Saturday, 30 July 2011
Mr Pix has gone to Newquay with his mates for a few days.
Having to catch up with the paper work in my office. It seems that the last time I was working properly was at the end of June. Strange month.
Friday, 29 July 2011
This has been a devastating week and a bit. We are all still in shock by the loss of Kim, our very close friend.
Leah first met Kim when they both joined the Local Vehicle Registration Office at Colston Street in Bristol in around May 1984. They quickly became friends, spending many a happy lunch time in the pub and then not doing too much work in the afternoon.
I then met Leah in the June and would have first met Kim in the August, when meeting Leah for lunch, which was inevitable spent in the pub. Since those early days we have all remained the closest of friends.
I always ribbed Kim when introducing her to new friends or members of my family by referring to her as Leah’s friend, which usually earned me a slapped arm. It made me laugh every time, as did the times I called her Kimberley. She always got her own back by calling me Welsh, she knew how to be cruel.
Over the last 27years Kim has been a constant in our lives and in the lives of our children, Kelly & Thomas. She was one of the first people to see them on the days they were born. She referred to them as her Niece & Nephew but also called them “Our Children”, meaning the three of us not just Leah and me. She would often take the credit for all their good points while blaming Leah & Me for any of their faults. To them she was always Aunty Kim.
Kim often babysat for us in the early days but it must be said she was not a good babysitter. We would ensure the children were always quiet and in bed before she arrived; However when we came home they were usually running up stairs to get back to bed after, according Kim, they had convinced her that they should come downstairs so she could read stories to them or so they could watch the telly with her. The kids often said that it was Aunty Kim who encouraged them to come downstairs first but which ever it was they have always loved spending time together and things have never changed.
Kim would arrange Easter egg hunts in her garden for the kids, which as they grew older included her legendary quizzes, which we still do but we no longer have to hunt around the garden for the eggs.
When we went out on trips to National Trust properties, or “an old house with a big garden” as Thomas would refer to them, we often went with Kim. We enjoyed looking at the lovely gardens and usually finished the day off with a picnic or cream tea.
When we booked a family meal, we rarely booked a table for four, it was usually for five, as she was part of the family. Indeed the week before she was taken ill we had all gone out on the Friday for a curry for Thomas’s birthday. As always when having a curry Kim always started the evening off by saying “what did I have last time, I liked that” we never could remember what she had but we were slowly working our way through the menu.
On this occasion we had Thomas’s girlfriend Cacey with us and she was sat next to Kim. Every so often someone would say something and Kim would slap Cacey’s arm say “pass it on”. As Cacey was finding out, Kim and us were just a close family, where you could do things like that without taking offence but by laughing and joining in.
We also went out for lunch on that Saturday with my parents and when Kim got to the pub she asked them to do some balloons for Thomas as it was his birthday. Never mind he was 17, taller than us and sat with his girlfriend. That was Aunty Kim and she never did anything wrong. We all had a lovely lunch and then back to ours for a cup of tea. As always, Kim never wanted to overstay her welcome but we refused to take her home until after 10pm. We sat drinking tea, playing on the iPad and chatting. This was our usual evening with Kim.
When we were together I often told her there was to be no talk about politics but within 10 or 15 minutes we would both be arguing about politics. I would slag off all politicians and whilst she was obviously neutral in these matters she would only slag off the Tories and would always praise “Her Ministers” from the previous regime, whom she thought were good people but that was probably only because they did what she told them.
We were all proud of what she achieved in work, both in her previous role in the Government Property Lawyers and in her current role within DEFRA. She had achieved a lot for a girl from Bridgwater, as we reminded her. For her part she reminded us that she lived in the nice part of Taunton whilst we lived on an estate a mile away with Chav’s.
At Christmas she was always invited to Christmas dinner at my Mum & Dads with us but she always refused; However she always spent Boxing Day with us, getting to our house before everyone else, so we could swap presents without her being embarrassed by other people being there.
During the year Kim & Leah would have a few shopping trips and visit the Bath & West, where they would buy gifts for each other. Come Christmas it would not be unusual for them to forget which things they had bought as a gift and which they had already received. They were girls with very similar tastes.
Kelly and me often went with Kim to see comedy shows at the local theatre where Kelly works. If we heard of a comedian appearing at the theatre I would just text Kim the date and ask her if she was free for a show as I was getting tickets. After checking her diary she would say yes and only later ask who we were seeing. She always enjoyed herself. Occasionally with a few of the less obscure comedians my wife would join us, which probably confused the staff at the theatre, trying to work out the relationship between these three strange people and Kelly.
I could carry on & on with stories about us & Kim, there have been many happy memories over the last 27yrs.
We had been texting Kim on Tuesday as she had taken the day off to see the Murdoch’s at the select committee. She was loving the political infighting and fact that senior people were being shown to be so corrupt. I was in Edinburgh and we were texting each other guessing at the next person who would resign whilst having done nothing wrong.
The next day Leah & Me were just making breakfast, it was a bit late as we were on holiday and were going to book a hotel in Brighton for a few days away, with instructions from Kim to visit Chocywokydoda her favourite cake shop. My wife then took a call that turned things upside down for us. Kim had collapsed and it was not good. We all thought it would be her Asthma and rushed to the BRI to be with her.
To be told it was her heart and that it was so very serious was a big shock for us all. It was clear that had it not been for the outstanding work of the first aiders at her work and then the paramedics, she would not have even got to hospital.
The following week was spent at her bed side, meeting family and friends from work who visited her. It was nice to meet her friends to put faces to the stories we had heard over the years and to hear how respected Kim was.
Kim would have been very proud but dismayed as she was a very private person who kept family, friend's and work in separate boxes.
We talked to her continually & played her favourite music to her (Madness, The Specials and Andrea Bocelli).
But in the earlier hours of Wednesday the 27th she passed away peacefully with us four & her brother Michael sat with her, talking to her and holding on to her. She had never regained consciousness, had never felt anything or been aware of anything, since first collapsing at work.
She would have been proud of Kelly & Thomas for their strength and love.
Kim died on my 44th birthday, on a day she was due to take us out to China China, our favourite Chinese restaurant in Taunton. It seems wrong to celebrate my birthday at the moment, that can wait. But every year it will be a joint day, my birthday and a celebration of her life.
We are going to see Dave Gorman tonight but it seems wrong for anyone to sit in Kim’s seat, she will be with us in spirit.
It has been devastating for us all.
It will seem wrong going out for a meal without Kim. It will seem wrong going to a comedy event without Kim. It will seem wrong having Christmas without Kim. It will seem wrong not being able to text Kim about dodgy politicians.
Life goes on but a part of our family will always be missing.
Much love, Leah, Neil, Kelly & Thomas