Sunday, 19 December 2010

Gene Junction

Sunday, 19 December

My Darling Girl

Thought Oma would love to see this lovely Christmas Card for 2010 that Nikki has created featuring Darcy and Harriett.

They look lovely and I'm sure you will notice a big change in them.

Darcy has 'grown up' such a lot this last year and is such fun to be with.

She still goes to Nursery next door and has now progressed to the 'Rabbits Room' upstairs.

She also goes to Pre-school' several days a week which, she tells me, is  much further away.

From time to time Opa refers to 'Pre-school' as 'Nursery' and 'Nursery' as 'Pre-school' - and gets firmly corrected.

Hints of things to come I expect. 

Harriett is very laid-back and giggles a lot.

She can 'roar' like a lion, 'moo' like a cow and 'miaow' like a cat.  Her vocabulary is growing rapidly and she can crawl like a good one.

But as yet there is little sign of her walking.

Darcy is very 'into' Father Christmas this year and knows what it's all about!

At the children's party at Adrian's office, she managed to work her way back to see him a second time - and came away with another present.

Things were a rather more 'iffy' at her Nursery Christmas party last Friday, on Darcy's normal Nursery 'day'.

Like last year, they had asked Adrian to play 'Father Christmas'.

Thanks to a pretty good costume, a very full wig and beard, a pair of specs on his nose and a change of voice, they think 'he' got away with it.

Although Nikki said that 'he' received one or two odd looks from Darcy when she got up close to him.

Still...nothing was said.  Was she fooled or was she being cute.

Who knows?

Nikki also sent me this lovely of photo of Darcy looking forward to Christmas.

Nikki also send me this photo she took of Darcy at the same time as she was taking the shot of the two of them for their Christmas card.

Now, as you know, I was never a great one for spotting family resemblances.

But this photograph had me digging back among our photo archives.

And guess what I came up with.

This one of you...


If the date in your father's handwriting on the back - May 1947 - is correct, it's you at almost exactly the same age as Darcy is right now  

Have a close look.

I know what I think.  But I'll leave you, and others, to make up their own mind.

It would be lovely to think those genes of yours are still very much to the fore.

Will love you
For ever 



This Time of Year

Sunday, 19 December

My Darling E

In spite of everything, we still managed to have a traditional 'Linehan Family' get together this year.

Thought you would be pleased - and gratified -  to know that we haven't allowed the tradition to lapse.

We had left it quite late and it wasn't really until the 'girls' got together when they all met up here on the '25th' that plans began to be put in place.

Sunday, the 5th December, your 'birthday', seemed a most appropriate day and so it turned out.

Thanks to Andy P, those of us who could make it met up for lunch at the Bakers Arms on the road out of Stock.

Not everyone could be there.  Like last year, winter now seems to have got into the habit of turning up before Christmas and it was quite snowy.  Others had prior engagements.

Nevertheless, there were well over twenty of us: Maggi and Peter; Claudia, Andy, Chloe and Thomas; Alex, Ellen, Robert and Andrew; Matt, Liz, Isobel and Yvie; and us of course.

Food was good and the service was excellent.  We had the restaurant section pretty well to ourselves.  Only slight problem was that we had to be out by three or so to let another party in.

By this time the main part of the pub was in full session so there was nowhere to sit and chat, or let the little ones run around.

And with the weather closing in again, most people wished to be on their way.

It was pleasant, if a little low key. 

But I suppose that was always going to be inevitable this year. 

And a far cry from the early days of getting together at '74', or the later sequence of high-spirited annual 'house' parties that moved each year from Barnet to Bury, Norwich to Newbury, Hindlesham to Guiseley to Henstridge, then back to Barnet again, before finding a more or less regular 'home' somewhere in and around Billericay.      

But at least we have kept the tradition going.

Know you will be pleased with that, as keeping it alive meant so much to you when you were here.  

Wasn't quite the same without you.  But things are never going to be the same ever again.

And that's something we are all having to adapt to.

Do wish we didn't have to as we miss you so much. 

Will love you
For ever,

Trevor xxx

Thinking of You

Sunday, 19 December

My Lovely E

Forgot to tell you that I had another card in the post on the Monday following your 'birthday' on the fifth.

