This blog for me is my way of putting behind me the past year. People out there have had it worse than me and this isn't a self pity "Oh look at me" blog. This is my way of dealing with what has gone on, dealing with the hurt and pain I've caused people, unintentionally I must add, and for a way for me to close it off and move on. I have to move on, I cant stay in the place I've been.
It started slowly at first, I didn't notice it happen. It starts like that, it grips you before you even know what's happening, things that wouldn't bother you suddenly become major obstacles to overcome. Things that I enjoyed doing suddenly I had no interest in at all. I had, had some issues with family stuff last year and it was a really tough time for my wife and my family as a whole. Work was going to shit, people have agendas and use them against you whenever they can to suit their own needs. Normally I can deal with it but I couldn't separate issues at home with issues at work and it just made me sink faster into a black hole.
My problem has always been I'm far too honest, far too trusting and always try to please people because that way I think they'll like me. I'm not surrounded by hundreds of friends, I have people who I talk to but no one that I'm close enough to, to tell when I'm struggling. I don't like to open up to people in case they judge me, that's all in my head I know that but it doesn't help me deal with what I'm going through at the time.
I love reading, always have since I was a kid. I read probably two books a week. Yet I suddenly lost interest in it. That should have made me realise that something was wrong, but I was going into Christmas in Retail and I just took it that I was tired. I wasn't though. I had no motivation to do anything, I was snapping at people all the time, one minute I was on top of the world and saying to myself I can do this, the next I was in the toilets crying my eyes out not knowing how I was going to get through the next 10 minutes.
I had some very dark thoughts, some I'm not proud off. I have a woods where I live and I wandered into them one day, looking at which trees had the thickest branches. I sat on a log in the darkest place I've ever been thinking how I would do it. Trying to get the courage to work it out, when a dog being walked by its owner came and sat next to me and wouldn't move no matter how much the owner called the dog. I sat there stroking the dog and eventually got up and went home. I have no idea who he was, who the dog was, but it was just what I needed that day at that moment.
Christmas came and went but I still wasn't feeling any better. I was looking at rotas seeing when I could go sick, Id made my mind up that, that was what I wanted to do. Id get up in the early hours of the morning and sit in the dark downstairs and cry. My wife found me once and asked what I needed, did I need a Dr, hospital what and I just said I was okay and went to work.
Eventually I decided I needed to see someone. Not my choice at first an intervention by my boss who told me in no uncertain terms I needed help. I don't know where I would have been without her help that day. I dropped my son at school the next morning and met a mate who took one look at me and said lets go to the Drs. He stayed with me all morning, took me to breakfast and listened to me as I told him everything. He never judged me, one of my biggest fears, he just listened and made sure I went, not letting me out of his sight. You know who you are so thank you.
I've had people ask if I'm okay on social media and I want to thank them for that. At those particular moments, it was exactly what I needed even if I didn't respond. I've had serve depression for 3 months and I've survived it. Its been horrible, and one of the worst experiences of my life. People deal with it in different ways, some talk to people, some like me just try to carry on for as long as they can, others don't see a way out and take the ultimate step.
The anxiety of worrying what people would think of me when I was ill was almost as crippling as the illness itself. Everyone deals with things differently, but you can get better. If you see someone struggling don't judge them, just talk to them and listen to them. It maybe hard to do this, it maybe easier to walk away and let them get on with it. It maybe easy to just say "Pull yourself together" or "Man up" or "You think you've got problems" and finally "Don't be so selfish". All things I've had said to me.
Depression is a selfish illness, it makes you become insular, where you get to the stage where all you think about is yourself and you don't care about anyone or anything. For family its hard for them to deal with. They have their own issues, they don't want to be burdened with yours. Why would they? Friends will start avoiding you in case you "bring them down". Its human nature that we tend to turn away from people when they struggle. Depression makes you push people away. It makes you be sharp with people, to get angry with them, to sit in the same room as them and ignore them, because your terrified that if they ask the right question it will all come pouring out, so you push them away.
I feel like I've let so many people down, the followers of the Tottenham page who I asked to do interviews for me and I've never published, Matt who's carried the page on his own since I've been ill. My sons for not taking them to rugby as often as I should have because I couldn't face going out of the house. My daughters for being sharp with them. My family for ignoring them and not putting in the effort with them. My wife because all that she has been through this past year I wasn't the strong one who carried her when she needed me the most. I let her down more than anyone else but she is still here and still making sure I'm okay. She is one hell of a woman and I'm lucky to have her.
