In September 2016 we leave Singapore and come back to Europe, and our house in London is newly rebuilt too. In June Vicky remembers the lovely memorial for Louise five years’ earlier on mid-summer’s day and we see a great turnout at the bench and then later at home.
Vicky’s sister Bonnie (above with Tommy) is also in town so there is a big family turnout as well as friends young and old.
Later in the year Vicky meets up with Tim Arnold at the Roundhouse and makes a visit to Louise’s bench where they find a touching message from some local big issue sellers…
Louise’s friends are growing up with marriages and babies. On her Birthday Vicky organises another get together in Camden and there is a fine turnout including Rainbow’s (Claire) baby – ‘Bow’.
More babies in February as Vicky’s brother Sasha comes to stay with us in Switzerland with his two year old, Milo, and partner Mel. A very cute little cousin for Louise.
Finally on the 6th anniversary of Louise’s death on 2 March, friend Zac organises a great evening in Nambucca, Holloway, where we get another good turnout to listen to Darling BOY, Portland (pka Five Working Days) and the Scarletina. Earlier in the day Vicky meets up with Kylie and Bex who can’t make it later.
Many thanks to Zac for organising everything and all the bands and DJs who helped the evening, as well as Darling BOY who stood in for Tim Arnold and sang “Little London Lou”.
Finally Vicky gave a short presentation to thank everyone for coming and for helping us to raise funds for Mentor (which has now merged with Angelus).
… and we still think of Louise every day. In September Vicky and I visited Mana Pools in Zimbabwe again and this time Tommy and Olivia came too. Our friends had made a beautiful raft of flowers which we launched at the spot where we had scattered Louise’s ashes and watched it floating away in the African sunset.
In November we are shocked to hear that Louise’s bench in Camden has been badly vandalised. To our surprise Camden Council are amazing and replace it at their cost. Three cheers for Camden.
Also in November Vicky wrote a touching piece for the Sunday Times describing how hard it is to lose a child after the news that Nick Cave had lost his son. I have copied the article to the Press and Radio section of this site.
In April Vicky meets up with some of Louise’s old friends in the Hawley Arms – a favourite old haunt.
Finally we continue to travel and spot things that remind us of little Lou and things that she loved. Kids hool-a-hooping in Cambodia, brightly dressed girls in China, giant Buddhas in Japan and cats in Laos. We also get multiple visits each day from our friendly sunbird in Singapore who has picked up a mate. Louise you are always in our lives.
We have thought of Louise a great deal over the past year. In September 2013, this time last year, we went to Africa with a group of great friends and remembered her by launching a little raft of local wild flowers, made by our friend Stretch, from the island on the Zambezi where we had scattered her ashes the year before.
After our week in Zimbabwe we move on to Kenya. We are heading for Lamu, a little island off the coast where Vicky’s mother once had a house and where she spent some of her childhood. We are shaken to find that our arrival in Nairobi coincides with the Westgate siege and as we leave for the coast the next day the smoke is rising from the mall where the Kenyan militia is trying to flush out Somali terrorists.
In 2010 we buried Vicky’s mother’s ashes under a tree on Manda Toto, a little island near Lamu, looking out over the Indian Ocean and the island where she had worked as an archaeologist many years earlier. With our friends we revisit the spot and bury the remainder of Louise’s ashes alongside her grannie.
So we have left reminders of Louise far and wide. In her little garden in the East End of London, in the garden of our family home in North London, in the mountains in Switzerland, the Zambezi river and next to her grannie near Lamu. Lastly we exploded her ashes in rockets above Primrose Hill two years in a row with many of her friends.
Last October the BBC showed a short film about her death (see last post). The Angelus Foundation also made a film about her which you can see here.
In December the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs launched a report on ketamine use and Vicky gave evidence. Angelus made a film on ketamine use presented by Jeff Leach, one of Louise’s friends which you can watch here.
On her birthday in December we were distracted by Vicky’s operation although we managed to get to her bench for a little celebration on her birthday.