It was from Sarah and Ben. 

 In it Sarah had written this message...

When she and Ben were here the 25th September, Sarah told me she had been in touch with Steven B, from your time together at Lexicon in Shipley. 

She said Steve was going to send her some words reminiscing about those days.

Well, he has and here they are...

'When I think of Eileen, it makes me smile.

She was helpful, articulate, warm hearted with a good sense of humour.

Eileen was a shoulder to cry on, someone who could be relied upon to offer words of encouragement when needed and a voice of reason in tiomes of chaos.

She had a unique way of bringing humour to a situation without diverting attention from what needed to be done.

Whilst Eileen was happy to help those with less natural ability than herself, she did not suffer fools gladly (and of those there were a few!)  
Eileen's ability to articulate her opinion in a firm but fair manner, with a cheeky glint in her and, at times, her tongue planted firmly in her cheek, used to make me laugh.

Eileen had the ability to despatch well meaning but misguided middle management back to their desks like naughty children returning from a dressing sown from the Head Teacher.

We spend so much of our life at work, so it is important to get something from the time we spend employed.

As I get older I realise that the enjoyment we gain from working with people whose company we enjoy is often the most valuable reward of all.

Eileen helped turn what could have been a disastrous chapter of my working into one which I cherish very dearly.

She was a special lady and one for whem I have the fondest memories.'


It's gratifying - and so consoling - when people share their lovely memories of you in this way.

So many people miss you in so many ways.

Especially me.

Love you

For ever

Trevor xxx

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Many Happy Returns

Sunday, 5 December 2010

My Darling E

It's the Fifth of December and it would have been your birthday today.

Still is, I suppose, because none of us can choose - or change - the day we come into this world. 

And that's how it stays forever.

Even though I didn't get to know you until some years later, I'm very glad you were born that day, because my life would have been immeasurably poorer if we had never met.

I am very aware it's the first time in exactly fifty years that we haven't been together to celebrate your birthday.  

So today has been particularly tough remembering what has been - and can never be again.

Charlotte and Ivan, Adrian and Nikki, and Darcy, Caitlin, Reuben and Harriet came over yesterday and stayed overnight, so that we could all be together. 

Darcy, Caitlin and Reuben were very aware that today was your birthday.  And I know that is something they will now never forget.  Harriet, too, when she is a couple of more years older.

The three of them have not forgotten Oma and can recognise you in photographs taken even quite a few years ago.

Darcy has her own special framed photograph of you in her bedroom.

And she packed it in her case herself when she knew she was coming here this weekend.

Others have been thinking of you too on this special day.

Mary rang twice to say she wanted me to know that you and I were both very much in her thoughts.

'The first one is the worst one,' she said in another context, speaking of her own experience.  

Sitting here in the quiet of the evening after everyone has gone, I understand what she means.

There were two lovely cards in the post yesterday morning.

Inside one the message was... 
'Dear Trevor
We're thinking of you especially at this time - the weekend of dear Eileen's birthday.
Our love.

Marilyn and Richard  xxx'

And the other one read...
Just wanted to let you know I'll be thinking of you and Eileen tomorrow and remembering many Happy Birthdays we shared.
Much love xx



You never were very happy with being the centre of attention on your birthday, or a lot of fuss being made of you.

That was especially so this time last year.

But let me pick out a birthday memory on a lighter note, which you may well have forgotten about.

It was early in our relationship. 

Do remember I was still living at '72' and so was still 'the boy next door.'

That cold, dark Fifth of December evening, as I left '72' to come to see you, I was aware of music come from just up the road.

It was the local Salvation Army and they were making their way down Onslow Gardens, playing carols and knocking on doors with their collection tins.

Well it was just a few weeks to Christmas.

So, instead of going straight into '74' I walked up and had a chat with the person in charge.

By the time they reached the gate of '74' I was already inside and had kissed the birthday girl and wished her 'Happy Birthday'. 

When one of the collectors knocked on the door, your mother and father (as if on cue) insisted we went to the front door with them to listen to the carols.

When the band had finished the carol they were playing, the leader called for silence and asked if there was anyone there called 'Eileen'.

When you said that it was you, they immediately launched into a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.

