Christine and Nick
Well it’s a small little card from Whitby, his favourite place. And it’s his last words. It’s his last words to me, even though he wrote them down.
His girlfriend at the time sent me it after he passed away, after the funeral.
I liked it cos it’s got a feelin’, it’s how he was. And it’s funny as well as sad.
It just stands right next to his ashes, so I can see it when I want. Because it is his last words and he praises me like he always does.
If I could say one more thing, it would be that I didn’t want him to send me away when he was dyin’. He made me go to . . . he made me and his Dad go to Lourdes so we didn’t see him pass away. And we had all our Lourdes friends with us, and we were in Church.
It’s his memories, he’s loved Whitby, so this would have been a picture of Whitby or Lourdes. Yeah, because he tells us to wait at St Peter’s gates in Lourdes and we have to go and sit there and wait for him. So we do it. But he’s always here anyway, when he’s not gallivanting ‘round London. Seein’ everybody, that’s including his sister.
The first thing I think of . . . "Hiya Mam, what ya doin’?" Puts his ‘ed round the door, "Hiya Mam, what ya doin’?" And I still think of that.
A happy memory I have is coming home on me 60th: first class 3 course champagne dinner, for 2, on the Eurostar from Lourdes. And he was poorly as well because he had shingles in his head, but we loved it That’s my favourite memory.
There’s so much that you could say, erm about him, you know what I mean? So . . . it’s the little ones I feel . . . she keeps askin’ why wasn’t he at his party yesterday. Things like that. And he lives in the star. She says her prayers when she comes in she goes to the candle, cos she likes to blow the candle out, and she says her prayers that she’s taught at school . . . and then she says, on night she says her prayers and she looks out the window to the brightest star and she said, "That’s Uncle Nick turning his torch on and off . . . and closing the windows." And she talks to him constantly, all the time . . . erm, "I’ll colour this in here like this Nick. This looks like you, that there." And she’s doin’ things like that. And as she’s doing it, the younger child looks up as if she is talking to somebody. So, there’s a bit of . . . I’m not supposed to believe in like things like that cos I’m Catholic, but I do. I think he’s about.
He left a disc with him singing to me, cos I always complained that he never sang to me. He did, but I wanted it on disc. So he finally made one before he was ill. And the first words he says are, "If you show this to anybody, I’ll take it off ya." So me, Dan and Pete put it on the camera and watched a few minutes while he sang Keane. And his first words were, "I’ll take it off ya, if ya show anybody it." And I took the disc down to get copied onto a DVD, and the disc is totally blank . . . and there’s not a thing on it. So I never got to see him singing to me, it’s disappeared. Somebody said it might be in the errr memory of the camera, but we don’t know. Just totally blank. And I come back and I went, "Ya took it off me didn’t ya?" Shout at him all day! I shout at him, everything goes wrong, it’s his fault. Don’t ask me why, but it’s his fault. And everything that’s funny. I put the tele, I put the football on so he watches football s well. And I put his favourite musicals on. And I sing, so. It’s as if he were . . . cos he lived in London . . . he phoned me everyday, but because he lived in London I only seen him 3 times a year. Or if we went down there, or we were in Lourdes for a week. So I’ve tend to think of him bein’, still workin’ down there, rather than gone. So yeah.
We’re gonna take his ashes to . . . he’s been split three ways. He’s going to Lourdes, he’s goin’ to Whitby and he’s goin to Las Vegas, cos that’s the last place he was goin’ to. Las Vegas. So yeah. And he wanted to go to Whitby and he booked the week to go to Whitby, was actually the week he passed away. So erm, we got him in his little biodegradable coffin, cos he was all for the Earth, and we fetched them all the way up the motorways to Whitby, and we had the funeral in Whitby, even though they all live in London, or here. So we had a typical Nick send off. We had the funeral in Whitby and then we had the, his children, all his kids, his first and second year all put shows on, put a full show on for him. They cried their eyes out. You’ve never seen grief like this I’ll tell ya. And then we came up and we had one here for everybody round here. So he had three. Three send-offs. So I think he got a good send off yeah. His brother’s havin’ a tough time. So we’re off to Lourdes to take him with us. We’ll have to distract the guards, while we sprinkle him where he wants to be put. So we’ve got the priest in on it. So we’re all gonna stand around in a huddle, he’ll think we’re just prayin’, but we’re not. We’re putting his ashes down. He loved it so much Lourdes. Been goin’ since he was 9.
