An extraordinary tale of one man’s triumph over incredible odds. From a thirteen-year-old runaway sleeping in a “cardboard box city” deep within London’s urban streets, Charlie Northage somehow summoned the stamina and resilience to triumph over a relentless string of adversities, betrayals, rejections, and losses which persistently dogged his life, to pursue a successful twelve-year career in the British Army where his skill in weaponry and natural talent for precision in shooting won him several awards.
After leaving military service his initial confidence in finding civilian employment was shattered when his extensive experience in the army was not deemed suitable for the kinds of work available. Forced to accept any kind of low wage labour he struggled with an undiagnosed case of PTSD which eventually led to alcoholism and attempted suicide. Yet throughout his life he continued to meet each new challenge with a firm determination not to be beaten.
This memoir, “You Can’t Crack Me… I’m a Rubber Duck!” is told without self-pity or self-justification of any kind. It is an honest and courageous story of frequent personal misjudgements, failures, and heart-breaking remorse including the loss of his children which was a constant source of anguish.
This is the story of an honest man, one who searched the very depths of his hidden pains and personal failings as well as his deepest joys and achievements to share them with us. Without pulling any punches he reveals himself to us as he is, a human being whom we, if we are honest, can all recognize as akin to ourselves.
Sprinkled with loving kindness, abiding affection, and heart-warming compassion and gratitude for those closest to him, it is, above all, an attempt by a father to divulge his life story in order to bequeath a legacy to the children he lost years ago. They never realized the deep love their father had for them, nor the anguish their absence caused him. Ever hovering in the back of his conscience are the faces of his children and an underlying sense of loss. From their father who loves them deeply, this is their legacy.