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