Hubby and I have both lost favourite uncles in less than a year ...
On Saturday 6 February Hubby's Uncle Paul finally lost his 6 year battle with cancer. He died in his eldest daughter's arms, as she was giving him a drink of water. Today would have been his 79th birthday.
William Dargie was a family friend of Hubby's grandparents (as was Daryl Lindsay); Dargie painted this portrait of Paul (aged 9 or 10) as a gift to Paul's parents (Hubby's grandparents).
Uncle Paul was a wonderful man. Softly spoken, kind, intelligent, and a real gentleman ... A devoted and gentle father and grandfather. He never argued, or caused problems, but quietly got on with things, and succeeded as well. He also had a wicked sense of humour. The Goon Show was a firm favourite.
He listened to ABC Classic FM while he painted every day (my favourite radio station as well). He was a commercial artist (what we now call a graphic designer), and taught at the RMIT. In later years he focussed on painting sublime watercolours from the Australian landscape, and was a compassionate and insightful teacher. He was a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute (Paul Warner, near the end). His father Ralph Malcolm Warner - Hubby's grandfather - was also a professional artist, serving as a war artist during WWII.
Hubby and I travelled up to Sydney last Thursday to attend Paul's memorial service on Friday. We travelled by the early train, and loved the trip - the nice thing about train travel is how close to the countryside you are, and the lovely old station buildings.
I even got some lace knitting done (Snowdrift by Susan Pandorf - knitted in Fibreworks Possum Merino) ... a long-neglected project.
In Sydney we had a few hours for lunch at the elegant Queen Victoria Building...
... and a blissful first (but not last!) visit to Books Kinokuniya, the best bookstore I've ever been in. Which is saying something. I bought a copy of this ... and Hubby started our Lindsey Davis collection.
We stayed with Hubby's Aunty Rona - their house is like an art gallery, with original works by Dargie, Lindsey, Paul, as well as other Australian artists, and Rona. You'll remember the amazing knitted vegetables and tea cosies she made ... she also paints.
After the memorial service, there was afternoon tea at the Mona Vale Hotel - we had good protection from the summer showers, which gave us some respite from the heat. As ever, the sadness of the day was tempered by the enjoyment of catching up with cousins and their families, who we haven't seen in years.