Saturday, 12 June 2010


My Darling E

Meant to tell you, I received a lovely e-mail from Sarah D a few weeks ago.

She wanted me to know she is running 'Race for Life for you in Bradford tomorrow (13 June). 

Sarah's not doing it on her own either.  She has persuaded her Mum, her sister in law (Caroline) and her 7 year old niece (Luna) to join in as well.

In addition to herself, Lynn and Judith (from your Lexicon days) are doing the run also.

Quite a group!  Just hope they have as much fun as everyone who did it in Basildon last Sunday,

Sarah said she feels a bit cheeky as they're only going to walk it, but knows the main thing is them all getting together and taking part, in your memory.  

I know you would love them for looking at it like that - because it's exactly how you saw the 'Race for Life' each time you did it.

She has promised to send me some photos afterwards.

That will be good as I want to tell you soon about all the people elsewhere who have already - or soon will have - run the 'Race for Life' on your behalf.


Sarah was really helpful back in January.

When she heard about you, she wrote a really sympathetic letter and included two passages of words that she though I might find consoling.

I did.  In fact we printed both of them on your 'Order of Service'.  

There wasn't an opportunity for them to be read out during the service.  But they were read.  I know that from the number of people I spoke to on the day.

The first - a quite short one - has particular resonance for me...

"Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever e were to each other
That we are still."

We were such a part of each other for so long that I know you are still there for me.

During our lives together, whichever home it was, we never ever closed internal doors.  We always preferred them to be open.  And that's how it still is. 

There is so much of you here. The doors to the rooms remain open and always will. 

You meant so much to me, I could never ever shut you out of my life.


Sarah said she likes my blog and these little 'pieces' I write to you.

"It's so nice, and moving to read about Eileen," she said. 
"Some of the things you have written about remind me of chats I had years and years ago with Eileen, when we worked together."
"I remember her telling me about her house and how she 'fell for the boy next door', so it was really lovely to hear your side of the story too."
In her e-mail she ended by saying, 'Please keep in touch'.
"It's years since I last saw Eileen but I miss her so much.  I miss writing her all those letters, never mind reading the ones she sent me."

When I e-mailed her back I told her you so loved getting her lovely 'newsy' letters with their photographs, even though in the last couple of years you had found it difficult to pen a reply to her yourself. 

I said I would. And I will - for your sake and mine.

Like Sarah, there are so many people who miss you.

I just wish you did not have to go away when you did.  But I know why you had to - and I understand. 

Understanding doesn't make it any easier to live without you, however.

Love and miss you so much



Monday, 7 June 2010

Race for Life

My Darling E 

Remember how much you loved participating in the 'Race for Life' each year?

Because of your enthusiasm for the event, lots of relatives, friends and former colleagues of yours are running - or have already run - 'Race for Life' this year in your memory.

Yesterday was 'Race for Life' day in Basildon and we made it a real 'family' day. 

You would have loved it.

So much, so I hope you were looking down on us and cheering the girls on - Charlotte and Caitlin; Nikki, Darcy and Harriet; Pat; Maggi; Claudia and Chloe; Ellen and Sue.     

Caitlin was very clear she was 'running for Oma' and she and Darcy ran quite a lot of the way as you can see. 
Trust these photographs will show you how much fun everyone had ...




Ellen, Caitlin and Chloe

Ellen's 'Auntie Eileen' card

Charlotte, Maggi and Sue

The Start

Maggi, Nikki, Darcy, Sue and Charlotte

Maggi, Sue and Caitlin

Pat, Reuben, Caitlin and Charlotte

Charlotte and Darcy 

Eleven 'Race for Lifers' + Reuben 

As we were leaving we passed something new that I hadn't seen at previous 'Race for Life' events when you were doing them.

It's a 'memory wall' where runners can hang the cards they wore, with the names and messages about the people they were running in memory of.

Naturally we added the poster of you that everyone had been wearing during the race to the wall, as you can see...


Nikki and Pat hung their cards either side of it.

Charlotte placed hers directly underneath. Her message read 'I race for life for My Beautiful Mum.  I miss you every day xxx' 

Up to that point I was handling the day pretty well.

But seeing you, my love, up there really got to me.     

It was something I never ever wished to see.  And seeing it there just reminded me so strongly again that you are gone from us for ever.  

Cannot begin to tell you how much I miss you.

Love you so much.


Friday, 4 June 2010

One Saturday Evening...

My Darling Eileen

One Saturday evening, a boy was introduced to an attractive young girl.

He was just nineteen, she was sixteen and a half.

That warm June evening, they went walking - through Queen's Woods, up past Highgate Village, along by Kenwood, the Heath and the Spaniard's Inn, all the way to Hampstead and home again.    

It was the 4 June 1960 - fifty years ago today exactly.

By the time that girl and that boy reached her home that evening, they both knew they had found the someone they would share the rest of their lives with.

And that's how it was - because the girl was you and the boy was me.

