This year I have been thinking a lot about Shakespeare, as it was the 400th anniversary of his death.
Yesterday was the thirteenth anniversary of the death of our darling Tanya, that bright spirit who didn't stay nearly long enough amongst us.
So I am offering, in memorium, sonnet number 29.
We do not know to whom they were written, but this one could be to anyone that was loved deeply, as we loved her.
"When in disgrage with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,-and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings."
You came into my life as a wonderful gift, and a teacher, and not a day passes that I don't think of you.
Your mum Diana
15 Dec 2015
After operating the Tanya Bocking Memorial Fund for ten years, the administrators have decided it is now a fitting time to close the fund and will use the balance of the fund to support its host Adventure Unlimited.
There were a variety of reasons for this; a principal one being that Tanya believed in keeping things simple and with the members of Adventure Unlimited who knew Tanya moving on elsewhere, the fund's administration was becoming complicated and while AU faced financial challenges it was fitting to make use the funds to support the organisation Tanya loved and had benefited.
In these days when many billion-pound charities spend less than 50% of their income on charitable causes, the administrators are proud to have met the challenge Tanya would have set them to ensure that donors' money wasn't wasted. As and when recipients report what they have done with their grants their stories will be published here (but for many good reasons some may not want to publicise their receipt of a grant).
|Brent Alpha Fund||£250.00|
|donor 2010 & 2011||£650.00|
|residue to AU||£3,550.00|
5 Apr 2015
Like Tanya’s friend Louisa, another pupil, I recently searched Google to see how people I used to know got on in the intervening years. It came as a big shock to learn about Tanya’s passing.
I have good reason for remembering Tanya as, at the beginning of one lesson, we both discovered that we were fans of MAD magazine. I mentioned that I particularly liked the work of Don Martin who drew silly action cartoons for them. Without further prompting Tanya handed me an A4 sheet of Don Martin sound effect cartoons, printed as stamps and gave them to me. I was extremely grateful for this gesture as I hadn't known of their existence.
Having read of Tanya after leaving school I am impressed. In the short time I knew her I recognised her confidence and thought she would go on to better things after school. I expect I'm somewhere in a long line of people who were lucky enough to know her and her generous gesture regarding the cartoons will be with me always. I am still a musician, the cartoons are still funny and I still think of Tanya’s unprompted generosity.
Dr. Noël Brown
In the event that anyone wants to contact Noël about Tanya please get in touch with Tanya's brother Nat.
30 Mar 2015
Tanya figured significantly in the life of novelist Lesley Thomson or is it the other way around? They both grew up in the same road and I recall Tanya credited Lesley's mother May (a former headteacher) as a tutor and mentor during her 'O' levels. Lesley was a bit older - nothing now in relative terms - but in pre-teenage years someone four years older was practically grown-up and Lesley was looked up to as someone both fun and clever and wise.
Lesley's latest novel The Detective's Secret mentions Tanya in the author's acknowledgements and the settings in the story in Chiswick and Hammersmith are all places very familiar to both Lesley and Tanya.
29 Mar 2015
10 Dec 2014
The courage that my mother had, went with her and is with her still
Rock from New England quarried, now granite on a granite hill.
The golden brooch my mother wore she left behind for me to wear.
There is no thing I treasure more, yet it is something I could spare.
O if instead she'd left to me that thing she took into the grave,
That courage, like a rock, which she has no more need of, and I have.
This poem is in memory of my beloved daughter, Tanya Bocking who died 11 years ago on December 10th.
It was written to a mother, but it could easily be to a daughter. Tanya had great courage . It defined
her life, and was at the core of her being. Courage, love for her friends and family, and a deep sense
of. justice. The world cannot easily spare such people.
That day, 11 years ago, was the nadir of my life Having known her and loved her, we had to get used
to life without her. She was a great teacher, and a huge influence. I was privileged to have brought
into the world such a woman.
So give a thought for her today, a person so brave and fine that her example lasts after she has gone.
27 Jun 2014
By circumstances unknown, perhaps somebody knew somebody, but in 1975 if I recall, Tanya was cast as a Russian princess in a cinema cigarette commercial. I vaguely remember it was only going to be shown in New Zealand and that was shot at the Directors' Institute in a lush panelled clubroom. Tanya's role consisted of being one of a royal family in a framed photo on a desk of the set filmed in close-up; a common exposition device. There was a film camera doing a complicated dolly-shot and a still photographer using a 10 x 8 plate camera to get the 'billboard' version. I remember the 'prince' in the photo was very sweet and quite gay and the Grand Dame wasn't at all posh and sat patiently between takes doing her knitting.
26 Jun 2014
13 Sep 2013
The last time I saw my lovely girl she took me to the Gatwick bus in Brighton, and as it pulled out of the bus station, she rode along behind the bus, waving one red-gloved hand, the other being on the handlebar. She was smiling and making faces and blowing kisses. My face was pressed against the back window of the bus, trying to get closer to her.
She was wearing a silver bike helmet and her beautiful long red hair streamed in the wind. She rode along until we got to the motorway where bicycles weren't allowed. I saw her turn off at the roundabout and go back towards Brighton. I watched until she disappeared into the traffic. I was never to see her alive again.
When she died, I was positive that never again could I experience joy: I would be content to simply find some release from anguish. So the last years have been spent in search for spiritual meaning. At the loss of this most beloved child, the notion that "at the heart of creation lies a good intent, a purpose from which we come, by which we live our fullest and to which we return, " the idea that there was a compassionate Creator of the Universe, vanished.
It is a beautiful and comforting belief. But why then is there so much suffering in the world? All the joy in my life seeped away, like air from a balloon. The energy which comes from love slipped away too, on silent feet into the dark night.
That love that I had for her, and the sense of purpose that I had, just to be her mother, evaporated. She was no longer there with Kim in her blue house, high on the hill above Brighton, looking over the English Channel.
When I go there, I stand at the window, looking over the garden to the grey sea. There is an apple tree under which I planted bluebells, and a bird feeder. It is a holy place. But she is not there.
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