Meeting Neil

It’s later in the afternoon. Juliet is fast asleep, snoring away with her mouth open. Margaret is here with me. The girls have been and gone; J could not be roused from sleep to see them. Earlier J had started moaning gently with some sort of pain in her lower region. The nurses came quickly and a jab sorted that out. Unfortunately it probably also made her sleep even more deeply.

Richard and I walked out to a nearby pub for lunch, 0.3km, I logged it on my running application on my phone. I’ve passed the pub several times a day every day for the last five weeks and started to wonder what it was like. It was quite unassuming, a typical English country pub with horse brasses on the beams and simple pub food.

No change for most of the afternoon so far. I set off to the chapel to play their new Bentley piano just as an elderly chap finished talking to a receptionist. A light bulb went on and I asked the lady who he was. As I suspected, it was Neil Gadsby MBE, the chairman and founder of Katharine House, and father of Katharine who was born in 1963 the same year as me and Juliet, and who died in 1984. I introduced myself and we had a long chat in a private room about funding, nursing and violin-making! I’d wanted to meet him for a while. He is a remarkable – and sprightly – man of nearly 76.

Later I did play the piano in the chapel room, and Neil came in to hear the end of Delibes’ Flower Duet (the BA adverts…) which is one of the better pieces I played.

Into this evening and Juliet woke a little after the nurses put a catheter in – well you would, wouldn’t you. Again we got some nice smiles and she was able to understand some of the jokey comments from the nurses and Dr Katie. Later though she was in more pain, so yet another injection, which eventually did the trick.

About hodders

Husband and proud father of two daughters. Now a widower. Trying to balance between not dwelling on Juliet's death, but telling the world how much I loved her. Tricky.
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2 Responses to Meeting Neil

  1. Menai Moore says:

    Hi Simon, have just read all your blog very moving ,but lovely and full of warmth and love and honesty. It was interesting for you to meet with Neil Gadsby and have a chat. He must have known what it is like to visit that distant shore. Not a lot I can say ,but to say you are thought of often and to send my love to you all. Menai xx


  2. Pingback: Time passes. Listen. Time passes. | Some Distant Shore

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