I have so much guilt for the way I've been, but I cant change that all I can do is try harder to make sure that I'm a better friend, uncle, son, son-in-law, brother-in-law, father and most importantly husband.
I survived it, I know many others wont for whatever reasons, but if you are reading this and nodding at what you have read and seeing yourself in this then get help. Now. Not tomorrow or next week, right now before its too late. I am lucky to have the people I have around me, I don't appreciate them as much as I should but I will endeavour to be a better person. Its not to late to put your hand up and say "Help me I'm struggling" because someone, somewhere, will put their hand out and say "I'm right here, right now what do you need".
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I'm going to finish with a quote that helped me get through it all. If you need help please I beg you ask, there is no shame in telling someone. Anthony
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Its a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it isn't how hard ya hit. Its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!" Rocky Balboa
One step at a time is the best way.
Saturday, 23 December 2017
I was breathing, slowly and surely I was breathing which meant I wasn't dead! How though? There had been an explosion, there had been a bomb! I started to open my eyes and saw three faces and a red nose staring at me. I shut them tightly again, perhaps this was what the afterlife was like I thought. I opened one eye, and there the faces were all staring back at me again.
"Hes coming round" a voice I recognised said
"Come on lad time to get up" said another voice
"Be gentle with him, hes had a massive shock to the system" a female voice this time.
"I am being careful woman, now give me a hand Tommy to sit him up". I recognised that voice straight away
I could feel myself being lifted into sitting position as I opened my eyes fully and saw Father Christmas, Mrs Christmas, Tommy and Rudolph all looking at me.
"How?" I asked still a little groggy from the blast
"Simple really" said Tommy showing me the small black square he held in his hand "Jacob gave this too me in case we needed it. Its a force shield, he told me to press this button on the side, just before a bomb exploded and it would protect us from the blast. Clever lad really isn't he" he said putting it back on his pocket
"That he is" I smiled.
"Come on now lads, we don't have a lot of time,we have to get to my office before Carl does and gets the book of names". said Father Christmas
"How though? We are buried under a ton of rubble" I said slowly beginning to stand
"Oh Sammy you don't think Rudolph's red nose is just for show do you?" Said Father Christmas "Come here Rudolph and let me show them"
"Are your hands warm?" asked Rudolph
"Don't be silly!" Father Christmas said losing patience
"Listen here old man, you have the coldest hands of anyone I've ever met and if you go shoving them on my nose again Ill sneeze and well end up in the middle of the Brazilian rain forest like last time!" Rudolph said crossly
"Oh yes, I forgot about that" Father Christmas said sheepishly
"Let me do it" said Mrs Christmas stepping forward and placing her hands on Rudolph's nose
"Don't twist it will you, just a little rub will do it" he said bowing his head down
"Grab an antler boys, not too hard but make sure you have a good grip" Father Christmas said
We placed our hands on the antlers and waited patiently for something to happen. it seemed like ages before anything happened then I had whoosh we were moving through the air, a tunnel of light surrounding us.
"Hang on!" shouted Father Christmas
"I am" shouted Tommy "But I think I'm losing my trousers!"
Suddenly the light disappeared and we found ourselves in the kitchen of Jamie and Grace staring at us as well appeared in the middle of the room.
"What the?" Grace started
"You cant bring Reindeer in here!" Jamie said crossly
"Really?" I asked "That's your greatest concern at this moment in time?"
"Why aren't we in my office?" Father Christmas asked confused
"My fault" said Rudolph "I should have turned left at the first light tunnel but I took a right instead"
"Well were here now" said Mrs Christmas's walking over to the side of the kitchen
"Anyone seen my trousers?" asked Tommy backing away behind a food counter
"Not again!" said Grace "Here put this on" she said throwing him an apron
"What's going on in there?" a voice shouted from outside
"Nothing" said Grace placing her finger on her lips for the rest of us to be quiet "Its nearly ready" she shouted towards the voice outside
"Good, well hurry up were hungry" came the reply
Jamie waved us over to the far corner on the kitchen
"They got in" he whispered "Took us all by surprise, the Penguin King and his army are trying to get thorough the back but they are holding them off. Apparently the Leprechaun's are all hungry and want us to make them some food. We had no choice so were making them our special cake" he grinned
"Not that thing you fed Tommy" I said grinning
"The very same! By the time they've eaten it you'll be able to sneak past them and get to the office to stop Carl. He has just arrived and is sitting in there waiting for someone else to arrive but no one knows who". said Jamie walking over to the door and gently pushing it open to have a look outside.
