It’s my pleasure today to welcome Hywel Griffiths to our blogsite.
Q. Thanks for joining us Hywel. Can you tell us something about yourself?
A. Almost 15 years ago – at only 32 years of age, and whilst working as an operational dog handler with Gwent Police - I was told by a neurologist that I was suffering with Parkinson’s disease. This was devastating news and fearing the worst I couldn’t see what the future held in store for me; if indeed I had a future.Luckily very soon after being diagnosed – I was offered the support of a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist. She convinced me that having Parkinson’s didn’t mean the end, just a change of path through life’s journey. With fantastic support from my young family, friends, medical support and my employers I set off on this journey, during the process of which I have obtained as BSc Degree from the Open University and successfully changed my career path to the intelligence side of policing where I can honestly claim that I have caught more criminals with my mouse than I ever would have with my dog! The main aim in my writing (typing – Parkinson`s has made my writing illegible!) has been to give hope to anyone newly diagnosed with the terrible burden of Parkinson’s Disease – that, (as is shown by the fact that I am still working full time 15 years after diagnosis) there is hope for a future that they felt had been snatched away from them.
Q. Thank you, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting our charity drive with your numerous poetic contributions for ‘Coptales’. Donations go to UK Cops - a charity looking after police survivors. What drove you to write poetry in the first place, Hywel?
A. I’ll answer that with a poem or two if I may and all will become clear.
Q. How long have you been writing poetry?
A. About 4 years ago
Q. How many poems do you think you have written in the last year, Hywel?
A. Over a hundred
Q. What inspires you to focus on a specific subject for a poem?
A. Whatever comes into my mind really! Most of them share a positive theme and although some people may dispute this – I do try to include an element of humour. A popular theme is how I cope with and overcome the difficulties of living with Parkinson’s Disease – Often referring to a promise I once made to me that every day I would always strive to be the ‘Best that I Can Be!’
Q. Have you a poem to give us a flavour of your work, Hywel?
A. Yes, The best that I can be.
A. Yes, The best that I can be.
A. The Best That I Can Be
This is my diary – my thoughts for today,
The words that I write and the things that I say,
Written words which explain what gives me my hope,
Words softly spoken letting me explain how I cope.
Each day a new battle against Parkinson’s disease,
It’s hard, it’s a challenge and my health pays the fees.
One rule I follow and nothing more would I expect,
If you treat me with dignity then I’ll give you respect,
As I wake up each morning, I bid `Good Day ` to me,
Then re-pledge my promise to be the best that I can be!
Of my illness I shut it out and lock up the door,
I’ve got it – I get on with it – why say any more
So each day as you wake and lie in your bed,
Think of me as I see if my legs will answer my head.
And whatever confronts me I’ll face it with a smile,
Determination and hope letting me go that extra mile.
I apologise to you – if with my poems you are bored,
...Each negative response feels like an own goal is scored;
But if I’ve helped anyone overcome adversity with a smile,
That makes all of my efforts important and worth-while.
Q. Thank you. Have you any plans to evolve from poetry to another genre such as non-fiction, fiction, adventure, fantasy, mystery, etc or do you see yourself writing more poetry?
A. I’m enjoying writing poetry at the minute and I’m not sure that I’ve got the attention span or the ability to write a book! But – Never Say Never!
Q. Do you have any favourite poets yourself?
A. I like the work of the war poets from WW1 - and of course how can you not mention some of the classic rhymes written by the great Spike Milligan!
Q. When not policing or writing poetry how do you spend your time? Have you any particular hobbies or special activities that you enjoy?
A. I just enjoy spending time with the family. I also enjoy fishing, although this is a bad description of what I actually do – because I never seem to capture any fish!
Q. Where can we find details of your published work?
A.To Purchase: Poems, Parkinson's, the Police and Me
by Hywel Griffiths Click on Amazon UK
or From The Publisher Cambria please click on Cambria Books
We hope you enjoy his book and appreciate the extreme difficulties and hurdles that Hywel has had to endure in order to accomplish this. Available from bookstores and Amazon
You can also order it direct from us for £6.99 + post & packaging
and likewise click on the following From FOYLES Book Shop
“The Poems will remind you of the good things in life that too many of us take for granted”
“A damn good read!”
“A MUST DONT MISS OUT”
“Wonderfully inspiring poems”
“Inspiring writing by an inspirational man”
“My advice would be to buy this book and have a good read of all of Hywel's poems”
“As a fellow sufferer of Parkinson’s disease I found the poems to be of great inspiration to myself.”
This book was given to me as a gift from Hywel himself and as a fellow sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, I found the poems to be of great inspiration to myself. The poems are upbeat, warm and positive, loved every one of them, they take one through the good and bad days of living with this chronic illness. Hywel is a very positive guy and this reflects in his poetry, you can always count on him to cheer you up when you’re having an off day, either through his poems or his never ending jokes. I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone who needs to know that one can be happy, confident and positive when living with Parkinson’s disease.
Q. Thank for joining us, Hywel, and all the very best for the future.
A. Thank You Paul, your advice and support played a major part in the publication of my book.
Thank-you and good luck in all of the good work that you continue to do for charity,