Taverners December 2020

I wish friends and family
all the best for this difficult Christmas,
because I know that’s the first thing Cate would want me to do. 

But of course the over-riding news of 2020 for us has been the loss of our darling Cate, who finally succumbed to her cancer on 14th September, in our home. Deeply mourned by all family, and especially missed by the grandchildren, to whom she will always be Cookie.


As her metastatic cancer advanced, after a long battle which Cate bore with resilience and great dignity, active treatment ceased. Cate was bed-bound from July, and we received enormous support from GP, Oncology, Community Nursing services, and Pilgrims Hospices.  I was in permanent attendance with visits from family and friends whenever possible, within the limitations of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

We have set up two projects to thank some of those great supporters.

  1. Cate’s Tribute site has raised over £1000 for the Hospices

  2. Cate and I together created an illustrated account of our 2012 Round Britain Sail, and I promised her that it would be published before Christmas. It is available now online from Amazon as an ebook (£8.54) or as a full-colour paperback (£29), with all royalties going to the Hospice. I apologize for the price of the paperback version, which is due to the printing costs of the lavishly illustrated 200 page book. I’ve just received my copy, and I’m very pleased with it, and remember – all royalties (~£8 per copy) go to the Hospice, so go for it!



  • Other family news in brief
    Matthew and Belinda: in London. Established their psychotherapeutic counselling and meditation training company ListenUpTherapy, with a treatment room at No1 Harley Street.
    Gonsalves: in Letchworth. Frankie busy social worker, Dean in his established security systems business, Kate (14) and Louis (11) at school.
    Furnesses: now in WA. Lucy running sheep and horses, and training as an equine therapist, Rob in mines, Grace (15) at school and coping with adolescence
    Harrisses: Mel+Graham+Mia (6) aiming to move house this year (in Deal). Mel running a busy enterprise designing and making pet furniture.
    Odendaals: Leigh commuting Deal to London, Ale Teaching Assistant at Nicole’s and Mia’s school Nicole (nearly 8) doing well in school and enjoying ballet and rugby.
    ‘The Others‘: Cate’s far-flung family are scattered from Blackheath to Australia and Canada via Sussex and Scotland, but too many to write about here: sorry!

Click on a few of our links:
Music –  http://dealbrass.co.uk/  but of course, no music-making for us thanks to pandemic

Poetry – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dealpoetssociety

Matthew and Belinda – https://www.listenuptherapy.com/

My writing site (under construction) – http://benjwriter.me/

So that’s it for my Christmas message to everyone. Cate and I had discussed what I should do in the immediate future, and part of the plan was that I would buy a camper van (I now have) and revisit old friends and some of the places we have travelled together; so I hope I will get to see some of you on my travels next year.
Meanwhile, have a good Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021.
XXX Benj