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  • Writer's pictureKate Clarke

Weymouth, Billy Fury, Ada

When Terry was a kid, on a week's holiday with his parents in Weymouth, his beloved gran, Ada, sent him a letter every other day. "I've kept the Billy Fury card for you from the cereal box. I know you nearly have the set. It's Gene next week." He kept them. I have them now.

He also kept his grandad's swimming proficiency certificate. And his comb. (Those Clarkes and their hair!)

Every single birthday, Easter, and Christmas card his children, parents and grandparents ever gave him, he saved. And significant chocolate wrappers from the children, too.

When we went on holiday he would note down every ice cream I ate, and what flavour it was, sometimes what colour my nails were, if they caught his eye. He noted every cafe we visited, everything we laughed at, every dog we met. So now, all of the details are to hand, for me.

I have a house full of reel-to-reel that will never be played. I used to call him a hoarder. He was a hoarder. And obsessive, of course. But now I think, what is a life made from if you don't note and prize every detail? He was fully here. Every single moment. When I pass on, people will be too polite to say it aloud, but many folks will think: 'Kate Clarke. She barely existed.' They might be right.

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