Shaun Murphy at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital this afternoon
Today's been one of those days. Those truly special days where life gives you a lesson in perspective. When I joined up with and became a patron of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity I knew it would change me as a person. But the way it keeps changing my outlook on life and especially snooker is very hard to explain. Last week's defeat in the Champion of Champions event in Coventry really knocked me as I felt it came out of the blue. I've been practising really hard recently and expected to play much better than I did. The week or so since that loss hasn't been easy.
For some reason it's really got to me and I've found it hard to get over.
But my association with the RMCH Charity really changes the way I look at these things. I feel so lucky that I myself as a child didn't have to go through any of the things the kids there do and that, from aged eight, I was able to concentrate fully on my snooker. As a bloke, too, it's difficult to see what the parents of the children there go through. Their strength of character is amazing.
Today I went in to see the team there and present my cheque to them for the £100 for 100's initiative I started three years ago. This last season I made 41 centuries and so made £4100 for them. Now I know that in the big scheme of things, that money isn't life changing but I hope - no I know - that it goes some way to doing some good at the RMCH and that's all that really matters.
I really hope this year I can beat 41 centuries and that this time next year I'm giving the RMCH a much bigger cheque. Problem is every time I get near to making a century break these days I'm under a bit more pressure to make it as I'm always aware of the running total and the money I'm trying to raise. Like snooker isn't hard enough anyway haha!
Finally I'd like to say a massive congratulations to Mark and Vikki Selby on the arrival of their daughter Sofia. Mark if you're as good a dad as you are snooker player and mate, things will turn out fine.
Best wishes to you all