Yesterday I did the first talk about my book, at the amazing East Lancashire Hospice in their fabulous conservatory, to raise funds for the ongoing care of patients.
I have been invited as a guest speaker to other events, but I was apprehensive because this was the first time, and although I am used to public speaking it felt different. I knew so many people who were going to be there to listen to me speak, and felt worried that my tales wouldn’t be interesting enough. So I was pleased to hear this morning that the event was a huge success, and my input was enjoyed by all. I had some fabulous surprises, colleagues from the old days came…my Aunty Kathleen who is the last surviving Dixon of her generation (thanks so much Aunty you made my day) and a very special card from Mrs Channel! It was almost like a reunion. And what better way to spend an afternoon, raising much needed funds for a very special place? It was truly an honour to be involved.
The event “Afternoon of Inspiration’ was the brainchild of Jennifer Quinn, the daughter of my lovely friend Pauline, who is working as a fundraiser at the Hospice. What a fullfilling position. There was a very poignant address from Gill Leacy, one of the Trustees of the organisation. Gill made reference to the connection between birth and death (linking my talk to hers) as she sadly lost her husband 15 years ago and he had been a patient at the Hospice. She talked about Blackburn Birth Centre being next door, and described some of the events around the birth of her son 50 years ago.
In the end it was lovely to talk in public about my book, to mention my Mum and the inspiration she was to my sisters and I. And also to describe how the book has given me the opportunity to reflect, to ‘join the dots’ and to leave a story or two for my children.
Now for the next. Hopefully now I won’t be as anxious…