What Happened to Uncle Norman?
Hello and welcome to my website.I'm Sue Cavill and my new book What Happened to Uncle Norman? is out now. It's an answer to a long-held family mystery – a Who Do You Think You Are story for ordinary folk.You can read more about it here.And you can order a signed paperback copy directly from this site.
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What Happened to Uncle Norman?
For the first forty-one years of his life, Norman made many mistakes.He went on trial at the Old Bailey, was deprived of his corporal stripe innumerable times, went AWOL twice, was handed a twenty-eight day detention, three days under close arrest and charged with dangerous driving.He was without doubt an extremely determined and talented musician and played trumpet obligato at a society wedding.But then, tragedy struck. How did it affect him and will he be able to redeem himself?This book examines what the whole family want to know “What happened to Uncle Norman?”Become part of the family as his Great Niece gives out first hand clues that answers this puzzling question.
Order What Happened to Uncle Norman?
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... or if you prefer to buy the signed edition direct from this website, keep reading...
Signed Paperback Edition
A limited number of paperbacks signed by the author are available.You can order your signed paperback for £11.99 (including UK postage) right now using the ‘Pay Now’ button below.You’ll be taken to a secure page operated by our trusted payments partner Stripe.com and returned to this site after your payment.If in any doubt, just Contact Me.
£1 from each copy is being donated to the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.
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Sue grew up in Hertfordshire, England, a mere stone's throw from where Uncle Norman lived. Her Genealogical journey started in 2002 after her then 7 year old, asked her “how do we know those people” after a family party.A simple sketch showed her she knew nothing past her Grandparents. The rest is self-taught history.Sue now studies at the IHGS in Kent. She is also a Life Coach and can be found anywhere as OneTwigBeyond – and yes, that is a nod to her favourite band Madness.And she's already writing her second book! Watch this space... or better still, use the email signup box on the homepage to be kept up to date!
Who Do You Think You Are? magazine
The current (June) issue of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine features yours truly in the Meet The Author feature.It's a great privilege to be included in such a prestigious genealogy magazine, and get Uncle Norman's amazing story in front of a wider audience.
Publication Day 🥳
It's here!The publication day for What Happened to Uncle Norman has arrived!Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered, your copies are in the post... if you haven't ordered yet, you still can! There are still copies of the limited signed gift edition to order right from this site.
Kindle Edition Out Already!
The printed edition lands on Monday (4th April) but I'm delighted to announce that e-book lovers can get their copy early as the Kindle edition is already available!Click the link above to get your Kindle copy... or you can still order the paperback and get the special signed gift edition.
Coming Soon, My New Book
I'm really excited to announce that my debut novel What Happened to Uncle Norman? is coming out on 4th April 2022.It's an answer to a long-held family mystery – a real Who Do You Think You Are story for ordinary folk.You can pre-order a signed copy of the book using the button below.
Or to be kept up to date with publication news, simply put your email address in the signup box on the homepage.
