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Iona & John.jpg

Iona and John

So this is . . . I don’t actually know what it is! Well, it’s from Tenerife, John brought this back from Tenerife. And this is actually before we started going out together. We went up Mount Teide which is a volcano on Tenerife (and it’s the most amazing alien landscape) and so this is the bit of rock that’s come back from there. And I think it actually,I’m not a Geologist but, I think it would have had molten lava inside and, hence the cup shape, and probably at some point exploded. So it, we kinda felt like it was like the shell of a bomb, sort of thing. 

I always felt that this, although this was John’s, it was kind of like ours cos we were both there. So it felt . . . appropriate. 

It always makes me smile cos I think, like I used, well I think I probably still do think that, but if there was a fire in the house, after I’d rescued the kids . . . and possibly my partner, this is the thing that I would rescue. But then it always makes me smile cos it’s probably the only thing that would survive a fire. It’s come out a volcano, so that always makes me smile. And maybe that’s part of it, that it does make me smile and remember those good times, so.

For me it’s like, it’s . . . something that John picked up. That he saw and picked up from that space and that place that we were at together, and it’s way bigger than me and John cos it’s like . . . it’s a rock innit!? So it’s like been here forever, so I value it . . . in lots of ways I s’pose.

When John died, looking through his stuff, I don’t think this is something that I considered his stuff really, it was like our stuff. And there were some things of his stuff that I kinda chose to keep for a bit . . . and then he gradually, like I kept his dressing gown for a bit cos it kinda felt a bit weird to chuck that. And then I got to the point where I got a bit sick of having his dressing gown around, I mean it was just a dressing gown,
so; whatever it was before it wasn’t anymore. So it just went. 

I was gonna choose a different object today but I kind of . . . we’ve moved house recently and I couldn’t find the object. And it was a T-shirt of John’s. It was really, yeah maybe the 2, maybe this object’s the same actually, it’s bitter sweet; it makes me smile and reminds me of John too. The other object was a T-shirt . . . which I hated him wearing; he was quite a big bloke, quite a rotund belly, and it was a bright yellow T-shirt.
Bright yellow T-shirt. And it had a picture on it of the Isle of Man Tram Railway and underneath it said The Isle of Man Tram Railway, and it was like a cartoon picture of a tram on it. And the T-shirt was slightly too small and he’d wear that T-shirt. And that was actually the thing that I had but I’ve misplaced and I hope I do find it again, but if I don’t I can . . . it’s still in me ‘ead, that bloody T-shirt.

I didn’t know John was gonna die. He was quite young when he died. Wouldn’t even have considered it would have been something I’d have kept either, if I’d even thought about him dying, I wouldn’t have thought, "Oh that’s what I’d keep." This rock, like I said, I don’t think . . . dunno, it’s almost like I . . . it’s cos it’s something that is, it’s quite indestructible I think. And it was always kind of more, I saw it as being more ours even though it was John that kind of picked it up and found it. And so, do I own it? That’s it, I don’t know. I don’t know what that means; it’s in my hands at the minute. So maybe later on it won’t be in my hands, eh? But I think it is because I’ve always really loved rocks and had a bit of a thing, an affinity to rocks. So it’s never something that I would think was mine really. Think it’s more of a . . . ya know, it’s part of the planet isn’t it? So it’s bigger than me. Always gonna be bigger than just me. 

When I think of John . . . depends really on where I am at with things as to what I think about. Because he was ill, he was ill for a bit, he was poorly with Cancer, so there’re quite a lot of things that I’d prefer not to think about. In that respect I think I think about that paradox of somebody still being here, but gradually losing them. And not really erm . . . tryin’ to get your head round that and tryin’ to be supportive for them, cos it’s what’s happening to them, but then like tryin’ to manage your own feelings and the kids and stuff. So, I don’t really want that to be what I think about when I think about John but It kind of often is. I s’pose maybe like, I don’t . . . I don’t know I’m quite usy so it’s quite hard to sort of think a lot about it all. I think about I s’pose him with his kids really and just sort of being a Dad. Being a kind person. A person who was quite sort of righteous and who sort of would stand up for people. Stood up for what he believed in. I mean he’s a quiet person and he, yeah . . . sort of reserved person I think, really, but sort of somebody that’s maybe got a lot of integrity. 

If I could say one more thing to John . . . I think I did, I did say what I wanted to say to him, was that we’d be okay.

It felt important to me to say to him that we’d be okay.

Maybe I’d say to him, "We are okay."

I’ve always liked rocks. Although it is quite a nice thing to feel, It’s heavy, and cos it’s got the curve in the middle, so you kind of feel like you want to put your thumb within it, or what have you. Dunno, it’s just there isn’t it. I mean I think when John was very poorly, but especially after he died, was ju . . . a very lonely time. It was September when he died and outside the back door there was, I don’t even know what kind of bush it was but there’s a bush that sort of flowered in the winter, weren’t any leaves but just these little pink flowers on, and I sort of ended up looking at that every day. Just, I think there’s something about that for me, about stuff just carries on anyway. So that probably helped me quite a lot, and maybe there’s something about this rock just being here.

Probably the happy memory is of him with his kids. And they were quite little when he died . . . but before he was poorly, cos he was quite a big bloke, just always seemed like the kids were sort of crawling over him somehow! And yeah, this sortwere of climbing frame of a person that the kids crawled over which feels quite comforting really.

And that’s a memory I sort of keep alive for myself I suppose, as much as I can.

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