I feel I would like to pay my own personal tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore. I felt really sad at the news that he had passed away as he has been so much part of my life during this lockdown period.
For me he was the quintessential Englishman, upright, honourable, gentle and kind, with a twinkle in his eye. He had a good sense of humour.
He had not had an easy life, his father was very deaf so in some ways he lacked that paternal influence. He was mad about motor bikes and this skill stood him in good stead when he was out in Burma during the war, and he became a dispatch rider riding over the rough terrain on his bike. Ending up as a captain in the army.
He had an unhappy and loveless first marriage, but his second marriage was a very happy one. Sadly his wife became ill and had to be put in a care home when he could no longer look after her. For the next five years he visited her every day until her death. He finally lived with his daughter and her family.
He had some health issues of his own, a broken hip, two replacement knees and a recovery from skin cancer.
This was the reason why he wanted, in his own small way, to raise money for the NHS and so started his slow and painful walk up and down his garden path. The rest is history.
I have mentioned only these salient points in his story, as I feel they represent what was important about him. He was a bit of a daredevil, he had courage, he had determination and resilience, and above all he was very, very kind. He was an optimist, always looking for the positive, and a pragmatist, making the best of things. Dare I say it, he had a great sense of humour and he had an eye for the ladies.
So thank you, Captain Tom, for showing us the way to be, in your family life, in your care and kindness, and for showing the world that old age can still make a contribution, through its wisdom and life experience. Something that seems to have been forgotten.
On another matter, on of my readers has asked for a photo of the painting I put in my window. Here it is.
This is Francis. I saw his photo on the cover of the Wood Green animal charity magazine, where he was cared for after his owners had to give him up. He is now happily living with a new family. He was such a feisty fellow I felt I had to draw him.