It had already cost me a ten shilling contribution to their collecting tin - a lot of money in those day - but the look on your face was priceless. 

You did make me pay for it by playing hard to get for the rest of the evening.

Well, for half-an-hour at least.


You always said, my love, that you hated being born at the dark miserable end of the year.

And that if you ever came back to this world, you wanted your birthday to be at the height of summer, when the sky was blue, the sun was warm and there was colour everywhere. 

Well would that you could - and that your wish would come true.

Because no-one deserves it more - in return for all sunshine, laughter  and sparkle you brought to our lives.

A lot of people have been thinking about you today - and missing you.

Me especially.

All my love
For ever

Trevor xxx


Friday, 26 November 2010

Change of Plans

Friday, 26 November

My Lovely Girl

As you know, June and Geoff were not able to make it down on the '25th' as they had a lot on in September, including three weddings to attend.

June sent me a lovely letter saying how sorry they had to miss it - and how much she misses being able to chat to you on the phone.

'Eileen always called me 'Pet' and I think about her every day,' she said.

With her letter June sent me these two lovely photographs... 

They were ones June had taken of us together at Andrew's Wedding.

It was so good of her to send them particularly as I had not seen them before.

You looked so radiant and happy - as did Nicola and Geoff.

Geoff especially so in his pink tie and waistcoat.

Remember how we ribbed him about that.  And, as you teased him, 'You will never be able to live it down when 'Pinkie' hears about it - and I'll make sure she knows!'  

And you did. 

I spoke to both of them one evening last week.

They were off to Australia on Saturday evening.  For the 'Ashes' Test Matches naturally.

They were flying out via Singapore and I wanted to wish them 'Good Luck' for the trip, which lasts over four weeks.

From Singapore they are flying on to Brisbane; taking in the Great Barrier Reef before heading to Adelaide for the second Test.  Then they are spending some days in Sydney (just sightseeing; no cricket) and then on to Perth for the third Test, before flying back and getting home just before Christmas.

Back  in Springtime I had put my name down to go.  I thought it would be good for me as something to look forward to - and a way of missing out some of the 'dark days' at the end of the year.

However, once I learned about Charlotte's pregnancy I just knew I didn't want to be that far away from home for such a long time.

Won't be anywhere near as good at helping out as you would have been.  But at least I'm close at hand and 'on call' when they - or Nikki and Adrian - need  me.

There were other reasons as well. 

Wasn't sure if I am up yet - physically or emotionally - to all the 'moving on', ' living out of a suitcase routine the trip would involve.

More importantly, Australia was something we wanted to do together.  New Zealand too.

Know that will never be possible now. 

But I will  do them both when I'm ready - and in that freewheeling, 'make it up as you go along' way that you and I enjoyed so much.

When I do, I know you will be with me all the way.

Do miss you so.

You are never far away from me - and never ever will be.

Love you
For ever


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Moments Like These

Sunday, 14 November 

My Lovely Eileen

It's late afternoon on Remembrance Sunday. 

The light has all but gone now, on what has been a typical November day - grey, wet and thoroughly miserable. 

Not surprisingly, this Remembrance Sunday has been so much more emotional. 

It's been impossible not to think back to this same day last year.

Pretty close to the same time of day too.

We were sitting together on the landing.  You in your armchair; me sitting facing you, as close to you as I could get.

We were listening to the radio which was on in the bedroom, behind us. 

It was Paul O'Grady.

Because of the significance of the day he chose to play a particular record - a Vera Lynn one.

Although neither was much aware of the war at time - we were both war 'babies' - we became familiar with this song through our parents.

It was, of course, 'We'll meet again.'

In virtual darkness, we lent in to each other until our foreheads touched, looked into each other's eyes, held hands tightly and, tears streaming down our faces, sang along with the record...

'We'll meet again.
Don't know where,don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again,
Some sunny day.

Keep smiling through
As you always do  
'Til the blue skies chase those dark clouds
Far away.'  

And when it was finished, we continued to sit there together like that for a very long time.

Neither of us wished to break the moment by moving.  

We didn't say anything.

We didn't need to.

We both knew exactly what the other was thinking.

The tears said it all.


Today, my Love, has been one of the darkest days since you went away.