Spring 1952Years of heavy foot traffic had formed shallow dips on the steps in front of the shabby old building. They allowed the rain to form slight puddles.People skuttled in and out, some covered their heads with umbrellas, some hats and some held open newspapers for shelter.No one noticed him, he didn’t mind. They were all moving faster than him anyway.The unspent tears were clearly visible in his hazel eyes. His bronzed skin paled to almost green, the nausea returned once again with force.Two pieces of paper, that he held, shook slightly, the rain was starting to make some of the words look like little spider’s, he hadn’t realised that the ink wasn’t completely dry.Carefully folding them, they went into his inside pocket. Now it was official.The pain tightened in his chest and his heart hammered relentlessly.It hadn’t escaped him, that in a cruel twist of fate, his feet now stood on the exact same spot.Fourteen months previously, they had held hands and looked forward to a strong and loving future together.For the first time in a very long time, possibly 30 years or more, he desperately wanted his mother.Her warm firm enveloping embrace, that very familiar soapy clean fragrance and those comforting words that she always seemed to have. He tried to put himself in that moment, he needed to feel safe.He was alone, and not just here and now.He staggered slightly as a fresh wave of pain stabbed at him. What sort of person had no idea where his own family were living, or indeed if they were alive.Why did he do that, they were his family. Yes, they would have been disappointed with his choices. They would definitely have yelled at him for his stupidity but they did love him, of that, he was now sure.Time and events had passed and it had, already gone way too far. He sighed heavily, he could find no one to blame for this shambles that was his life, except himself.Unfortunately, it was very clear to him now and with extreme clarity, consequently it terrified him.An intense longing for his father was sudden and overwhelming, father could make everything alright again, just as when he had been a very small boy, he could see and hear him very clearly now, he hadn’t thought of him in ... forever.A solitary tear of self-pity slipped down his cheek, he quickly brushed it away. A faceless person knocked his hat with their umbrella, snapping him back to reality. Looking around he could see everything and nothing.Finally, he stumbled down the few steps and out onto the street.Uncharacteristically, he shuffled his feet somewhat blindly, oblivious to everyone, and everything around him. Not really caring about the loud crashes of thunder, the sudden and bright flashes across the sky or the sharp shards of the icy rain.If these other strange feelings calmed down long enough, it would allow him time to clear his head. For the first time in his life, he didn’t know what to do nor was there a back-up plan.A loud muffled shout penetrated his thoughts. Raising his head sharply, his eyes traced the source. Dull lights tried to shine through frosted glass indicating a nearby public house, he needed a drink.The red brick structure with dirty windows without curtains, wasn’t enticing. To all appearances it was just a well frequented place by the marina. He pushed the over used grimy wooden doors open with purpose.They revealed a place heaving with faceless people, all shouting or laughing drunkenly with each other, enjoying themselves. Completely oblivious to the dreadful task he had just done and of the feelings rushing around, like loose cannons, inside of him.The air hung heavy, offending his nostrils with the sickly odour of stale tobacco and cheap beer.From the far side, someone attempted with gusto to tinkle the ivories, on a slightly out of tune piano. It’s top covered in an array of mostly empty glasses, the foam from the beer frozen in time on the outside.His body was uncertain, this was not his usual sort of establishment. But, literally, for now, any port in a storm.Regardless, he squelched his way through the throng of people and leaned on the bar to support himself. Unconsciously he regretted it immediately, knowing it would not be clean and he would probably stick to it, he shrugged, what did it matter.The drips from his coat slowly began forming a pool by his already sodden feet.“Hello handsome, you look like you could use a stiff drink, what can I get you?’ raising his weary head, a smiling barmaid stood in front of him, her arm casually draped over the tarnished beer pumps. She was leaning forward, enhancing her already ample cleavage. Normally he would have flirted and spun her a line. “Large whiskey” were the only words that he could say.Rifling in his pockets, he found coins, which he placed on the bar. Fumbling in his jacket, he located his cigarettes. A further search and he produced his lighter.With trembling hands, it took a few attempts but he finally lit his cigarette.Inhaling deeply, he closed his eyes and tilted his head back in momentary relief as the nicotine rapidly coursed its way through his body.Exhaling, he grabbed at the drink, in a glass that wasn’t as clean as hoped, and knocked back the burning fluid in two large gulps.Catching the eye of the barmaid, he waved his glass signalling for another.The alcohol, relaxed him, so much so, that now, a million thoughts and memories that he had held back were unleashed, swirling manically like a tornado, making his head spin.They were all fighting each other to get his attention.The least wanted one, bounced to the surface and dramatically commanded his attention.Maude’s parting shot, had won the raging internal battle.“What happened to you Norman, to make you so selfish? I hope one day, all of this doesn’t come back to haunt you, because then you will realise what pain your actions have caused, and I hope it doesn’t leave you as hurt and puzzled as we are”.He knew she was right.But it did nothing to help him. Nothing at all.His shoulders slumped as he bowed his head.Two questions now circled around.How had he come to this?And what the hell was he supposed to do now?
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