A week and a half ago we lost a family friend, suddenly and in very tragic circumstances. The story has now been in the local paper here
Suffice to say it is not an easy read but everything said about Guy in it is true.
Guy filled a room almost literally. His enormous muscles were matched by an enormous singing voice and the perfect story reading voice. He was dedicated to his business but also to every single child that passed through the doors of Brighton Gymboree and that is why I feel the need to leave a brief tribute to him here.
I have been writing about my children and parenting for a year now and although they are sometimes the subject of amusing anecdotes and gags, I hope you could tell how proud I was of them. A large part of their development was down to Guy, his best mate Bobby and their weekly classes and open gyms. It’s where Boy leaned to climb and Whirlwind learned to throw balls and both learned to sit still and listen to a story. Guy treated his little charges with love and respect and equality and never, ever lost a room.
Though the twins are younger than my eldest he became a role model and a parenting hero. Some of my games and reading voices are copied wholesale from Guy never mind how to maintain discipline using respect.
The house is full of reminders. Gymboree sponsored a couple of ventures my wife is involved in and we still have the toys that Boy and Whirlwind got from their Gymboree birthday parties.
I’m sorry this is not the usual opinionated sillyness. I realise it’s self indulgent. But there’s no point writing about my parenting and children without explaining that someone who was inspirationally involved in it has gone.
Our thoughts are with Hanna, Bobby and the children.