I knew it was going to be, because of those memories.

And it has been.

But recalling them, and setting them down here, has helped.


Losing you was tough.

Knowing I was losing you was tougher.

But knowing you were losing everything was heartbreaking.

And still is.


Memories and photographs are good.

But they are no substitute for the real thing.  Nothing is.

As the song says, 'We'll meet again some sunny day'. 

And we will. 

Love and miss you so much with every day that passes.

Yours, for ever


Record Numbers

Sunday, 14 November

My Darling Eileen

I'm sure you will be pleased to learn that Adrian is now a Guinness world record holder.

And here's the certificate he received to prove it...

His effort, back at the end of July, in pushing a car the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles has now been confirmed as the NEW world record.

It's taken a while for Guinness to confirm it as they had to go through all the evidence - the video, all the witness reports etc - but at last they have done it.

He rang me from Heathrow - on his way to Hungary for a PWC seminar in Budapest - as he wanted me to be the first to know.

I am sure you will be as delighted with the news, as I was.  Particularly as he has raised over £7000 for the two charities.

Thanks to their PR efforts he received a lot of publicity before and after the attempt, including being interviewed on local radio the Monday afterwards, before going to work.

One bit of coverage really stood out even if it was a bit OTT.

It was in a woman's magazine that wished to approach it more from Nikki's perspective.

As I say the writer overdosed a little on the drama and, as you will see, seems to 'do it by numbers'.

Know you love this type of 'PR article'.  So just think of Victoria Wood's friend 'Kim-ber-lee' and enjoy.  

'Stood in black cycling shorts and a running T-shirt, my hubby bent his knees, let out a deep sigh and placed his hands against the boot of the lime green Smart car.

"Ready?" asked the adjudicator.

"Yes," Adrian, 35, nodded.

As the 50-strong crowd cheered and whooped in the schoolyard, our three-year-old daughter, Darcy, tapped my hand.

"Is Daddy really going to push it 26 miles?2 she asked.

"Yes, sweetheart," I smiled.

It was July 2010 and my hubby of four yaers was about to compete in a feat of immense strength, pushing a car 26.2 miles - the length of a marathon.

Fit and active, he'd already competed in two London Marathon's, so wanted to really push himself.

"It had to be something really gruelling," he told me. "I want to raise as much as I can in memory of Mum."

His friend Mark, 35, a gym instructor, designed  a training programme for him.

So every week, around his work as a tax advisor, Adrian fitted in 1,600 squats and lunges, a seven mile run, hill-running and pushing a Ford Focus.

He guzzled mountains of carbs, too!

Now, at St Johns the Baptist Primary School, Adrian was ready to push the car atround the track.

"Come on Adrian!" I screamed, as my 15st hubby edged the 740kg (116st) vehicle forward.

As the hours ticked by, Adrian ate 10 bananas and two meatloaves [malt, actually] and drank a dozen energy drinks and gallons of water.
 "You did it!' I shouted, beaming.
When the clock hit five hours and 45 minutes, the crowd went mad as the adjudicator told Adrian he'd hit the 17.6-mile mark and beaten the (then current) world record.
But Adrian gritted his teeth and carried on - and after nine hours and 20 minutes, and 391 laps, he finished. 
His sweaty, exhausted body fell into my arms.
"I'm so proud of you," I cried, popping open the champers. 
"And your Mum would be, too."
 In total Adrain raised more than £7000 for the World Cancer Research Fund and The Stroke Association.'

Thought you would enjoy reading it - even if it erred a little towards the 'purple' end of the spectrum in places.

The crucial thing for Adrian was that he did something special for you.

Like all of us, he misses you so much.

Cannot tell you what a large gap you have left in my life.

All my love

For ever

Trevor xxx   


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Extra Cover

Tuesday, 26 October

My Darling Eileen

When she came over to our gathering last month on the '25th', Sarah told me a lovely story that she has remembered about your days at Lexicon - one concerning John Lilley.

First though. let me go back to something John else said about you when he wrote to me the day he heard you had left us.

