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Sunday 25 August 2013

A tribute

A long long time ago, my dear friend, Sarah and I took our four children camping in a horse box for a week in Southwold.  It was a typical British July - pouring with rain and a nice sharp easterly blowing in.  The children were all under 6.  Sarah and her two slept in the front of the horse.  She had beds - bunks, which her children had a propensity to fall out of with bruising results - and a little kitchenette, suitable for cooking minimalistically!  My two and I slept in the "horse" bit on mattresses, which Sarah had cleaned and disinfected to a positively new high level of hygiene.  It was very comfortable but untidy in the back.  A jumble of wet clothes and towels and a heap of plastic toys.

Tiggy, Sarah's jack russell, chose to sleep with the Bevans, snuggled down in the back of someone's knees, warm and smelly.

We spent the days building sandcastles and playing on the beach in the gloomy rain.  We had borrowed a beach hut, which gave temporary relief but we were all damp from start to finish.  It is impossible to dry anything in these type of conditions and attempting to use a damp sandy towel to dry off a soaking wet shivering child turning blue, is a hiding to nothing.

We gave up on baths and things on about Day 2.  All that trooping over the campsite to ineffectual showers and trying to dry slippery children in a tiny space was too much effort.  Sarah and I would feed them fish fingers, get them to bed and then damply, share a bottle of wine in the mizzle perched on two "foldaway" chairs outside the horsebox door.  We laughed and talked and took it in turns to troop across the sodden turf to the euphemistically titled "bathroom block", before stumbling about in the dark, trying to put on nightclothes without waking up the children.

One of the best holidays of my life (even though we gave up on Day 5 and came home).

By dint of the fact that we went in a horse box, you may gather that Sarah is "horsey".  She is also known affectionately in the Bevan family as Mrs Crispy - she folds her dishcloths, for goodness sake!  Her husband, Johnny, pretended to loathe the ponies and was quite vocal about it.  He and I used to have sniggering teasing sessions and chunter away about what a waste of time/energy/money etc they were.  Sarah and the children took it in good heart and used to laugh at us old curmudgeons.  However, secretly, he would happily muck in with the horses, caring for them when they were ill and supporting both his children in their endeavours.

Johnny died of cancer in 2010.

I wanted to share an old video (2008) of Sarah, her mum and her daughter, Georgie and their beloved pony that had to be put down three days ago.  Just because they are a wonderful family who have lived through the shite of terminal cancer and partly because every family pet should have this kind of tribute.  (Georgie Veale will probably want to murder me but, darling, you do look so sweet - rocking that fleece!)  


  1. Charlotte, why you make me cry like that! Beautiful, really.....

  2. Truly Beautiful xxx