We join one of our readers, 98-year-old Daphne Hickey, at Fortnum & Mason for a delicious afternoon tea and the presentation of her private autobiography from LifeBook, who worked with Daphne over six months to craft the stories of her life into a beautiful handmade book.
Daphne first discovered LifeBook after reading about them in Reader’s Digest over a year ago. She had always enjoyed writing stories and with a couple of notebooks full of her own memoirs already—courtesy of her inquisitive daughter Paula asking her to write some things down about her life—they decided to make further enquiries to see how LifeBook could bring the dream of creating her very own autobiography to fruition.
Daphne opening her LifeBook for the first time
As a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Daphne and her whole family loved the idea that the stories of her life would last forever in a book that could be handed down the generations. In addition to the 10 handcrafted copies she received to share with family and friends, she also received 1 hour of audio highlights which was especially appealing and important to her family as it means her six great-grandchildren will always be able to hear their great-grandmother’s stories as told by her when they are older.
Daphne's LifeBook presentation
The title of the book: Being Bid: Don’t Worry Be Happy certainly embodies the woman. Despite mobility issues, Daphne is an outgoing and energetic character who had plenty of stories to tell during the afternoon tea that were both fun and sometimes verging on naughty, for example when her daughter mentioned that her mum and dad got engaged but split up for a few weeks and Daphne started dating someone else she simply said, “Well, change is as good as a rest!”
Daphne reading excerpts to her daughter Paula
Her journey began with 12, 90-minute face-to-face interviews with Dean, her LifeBook interviewer, confidante and friend. Daphne had been all over the world and loved to travel, most recently going on yearly cruises with Paula, but in 2017 her mobility worsened, and creating her private autobiography with LifeBook became an alternative to the holidays. Interviews with Dean became the perfect antidote to her boredom and were one of her favourite and most valuable parts of her LifeBook journey. The pair’s chemistry was clear when Dean joined the afternoon tea as a surprise for Daphne.
Dean surprising Daphne at her afternoon tea
It was a pleasure to witness the joy on Daphne’s face throughout the whole presentation—arriving at the table and seeing her LifeBook laid out, holding it for the first time, reading excerpts with her daughter Paula and son-in-law Andy, Dean’s surprise appearance, watching the memories pass across her face as she revelled in telling us some of her stories and memories from the book. And of course, enjoying the delicious afternoon tea and some bubbles to celebrate the completion of her autobiography with LifeBook.
It would seem they got it spot on when they offered all new customers a complimentary afternoon tea to present them with their LifeBooks upon completion too—not only are Daphne and her daughter Paula massive afternoon tea fans, but their very favourite place to go just happened to be Fortnum & Mason—the cherry on the cake of Daphne’s very special LifeBook journey.
Enjoying the delicious afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason
LifeBook create your very own private autobiography—told by you and captured by them. 150 hours go into crafting your LifeBook and throughout your journey you will have a dedicated project manager and a team of five to help you.
A specifically chosen, background checked LifeBook interviewer will come to your home over a series of 12, 90-minute meetings to capture your story. An expert ghostwriter will then write your book, which will contain up to 45,000 words, 200 pages and include up to 60 pictures—which your interviewer will help you choose and will then scan for you in your home so that they are never taken away.
Once you have approved the content, the book will go into production and you will receive 10 copies of your handcrafted LifeBook to share with your family, all in individual gift boxes plus an hour of audio highlights to keep too.
Daphne and Paula with Roy, the founder of LifeBook and her interviewer Dean