The picture above is of me with our dear friend Alex taken just after I’d run my first ever 10k for Cancer Research back in 2005. Earlier in the year Alex lost his first wife Jenny to ovarian cancer, which gave me the impetus to train for the 10k and run in her memory. Alex turned up on his bike at the finish to shout words of encouragement, which certainly worked as I made a pretty good attempt at a sprint finish – unfortunately something went in my knee and I was hobbling for days afterwards. But I didn’t mind, I had completed the run and raised over £200 for Cancer Research.
Raising money this time for Cancer Research (doing something far less strenuous) has once again seemed very appropriate as on 4th February last year Alex died of prostate cancer. In the years since 2005 Alex met his second wife Anne and they were married on 23rd February 2010 – not long after he learned that he had cancer. During the year that followed Alex remained relatively healthy and he was able to continue riding his bike – one of his great loves – around the roads of Norfolk. More often then not my husband Geoff would join him – and when the weather was fine I would tag along as well.
Alex has left a big hole in our lives. He was a very regular visitor to our house – usually clad in lycra and wearing his clip cloppy cycling shoes. He never knocked – he would just appear in the kitchen smiling and waiting to be offered tea and cake. Our children even called him uncle Alex. He was also a great emailer of anedecdotes and obscure but interesting information! In his professional life he had been a librarian at the UEA before taking early retirement and he was a real stickler for punctuation and grammar. One of his favourite pastimes was finding typos and ridiculous headlines in the local papers. Even now when I switch on my computer in the morning I half expect to see an email from him chortling the latest Norfolk news headline. How he would have loved the recent reports of violent Oompa Loompas on the Prince of Wales Road!
Chapeau Alex – I will raise my first glass of wine on Friday in your memory…
Later in the year Geoff and another of our friends Jon (pictured in the centre above) will be undertaking a mammoth charity cycling ride in Alex’s memory. I will update this Blog with details once more plans have been made.