Sunday, 8 January 2012
I woke up to some sad news this morning. My favourite Uncle (and Godfather), Pete died Friday evening. Aged 91 I believe. He and Aunty Celia - that's him in the jaunty red shirt with Aunty Ce in the blue cardy in my parents garden in the 1970's - my mother is in pink slacks (when did we stop calling crimplene trousers 'slacks' I wonder?) (probably when we stopped wearing crimplene anything no doubt). And that's my delightful younger brother in the Leeds United strip with my arm round his shoulder - I more than likely washed my arm immediately following this photo shoot. Bless. He's 47 now. Hard to believe.
That summer, Aunty Ce and Uncle Pete had come over from Australia for one of their visits - there was always plenty of relative visiting to do in the UK as they'd lived here all their lives until the late 60's when they'd decided to take the Government initative and sail to Australia for £1.00. Or it could've been £50, the details get lost with the decades.
Uncle Pete was always smiley, always even-tempered (quite a feat if you knew Aunty Celia) and had time for everybody. I always cried myself to sleep when he left after a visit and the last time I saw him was the morning I flew on my (first) honeymoon. They'd stayed with my parents and come to wave us off at the airport. If I'd known then that this would have been the last time I'd ever see him, I don't think I'd have got on the plane - I'd have rather spent a fortnight in his company than on some remote island with a man I wasn't going to stay married to for more than five years.
We always kept in touch at Birthdays and Christmas and even up until last year we were e-mailing each other regularly and sending photos back and forth. The last time I spoke to him was when I called him up to let him know my dad had died (his brother-in-law). It wasn't the best of circumstances to speak and because Aunty Celia loved her little brother so much, she couldn't speak to me for long and so Uncle Pete and I carried on talking. I loved my Uncle Pete and this world will be a poorer place without him in it.
My heart goes out to Aunty Ce, John, Paul, Gloria and their respective families.