'You don't need me to tell you what a wonderful, caring, thoughtful person Eileen was.  You have had a lifetime of experiencing that.
But let me tell you of another side to Eileen you may not know of.
When I went to work at Lexicon - as a temporary scheduler and then in Client Services - I joined a team where Eileen was a Senior Account Manager.
She was knowledgeable, experienced, very 'bottom-line' aware, approachable, clever and willing to share.
Which was just as well. Within a few days she had sussed me out.
"Right John," she said to me.
"Client-facing skills?  Good.
Translation to production requirements? No problem!
But you must stop trying to circumvent the system!"
There was no point in me denying it.
For the previous seven years I had been in sales.  Hadn't touched a computer in all that time.
Was this the afternoon I went back on the scrap heap?
Not a bit of it.
"Right John!  I have cleared my desk and this afternoon we are going to go through the system step-by-step.  By close of play you will know the system as well as I do."
And I did.
The real benefit came six months later when I became Production Director.
Without Eileen's tuition I would not have survived, let alone thrived.
Finally, bless her, I went to see her, let her know my feelings and thanks her.

This was two weeks before it went public.  As ever she retained the confidence.
As I've said before about Eileen...totally, reliable.'    


This is the other story Sarah recalled...

'One of our colleagues (John, obviously) used to volunteer as a Samaritan.

He often did this during the night.  As a result he was sometimes late getting into work.
One morning Eileen desperately needed to speak to him urgently.

She was getting hassle from a customer and was trying to cover for John.
As the minutes passed without John appearing at work, she became more and more stressed.
Eventually she picked up the phone and called the Samaritans.

"Can I speak to John Lilley", she asked when a lady answered.

"Are you feeling suicidal? the lady asked Eileen.

"No, I'm not feeling bloody suicidal.  Put John Lilley on the phone...NOW!' 

That's my girl.  That's the girl I loved and admired so much.

Would love to know what you said to John when he came on the phone.  Or, more importantly, when he arrived at work. 

Bet you made him pay for it!

Do miss your passion and determination so much.  It never faltered even when you were not well at all.

Our lives are so much poorer now you are not around.

Will love you

For Ever



Monday, 25 October 2010

A Pair's Two

Sunday, 24 October

My Lovely Eileen

Last week wasn't an easy one.

On Tuesday there was only one item of post - a small white envelope. 

Inside was a card from Lindsay and Roger, to say that Barbara had died the previous Sunday.

She was 88 and hadn't been well recently, Lindsay said.   

As I sat in the lounge in the sunshine, the card in my hand, my mind went back to the first time we met Barbara and Ken.

It was a Friday evening sometimes towards the end of 1977.

While the vast majority of people were heading home for the weekend, the small group of us - who were moving to the new 'international' office in the Hague - had been invited, along with our wives, to a 'getting-to-know you' reception in the penthouse suite at Moore House.

Ken, I already knew as a colleague, but from within minutes of being introduced to each other, the four of us were chatting away like old friends. 

Like us, they were excited, if just a mite little apprehensive, about the challenges facing us. 

Even though it wasn't the other side of the world, for the four of us it meant moving away from family and friends and an established way of life.     

Looking back now, we need not have worried.  

Our stay in Wassenaar - even though it only lasted five years - became something of a high-point in our life together and one we would look back on with pleasure as the years went by.

Once settled in our house on Deijlerweg, we and the children took to life there with relish.  We loved the Dutch environment and our time 'abroad' gave the two of us and the children a broader perspective we would never ever lose. 

It was a really special time in our lives - and Barbara and Ken had much to do with making it so special. 

They became the best of friends.  They adopted Charlotte and Adrian as stand-in grandchildren.  

They taught us how to play 'Crib' - and we enjoyed many long, hilarious and often raucous 'card' evenings at 'Storm' or '144' playing Crib, Newmarket, Noses, Pontoon, Pit, Yahtzee and Bulls**t.

And if Ken could not be found he was usually upstairs in the Den watching 'Tom and Jerry' with Adrian.

They mixed and melded with our friends and relatives - as we did with theirs - when they came to Holland. 

You and Barbara spent many happy hours together: playing tennis and coffee mornings at the British Women's Club; shopping at the Beijenkorf or, more mundanely, at Albert Heijn; as well as swapping ideas and inspirations for your roles as tourist guides when visitors came.

