My mum has instilled me with confidence, fought battles to get the help and support I needed and loves me unconditionally. My mum is a constant inspiration to me. Mum, sometimes I see ways of thinking and behaviour in myself that are similar to yours. I couldn’t emulate a better person. I love you now and always. Thank you for everything.

Papa you are a wonderful listener and brilliant at putting yourself in other people’s shoes. I feel accepted and loved by you. Even when I was in hospital, at my worst, you not only visited me repeatedly, but showed me care, kindness and consideration. I will never be able to thank you enough, but thank you anyway. I am so happy that mum and you got together. You both deserve nothing but happiness.

My brother Neil is the most emotionally resilient person I know. Not only that, but he is one of the best examples of someone growing as a person I have witnessed. Thank you, brother, for the hugs, for listening, for advising, for the love and for the laughs. I smile every time I imagine you standing in that bin with a smile of pure joy on your face.

My soon to be sister-in-law Rhianne is confident, down to earth and radiates emotional warmth. Rhianne I loved you from the moment I met you. I absolutely adore you and love that you are joining our family. Neil: You are a very lucky man, never forget it.

Shaun, my long-lost brother. I think you were in my heart before we even met. I am so grateful for the chance encounter on the train between you and my mum. I am so pleased that you and Gill will be adding to our family.

Kelly, my annual vanilla candle supplier. Thank you for your unwavering support and countless brews.

Alex, my baby brother. You passed away far too soon and I miss you every day. Our relationship was incredibly special and I will always love you.

To the Watts Family – thank you all for adopting me, being there and including me in all aspects of your lives. Colin you are the father that I wish I’d had. Jenny you are my delight and confidant.

On to my dear friends. Sye you inspire me with your courage. Your encouragement and the way you live your life gives me much of my self-belief. Your illustration, radio voice, improvised comedy and acting skills are awesome. I’m so pleased that these aspects of you have been able to flourish. 

Steve your determination and logical thinking are two of the many things I admire about you. You have gone above and beyond when it comes to supporting me, especially when I was in hospital. I thank you for your support and love that is without bounds. You are my tech support and without you I’d likely still be communicating with plastic cups and string. You’ve got a number of stories within you, I can’t wait until they are shared with the world.

Jayne I felt an instant connection when we met, like we’d known each other forever. That connection is as strong as ever and unbreakable. You have such a deep well of kindness, compassion and empathy within you, I find it amazing and inspiring. I thank you for listening, for inspiring me and for being part of my life. I feel so lucky to have a friend like you.

Kay everyone should have a friend like you. Caring, warm and always there. We met because of geography, but bonded because of being kindred spirits. Thank you for sharing your unique perspective on life, for reminding me what’s important in life and your kindness that you share with the world.

Simon, we are so alike in so many ways. Yet you are so much more. Wise, intelligent, empathic, funny and more earthy than I will ever be. It’s great that I can turn up, anytime day or night and make myself at home in your home. I love our adventures and look forward to many more together. You have so many wonderful friends because of the warm, kind and engaging person that you are. Never stop being you.

Thank you to our National Health Service (NHS). It has saved my life three or four times, and the lives of my loved ones countless times. I am proud to live in a country where the access to and the quality of the healthcare, is not based on your bank balance, or on what level of cover an insurance company is willing to give you. Never let anyone tell you that we can’t afford our NHS, especially not politicians.

Finally, I would like to thank the creators of Scrivener. I’m sure you have helped many authors to complete their manuscripts through your superb software. I remember seeing an acknowledgement you, Literature & Latte, in one of Stephen Kings books. You must be so proud! It is the unique and simple organisation of my words that has helped to make this book, an idea I’ve had in various forms over years, a reality. Thank you.