moments that litter the messy road from cared-for to carer, a journey that Robyn Hollingworth finds herself on when she's only twenty-five years old. Leaving London to return home to rural South Wales, Robyn finds that it's her old life - same teddy bears resting on her pillow, their bodies tucked under the duvet; same view of the garages behind which she'd had her first cigarette and first kiss - but so much has changed. Her dad, the proud, charmingly intelligent, self-made man who made people laugh, is in the grip of early onset Alzheimer's. His brilliant mind, which saw him building power stations and literally bringing light into the lives of others, has succumbed to darkness. As Robyn settles back in the rhythms of life in the rain-soaked vast Welsh valleys, she keeps a diary charting her journey as the dad she knew disappears before her eyes. Lyrical, poignant and with flashes of brilliant humour, My Mad Dad explores how in helping others we can heal ourselves. 'At some point the cared for become the carers...this isn't a shame and it isn't a tragedy and it isn't a chore. It is an honour. To be able to return the gift of love that someone bestows upon you is a gift in itself. This is a story of caring...''This is a wonderful, brilliant book that also made me laugh. Robyn writes so honestly and normally. I fell in love with her mum and "mad" dad.' VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE

A.A. Gill

A. A. Gill (1954-2016) was born in Edinburgh. He was the TV and restaurant critic and regular features-writer for the Sunday Times, a columnist for Esquire and contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller. His books include A. A. Gill is Away, The Angry Island, Previous Convictions, Table Talk, Paper View, A. A. Gill is Further Away, The Golden Door and Lines in the Sand, as well as two novels and the memoir Pour Me, which was shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. The Best of A. A. Gill, a collection of his journalism, was published in 2017.

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include Mary Queen of Scots, King Charles II, The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England, which won the Wolfson History Prize, Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 and The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829. Must You Go?, a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and My History: A Memoir of Growing Up in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Charles Willeford

Charles Willeford was a professional horse trainer, boxer, radio announcer and painter. He was also a highly decorated tank commander (Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Luxembourg Croix de Guerre) with the Third Army in the Second World War. Willeford, the author of twenty novels, created the Miami detective series featuring Hoke Moseley, which includes Miami Blues, Sideswipe, The Way We Die Now, and New Hope for the Dead.

Clare Corbett

Clare Corbett has had a successful career on stage, screen and radio. Theatre credits include 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' 'Pygmalion' and Spoonface Steinberg' and her TV credits include BBC's 'Spooks,' 'Fastnet' and 'Final Demand'. A winner of the prestigious Carleton Hobbs Radio Award, she has appeared in over 250 radio plays including 'Absolute Power' 'Venus and Adonis' and ' Dr Zhivago'. Her other voice work comprises of Aardman Animation's ' the planet sketch' and numerous audiobooks (children and adult) including 'Poppy Shakespeare', 'Swallowing Grandma' and 'Child X'. She read 'Alys, Always' by Harriet Lane for Orion.

Essie Fox

Essie Fox divides her time between Windsor and Bow in the East End of London. Her debut novel, The Somnambulist, was selected for the Channel 4 Book Club and was shortlisted in the New Writer of the Year category of the 2012 National Book Awards. She is the author of The Virtual Victorian: www.virtualvictorian.blogspot.com

Hairy Bikers

Winners of TV Personalities of the Year at Fortnum & Mason's Food & Drink Awards 2017.With their unique blend of tasty recipes, cheeky humour and irresistible enthusiasm, the Hairy Bikers have become Britain's favourite food heroes.Born and bred in Barrow-in-Furness, Dave Myers' versatile skills have taken him to some unusual places. He worked in a steelworks as a student, to finance his studies in Fine Arts, and later joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics. Si King hails from North East England and is a big, blond bearded biker with an infectious laugh. He worked for many years as an Assistant Director and Locations Manager for film and television, including the Harry Potter films.Si and Dave met on the set of a TV drama in 1995 and have been cooking and riding together ever since. They have now written over 15 cookbooks, including Chicken & Egg, Mums Know Best, Bakeation, Meat Feasts and 12 Days of Christmas. In 2012, the boys shed more than six stone between them on The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight. They have also created a range of low-fat sauces (available in Asda and Ocado), launched an online subscription-based weight-loss club, The Hairy Bikers' Diet Club, and published an acclaimed autobiography, Blood, Sweat & Tyres.www.hairybikers.comhttps://www.facebook.com/HairyBikers https://twitter.com/HairyBikers

Harry Barry

Dr. Harry Barry is a highly respected Irish author and medic, with over three decades of experience as a GP. With a keen interest in the area of mental health and suicide prevention, Dr. Barry is the author of numerous books addressing various aspects of mental health including depression and toxic stress.

