Maureen wanted something said for our granddaughter Hannah and, difficult though it is for me at this time, I know that I want to be the mouthpiece of both of our thoughts.
Where to begin but at the beginning.
It seems as though Hannah has fought against the odds all of her life. When she was born – a mere scrap at little over 4lbs – she was all legs and feet (in fact when her uncle Clive first saw her at the hospital he called her ‘Skippy’).
Looking back she was like a leggy foal who turned into a beautiful thoroughbred. An apt description of her considering her lifelong passion for horses.
What a fighter she was even then, out of the incubator and onto milk which she attacked with much vigour and retained a healthy hearty appetite throughout her life. Indeed, she would eat double my portions and more. It was unbelievable that it never affected her figure.
From an early age her life was horses. Rosie was her first horse although only on loan and had to be returned Hannah always kept her in a special place in her heart – much like one’s first car.
Absolutely all of her free time was spent at the stables in Ramsey riding, grooming, mucking out, cleaning the pastures and leading small children on their ponies.
She loved it all and revelled in the gymkhanas and in the amazing comradeship and bond between the girls who gathered there, all with similar interests.
As for Maureen and I, we lived with girls and horses in and outside our house – feeding Coke, rolls and crisps to the girls and apples and carrots to the horses. I don’t have to tell you who was cajoled into sometimes cleaning muddy boots and treating leather bridles. It was a lovely time for all and certainly Hannah brought boundless pleasure to friends and family alike.
It was a sad day 4 years ago when Hannah was diagnosed with her heart condition. This meant she was unable to continue with her proposed career with horses and as a consequence had to leave college. It was unbelievable that all her dreams and aspirations were suddenly in tatters and riding, mucking out and grooming horses was no longer an option.
She found it very difficult when she had to give up her horse Orlando, whom she adored.
In a very short time however, she realised that she had to make the best of what she could do and just get on with life. After discussions of various possible avenues between us it was decided that breeding small dogs might prove an interest and serve as a substitute for the horses.
Hannah being Hannah of course had to go for the smallest and most fashionable breed, a Chihuahua. It was obviously right for her as she found so much pleasure in her dog Pixie who was spoiled rotten. She gloried in driving round in her car wearing her designer sunglasses and posing with such a cute little dog. Hannah if anything was a poser. But then she had much to pose about, a very pretty girl and then a beautiful young woman with the deportment of a thoroughbred
Hannah never gave in to her illness, and as she didn’t drink alcohol often provided a run round and run home service for her many friends. Nothing was too much trouble for her to help out. In fact, she would even get out of bed after midnight following a ‘help I can’t get a taxi’ call.
She lived her life to the full and on its pathway gave so much love and pleasure to all her family and friends and certainly – and in particular – to her mam and dad and her Nan and I. In return we loved her very dearly and always will.
Without doubt the sunshine has gone from our lives.
Captain Charles Bull (Hannah’s Grandfather)