Tag Archives: memories


It’s been a while since I last wrote to you or had a letter from you in your distinctive writing and I miss you. I miss your letters, your adventures, your wit, your friendship, your laughter, our conversations, our gatherings.  

I miss you.  It’s been a year since you died and I think of you lots. From the moment we met at school to the day I saw you before you died you were always there, just there.  In another dorm, on another table, in a different classroom, in another country.  Now you’re somewhere else.  As you said about dying you were going somewhere and it’s not going to be a case of being able to write home and tell us all about it.  You’ve gone somewhere we will all follow at some time and when we get there you will greet us with a grin and show us around. 

My world is very different now.  In your last months you softened me!  I was so angry that you had a brain tumour, but you weren’t angry – you were positive and in turn your positivity changed me and how I see things.  You didn’t just accept that your life was nearing an end you positively grabbed what time you had left and gave your family and friends so many happy times.  You never made us sorry for you, you carried on being you but you with a brain tumour – in a wheelchair at times.

Even when you were tired out and felt crap due do the medication or discomfort you never once said you didn’t want to see us, you always chatted on the phone asking about our lives and our families.  When you heard from people we’d long forgotten about you joined in with the banter we knew so well.

When I saw you that last time I knew your bags were packed and you were ready for the off.  You lay in your bed, eyes closed and they twitched, your hand moved in my hand and at that point I knew.  I knew that wherever you are you will always be in our hearts and nothing or no one would ever take that away from me.

Dear Charch – it’s been a year and I’ll speak for the others when I say we miss you.



Following on from my earlier post, these words just tumbled out in memory of my grandfather Captain Hugh Preston Wattis of the South Staffordshire Regiment

The photos and the diaries
All hold a life so dear
The telegram brought dreadful news
No wife should ever hear

Stiff upper lip and carry on
Is how it’s meant to be
Behind closed doors emotional
So no one else can see

So carry on with head held high
Life might not be the same
But tell the tales of your younger years
To those who share his name

Feathers from Heaven


On my daily early morning dog walks I’ve noticed a bright white feather falling slowly and silently in front of me.
Oh yes of course there would be feathers in the woods where the birds nest high in the trees but how many white birds live in the woods high in the trees and drop pure white feathers? After a few days I began to expect a feather to fall.

One morning I wasn’t thinking of feathers, I was remembering my friend Charch who died in April from a brain tumour. A feather dropped and I cried big fat tears. Of course, I recalled the significance of white feathers and Angels; Charch knew she was in my thoughts. She’d slipped me a note (written using a Sailor pen, on Hunky Dory paper with SWALK on the back) to say I know you’re thinking of me.

One of the many conversations we shared was about her dying and she said that she wouldn’t be able to nip back and tell us what her new place was like. Having lived together for years at boarding school it was like she was going to a new dormitory and couldn’t tell us about it. I’ve recently spoken to her mum who is half expecting her to walk through the door from one of her travels or send a postcard.

Oh Charch you crazy girl of course I’ll ring your mum today and tell her you’re OK, that you’ve bagsied the best bed in the dormitory, your new place is full of familiar faces and that you’re safe, happy and well.

And Charch, thanks for the Feathers from Heaven. X



Being 9


As I watched my youngest throwing herself into the sea recently, wearing swimming bottoms, haphazard bunches and a heart melting smile I marvelled at how carefree and happy her world is. Much like the sea the world for her isn’t entirely daunting. Not yet out of her depth, a reassuring glance at her family, the ability to run to fun, the endless energy and the beaming smile.

Being 9 is an age of inbetween, neither a small child nor a teenager, not yet old enough to walk to school but knowing the route, able to do much more than we give her credit for but we can’t seem to let it happen. Being 9 means going into the upper school in September before turning 10.

We spend a lifetime making memories and that carefree day on the beach watching Laree just being 9 will stick with me forever.

Making memories


On Thursday I drove to the Valleys to drop my girls off at Big Welsh’s parents so I could nip to Cardiff and see Charch my poorly friend. She was all cwtched up in her bed and she looked peaceful. I was glad I was able to hurtle into Wales armed with bundles of love, cheery messages from school friends and her friends around the world and was able to chat one more time about her love of power ballads; sharing one last memory with her.

After spending precious time with her and her family I went to Whitchurch to see another schoolfriend and then zoomed back up the A470 and went to sleep. Whilst we were sleeping Charch died, very peacefully, at 4.06am on Friday morning, surrounded by her family.

Numb. That’s how we all feel. We knew it was coming, we knew it wouldn’t be long, but it’s wrong, so wrong that a bright, talented and amazing friend has died aged 45.

Over the last 7 months, since she came home, her friends have kept her spirits up with visits, cards, flowers, cakes, books, slippers, balms, socks, photo albums and CDs. Those friends have also been the most amazing and supportive network for her mum and family, it’s bittersweet that we’ve mothered a mother turning up with freezer food and cake.

In those months we’ve been making memories. We’ve cried in private and laughed with Charch, we’ve enjoyed her mum’s hospitality, we’ve hogged the fireplace sofas at New House Hotel, baggsied the sofa at The Maltsters, she’s been taken out for trips and adventures, she was surprised with a visit to a Carol Service at our old school. We’ve laughed, cried, reminisced over school days, tried to think back to our twenties, we’ve relived our thirties and celebrated into our forties as well as covering new ground, refinding old friends, sharing precious moments and above all we’ve been making precious memories.

All the while Charch has been getting more frail and weak until she slipped away gracefully and very peacefully on Friday 11 April at 4.06am aged 45.

Never once did she ask anyone for anything, at no point did she demand anything from anyone, what she did do was say “come and see me if you want to but don’t feel you have to”, she also taught us how to accept her situation.

So yes it’s a sad post but we’ve been also been memory making.

She’s brought a lot of people together again, we’ve had some brilliant weekends, I’ve spent more time in Wales than the preceding 24 years, some people who have fallen out have let bygones be bygones. Charch made this happen.

On the way home I went to Brecon to see my friend Becca in her shop and I treated myself to a bracelet. I couldn’t resist it. The wording is both apt and true.

Charch, may you rest in peace. You’ve been a great friend, you’ve been amazing and to quote a power ballad you’re the inspiration!