“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars” – Kahlil Gibran
Today would have been Steve’s 48th birthday, who died so suddenly in April this year. He was a kind, funny, smart man with many interests including hill walking, United, cooking, science, travel, music, tennis, cryptic puzzles, real ale and darts. A proud Lancastrian too.
I did what we’d have done on such a glorious day and went for a walk in the hills. I went on one of our favourite walks which brought back so many happy memories.
He loved cricket too – and we’ve watched alot of cricket at Lancashire cricket ground. Today, I went to one of his favourite cricket grounds – it combines his love of cricket and hill walking.
I went to White Coppice Cricket Ground (which is near Chorley in Lancashire) and went for a walk up Great Hill which is part of the West Pennine Moor – it’s beautiful especially on a sunny, summer day – glorious 12th indeed – not that Steve thought grouse shooting was a good thing to do.
A favourite walk of ours which brought back so many happy memories – we’ve watched plenty of cricket at White Coppice and it has a fine tea shop (open at the weekend) if you’re in the area.
Steve is so missed by so many people, but especially me – we were together for 20 years, ever since we met at University in Stirling, and although we split up amicably 7 years ago – we remained good friends. He and my Chap we’re good pals too – and had much in common like cooking, hill walking, gardening, travel, history and very similar values in life. My chap thinks cricket is the world’s dullest sport though!
The White Coppice Cricket Ground is mentioned in the 100 most picturesque cricket club’s in Wisden; it was founded in the 1870s. I really love this place and it is just so quitessentially English. The groundsman told me that White Coppice is where Sir Henry Tate was born, as in the Gallery. It’s a tiny place now but back in the 19th century there were tin mines and mills.
I cannot express in words how much I miss Steve – but his wit, kindness and ‘joie de vivre’ is always with me. He is missed by so many people as he touched people’s lives and made a difference to everyone he met. I am so fortunate that all our many friends, his work pals and old friends from University but especially my wonderful Chap are helping me with all the practical things as well as all the grief too – that and my garden, flowers and the beauty of Nature.
I had a lovely day on the hills and it lifted my soul… and the sheep didn’t eat my sandwishes – they nicked Steve’s ham butty once…didn’t do it again…
Rest in Peace – Gentle Giant