Over Christmas and New Year in Switzerland we toasted her and looked forward to Vicky’s recovery. Also at the end of the year our friend Claire gives us a magnificent pictorial memento of Louise – a mixture of painting and collage it captures so many of the great things about her.
In March we were both back in England on the anniversary her death and met up with lots of friends at the bench in Camden for a very jolly, if chilly, reunion. See photos below and more posted on her bench page.
In April my mother, Louise’s other grannie, died and we were back in Golders Green crematorium where we said goodbye to Louise. Sad memories but also a chance to celebrate the life of a 1930s girl from South London who went on to become a successful doctor and inspiration to her children and grandchildren. It is her birthday today.
Back in Singapore while Vicky is getting stronger after her operation a little sunbird comes and visits everyday and sings on our balcony. It could be Louise?
Living and traveling in the Far East we see things that we know that Louise would love, from dressing up in Kyoto to enjoy the cherry blossom to cat cafes in Penang to the strangest fashions that you see people wearing in China and Singapore.
On 1 June Vicky was back in London and had an open house evening for Louise’s friends. A great evening she tells me (I was working). And we continue to get lots of lovely messages on Louise’s Facebook page so many thanks to everyone. Please add your comments and thoughts.
19 April: well done Camden New Journal for publicising the attack on the Bench. You can read their article here.
9 March: a huge thank you to everyone who made the memorial gig such a great success on Wednesday including Jeff, all the bands and the music committee. The video of the event is here.
4 March: Vicky writes an article for The Observer newspaper one year on which you can read here.
2 March: one year on and we celebrate the memory of Louise. A lovely surprise this morning is this great film from Rachel which you can see here.
29 February: Tim Arnold, the “Soho Hobo” has recorded a great song about Louise. He has made a lovely video to go with this that you can see at The Soho Hobo website. You can buy the single as a download from iTunes or order a CD from us, signed by Tim, in the beautiful “Andy Warhol style” cover that he designed – click here for details.
30 December: We scattered some of Louise’s ashes down the Swiss Wall, one of the steepest runs in Champery and one of Louise’s favourites. A shaky video is at the bottom of the movies page. I have also created a new page with photos of Louise’s bench and of the memorial in Kensington Gardens.
Thank you to everyone for meeting up by the bench and on Primrose Hill on Louise’s birthday. Some photos of the evening are on the photos page. There is also a short video of the chaos on Primrose Hill on the movies page.
We found a link to many of Louise’s photos and creations. You can link to it click here . You can see the video of the memorial with all of the performances and our family tributes to Louise together with the many memories and tributes here . Many thanks to everyone who made the memorial such a great success. Vicky’s Diary of the day is on the Diary section and your tributes under Tributes. We showed lots of pictures of Louise as a child and growing up at the Memorial and I have loaded many of these into a new gallery on the photos page. Zia, Dot and Zac also took lots of photos at the memorial which are loaded under the Send Off tab.
Vicky’s latest TV appearance was on BBC Breakfast on 21 July. You can watch this on our TV and Radio page here along with an interview by Gabby Logan on “The Wright Stuff Extra” and an appearance on Channel 5 News. Vicky has also been interviewed by both Woman’s Hour and Radio 5 Live. We have loaded both interviews onto the newly named Press and Radio section of the site. BBC London have also run a story which you can find here.
In early July we send off some Magic Lanterns for Louise while up at Binstock in Norfolk. A video is at the bottom of the Movies page along with a great clip that Tim Arnold sent us of Louise on stage with him at Koko back in 2004.
We have started putting some of Louise’s work up on the site – art projects, writing and photos. The first items are under the “Works” tab.
Three cheers to the FHS girls who have got clearance from Camden to place a memorial bench for Lou outside the Roundhouse. This will be opposite the Marathon Kebab House – scene of much jolity, parties and late night impromtu performances.
If you are registered and logged on then you can add your own photo on the photo page.