• Rachel Griffiths

Easter break and a tribute to a friend

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

Well it's day 2 back in the routine after the Easter break and it already feels like it never happened. On the whole the littlelies have been good during the holidays. They just had their moments from time to time, generally if they were bored. Of course the fantastic weather helped during the first week. You can not beat a chilled out few days in the garden when the sun is shining. Easter Sunday saw our first barbecue of the year and I even treated myself to a little frozen cocktail whilst sitting in the sun.

Easter egg hunt in the garden

Easter Saturday, Abi and I went over to Kenilworth for an Alpaca Walk at Faerie Tale Farm. We bought her the trip from Groupon as a present for her birthday. It was a great experience starting with a very knowledgeable talk from the owner then a guided walk through the fields introducing us to the different Alpacas. The afternoon ended with us picking the Alpaca of our choice and taking them on a harness led walk around the site. Abi picked 'Hoggle' who was definitely one of the smallest and cutest of the bunch but to be honest they were all pretty adorable.

Alpaca Walk at Faerie Tale Farm in Kenilworth

Abi with 'Hoggle' the Alpaca

The rest of the holidays involved several trips to the park with friends from nursery and toddlers, a trip to Halfpenny Green Airport (or Wolverhampton Airport as it's known now) and a lunch with friends at The Potting Shed although that last one was just me having some lovely child-free time.

Good Friday I had a fantastic but bitter sweet night in memory of Mitchell Bastable. I first met Mitchell in 1992 when I took part in an amateur version of West Side Story at Dudley Castle. He played Riff and I was Maria. I did 2 or 3 more shows with him after this one but then we went our separate ways. I left the am dram scene to raise a family and Mitchell spent many years touring the holiday park circuit. After he moved back to the area I would often bump into him at local amateur dramatic performances or would see him with his band 'Got The T-Shirt'. We still got on well as though he'd never been away. He was such a force of nature. Always pleasant, friendly, supportive and so full of life and energy. He would talk to everyone and anyone and had the ability to win over an entire room with his electric personality. Sadly, Mitchell passed away very suddenly last year. After complaining with headaches he attended the local A&E where he underwent medical tests. He took a turn for the worst during the night leaving his legion of friends, family and facebook followers in completely and utter shock. The next morning all were waking up to news of his sudden death. Just the previous day he'd been joking away on Facebook. Those who knew him taking the mick at his cry for attention when posting of his visit to the hospital and him enjoying the banter. No-one could believe it was real and still can't even now. Mitchell suffered from a rare form of stroke known as a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage.

A charity evening was organised, aptly named 'Mitchfest', to raise funds for the Stroke Association in Mitchell's honour. The night involved performances from many of his theatre friends along with 'Got the T-shirt' who invited many guest singers to perform with them. The talent was phenomenal, they really did Mitch proud. The event raised over £10,000 for charity and Mitchell no doubt had the best seat in the house. A very fitting tribute to a 'one of a kind' guy.

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