We looked at each other knowing who he meant but not letting on.
"What?" asked Grace "Come on tell us!" she said not missing a thing
"Not now just make sure that cake is ready" said Father Christmas walking over to Mrs Chirtsmas and making sure she was okay.
"It should be ready about now" said Jamie walking over too the ovens from the door.
"I'll get the plates" said Grace
They pulled five enormous baked bean and scrambled egg cakes from the ovens and placed them on the counters. They smelled lovely, it was just a shame they gave whoever ate them the worst case of wind and diarrhoea that they would ever encounter. However for what we needed to do next they were absolutely perfect. We watched as they started to cut them into slices and load them onto trays, baked bean sauce running onto the plates from the Orange coloured sponge. Tommy's mouth started to water.
"Don't you dare" I said looking him straight in the eye so as he knew I wasn't kidding.
"I'm hungry" he said sadly
"If we survive this then I promise you, you can have a whole cake" I said patting him on the back
"Okay" he said reluctantly.
"Ready?" said Jamie to Grace holding the cakes
"Yep lets do it" she said hands full of cutlery
"Foods up" she called as she walked out of the kitchen two huge trays in her hands and Jamie following her.
We sat quietly waiting for the cake to take effect, trying to keep as quiet as we could, when suddenly it started. Quietly at first but then getting louder and far more often. The windows started to rattle, the doors shock and the smell was seeping through the cracks in the door. Fifty Leprechaun's with wind and not being able to do a thing to stop. Footsteps running in all directions could be heard from outside in the canteen. We stood slowly and made our way to the door to try and glimpse through.
Jamie and Grace stood in the middle of the room high fiving each other with tears running down their faces.
"They never learn do they" they laughed "Come on, out of there, you have to be quick or you wont have time" Grace said waving us forward
"Thanks" I said running past them my hand covering my mouth
"Wow what a smell" said Father Christmas "It reminds me of that time that Dancer ate all the mince pies at that house went to that year"
"That was horrific" said Rudolph
"You don't have time to chitter chatter" said Mrs Christmas "Get going all of you, me and Rudolph will travel to the other Reindeer and collect them and your friends. When we are done well meet you at the loading bay, Ill have the Reindeer ready and the presents loaded, now hurry all of you! she said urgently
"What if they come back?" I said
"They won't" said Tommy "They'll be gone for hours. Leprechaun's can't handle baked beans the idiots always forget" he laughed
"Thank you Elizabeth" said Father Christmas "Ill try my best to make sure no harm comes to him"
"You'll do what needs to be done" she said softly "He isn't a little boy anymore and he has to be held accountable for what he's done". a sadness in her voice
He nodded and kissed her gently on the cheek, she smiled at him as he turned to Rudolph and rubbed his nose once again. We watched them disappear and hoped we could meet them in time.
We ran through the canteen and into the factory area, there wasn't a soul anywhere and all the machines stood still with half assembled toys on them. The wrapping machines stood empty, the silence was unsettling, I hadn't ever seen it this quiet before. We looked around as we made our way to the stairs and started to edge up them. Jamie and Grace waited at the bottom pf the stairs to keep guard and warn us if anyone approached.
We walked along the corridor past the offices, chairs and desks empty, past Laura's office and towards the big oak door at the end of the corridor. Father Christmas placed his hand on my shoulder and whispered for me to wait as he gently pushed the door open. His desk cluttered with paper and his chair turned around back facing us.
"You made it then" said the voice as the chair turned. It was like looking in a mirror he was the spitting image of father Christmas, big white beard, long white hair, and yet the eyes were different, they didn't reflect kindness and hope, they reflected hate and anger. An anger that had been building for a lifetime.
