Another weekend over...

Hi there everybody,
Well, we’re coming to the end of the weekend and what has been a particularly lazy Sunday. In fact, I have still to move from my bed. Nevertheless I am clean and contented as I lay back and think, no not of England, but of my visitors of the last few days in particular and of my friends in general.

Neil and Rick

I have reminisced with Rick, the first true friend I made upon arriving in London, about the good old days when we were both definitely not so good! About times of work and play, and establishing there were definitely more of the latter. For the six and a half years we shared at the Chelsea architectural practice which was our place of work, Rick and I were practically inseparable. We both knew each other’s highs and lows and were there for each other throughout. At some point during this period, Lisa seamlessly made us a trio. When work led us our separate ways, the frequency with which we saw each other diminished – so much so that many months passed between gatherings. But each time and similarly this weekend I felt as though I were five years younger and we were sitting across the bar in Chelsea just doing what we always did, shooting the breeze and doing each other good, as if no time had passed at all.

It occurred to me that this was the common thread which passed through all my friendships. Steadfast, dependable and precious.

Neil, Cash and Alison

Although I have known Alison almost as long as her brother [Stephen - Ed.], Alison and Cash as a couple for only a fraction of the time. In that time, we have become about as close as people can get. I know that, without conversation, that if ever Louise and Oscar want for anything then they only need ask. This is one of my great comforts.

Apparently, ah wait a minute…

Sorry about that, I’m back now. My fabulous little family have just returned from their travels and dropped in on their way home. Oscar looks as though he’s grown another foot and put on half a stone. He’s also added another batch of words to his vocabulary. Oh and he’s cheekier than you would believe!

I may also have prematurely let the cat out of the bag with regards to the house situation. I will leave Louise to tell you about her trip as and when she sees fit. But I will close my own debate on this matter by telling you that after a lot of thinking and soul-searching I am far happier knowing how Louise and Oscar will start their future than not. I am comfortable helping them plan that and I know all my family and friends will agree and support them.

Anyway, the day is getting long and I intend to spend the rest of it enjoying your comments. Speak to you all tomorrow.
Much love,
Neil x

This is post reminds me how much Neil wore his heart on his sleeve and did it with such ease. He was never shy to tell people how much they meant to him, he always let people know how much he enjoyed their company, and there was no awkwardness in his nature, he just used to fling his arms around everyone and quite often jump up and down like an excited five year old. It was good to get back to him and see him filled with more good memories. – Louise (2013)

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followed this page 2013-05-15 23:20:42 +0100
@breathingfilm tweeted this page. 2013-05-15 12:47:31 +0100
Neil on the importance of friendships and securing a future for the family. #Plattitude #MND #ALS
commented 2013-05-15 12:47:09 +0100
January 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm
Glad you have had a good day today and that Louise and Oscar are back safely….look forward to hearing about their trip up North! Sounds like Oscar is a chip off the old block!

I am pleased that messages from friends do keep your spirits up. I also hope you know that if you want anything or Louise does you only have to ask and we will do our best to help.

Sleep tight!

Love Ann

Andrea Kler
January 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Do you know, I’m really addicted to plattitude and enjoy reading you entries.

Was pleased to hear that Louise and Oscar have arrived back safe and sound.

Only a couple of days now and you will be going home so if it’s ok with you I will come and see you at home.

If you or your Mum want anything just tell your Mum to give me a ring.

Love to you all as always.

Love Andy xxxxx

Angela Burton-Peach
January 26, 2009 at 1:10 am
Hello Neil
I find your mental and emotional fortitude extremely powerful. I think I am really responding to your last but one post. The way you are dealing with the inevitable generic fate we all share of our own mortality errs towards the exemplary. It is extremely hard bordering on the surreal to get your (as in mine and yours otherwise known as ‘one’s’) head round the fact that we will all, no doubt about it, have to die. I find some comfort in reminding myself that death is a natural process. I tell myself we don’t have to worry or be frightened too much about it in that solitary respect. I think we worry, quite reasonably, about those who will be left behind, about not seeing them and so forth. But there is nothing to say we will not see them again either in a new life or an afterlife. It’s an open field and takes an open mind to see it that way. It’s not a religious or scientific belief that makes me say that only a philosophical open-mindedness. In the spirit of maintaining an open mind I have developed the habit of saying ‘in my next life, I will…’ It’s just a way of making plans for another future as the current future retracts and expires. And who is to say such plans will not come to fruition? We make plans in this life as if there is a Physics or Religion of certainty, when there generally isn’t. Neither youth nor health nor wealth guarantees us anything. The simplest of things we anticipate will happen don’t always work out; so, conversely, there is nothing on God’s Earth to say that the dreams you make in your remaining days of this life will not be realised at some future point in time.
I hope you have a great list of stuff planned for your next life, Neil, I am sure they will all happen in some way and at some point. I also wish your strength and courage will be multiplied in the days ahead and thank you for setting the good example of how to think about unthinkable things with a grace that is inspiring. You have been powerfully honest and I will never forget some of the things you have said and shared about your experience. You have set light to a torch that will burn for many years, throughout your son’s and many other lives. So many people will never forget you Neil, even strangers like myself. Don’t worry the message will go on, as will you.