We both so wanted to be together for fifty years.  We didn't quite make it.   But we came so close.

As I sit here tonight I cannot help reminiscing over some of the memories and the times we shared:
  • the early days of really getting to know each other
  • getting engaged and then getting married  
  • our wedding night and the hotel that gave away our suite
  • running out of petrol on honeymoon at Bar-le-Duc
  • spending your first four years married to a full-time student
  • the fun times - and a few lean times - in Wilton Court
  • stretching to buy Parkway, then finding you were pregnant
  • the birth of Charlotte
  • me being made redundant, and you being pregnant again
  • the birth of Adrian
  • moving to Holland and our years in Wassenaar
  • settling in Guiseley
  • our '25th' in Paris - eventually I got you there 
  • moving to Essex - and how right you were!
  • Charlotte and Ivan's wedding 
  • running with whales off Vancouver Island on our '40th'
  • Adrian and Nikki's wedding
  • the arrival of three (now four)lovely grandchildren 
  • and...
But let's not go there on a lovely anniversary such as this.

Are you thinking the same things I am today?  Or are some of your memories  different to mine.  You were so good at remembering things I had forgotten.

We shared love, friendship, excitement, fun, laughter, and the odd tear, for almost fifty years and there are so many fabulous memories to look back on.

What was it that song from our early days together said?...

'Those were the days my friend,
 We thought they'd never end..' 
Sadly, they had to.

Miss you so much, my love



An anniversary would not be complete without a rose for you. 

So after I had written this I went out and picked one from the garden and  placed it in our bedroom.  Just as I did for you during those last few months we were together. 

By the next morning it had opened up and looked so beautiful. 

I know you would have loved it...   

Love you so


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Moving In

My Lovely E

There are, as I'm sure you'll remember, a couple of anniversaries coming up around about now.  One was just a few days ago, the other - a very special one - in a couple of days from now.

It's was ten years ago, this past weekend, that we moved in to Number 28. 

The solicitors letter talks about aiming to complete on the 30th.  But I am certain we exchanged funds on the 26th and moved in that day, so anxious were the T's to move to their house and us to get in here.

St Paul's wasn't all that bad, but it wasn't all that good. 

The dining room, downstairs cloakroom, garage, landing and three of the bedrooms were so packed with furniture you could hardly get in to them.

That three month rent gave us a reality check on what 'downsizing' would 

I can still recall coming home from work that Friday in February 2000 at the end of our first week down here.

'Dont take your coat off,' you said, 'we have houses to look at.'

And so we set off looking at four or five, none of which ticked the boxes even without viewinginside.

Then as we were heading home you wheeled into EMD.  It was already familiar to us from looking at - and rejecting - a house on 'Pavilion' a few weeks earlier.

We parked in front of '28' and you passed me the details...

'Do you like it?' you asked.  'I hope so because I've made an appointment to view it at 11.00am tomorrow.'

And like it we did even more, once we had been inside. 

So much so that, after a two-minute chat in the car, we drove straight to the estate agent and put our offer in.  As 'cash buyers' we were in pole position.

Then all we had to do was wait to move in.  

When we did, the house was quickly bursting at the seams... 


This is how it was on 'moving in' day - but not how it is today. 

Gradually, over the months and years, we got things the way we wanted them to be.

Our style became more modern and, if not exactly minimalist, heading  strongly in that direction.  Not just inside but in the garden also.  

The move changed nor only our way of life but our approach to it as well - just as you knew it would.   And how much we enjoyed it.

This is where we spent the last years of our life together - and where I'll stay.

This is the home you found for us. A home that bears so much of your touch.  A house that carries so many happy memories - but a few not so.   

Sadly, this is the house where you had to say 'Goodbye'. 

How could I ever leave and walk away from that - or from you.

Ever yours, my love, 


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Darling E

That Sunday started with a bit of good news...

'Earth has moved!'


'As i'm such a gd girl please can i have another banana'

'Was going to bring one anyway.'

'Have spoken to c and she's not coming.  Could u please bring charger.  Would it be a bit easier if u didn't come until a bit later? E x'

'Will bring charger.  Which is best for you - come @ 3 and go @ 7
or come @ 5ish and stay to 8?  T xx'

'Think it would b better 3-7ish, or whenever.  Otherwise u don't gt any time 4 yourself.'

'See you @ 3. xxx'

'Looks as though i'm now moving 2 kingswood.  Keep u posted.'
'Keep me posted so I'll know where to come to.  x'

'Just gt ok 2 come home!  Just waiting 4 some bits. x'

'Does that mean today?'

'Now please!'

'Will be there asap'


On that note of delight, I went and brought you home.

You were all packed up when I got there and as eager to get home as I was to have you here.

During the following few days you made excellent progress with your recovery.

Then Friday came and everything changed!

Those were the last texts we ever sent each other.

They are still there on the phones, yours and mine, and that's where they will stay.    

Loved you so much and still do,