Henry Fraser

Henry Fraser is a British artist and motivational speaker. Henry was 17 years old when a tragic accident severely crushed his spinal cord. Paralysed from the shoulders down, he has conquered unimaginable difficulty to embrace the life in his new way of living.Using a specially developed stylus and easel Henry has become an accomplished mouth-painter. His first solo exhibition, Hand-to-Mouth, took place in July 2016. He has produced images for The Times coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and earned a strong A-list fan base from J.K. Rowling to the England Rugby and England Cricket teams.Henry's 'Pushing Myself' talk inspires a number of high profile businesses and sports teams, including the Saracens and the England 7's. His talk encourages others to step outside of their comfort zones to find the gifts in life's challenges. Henry perfectly embodies his personal mantra of taking a 'relentlessly positive approach to life' and passionately motivates others to do the same.He was named on the Power 100 List as the 7th most influential person living with a disability in Britain 2017.

Jane McDowell

Jane McDowell's work spans theatre, film, television and radio. Screen work includes a leading role in the award winning British feature film Twelve In A Box, major roles in several Bollywood films, numerous short films and the BBC dramas Dustbin Baby and Daughters. She has recorded plays and poetry readings for BBC radio, works regularly for BBC Audio Books and Calibre Audio Library and for Interact, a company of actors who read to stroke patients in London hospital. Jane holds an MA in Performance Studies from Central School of Speech and Drama. She lives in London with her daughter Antonia.

Jayne Hardy

Jayne Hardy is the founder and CEO of The Blurt Foundation - a social enterprise dedicated to helping those affected by depression. Jayne lives in Cornwall with her husband, their daughter, and their dog. She has spoken, and written, about her own experiences of depression and self-care on BBC Radio 2, at TEDxBrum, and in publications such as Huffington Post, Grazia and Virgin.com, to name a few. Her innovative use of the internet to bring about positive social change was recognised from the off. She won the TalkTalk Digital Hero Award in 2011, and in 2014 was included in Marketing Magazine's list of Top Ten Digital Mavericks. Jayne has been mentioned as one of the 19 inspirational women leading the way in mental health by Rethink as part of their International Women's Day celebration. In 2016, Jayne led the viral #whatyoudontsee social media campaign.

Katherine May

Katherine May writes fiction and memoir, and is also known as Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions). She lives in Whitstable with her husband and son, is obsessed with Devon, and loves gin martinis, the sea and walking until her legs ache. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2016.Katherine began her literary career as a resident writer for Tate Britain's education programme, and until recently ran the Creative Writing programmes at Canterbury Christ Church University.Twitter: @_katherine_may_Instagram: @katherinemay_Website: http://how-to-walk.com/

Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay Duncan won the Olivier Award for Best Actress and a Tony nomination for her role in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the Evening Standard Best Actress Award for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and a nomination for Private Lives. She has read numerous audiobooks and her reading of Marie Antoinette is acclaimed.

Lou Hamilton

Lou Hamilton is a writer, artist, life coach and award winning filmmaker. Her first book, Brave New Girl: How to be Fearless was published in September 2016.

Maggie Hartley

Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that they've been through. She's looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.

Nando Parrado

Nando Parrado, after surviving the Andes plane crash, has gone on to become a successful businessman and television producer and presenter. He speaks five languages, is a hugely successful lecturer around the world, and in his spare time races motorcycles and stock cars.

Nicky Pellegrino

When Nicky Pellegrino's Italian father came to England he fell in love with and married a Liverpool girl. He brought to his new family his passion for food and instilled in them what all Italians know - that you live to eat instead of eating to live. This Italian mantra is the inspiration behind Nicky's delicious novels. Every summer the family left their home in Merseyside and returned to her father's home town, near Naples, in southern Italy. When Nicky met and married a New Zealander she moved to Auckland where she works as a journalist and edits a woman's magazine. She hoards her annual leave so that she and her husband can return to Italy to meet up with her family and to eat the best mozzarella and research her books.www.nickypellegrino.com

Patricia Jordan

Born in Belfast in July 1922, Patricia left her home town in 1944 to embark on a nursing career, beginning at Clare Hall Sanatorium, Barnet before going to train at the North Middlesex Hospital where she gained her S.R.N. Certificate in 1948. After a short period there as a Staff Nurse, she returned to Belfast to work for a year at Musgrove Park Hospital. She left for England once more to study at Sharoe Green Hospital, Preston, where she received her State Certified Midwifery Certificate in 1951, and in 1961 she was awarded the National Certificate of District Nursing.

Rosamund Dean

Rosamund Dean is a British journalist who has worked at Marie Claire, Grazia, Elle, Psychologies and Red. She has profiled stars such as Renée Zellweger, Ralph Fiennes and Winona Ryder and, in the name of healthier living, has been hypnotised into drinking less alcohol and had her kitchen rearranged by a professor of human behaviour.

Shannon Leone Fowler

Shannon Leone Fowler is a marine biologist, writer, and single mother of three young children, living in London. Since her doctorate on Australian sea lions, she's taught marine ecology in the Bahamas and Galapagos, led a university course on killer whales in the San Juan islands, spent a number of seasons as marine mammal biologist onboard ships in both the Arctic and Antarctic, taught graduate students field techniques while studying Weddell seals on the Ross Ice Shelf, and worked as a science writer at National Public Radio in Washington, DC. TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS is her first book.