Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bubbles and memories

Well, I waved my super husband off on yet another tour this morning, and stayed in my dressing gown until lunchtime. I did some pilates, put some washing on and sat in the garden with a steaming cup of tea and some crumpets. I do love a crumpet!! I'm so British..

This afternoon I've been thinking about changes of direction; taking leaps, rocking the boat, making a break from the familiar and stepping into the unknown. How life is an exquisite adventure, and how it is so often over too soon, so you should grab every day, shake it up and do everything you can to make it breathtaking.

A wonderful, talented and unique gentleman was lost last month. My uncle, an inspirational man and brilliant performer, actor, and lecturer. A real one-off, the kind of person people remember with a wide smile and, more often than not, an anecdote or story, and a tale of a funny experience shared. He has left a legacy in more ways than one, and will be hugely missed. Taken by that nasty bastard, otherwise known as cancer, at the age of sixty-three.

My uncle, Robert Demeger, was the first person in Europe to undergo trials for a new cancer treatment, and the BBC followed his remarkable journey. He was brave and selfless, with an acid wit and sharp mind, and ended up frustrated by the loss of his speech. His voice was mellifluous, Thespian by nature and full of warmth, and the brain tumour temporarily took it from him. He got some of it back, but it wasn't going to be the same as before.

At his funeral in London, he got his last well-deserved standing ovation; absolutely fantastic. What a man, what a memory. He was prolific, versatile, intriguing. I remember him scaring me out of my wits in a London theatre, when I was a teenager; he was in The Woman in Black at the Fortune, and my grandmother had taken me to see the show. I had an aisle seat, and during a particularly quiet point in the production, my uncle had to walk down the aisle. He yelled in my face as he passed, and my screams echoed throughout the theatre. When I asked him afterwards why he'd done it, he merely said "Well, you just looked so serious!" and I laughed. I'll never forget it.

His immediate family - my auntie and two cousins - are wonderful. Strong, individual, and talented too. A battle with illness is something you hope nobody you love will ever have to endure. I wish them all peace. It's a double-edged sword, to lose somebody and to also feel that strange but blessed relief that they aren't suffering any more.

So, make memories. Go out there, find the ones you love and make as many memories as possible. Take risks, jump, dance, sing, do whatever makes you happy and fills your life with purpose, joy and passion. My uncle certainly did, and thank goodness for him. Thank goodness for Uncle Rob.

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