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Clare's Tribute

Our Dearest Friend Next Door

How do we begin to think about such a dear friend as Paul, we have shared so much, so many great times, so many fun times, it’s hard to capture, there is so much!  

From the small moments chatting over the fence, in the drive, in the garden, with or without footwear, to the many outings and evenings shared with our families & friends.

Days out, days in, nights out, nights in with or without curry, a quick cuppa often turned into a pub walk or a Rayment & Emes evening!

Paul was glued to Sudha and the boys, Sudha would often be in ours having a natter & the phone would go “Is my wife there?”; “Right I am coming to join her!”. In he would come barefoot or leaving those huge shoes at the door! Both families enjoyed throwing other plans out of the window for time spent together, dull jobs could wait until another day!

Paul constantly made us smile & while snow was the dread of the Country, Paul would be watching, waiting for it to arrive, giving the children daily, hourly, weather updates! With no way out of the village our families couldn’t wait to get to the field for sledging! Through our endless trips Paul spent much time rubbing small boy’s feet & telling them they would be fine! On occasions when Sudha & I joined the ‘dads & kids’, we would constantly offer to go back with one of them “we really didn’t mind” but Paul would keep reminding us all “come on it’s fun!”. Trips would often end with children being pulled back up the lane in sledges, frozen & occasionally fast asleep!

As the boys grew they took on Paul’s sense of adventure & outings became ever more dangerous with broken sledges, bruised bodies, but thankfully no broken bones!

There was always much excitement in both houses if a new flying object was on the horizon, hours spent building or preparing planes that ended high in a tree top for days, or wingless on the ground, rarely did anything make it through the first flight in one piece, the poor boys looking on in dismay as Steve & Paul would be laughing their socks off!

Talking of socks, we must mention, the unusual choice of footwear, if indeed Paul had anything on his feet, most of the time they were bare, but ‘Cycling to Brighton in flip flops?’ ‘Taking your shoes off to drive a car?’ yes, I’m sure we have all done that, quite normal!

I am sure the choice of footwear must have played a part in Paul’s swim in the canal, while on his bike! He was so proud to have saved his iPhone, holding it high as he sunk!

Paul, you made us laugh so much we are going to miss you and tripping over those boats you call shoes in our kitchen!

Your attitude to life was one that all of us have learnt from, a wonderfully relaxed person with nothing more important in your life than your family, your care for your environment was ahead of time & while you explored the world you always stayed anchored to Gaddesden Row, keeping things simple, never over complicating your life, you knew what mattered.

Paul is part of the fabric of our Village, part of the fields, the woods we walk and wander through, that he walked and wandered through while spotting birds or plants & sometimes people on the way back up the lanes.

Great memories will be engraved in our hearts, of a dear friend who has shared our lives day in, day out. Our families, your two boys & our two girls, have grown and moulded together over many years.

Thankyou Paul, for the memories that are so precious to us, we will carry them and you with us as we journey through our lives.

xxxx

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