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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Remembering Dad, Sunday 15th Jan 2012

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we lost Dad, or should I say Dad meeting Mum again.  Life goes in cycles, so I shouldn't harp too much on a single day.  But I will never forget that morning at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead.  Of all the events I have been privileged to attend, I honestly feel that being there that morning was at the top.  Before we lost Mum, she asked me to be there for him.  So I was happy that to his last breath I had made an attempt to keep my promise.

After we had laid some flowers on Mum and Dad's grave, and also my brother George's (who would have celebrated his 59th birthday Tuesday week), we headed over to Hampstead Heath for a walk.  As kids Mum and Dad would often take us over the heath for a walk on a Sunday afternoon.  But we rarely ended up over West Heath.  So Dawn and I drove to Jack Straw's Castle and made our way to the Pergola.  Here there were long corridors of trellises built on the earth that had taken out of the tunnels that had become the Northern Line on the London Underground.

From here we spent a good hour or so wandering through woodland that was open and sparse with the trees barren of leaves that in the spring would create a blanket of green.  But even in the winter months the view of this natural landscape was beautiful.   Incredibly Dawn reminded me that despite having lived in London for eight and half years (either side of our time in Florida) she had only been to the heath once before.  And that was when I took her there when she first arrived in London over 15 years ago.

Hampstead Heath is more than just woodlands.  It has several large meadows, as the map calls them.  Above you can see the fields in front of Kenwood House.  This, I will add, was not on our planned route.  We took a little detour (we're still not sure how) and ended up a little off course.  Let's just say we enjoyed the walk rather than using the "L" word or that someone misread the map.

Below is the fabulous building that is Kenwood House.  Somewhere in my collection is a photo I had taken during one school trip in the late 60s.  I can picture myself posing with my classmates.  We (all boys) knelled and stood like we were a football team after a kick around on the heath.  We were no more than 8 or 9 and all thought we would be footballers one day.  Kenwood House was also the destination of one of the many trips we took with Dad and George after we had returned from Florida.  Memories I will cherish for as long as I live.

Anyone that knows us knows that at some point during the day there will be food on the agenda and that the camera will also be present.  We did try to grab a bite at Spaniards Inn where we once celebrated Father's Day with Dad.  But it was way too crowded and we couldn't be bothered to wait for a table.  So we headed towards Hampstead High Street and grabbed an Indian instead.  I know that Dad would probably not appreciate this type of food. But I think he would of the rest of the day.  RIP Dad.  We miss you.

These are just a handful of the photos we took today.  If you want to see the rest please feel free to click on the link below to see the best of the rest.
More Photos


  1. I believe your Mom and Dad, wherever they are today, are at peace and happy. It was so sweet of you to pay a visit to your Dad in his anniversary. Losing someone we love dearly is a painful experience, but we should always bear in mind that they're always with us, guiding us from afar, as we continue with our lives. These are some gorgeous photos, by the way. :)

    --Loria Schleiff