THE inevitable problems of old age are tackled with realism and sympathy in a new novel, Kicking the Bucket, by Minehead-based author and editor David Chadwick.

Despite its somewhat bleak subject this is a heart-warming tale of unlikely adventure with unforeseen outcomes as elderly Charles Fenemore decides that with approaching senility he won’t be a burden on friends and relatives.

Instead, he buys an old boat to ‘sail off into the setting sun’, leaving his ultimate fate to chance and circumstance.

Subsequent events cause him to query his own feelings and those of the family he leaves behind, but as other people get involved there are positive outcomes in their own lives.

The cover of David Chadwick's new book Kicking the Bucket
The cover of David Chadwick's new book Kicking the Bucket. ( )

David says the book highlights how as people live longer, physical, mental, and financial problems fall on surviving family and partners - something hardly discussed.

“I would like to offer the book as an indication that you don’t have to retire and just watch your mental state decline,” he says.

Approaching 80, and a former Army officer, David still leads a busy life as a computer magazine editor for the construction industry.

“I am incredibly lucky to still be working and will continue for as long as I can - and I have a couple more books already written.

“I am still painting, and learning to play the piano in my spare time - which isn’t much!”

Published by Austin Macauley, Kicking the Bucket is available from Waterstones, WH Smith, and other booksellers.

To view David's new blog about dementia visit