As you may know, my mum died last October following a cycling accident. My dad, brother and I recently held a celebration of her life in Matlock, Derbyshire. Over 230 people took part in an afternoon of music and words, including playing a movement from a Haydn symphony and singing this rousing rendition of Elgar’s “As torrents in summer”. Chris Harrison and I wrote a strathspey and reel for the event, dots here, and you can see a video of them being played.
My mum lived adventurously, and brought me up to do the same. For example, when I was four and my brother two, my parents cycled across Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania with my brother and me on the backs of their bikes. She has climbed Kilimanjaro, been to Everest base camp and stayed in unstaffed mountain huts in Norway in the middle of winter.
Aside from travelling, she was an excellent cellist, and was focused on helping people make music together. She was the Business Manager for the National Association of Music Educators, and known for her work throughout the music teaching world.
She was thoroughly caring, positive and committed in everything she did.
My parents have supported the charity Practical Action over the years, including visiting projects in Sudan. Practical Action “helps poor communities to produce sustainable and practical solutions – transforming their lives forever.” We have set up a JustGiving page if you would like to donate.
I invite you to take a look at #thankshelen on Twitter, where people had an opportunity to talk about how Helen influenced their lives.
That’s my mum.