Gavin and Rosie versus Henry and Harvey

In 1998, Gavin shared his children’s theater manuscript and lyrics with me called, A Lesson in the Jungle. It is a heart-warming story of how two hunters, Henry and Harvey, go to Africa to hunt animals. They don’t hurt the animals; they just want to catch them and sell them to a large zoo back home. The story goes on to tell us how the animals were afraid of the hunters and would try to hide in the jungle. How a friendly witchdoctor does some magic and frees the animals from their cages. With an ending you will have to someday read for yourself. This marvelous story is also filled with catchy lyrics.  I find myself singing to them daily. This production has been performed on stage in Europe and the United States. We want to make sure that Gavin’s stories not only get performed on stage but also get printed into books. Every child in this world should experience his amazing stories and songs!

I found out first hand, when Gavin rescued a turtle from heavy traffic, just how much he appreciates animals and what lengths he would go to save them.

(Rosie on a turtle at Como Zoo)

Numerous times last summer, Gavin would surprise me by bringing Mr. Frog into the house! I love Gavin’s enthusiasm and I was excited to be able to take this great photo.

We went to Reptile Gardens in South Dakota and Como Zoo in Minnesota. We really enjoyed the variety of animals we interacted with. Here is a photo of Gavin with alligators lurking behind him.  Yes, I know, it would have been great to see Gavin wrestle with them or better yet to have had him turn into the witchdoctor from his story, A Lesson in the Jungle, releasing them from their cages!

Perhaps, Gavin’s love of animals happened the moment he held his first monkey. I love this adorable photo of Gavin and his brother so much I have to share it with you!

(Gavin and his brother with zoo friends)

This summer, we are looking forward to searching for new nature spots to find animals to save. Remembering God decided to save Noah and his family and at least one pair of each kind of animal … we have a lot of work ahead of us. Wish us luck :)

Have a good day!

Until next time, Rosie and Gavin

The Greatest Love Affair of All (Part 5)

Continuation from The Greatest Love Affair of All part 4

As luck would have it, I did know somebody who might be able to help. I called him without delay. His name was Martin Lignell. He was studying to become both an English and music teacher. We met up over a pot of my super strong coffee. I explained to him, I had written five song texts and he was only too happy to help me out. He went to work straight away and within a couple of weeks, he was rehearsing with the kids. It was quite fantastic really. Without money, I had set up a show that reached all the local newspapers as well as the local television channel. The parents were charged a small fee to see the show. I made most of what I had put out back. Not everything though. The important thing was that the kids had their show, I had made a new contact and I had beaten the county. It didn’t look good at all when it hit the newspapers that the county had backed out. Payback is a … hmmm, how does it go now.

Martin and I began work on another manuscript soon after. I wrote the song texts and the manuscript, he wrote the music. We had become quite a team. The second manuscript was entitled, William Gray & the Family Next Door. It had an anti-bullying theme, a subject, I hold close to my heart. The show has now been done in both Europe and America. (Click on the mice in the photo to go to cdbaby.com to preview/download songs and text)Click to preview William Gray and The Family Next Door text and songs

By the year 2000,when the mother of my son and I broke up, I had written seven books. Due to reasons I cannot go into, my son was unable to live with his mother. He moved in with me. I was working, taking care of my son and writing two more books consecutively. It was hard work though, growing harder all the time. As each book was completed, it was placed on a shelf and just left. Publication wasn’t possible; I quite simply didn’t have the time to search. Back in 2004, I wrote in my son’s journal, that I had given up, that I wasn’t going to write anymore.  I was only going to concentrate on being the best father a child could have. There was nothing more important to me than my son and that is still the case. I stopped writing, stopped longing for the opportunity to publish my work … just stopped. I was working at a school in town, coming home to prepare food for my son and then having private English lessons in my kitchen during the evenings.

Obviously things didn’t end there though. Had that been the case, I wouldn’t be writing to you now. I believe God has a plan for all of us, is speaking with us and guiding us all the time. What we have to figure out is what he wants from us. God had two more tests for me before he was ready to allow me to reach my dreams.

During the summer of 2005, my son became ill. He was diagnosed as having Idiopathic Nephrotic Syndrome. Things didn’t look good; we thought he was going to die. It was without a doubt, one of the darkest moments of my life. I had fought so hard to escape my past, to move away and to start over, had struggled to make ends meet and all of a sudden, I was faced with the possibility that my precious son might die. I spent that summer in the hospital with him, watched his body swell, heard him gasp as water filled his lungs; prayed with all my heart, he might get better. God answered my prayer.

Part 6 of my story will be posted Friday.  Take care. Gavin

The Greatest Love Affair of All (Part 4)

Continuation of The Greatest Love Affair of All part 3

On May 1st, 1996, my son was born. Three months before his birth, I decided to write a journal. I began it with, Dear? I had no idea if I was to have a son or a daughter, but I did know, I wanted my child to know everything. Not like me, I’ve blocked out so much of my life, I don’t even know how to put the puzzle together. No, my child would know everything. Weight at birth, height, at one week, at three weeks, his first words, potty training, crawling, first steps…everything. I had also started writing a theatre manuscript.