With them, we walked in the Meijendel; enjoyed 'coffee and gebak' in the restaurant there; rode 'op de fiets' to the Whitte Brug to collect the Sunday papers; and discovered delectable 'kleine tong' at the beach restaurant in Katwijk.  

All these memories, thoughts and more came flooding back as I drove down to Barbara's Memorial Service last Friday morning.

It was the sort of day I know Barbara - and you - loved so much.

A sunny crisp morning, high blue skies and the leaves taking on their Autumn colours.

If you have to say 'goodbye' to someone it was as good day as it could be for doing so.


It was a lovely service.

Inside the Order of Service Barbara's grandchildren - Kate, Jo, Rich, Lizzie and Ellie - had written a lovely tribute to 'Our Nan'.

Here are just a few of things they said.  Things you and I will recognise immediately, remembering Barbara as we do.

'Think of a lady who is kind, caring, loving and fun, whose first question is always "Hello dear, how are you?", who listens to and is genuinely interested in the answer.

'Gramps (Ken) cheating at cards and Nan's (Barbara)response of "Oh Kenneth!"...(and)the tut and raised eyes behind Gramps's back as he made silly comments!' 
'(On)pouring her a glass of sherry or wine: "Just a small one dear ...Don't you have a larger glass?... Better fill it up then!"'
As I read these lines and others, I could clearly hear Barbara's lovely voice and that soaring chuckling laugh of hers.  


At the reception afterwards there was a long display of photographs covering Barbara's life. 

One caught my eye, particularly.

It was obviously taken at a wedding and there is Ken in his tails hamming it up for Barbara, both of them laughing uproariously at their shared enjoyment.

In the middle of the displays were two photograph albums.

In the 'Holland' one I was taken aback to discover this page of photographs of us enjoying lunch with them at 'Storm' one day.

Gratifying to know that we were as much a part of their memories of Holland as they are of ours.

Haven't been through all my files but did come across these photos, which I thought you would like to see again...

Walking near the Golf Course, when Barbara
and Ken came to visit us in Guiseley.

Several years later we visited them when they had moved to their new house in Crowborough...



At the reception afterwards, I spoke to Lindsay.

She said that when she was going through Barbara's papers a few days earlier, she came across the cards and letters I had sent Barbara in the last two years, telling her about what had happened to you.

As she read them, Lindsay said it brought everything back and how sad they both had been.

Now, sadly, Barbara has gone too.


The other album on display was the one they had compiled celebrating their Golden Wedding anniversary.

This photograph was one of the many taken that day that were in the album...

Once there were four very good friends who shared many happy moments, lots of laughter and a very special relationship.

Now three are gone and the phrase in the title at the top of the page -'Learning to live with Memories' - has taken on even more poignancy.

At moments like these, I miss you more than I can say.

Love you so much.

For ever,


Sunday, 17 October 2010

Mother Superior

Sunday, 17 October 

My Lovely Eileen

On the '25th', Sarah also handed me some notes Lynn had put together, also remembering your time at Lexicon.

This is what she recalled...

'Well what can I say about 'Auntie Eileen, as we always called her with affection.
I met Eileen for the first time, when she came for interview at Lexicon.
I was on reception and being so young - I was just 21 then - I was taken aback by her.

She reminded me of my old head mistress and that made me feel really nervous.

After she joined Lexicon we became really good friends.

She took me under her wing.  She was like a second Mum to me.
I worked very closely with her and she gave me so much of her time and her expertise.

As a result my confidence grew, both at work and in my own life.
She was second to none! 
When my Dad died when I was just 23, Auntie Eileen was there for me.  She was a shoulder to cry on and a really good listener. 
"Work can wait" she always said.  "There are more important things in life."
How right she was.
On a lighter note, Auntie Eileen used to tell us stories about her convent education.  And how the nuns used to rule the pupils with an iron rod.
I loved to listen to her stories.  Particularly the one about the nuns not allowing the pupils to eat in public on the streets - and what punishment they would get if they were caught.
I always think of Auntie Eileen if we go to the seaside and have fish and chips while walking along the front.
I can hear her saying, "the nuns will get you!"
I loved Auntie Eileen like a mother and miss her with all my heart.

Lynn xxx'

My Lovely Eileen

Trust these memories from Sarah and Lynn have made you smile.