"Clarence" said father Christmas sadly
"Yes dear brother it is I, I'm here to take back what is rightfully mine. I'm here to make sure that these Elf's know what your really like after all its been a long time hasn't it?". He leaned forward on the desk and placed his hands onto the laptop in front of him. The safe open behind him.
"Hello there Sammy" a voice came from behind me I turned and saw Carl closing the door shut and then turning the key and locking us in. "Why am I not surprised you survived once again? But like a cat who has nine lives they do eventually run out". he smirked
"Well all the gangs here" said Clarence cheerfully "So take a seat please and we shall begin"
"Begin what?" asked Father Christmas
"The beginning of the end dear brother. You see when you don't turn up to deliver the presents on Christmas Eve people will feel betrayed and let down by you, they will look to an alternative to deliver their presents and that's where we shall come in. Myself, Carl and the Leprechaun's shall offer a service that people will trust. You'll be ruined, just like you did to me all those years ago, so Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable the fun is just about to begin" he laughed loudly.
"You haven't changed a bit have you?" said Father Christmas angrily "You always was a selfish fool!"
"Oh dear brother your words hurt me so, please tell me again how you've suffered all these years?" he said smugly
"You got what you deserved, and you know it!" Father Christmas said calmly making sure he was back in control of his emotions.
"Did I? Did I really dear brother?, sent to the South Pole and not allowed any contact with anyone I deserved that did I?" His face turned red with the anger building up inside of him
"Yes unfortunately you did, what you did was unforgivable, now get out of my chair!" Father Christmas bellowed trying to I intimidate Clarence with his voice.
"I thought you would say that" said Clarence "But I have no intention of doing anything of the kind. You see you don't run things here anymore I do. I now control the whole of this village, it was mine by birth and you stole it from me, so why don't you just shut up and start being a little bit more respectful to our big brother for once!" he thumped his hand down on the desk making Tommy jump a little.
"Stole it from you? No one stole anything from you, your greed and stupidly led you to where you are now. What are you some sort of Leprechaun king now? Is that what you've become? I gave you a chance to change Clarence but you wouldn't would you, you couldn't let it go. You got what you deserves and nothing more" He grabbed the back of the chair that was in front of the desk and I watched as his knuckles turned white with the strength that he was gripping the chair with.
"I didn't deserve that!" he screamed at the top of his voice "I didn't deserve to be banished from my home, from everyone who loved me to live my days like a hobo because of you". He pointed angrily at Father Christmas
"You haven't learnt a thing have you?" he replied sadly
"Oh but I have, bring her in here now Carl". He said menacingly
Carl nodded and opened the door pulling Laura in roughly and pushing her against the wall.
"Laura here has been very helpful in allowing me access to all of your records, you stupid old fool. When the last of the files downloads Ill have all the information I need to finish you. All of your naughty and nice lists, your routes, your toy plans the lot. You finished brother finished I tell you". He began to laugh again and stared at his brother a look of pure hatred on his face.
"It wont be long now boss" Carl said looking at his watch "If he doesn't leave here in the next 2 hours he wont be able to deliver the presents".
"Good, good2 he nodded.
Father Christmas stared at his brother not taking his eyes of him for a second. Me and Tommy stood there not knowing what to do. Laura was trying to do something with her hands and every time we caught her eye she glared at us so we looked away from her.
Clarence turned the screen around on the laptop so as we could see what it said. 95% DOWNLOADED it said in huge green letters.
"Clarence you can still stop this" Father Christmas said slowly hoping to slow his brother down
"Why on earth would I do that dear brother?" he asked sarcastically
"Don't make the same mistakes again, no one else was to blame for what you did apart from you". he was trying to reason with him
"Really? Oh so it was all my fault was it?" he smirked folding his arms across his chest
"You led an uprising against Father by using the Leprechaun's to turn on the Elf's because you couldn't get your own way. Don't make me punish you again, the death of our Father should be more than enough pain between us". Father Christmas's voice quietened as he spoke the last words, as if he was struggling to keep the pain out of his voice.
"No choice? If he had listened to me I would never have had to do it. My idea was brilliant, it would have changed the world" he said angrily.