The following year, I came into contact with an American woman, Rosie. I met her online and we hit it off straight away. She was very sick, so close to death and I so badly wanted to give her a reason to fight. Looking back now, I wonder if my wanting to help her was my way of making up for my past. My past still haunts me today.

In the spring of 1998, I was given the opportunity of setting up a theatre production at a local school, teaching the kids how to work toward a common goal, a theme theater, entirely in English. We worked really hard, not just learning lines, but painting sets, scenes and creating believable costumes. The production I wrote was called, A Lesson in the Jungle, about two hunters who went off to Africa to hunt wild animals, plus two youngsters who, with the help of a magic witchdoctor, teach the hunters to respect the animals that live there. It was all very low budget. The money the county had promised me; didn’t arrive. I had thirty or so youngsters and no money. I had a two year old son at home with his mother and we barely had enough money to pay the bills as it was. I couldn’t let these kids down though, had to make this happen. They had been so looking forward to it and I wasn’t about to let them down.

The school parenting committee offered many helping hands. They gave me material to make costumes; another parent followed my design, sewing them together. I remember one day at school, when the kids were eating chicken. I went from table to table with a plastic bag, filling it with chicken bones. That evening, I boiled the bones, dried them, drilled holes in them and made necklaces for my jungle villagers. I don’t quit easily. I fought the county, throwing everything I could at them, but I lost. I had two goals now. One was to give these kids everything they had been promised several months previous and two, to prove to the county that with or without their help, I was going to see this through. It crossed my mind, the production would be so much better with songs. Writing them would be quite easy. The music however, was a different story.

More on Wednesday … Gavin

 

The Count Down

After a series of newspaper articles, about six months ago, I received an email from a company here in Sweden, asking me if I would like to hold a speech about my writing, my life, my charity work and my work with children. It was supposed to take place last November, although things didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, the date was changed. I will be holding the speech at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg on February 29th. I consider this to be a great honor, although boy, am I nervous today.

Many years ago, I ran a theme theatre group for children, teaching them English through theatre, offering them a theme with each show. I have some fantastic memories from that time. I wrote a basic manuscript and the song texts, allowing them to change things just a little. They made their own sets and scenes, their own costumes. We had make-up artists come by to add that little touch. A musician, who goes by the name of Martin Lignell, put music to my texts; A  Lesson in the Jungle and William Gray and The Family Next Door. They did their own PR, contacted the local TV stations and newspapers; invited them in to watch the shows. Everything was kept in English. Obviously, some were a little reluctant to open up in English, preferring to speak Swedish. With these children, I spoke a kind of ‘Swinglish’ until they were ready to move over into only English. I helped them at every step of the way, offered advice, trained with the children; was there for them at all times. The only thing I didn’t have to do was to stand on stage with them and act. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have to go on stage. I would always go up, just before the children went up, would welcome the audience and introduce them. Then at the end of each show, I would go out, take a bow with the children; receive a bunch of roses or box of chocolates.

I enjoyed being behind the scene, witnessing magic in the form of song and dance, with bright costumes and cheerful faces. I wasn’t a scene person really. Last year I was in America, knew there would be no ‘behind’ the scenes work for me. It was a little scary. Not when I was talking, of course, but when I was planning and preparing, feeling butterflies in my stomach. I don’t think one ever really gets used to it. Now I am back there again, just two days until February 29th. I am nervous, can feel those butterflies rising up inside, am terrified I might break out in a cold sweat or forget what I’m supposed to talk about.  I guess that’s natural really. Deep down inside, I am really looking forward to Wednesday with confidence but still I feel like jelly today.

Hoping your day is a happy one. Attached is the invitation from AstraZeneca.   Gavin

Invitation to you as a member of  Klubben at AstraZeneca Mölndal

Gavin Hill; author and student assistant from Kungsbacka. Gavin will talk about his early life, moving to Sweden, his addiction and how he turned his life in the right direction.

Wednesday 29th February Welcome! Please register for this enlightening breakfast event – 07:30 to 09:00 in Epsilon.Breakfast is served in the Café from 07:15. If you come directly to the lecture, feel free to bring your breakfast into Epsilon. Notification requested by 24th of February. Don’t forget to notify any allergy or special diet.

GAVIN L. HILL

British author and motivational speaker

web site: www.gavinhill.se

Author of series of adult novels, poetry, children’s books, fact books and theatre productions complete with original songs on CD; performed in Europe and U.S.A.

Published novels:
The Maze, June 2009
The Blood Tree, April 2010
The Changling, November 2011
The Watchman, Release Date 2012

About Gavin Hill

Mr. Hill tours; speaking about anti-bullying issues and his interesting journey from childhood to adulthood.

He holds seminars and novel events in both Europe and in America.

He is co-owner of ‘Sweet Conclusions’, an exclusive art company, taking his inspiring verses combined with one of a kind photography and newly released book … Reflections Upon the Waters of Life.

He works with special needs children, promoting better lifestyles.

He has raised substantial amounts of money for abused children through sponsored walks, children’s days and musical concerts.

He is partly responsible for raising money to build a play park for disabled children.

The lecture will be in English!