He was ill as a child see, cos he had Crohn’s disease. So he was ill as a child from bein’ 7. Well even younger from bein’ 4 really. So . . . the tablets he took, I didn’t want him to go on ‘em, but he did; and it’s got a 15% chance more of gettin’ cancer. He had a lump on his neck. They told him it was alright, it was a cyst. Come home at Christmas, I said, "Haven’t you got that off yet?" He said, "Nah they said it’s okay". He had a pain in his back, they told him it was a slipped disk. He had a pain in his leg that was comin’ from his back slip disk. He couldn’t swallow properly, they told him he had tonsillitis. And every one was cancer. But I prayed that he’d go quick. He did. 6 weeks. But he wouldn’t let us go down! We seen him twice and then he made us go to Lourdes, cos he knew it was going to happen, ya know? He said if we went down, he wouldn’t go; he’d hang on. And we didn’t want that. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, was to leave him and go to Lourdes. We have loads of good friends though in Lourdes, who looked after us, but . . . I asked Ben, cos Ben stayed with him; he was doin’ a paper on people passin’ away. He was hopin’ to get it published, and Nick let him do that. So he was with him everyday. And he said, "Why won’t you let ya Mam come and ya Dad?" He said, "Cos I couldn’t see me mother that upset. . . I would hang on, instead of just goin’." So yeah, that’s what we did. I nearly got on the plane twice to come back. We were told we could get on the plane anytime we like and go to London. And the plane was there. Anyone of them would’ve just took us. Erm and we were gonna come home on the Thursday, and he passed away . . . after midnight on the Tuesday. And he even hung on ‘til after 12 o’clock before he shut his eyes to go to sleep; cos it was his Dad’s birthday. So, he didn’t wanna on his Dad’s birthday.
Last thing I remember was him tryin’ to eat egg custard, and erm tryin’ to find a Greggs all the way through London, near the erm, near Guy’s hospital, and of course there isn’t a Gregg’s that side of the river, so. We, ya know? My daughter lived, she worked up the road from Guy’s, so she was in and out every day and she used to go right across the river to get him a Gregg’s lunch.
And his photographs . . . ahh, if you could see the pictures; he was such a funny . . . I mean there’s two pictures where he’s on the underground and the train is empty, and he’s like on the post ya know? Or he’s sprawled out as if he was drunk. And then there’s one where he’s in the shop and he’s readin’ a (Nick was 6’ 2" but he was only 8 stone, so you can imagine how thin he was), and he’s readin’ a book - How We Can Help You To Be Thin. He was that type, who would pick up something that would make ya laugh. I’ve got 178 at the minute, photographs. And they’re just the ones that I’ve got, there’s thousands of ‘em. And there’s also one where he’s tried a pink cardigan on in one of the ladies shops and he’s stood like this, ya know? He was such a funny character. Yeah. And that’s his favourite, that’s Camden, he loved Camden. We used to all meet up and go to Camden. We used to go to Holborn, cos Samatha lives in Surbiton and he lived in Lewisham. So we used to go to Holborn, they used to come and see us. And we’d go off to Camden for a cuppa tea. Yeah. Funny, funny. That’s his professional picture up there I think, yeah it is. This is him in his first ever production of Outlaws in Liverpool, cos he went to John Moore in Liverpool. Ben was here the other day . . . we put a DVD on and it was in New York. But he was behind the camera, so you couldn’t see him. But it is the most funniest thing to listen to him doin’ the commentary on New York. And every time that he got in the lift he starts singing, "This is the lift song." And the only time you actually see him is, he goes and he says, "Ooh look, we’ve got two toilets and one’s a funny shape." and he turns round like that and he goes, "Ooh look, there’s me in the mirror!" Thats’ the type of person he was. So funny, dry witted.
So yeah, that’s me talkin’ about Nick. Nick, Nick. Alright then.