January 26, 2009 at 11:16 am
Friendships like the ones you describe there are such blessings; reading this has made me take stock of my own, and am realising how important they are. Love to you all from us. S x x x

Mark Johnson
January 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm
Hello old friend,

Can I say old……? Guess I just did …. is it really nearly 25 years since we were on the junior school trip to London with me, you and Ste Weston sharing a room? I can’t remember much about the trip other than the fact we went to see Singing in the Rain with Tommy Steel and Roy Castle. Actually the most memorable (or possibly forgettable) part of the trip was the damn awful restaurant they took us to each of the two nights – the food was so poor that no-one wanted to eat anything. Think one night we sneaked off to get a burger or hot dog in either Leicester square or Piccadilly Circus because we were so hungry. I think I may even have some photographic evidence somewhere of that trip somewhere in my photo archive, although think it’s limited to serene tea and coffee photos in the hotel! Rock ‘n’ roll (or not).

Seems a long time ago, yet not so long ago we worked through school & sixth form. I remember that either of us were peeved if the other got a slightly higher score than each other, especially in Design & Tech, although at least that only went up to sixth form when we split routes (only because I couldn’t do D&T and computers at the same time…. Who makes up these silly rules – blooming education system).

In blog you talk about highs and lows…. We have had a few of those, especially when your dad was poorly. Can’t believe you have MND also; that’s just rubbish luck. Let’s hope all the stellar, inspirational work you’re doing will help others. Got to admit though, your timing is still crap, surely you could have got your 5 mins of fame another way. Yep I’m still as sarcastic as ever, but would you expect any different?

Anyway, before I sign off, a couple of questions are puzzling me…. What happened to Matt’s hair, sure it was pretty long last time I saw him… Have you been driving him around the bend and he’s pulled it all out ??? And also how come your mum seems to look the same every time I see her? Doesn’t look any different to just before you left for Uni !!!

Write again soon, thinking of you all.


Cash & Scoob
January 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm
Hey mate,

Bloody great to see you over the weekend, thanks for the lend of a shirt. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be constantly reminded of that, I suppose that’s what happens if you leave a Manc unattended in your house! We will be up again very soon, gutted we missed Oscar and Louise. I hope the house business progresses in the right direction (and under your sound guidance). Will be in touch on how to hook my MND Triathlon stuff onto the blog. Take care.

Love you mate, Cash xxx

Dot Murphy
January 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm
Hello Neil, for me too, another weekend over -spent in KIngsbarns in Fife at a three day birthday bash(not bad for wrinklies!) I left on Fri checking your daily blog first(a new habit)but there was nothing there.I panicked a bit, scared you’d had a “bad”day,I couldn’teven phone Alison-nae it was good to re-join the blog today. it is strange that I was near your little family again this weekend as I had been thinking of their possible move as I drove there. For what its worth I think it is a beatiful, unspoilt,safe part of the country,and it looked particularly stunning in the crisp winter sunshine.I even picked up a house shedule myself!(thats how good it looked) I hope their trip answered some questions,and that your home-going is smooth. lots of love Dot x

Rick Stefanski
January 27, 2009 at 11:19 am
Dearest Neil

Back @ work following a smashing weekend, spending precious time with my boy.

Seeing you at the weekend, filled me with such joy, and I too felt as you did, transported back to a time in my life, which you were such an important part of.

I have always gauged a friendship on how easy it is to pick up from where you had left off, and as always this came with such ease, this to me has always been the sign of a true friend, of which you are and always will be.

For now, I will say goodbye, but I will be in touch again before you know it.

Good luck tomorrow with the journey back home.

I will be crossing my fingers that it is as pain free, and as comfortable as possible.

Love you.

Rick x
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