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Living with Luke 49

September 13, 2014

We went to the pictures the other day, Tiddles and I.

It was meant to be TCMH taking him, but due to a bout of Tonsilitis and my football match being cancelled, it ended up with me taking him. Tiddles was quite excited about seeing the new Thomas the Tank Engine film, ‘Tale of the Brave’ or whatever cash-in the owners of TTTE had devised to appeal to the younger members of the public, so before he had a chance to realise that it was me taking him, I got him into the car and off we drove to the cinema.

We got there, sat down and then the trailers started and one came up for the new Paddington Bear live action movie. I turned to Tiddles, who was watching the screen quite attentively, and said to him,
“Paddington…” He turned and looked at me with those beautiful young/old eyes, almost quizically. I pointed back to the screen.
“Paddington Bear…” I said. Tiddles looked back to the screen and then back to me and then said,

I haven’t mentioned any songs in the last few blogs, something that I intend to rectify today by using the lyrics to two songs in this post – three actually. These songs are all linked in with this post in that I realised the other day that, as a dad, I will never be able to dispense fatherly advice to Tiddles, apart from ‘don’t jump on the sofa’ and ‘put your trousers on’. I’ll never be able to dish out my own brand of genuine, heartfelt, homespun frontier gibberish to him. It’s strange because having done the recent dates for the play (more dates soon!), one phrase has constantly been used which emerged from the production and it’s become more of a motto, almost a creed to live by. I have used it indirectly in many of these blogs and the meaning behind it is clear, because it’s something I’ve always done, even when I didn’t actually realise I was doing it.

‘Never Give Up.’

I would credit Dr D with this, because I think it was he that I remember using it in one of his blogs about LWL, although it was also used in a couple of the reviews and it’s sort of stuck with me. You know what they say, you don’t notice something until you notice it and then you see/hear it all the time. But as well as being a love letter to my beautiful boy, these posts have been something that I can put down in words, more for me than anybody else, about my intentions. And the main intention of course is and always has been, ‘Never Give Up’.

And it’s strange how coincidence happens. With the recent comeback of Kate Bush, there’s been a few programmes on her life and work and so of course, I’ve heard her duet ‘Don’t Give Up’ with Peter Gabriel several times in the past few weeks and of course, it’s brilliant. It always struck a chord with me from even before Tiddles was born. Now however, it’s taken on a new meaning…

Don’t give up,
You’re not beaten yet…

No, I’m not beaten yet. I may be bruised and sore. I may be down for the count sometimes – and lately it seems, Tiddles has been eager to make sure I STAY down – but I’m not beaten. An old football manager of mine, when asked why he picked me ahead of another, better goalkeeper for a cup final, remarked,

“He doesn’t know when he’s beaten.” We won by the way…

The second song I was going to re-write from Tiddles’ point of view, trying to put into words what he sees. I still might, but in the meantime, I’ll just go with the chorus. No matter what, Tiddles. I’ve said this on many occasions and it still holds true.

I’ll stand by you,
I’ll stand by you,
Won’t let nobody hurt you,
I’ll stand by you

You may hide from me, kick me, slap me, shout at me, but you’ll never get rid of me. I’m your protector and you are the Son of Superman. This leads me nicely into the last song. The singer of this song died recently and one of his most famous songs was from a TV show that I never watched, but I loved the theme and again, the lyrics have become more of a promise to Tiddles in these past few years. More so, as we move ever closer to his 16th birthday in October.

(I’ll be ready) I’ll be ready
(Whenever you fear) oh don’t you fear
(I’ll be ready)
Forever and always, I’m always here

This post is longer than I anticipated. It goes like that sometimes. As I’ve said before, I write off-the-cuff. These aren’t planned, I write what I am feeling and thinking about in a particular moment and in this particular moment I was thinking about how limited my role as a father to Tiddles really is and will continue to be as he gets older. But I saw an interview in a paper with a theatre director, who gave three rules of how she lives her life, one of which was ‘Live hard, but if people ask, never say that you are tired.’

With that in mind, I have come up with the Hannam family motto, for my family in any case. I think this will look good on a t-shirt as well, but for now I’ll just use it to remind myself that sometimes, life does kick you in the knackers. But then to enjoy the moments when the pain subsides, even for a brief moment. Even if it is your beautiful, autistic boy telling YOU to shhhhh in the cinema…

Live Hard. Die Hard. Never Give Up.


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  1. Great post. The song that always makes me think of my relationship with my daughter is ‘waiting all night’ by Rudamental

    “I’ve been waiting all night for you to
    Tell me what you want, tell me, tell me that you need me
    I’ve been waiting all night for you to
    Oh, oh, tell me what you want yeah
    I’ve been waiting all night for you to
    Tell me what you want, tell me, tell me that you need me
    I’ve been waiting all night for you to
    Oh, oh, tell me what you want yeah
    Want yeah, want yeah, want yeah, want yeah
    Want, want, want, want, want, want, want, want”

  2. Lilian Feeney permalink

    Jst want to say God bless you both, first time I’ve seen your blog, my grandson Redford (5) has autism and he is high functioning. I think you are a very special person as is your son keep on keeping on xx

  3. I have a song that reminds me of you! The Final Countdown by Europe! I remember seeing you on stage when I was little and this song was playing and you were doing a trick with a bucket on your head with a bit cut out and it looked like your head was turning all the way around – to my child’s eyes this was real magic! ^_^ x

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