Beyond the Red Tape

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sharron 18.6.63 - 24.3.07

When my best friend Sharron Hendy died 2 weeks ago, I had been expecting it. She had been diagnosed with cancer - tumours on the spine just 6 weeks' earlier and the deterioration had been rapid and shocking.

Sharron was 43 years old - the same age as me. We met in our first year of secondary school and shared a mutual love of music, radio and good looking men. I can't remember when she decided to change the spelling of her first name from the more usual Sharon to the more exotic Sharron. It was during the first couple of years we knew each other, but it was never really explained or became a big deal. It just happened. Although she never married or had children, she had a few long relationships with some lovely guys. Amusingly, until I met my husband, Tom, I think it's fair to say that Sharron had never approved of anyone I'd gone out with. Ever the disapproving parent figure, she would focus on the least attractive aspects of each successive boyfriend. I didn't really care. At that time I was just into having fun and not looking for a life partner, so they weren't perfect - so what?

I had described Sharron of late as an honorary bloke. I have always found it easier to relate to men than women - indeed most of my friends are male. Sharron could never be described as girly. A great lover of the minutiae of cinema, books, Formula One Racing, tennis, the internet, music, good food and drink, to name just a few things, time spent deep in discussion with Sharron was never boring. She famously hated to cry, and wasn't someone you would naturally run to with your most intimate problems. Talk of children generally bored her as well, so our conversations revolved around other things. I have to say, Sharron never appreciated the honorary bloke tag - I think she took it completely the wrong way, despite my attempts to explain to her it was meant it as a great compliment.

Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, her funeral service wasn't able to get across the essence of the girl and the fullness of her life. But all of us there had our own memories and connections, and when the service ended with her beloved Frank Sinatra singing 'My Way', it couldn't have been bettered. Sharron had definitely lived her life her way, with no compromise. Yesterday, for my own personal tribute, Jim Ross played three records back to back on the final hour of his Radio Caroline afternooon show for Sharron. I had told him that, because of our shared musical and radio history, I could think of no better way to pay tribute to the best friend one could have, than with a dedication on Radio Caroline, our final station of choice.

And to follow on from here, it is no exaggeration to say that without Sharron and Dave Eastwood, my book, 194 Radio City - The Heart of Liverpool, would never have been written. Now both those unique people have gone. Dave, of course, never got to see the book, but Sharron did. And I know how much of a buzz she got out of it, because she told me. I am so thankful she managed to see the finished result and that she could read how important she was to me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Well, I've finally got round to doing what I've been promising everyone for many a month, ie start a new blog. I hope to use it on a regular basis to inform you all what's happening here in terms of my writing, publishing etc. For those of you already familiar with my Radio City Book blog, this will hopefully be much more varied forum, and I would love to hear from other writers out there. Maybe we can share ideas, thoughts and experience.

Oh and don't worry if you're not a writer - I'd love to hear from you too!