grief, Uncategorized

Dearest Richard,

December 2012

Last weekend we should have been celebrating your 42nd birthday. We should have been having a garden party, dinner in a fine restaurant or drinks in a wine bar followed by dancing. You would have lit up the dance floor with your enthusiasm, exuberance and energy.

June 2018

We still haven’t celebrated your 40th birthday, flights to Spain and lunch in a Michelin star restaurant cancelled, twice, because of covid. In your head, that means you’re still 39. In my head, you are forever preserved as young, vibrant and joyous. You were born two months before me and now I am older than you. You will not get old. You have been denied that privilege.

Your birthday will be marked with sadness, loss and heartache in perpetuity. At present, I cannot imagine a time when these feelings won’t dominate each anniversary that passes. Each thought I have of you.

And yet I smile too. I smile at the memories of the adventures we had together. Of the mischief we made, of being led astray by you, of the incitement of naughtiness between us. The most fun I’ve had in my life, you were there, leading the charge with your charm, cheek and ginormous heart.

May 2021

You had a tremendous talent for making everyone around you feel included, special and beautiful. The light that emanated from you bounced off everyone you connected with. It was your reflection.

June 2014

The fight to keep your spirit alive is a daily battle. Some days are easier than others. Some days, surrender is the only option. The only way through. Grief is an expression of love. To deny that enunciation, in whatever way it exposes itself, is to deny your existence. This, I have learnt from your beloved Henry. He travels through his grief without repudiation.

December 2017

Henry is building a charitable foundation in your name. He is creating light, from the darkness of your death, and he is preserving, perpetuating and extending your light for the benefit of others. Your light loves on.

Le Petit Singe, the charitable foundation that Henry has set up, raises money to help those affected by sudden bereavement, heart conditions and international environmental and social issues that Richard was involved with. Please visit for more information and to make a donation.

Walking, Belper, Aromatherapy, Wellbeing, massage, Derbyshire

Walking for Wellbeing

Walking, Belper, Aromatherapy, Wellbeing, massage, Derbyshire
A view of Belper from the Chevin, March 2019

I love a good walk. I like to feel my heart beating and my breathing quicken as I power up a hill. I like to stop and soak up the fresh air, the scent of the forest and flowers and gaze at a view not appreciated before. I like to be nosey into houses and gardens that you can’t see when whizzing by in the car. I like to observe the seasons changing; lambs in the spring, floral abundance in the summer, leaves turning red, gold, orange and purple in the autumn and frost coating the branches in the winter.

I like the opportunity it gives for talking, without actually being face to face, but alongside each other. After an argument I find it less confrontational and more like teamwork. It is soothing to be out in nature, not so fraught and confined. Problems seem to disappear after a good old slog up a hill and a moment’s pause for gratitude.

I like to explore new areas, discover new footpaths and uncover hidden places to rest, relax and regain my inner peace. I like going back to favourite haunts and reliving memories made there.

Travel, wellbeing, Aromatherapy, massage, Belper, Derbyshire, Spain, Altea
View from Aleta, Spain. November 2018

There’s no thinking about personal bests when I’m on a walk. I’m not in it for the competition, to be better than anyone else or myself. It is purely for my enjoyment, my fulfilment, my soul. But I also know that it is good for my health. Physical as well as mental, emotional and spiritual, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Where’s your favourite place to walk? Why? Where’s on the list to discover next?


A wander around Altea, Spain

I had a wonderful few days in Altea, Spain, at the beginning of this month, meeting up with a dear friend and exploring the town.


Just along the coast from Benidorm, Altea has a beautiful old town with the church of La Mare de Déu del Consol at it’s centre, perched on the top of the hill overlooking the bay.

Travel, tourism, Altea, Spain, plants, aromatherapy, massage, essential oils, health, wellbeing, healing, Belper, Derbyshire,
La Mare de Déu del Consol (Our Lady of Solace) church, with it’s sky blue domes in the centre of the old town, Altea

The labyrinthine, cobbled streets with white washed houses and small squares are home to some beautiful Mediterranean plants, including olive and orange trees, climbing jasmine, hibiscus and bougainvillea.

I think the locals must have thought me strange as I was more interested in taking photos of the plants than I was in the usual tourist hot spots!

And of course, I couldn’t resist a paddle in the sea! It had been cold, wet and windy the first few days and by the last day, when most of these photos were taken, it was beginning to brighten up. The sea actually felt quite warm (compared to what I’m used to, which is Cornish sea temperatures🥶) and maybe if I’d had another day or two there I’d have swum, but I was content just to get my feet wet ☺️.