I am not going to do a normal blog today as my mind is elsewhere. The lovely Elaine McBride (Macey) died last night after bravely battling cancer.
I'm sure my boating readers will know of Paul and Elaine who used to cruise on Caxton but for the non-boating readers they are an amazing couple who have touched every person they have ever met or maybe not met as Paul writes a fantastic blog.
I started reading Paul’s blog many years ago and loved it when Elaine used to dip in and out putting Paul right on things! I was lucky enough to meet them last year at Aynho Wharf along with Sue and Andy on Festina Lente and Diane and Ray on Ferndale who have been friends with them for many years. We had a wonderful Sunday lunch and then tea outside their motorhome beside the canal.
It always seems to me that when I initially meet a fellow blogger I am not meeting them for the first time but catching up with old friends. They have been part of my life albeit just on the iPad. People blog about happy and sad times and many of those times have stuck with me over the past few years.
I remember when Elaine was first ill and how her friends at Aston Marina rallied round her when she was discharged from hospital. For me a sad time was in 2014 when they sold Caxton and bought a motor home to travel around Europe in but Paul continued blogging in his own special way. They were trying to find their perfect idyll in Spain which they finally found in Mojacar. Sadly, Elaine became very ill and had to fly back to the UK at the end of May and had spent her last days at the East Cheshire Hospice where she had the most amazing care. Last night Elaine lost her brave battle with Paul and the dogs, Sammie and Bombo, by her bedside.
Elaine had a great personality and will be remembered for her warmth, friendliness and, latterly, her strength and bravery. A lovely lady who certainly touched me both by words and our, all too brief, meeting.
I had been feeling very unsettled today until I saw a blog entry from Sandra Walsh on NB Areandare which reduced me to tears. I have found writing my blog entry very cathartic which you might see as being selfish of me but it is really a tribute to an amazing, lovely lady.
Paul, our thoughts are with you at this saddest of times and I know that there will be narrow boaters all over the cut who will also be thinking of you.
RIP Elaine – your suffering has ended and you are at peace now xxxx