"No Clarence it would have led to many deaths of Leprechaun's and Elf's, and Elf died because of you and you then caused the war that killed our father. How many more Elf's and Leprechaun's have to die because of your greed?" Father Christmas said edging slowly towards the desk
"Making them work 24hrs a day is what they are supposed to do! Its their jobs! They are not like us brother, they are weak and easily controlled and deserve to be treated that way. Look at them, they look nothing like us, they work and work and work until they drop. They don't deserve to be treated any other way" Clarence was waving his arms around and shouting at the top of his voice
"What?" said Carl angrily "I thought we were in this together, you promised me would be equals" he was moving away from the door and into the middle of the room.
"Oh come on Carl what have you bought to the party here? I'm the one who planned all of this, I'm the one who thought up the idea, all you did was record a few messages and make sure the Reindeer were hidden in a few easy to find places. You really didn't help very much at all. Now shut up and let me finish this" Clarence said smugly
"You were trying to kill us? You told us it was him he said pointing at Father Christmas Everything you told me about my parents, how he betrayed them and how it was your fathers fault, you lied to me". Carl looked shocked then angry as it started to dawn on him how much he had been lied to.
Laura had almost worked her hands free and nodded at me to distract them.
"Can I ask I question?" I asked taking a seat on the edge of the desk
"Ah the famous Sammy, I wondered when you were going to pipe up, well seeing as I'm nearly done here go ahead". Clarence said looking at me and taking his eyes of the others
"Why do you have such a big nose?" I asked innocently leaning forward and flicking it
"Duck everyone" shouted Laura as she leapt to her feet and pointed the memory scanner at Clarence. He was took quick though and pulled the laptop in front of his face just as the beam hit it and rebounded straight onto Carl who stood there frozen as it hit him full on. His eyes started to glaze over and he fell to the floor.
Tommy leapt towards the laptop and managed to grab it from Clarence as Father Christmas moved to grab his brother but it was too late, in a flick of his wrist he was gone and all that was left was an empty chair
Laura knelt next to Carl who was looking at her blankly. Tommy held the laptop, Father Christmas slumped into his chair and I sat on the floor trying to process all that had just happened.
"Where am I?" asked Carl slowly
"In Father Christmas office" said Laura "You were just telling him how you have nearly finished all the toy production and you need to start loading it all into the sacks" she said helping him to his feet
"Yes of course that's right" he said nodding in agreement
"Well get on with it then" I said as Tommy opened the door for him.
"Right away" he said scurrying out of the door.
"Father Christmas?" I asked getting up from the floor and walking towards the desk where he sat "We cant let Clarence get away"
He said nothing for a moment then stood straighter and straightened his jacket.
"Now isn't the time Sammy, we must get these presents finished and ready. Carl has had his memory wiped and will be no further problem, Laura will make sure that any memories he has had of the events from the past are erased completely, we will fill his mind with new memories, happy memories, he will be the son that Elisabeth always wanted and he will be treated as such by all of you is that clear". He told us.
"Good" he said "I will explain to the others what has happened. Clarence can wait."
"Err Father Christmas" said Tommy slowly
"What is it?" he asked
"Its gone" said Tommy
"What has?" he asked not really listening
"The memory stick that Clarence was downloading too" he said softly
"Hmm" said Father Christmas and sat back down in his chair. He didn't say anything for a good 10 minutes, just sat there stroking his beard slowly in thought. Finally he got up and walked to the office door and closed it.
"Sammy, we have to get it back, however he cannot use it tonight or stop us from doing what needs to be done. There is a lock on the information that cannot be accessed until the September before Christmas of that year. Once the lists are completed that's it, it automatically looks. The information is then loaded up to the naughty and good lists, and from there presents are organised. For now its safe, even though Clarence has it in his possession. I want you to get it back for me, I want you to take the others and find Clarence and make sure we get that information back. Will you do that for me? I know its a lot to ask of you once again". He said sitting at his desk.
"It will my pleasure" I said "This needs to end once and for all"
He patted me on the shoulder and walked past me out of the office not saying another word.
We followed him to the loading bay where the Elf's had rounded up the Leprechaun's who had been part of the uprising, they all looked a little green in the face and the smell coming from them was horrendous, no thanks to the cake that had been made by Jamie and Grace.
"It worked then" smiled Jacob
"Your a clever little Elf you" I said smiling "Is everyone here?" I asked
"Yes" he replied "They all over by the sleigh waiting for you".
