22nd August 1953 – 27th October 2016
Chris and I met briefly in London in about 1985. When she arrived in Bristol to start her midwifery course, we met up again and that was really the start of it all. We lived together in Bristol, on the Gower peninsula and in Todmorden. After we stopped living together, we worked hard to be friends and our relationship grew even stronger. I’m proud that we loved each other so much and that we did so much (Bruce was just a small part) and built up beautiful memories to hold.
Our music backdrop:
- Psychedelic Furs – The Ghost in You
- Climie Fisher – Love Changes Everything
- The Communards – Don’t Leave Me This Way
- The Communards – You Are My World “I will ride with you to the end of the line”
- George Michael and Aretha Franklin – I knew you were waiting
- Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t nothin goin on but the rent
- Simply Red – Money’s too tight to mention
- The Blues Brothers – Everybody needs somebody
- Bruce – Born to Run (acoustic)
- Billy Bragg – Levi Stubbs’ Tears
- Queen – These are the days of our lives (we cried buckets over this one)
Some of the gigs:
- Pretenders 2000 Miles we saw them on 14th June, 1987 at Bristol Colston Hall
- Madonna on the Who’s That Girl tour at Wembley on 19th August, 1987, a birthday present from me, memorable because this was the day of the Hungerford massacre and a message came up on the big screen for one of the relatives to check in. Really stuck in our heads. Open your heart.
- Billy Bragg – Tender Comrade, this video is just a few days before we saw BB do this live at Bristol Colston Hall on November 23rd, 1988
- Sarah Jane Morris and a Big Band
- Prince in June 1992 at Earl’s Court
And of course Bruce, but he gets his own page on this site!
Ways to raise money for amyloidosis research: My JustGiving page UCL Amyloidosis Research Fund
Some moments of complete daftness on our trip to Frankfurt to see Bruce, we went up into the hills afterwards and this is just after we’ve had a conversation with a deaf old German man who didn’t speak English and who told us all about his heart problems so that the whole cafe could hear. They were all laughing their heads off! Chris had a great talent for picking up dodgy old men when we were abroad!
This is us on Chris’s last holiday abroad. We have a feature at 3.16 or so. She and I are the ones with the best hats!
Same trip, on the dog sled, she loved this so much.
Funeral and eulogy, November 2016
Mary Towneley Loop 2017
I walked the 47 mile loop of the Pennine Bridleway from January through to May. It took a long time because I mainly did linear there and back walks, thus doing nearly twice the distance. On 2 occasions my friend (and Chris’s) Babs and I did a 2 car thing. I walked it because Chris and I had planned to cycle it. I wasn’t ready for the bike in January but I did do a couple of less pleasant sections on the bike in April. I feel sure Chris would have loved it and I’m so sad we didn’t get the chance to do it together. We knew most of the eastern and south east side of the loop but I was unfamiliar with the west and north west sides. I walked in all weathers although I don’t think it snowed. Certainly through some torrential and very cold downpours and some biting winds. The last few parts were lovely and blessed by warmth and sun. See the blog for the sections.
Ceredigion Coast Path, 2016 and 2017
I walked the path in April 2016 when it was a mud bath and in August 2017 when it wasn’t. This was to raise money for amyloidosis research. I walked from Cardigan to Borth. I know this isn’t the complete path but it’s my CCP and I finished at Borth because that was where Chris lived for the last part of her life. The sections are all on the blog. We’ve raised nearly £700 on my walking and I will continue to walk to raise money. Andy has also raised over £1600 for amyloidosis research.
Farewell to Chris, Mwnt, 22nd August 2017
Chris’s birthday, this is the video of how we said goodbye, made by Marc Treanor of Sand Circles.
Lift Me Up by Bruce Springsteen
My personal farewell, Pillar, Lake District 1st April 2018
Back in 2010, Chris and I had a Lakeland adventure where we wild camped, then stayed in Ennerdale Youth Hostel and finished up in the Castle Inn on Bassenthwaite Lake. We talked about Pillar and how we would climb it. Then at the end of April 2014, we set up the trip, we walked to Black Sail YH and then this was the first appearance of the amyloidosis although of course we had no idea what was up at that time, just Chris wasn’t quite right. So we abandoned Pillar and did some other lower level things instead, she did get up Cat Bells the next day but it was a real struggle for her and mainly it was her determination that got her there, she was clearly not well at all. I did give her bail out options but she was a tough bird. That was the last mountain she climbed.
I had a go at Pillar in May 2015 but failed, my mind was pretty distracted with how ill Chris was and it wasn’t the right time.
I took the remains of Chris’s ashes to Pillar. I walked from Wasdale Head where Little Ted and Willy come from, we got them on the 2014 trip. To Black Sail pass and then up over a knarly knobbly knot which looked worse than it actually was. A bit hands on. The plateau at the top was covered in a layer of crunchy snow. I scattered the ashes on a part of the plateau overlooking Ennerdale Water in memory of our happy trips there. It felt quite a hard walk and I was tired at the end. Chris finally made it to Pillar.