I remember you were in your last few weeks at Manor House when we first met.

You could not wait to get away and out of school uniform.

You were much more in your element once you switched to Hendon Tech.

Playing cards at lunch-time and your short 'pencil-slim' skirts soon revealed the real, fun-loving mischievous you.

Those are among the thousands of memories I'll remember. 

For ever



Enter The Dragon

Sunday, 17 October

My Darling Eileen

When she came along with Ben on the '25th', Sarah brought me some lovely  'gifts'.

A bunch of freshly picked beans from their garden - which were delicious - and some notes recalling the time when you worked together at Lexicon.

This is what she wrote...

My memories of Eileen date from the day she arrived at Lexicon.
At that time, the company was split on two sites. We were in different buildings so I didn't see her much.
I sometimes covered on receptions back then.  When I had to put calls through to Eileen, I always thought how rude and abrupt she was. 

A real Dragon!
When the company amalgamated on a new site in Shipley, I was - to my horror - told I would be sitting next to Eileen.    
If I am honest, I was terrified of her and really worried she would not be easy to get along with.   
How wrong could I have been! 
Eileen was the warmest, funniest, most encouraging and loveliest woman to know.
I learned a great deal from her - not just about work but about life.
Eileen was always there for me.   
I went through some difficult times myself back then.  I had an illness that meant I had to take three months off work.
I took Chinese medicine to help my recovery.  It tasted awful and I hated taking it.
When I came back to work Eileen made this concoction up for me religiously and MADE me take it twice a day.
She cared enough to do this for me - and I will always be very grateful for that. 
Even though Eileen and I never met up again after she left Lexicon, we still stayed in touch by letter and by e-mail. 
Looking back through these, this is one of her e-mails that I found particularly funny...

"This weekend we have been decorating the lounge - and it has been disastrous!
Had to paint the ceiling three times 'cos each time we found streaks.
I then emulsioned the walls finishing the first pot of matt paint.  Started on the second tin.
Two walls later found it was a tin of silk finish NOT matt!
So quick trip to Homebase was needed.
Cali then walked along the window sill which I had just undercoated, leaving a trail of little pussy cat paw marks.
Trevor came home from work last night and, while having a cup of tea, lent against the radiator I had just glossed.
But today I think has been the bee's knees.
Glossing the skirting board, looked back and there was an army of ants stuck to the paint right along the skirting board."

Eileen was a wonderful combination of a Mum and a best friend.

That's how I'll remember her - and why I'll always miss her' 

As we all will.

Thought the 'paint episode' would bring back memories and a smile to your face.

Love and miss you so much 'my lovely dragon'. 

Yours - for ever

Trevor xxx

Dream Maker, You Heart Breaker

Tuesday, 5 October

My Darling Eileen

As I mentioned we put up a number of photographs for people to look at when they came on the 25th, for our anniversary.

As you know, some of these were taken on earlier 'anniversary' trips.

Others were just favourite ones of mine from the past.

I thought it would be nice to post some of these here, especially for those who could not be with us on the 25th.

I can hear you saying, 'Not too many'; so I promise I won't.

Majorca 1973

 London 1977

Mull 1984

Paris 1990

Paris 1990

Menorca 1995

Pelion 2003

Billericay 2004

Brugge 2004

Vancouver 2005

Vancouver 2005 

Etretat 2007

That's it - except for another lovely 'coincidence'...

While I've been picking out these images I have been listened to a Canadian  internet radio station (Jazz.FM91) in the background.

It's my type of music and great - if you make allowances for the fact they are 5 hours behind us and the traffic bulletins all relate to Toronto.

And guess what has just been playing? 

A rather lovely version of the theme from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

We saw it during our first months together - and have loved it ever since.  

Although I seem to remember you did get very upset at the scene near the end, where she stopped the taxi and shoved the poor cat out in the pouring rain.

Still, she did go back to find it...

   Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

Well, we were 'two drifters' and we did see the world together - some of it, at least, if not all of it.

More would have been so good - but it wasn't to be.

So, my lovely, lovely huckleberry friend, if you have found your own rainbow's end please wait for me there - just 'round the bend.

For ever

Trevor xxx