I walked towards them, past the sacks of toys that were being loaded onto the container at the back of the glittering golden sleigh. No matter how many times I saw it, it still took my breath away. The names of the Reindeer carved down the side, the seat a red velvet and softer than anything I had ever sat upon in my life. The Reindeer were all attached to the reins and waiting for Father Christmas to climb on board.
"Alright there Sammy lad" said Dancer shaking his head from side to side and the bells on his reigns jangling.
"Well thank you properly when we get back" said Comet smiling
"I've learnt some new words" said Vixen proudly
"Don't you start all that again!" said Dasher quickly
"The Three Wise Men taught us swear words" Donner winked
"Please god no!" said Blitzen "We've already been told off once since we got back"
"Come on lads lets do this" said Comet trying to change the subject quickly
"Ready when you are" said Rudolph
"Is there any cake?" said Prancer
"No" they all replied together
I laughed and walked towards my friends. They stood together, all of us returned unharmed from an adventure we didn't even know we were going on just four short days before.
"Hi all". I said
"Hello mate" said Reece
"They look well don't they" said Jack
"That they do" I replied "Is everyone okay?"
"Yep" said Billy and Michael together
"Well apart from Liam" said Emily "I think he's fallen for one of the locals when he was looking after the Reindeer"
"No I haven't" he said quickly blushing which made the others laugh
"Good" I said trying to save his blushes, this wasn't the time to discuss what lay ahead of us. That would have to wait.
"Right then, everyone ready?" said Father Christmas getting into the sleigh
"Make sure you don't eat too many mice pies, you'll spoil your dinner" said Mrs Christmas
"I wont" he replied patting his belly. "Okay Rudolph lets get going". He gripped the reins tightly,
Rudolph nodded and started to run at the front of the others. His nose started to flash brightly, as the sleigh picked up pace dragging the container behind it, faster and faster they ran until suddenly they were air born and off into the night sky. The Elf's around us clapped and cheered as did my friends. Christmas Eve was a special night, even more so after the events of the last few days.
Emily slipped her hand in mine and lay her head on my shoulder. I wanted to saviour the moment for as long as I could. It felt good to be home, to have all my friends safe and well and I didn't want to think about anything else, nothing at all for just that moment.
"Sammy?" she finally said
"Yes" I replied watching the night sky
"Its not over is it? I mean Clarence is still out there isn't he?" she asked softly
I looked at her and kissed her gently on the forehead. "No I said Its not over by a long shot".
Sammy will return in September 2018 in Sammy and the Book Of Names.
Thank you to all of you that have read Sammy and The Missing Reindeer, I have enjoyed writing it enormously, and I hope that you can forgive any errors that I made with spelling and such forth. Thank you to my family for allowing me to portray you in a humorous way. I hope I didn't offend any of you too much. I guess I'll find out tomorrow!
Sammy was the first story I ever wrote 7 years ago for my children, some of you may remember it from a the early days of my blog, and I always wanted to return and continue that journey. I haven't had the confidence to do it for a number of years, I suffer with a real lack of confidence with my writing, I am never going to sell any books, but I hope through this blog I have made you smile or even groan at some of the jokes in the story I have told. For me though, the pleasure has been in allowing my imagination to run riot. Something that I haven't done for a long time and something which I intend to do more off in the future! Parts of the story I didn't know until I sat and wrote it, others came to me and festered away in my mind for days.
Finishing Sammy has sparked off other ideas in my head and I've decided that going forward, I will write stories weekly through the year, on this blog. They will not be like Sammy as that is predominantly a Christmas story, but will be stories of friendship and hope as I believe they are important aspects of any story. Some will be more adult, although there maybe a kids one in the summer if I can make it work.
I appreciate all of the time you have taken to read Sammy, to me that is an honour that you chose to spend your free time reading something I wrote. That means the world to me. Finally thank you to my wife Sarah and my children Reece, Michael, Grace and Laura, for your inspiration in first allowing Sammy to enter into my thoughts all those years ago, but for your patience whilst I have sat here for the last 11 weeks, listening to Luther Vandross and writing away. I love you all very much.
Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you once again, I'm a very proud man today for finishing Sammy and the Missing Reindeer, something I didn't think I would ever have the courage to do again. With my heartfelt thanks Anthony xx