Anne Anecdotes

Remembrance Sunday 2014

Having watched the bitter sweet solemnity of the Cenotaph ceremony

I went on my way with jobs to do.

Amongst them was to empty out the shopping trolley that I had used to caddy tools.

And once empty of tools I found some old receipts and shopping lists left there from when

Anne used it on her trips to the village.

In her hand were so clear the every day thoughts of what to bring the family,

Orange juice, and celery, Bugens rolls and sun dried tomato loaf.

Mozerella for home made pizza and the paper for local news.

And purpose hidden, but to those that knew, turkey breast and stick food.

Sliced turkey breast as a treat for the cat, not an “it” but “him”, Simba.

Stick food, the first on the list, a reminder to pick some privet on the way,

For the school’s stick insects, holidaying at our house.

Sweet reminders of the ordinary, too precious to throw away.

And then at the very bottom of the bag, a slightly creased poppy.

A poppy at least 4 years old bought not for Anne, she would have put hers on.

A poppy brought home for another, who for what ever reason was given it,

Four years on, on remembrance Sunday.


Narnian Lamp

Narnian Lamp

Most of you will know of Anne’s admiration of the works of CS Lewis,  his adult literature works, his clear minded explanations of difficult issues of Christian belief as well as his children’s stories. She became a fan through first reading the Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe etc.). It was in his response to a letter of hers that the religions parallels of these works were explained. She put the letter into the safe hands of Belfast’s Queens University and it is frequently cited, as in Rowen Williams recent book on The Lion of Narnia.

In our room we have a poster from one of the original drawings depicting the snow covered forest and the ever glowing gas street lamp, where Lucy first entered Narnia. In the winter of 2010 Anne and I fitted a small lamp in the back garden, where it glows today. As in the Narnian story our lamp has one ladder stay (arm) missing. In the story (Magician’s Nephew) that is because the lamp grew from a stay broken off by the witch, i.e. it grew from a broken lamp.

Today it seems appropriate to have the lamp glowing all day, even with one arm missing it stands a a memorial, shining its light out in hope and witness even though “broken”.



Happy memories of Anne

It is good to share happy memories, even if they are tinged with some sadness. Therefore I want to use this page for family and friends of Anne to share some snippets of happy memories.

Three easy steps:

  1. Type a reply at the bottom of the page, you have to leave your email address.
  2. You can tick the box to be notified of any new items.
  3. Click on Post comment, that’s it.

Why did I get a narrow boat?

Well, my dear wife, Anne, passed away in January 2011 (although she would frown at me calling her “dear”) and I was rather kicking my heels and looking for a project.

The whole family had enjoyed a wonderful week afloat several years ago and the idea just grew on me.

However I do want it to benefit our many friends and relations, event wider in the community. If I can reach out in some way, as Anne was always finding people in need to befriend, then I will feel it has been worth it.

Anne enjoying the Sea of Galilee

Steve Jenkins

Buying a palm cross using French

Buying a palm cross using French

13 thoughts on “Anne Anecdotes

  1. Flour, I remember flour in the kitchen, on the rolling board, on the surfaces, and I’m sure a little that had wafted onto the floor. Anne used to bake for the Heart For Abbots Langley coffee ‘shop’. A community project for those in the village on a Friday. Especially the elderly but also for those with learning difficulties and any one wanting a drop centre that was not commercialised. It is run by Christians who have time to stop and listen and, if needed, pray with the customers. Anne used to help organise and run it and ran the rota for quite a few years. She regularly baked scones (cheese and plain) by the dozen for it. She said her secret for the thick scones was to be generous with the dough, don’t roll it too thin. The flour is a sort of symbol of her way of life, whilst she concentrated on making sure the folk had nice scones there was a little of that character and generosity sprinkled finely all around her, I think she didn’t even notice sometimes.

  2. I have many memories of Anne, and I shall always remember the humour in her!.
    So, what I remember (and cherish) about Anne’s being herself.
    Among other things:
    – Scolding my cat (Tykkemads) when he peed in her shoes on a visit to Denmark
    – Anne’s cooking the best Shepherd’s Pie, while staying on the same visit
    – Anne’s ability to learn Danish (and her humility of being able to) – I’m smiling – she was good
    – There was an innocence about Anne, but also a will or strength in her that I admire …
    – Our connecting even after many years apart – click!
    .- Anne’s caring, understanding and good advice
    – and many other incidents, not forgotten, a gem
    – her smile when I say that I send all my love to Steve and family, thanking for Christmas letter and wishing you ‘Pax et bonum’ – and sorry for any linguistic mistakes in the above…
    Miss you, Anne ..

    • Thank you Inga. My first experience of Anne speaking Danish was in the ship’s saloon bar on our first trip to Denmark together. A Dane asked in Danish if he could take a spare chair from our table. Anne answered in Danish and we carried on chatting. He was half way across the saloon when he stopped, turned and slowly walked back with the chair, a puzzled look on his face, and said ” err, you are not Danish, are you?” He was so suprised that someone from England could answer in good Danish!

      I always admire her for that ability, and to carry it off in a humble and natural way.

  3. Anne always enjoyed the challenge of talking to people in other countries in their own language. In the photo above you can see the pleasure in buying that palm cross using her French, in Nice 2007. for Anne the joy was greater because it was also to do with celebrating palm Sunday and expressing our faith. That cross is still on our dresser.

  4. Anne was never much good with blood. When I was a teenager, she came running in from the garden, where she had been mowing the lawn, demanding that I look to see if she had cut off her toe with the mower! She had run over her foot with it and couldn’t bear to look. I wasn’t that worried – the speed with which she entered the house suggested that her feet were intact – which happily they were, it was only the toe of her shoe that was missing.

    • She wasn’t good with blood but typical of Anne she didn’t let that stop her doing things. Once when working in Arhus hospital she watched as a blood sample was taken from a small boy, and told to take the precious sample down to her lab. Once in the corridor she realised she was fainting. She came to on the floor with a member of staff looking after her and taking possesion of the sample that Anne had managed to hang onto during her faint. Anne also became a regular blood donor, giving over fify units.

  5. When Anne was just entering her teens she , with the rest of the family, visited us in Brentwood for high tea. In preparation I had half-hidden some small labelled jars of sweets. The labels had cautionary titles : “Skee,s most ‘orrible cough sweets ” ; “These sweets are most foul-tasting and bound to make you sick ” ; ” Poisonous sweets, don’t eat “, etc.
    Anne had been in the house for some time before she spotted first one and then other jars. She appeared puzzled. So innocent and trusting was she that sidled up to Margaret in the kitchen
    and asked if Skee’s sweets really were poisonous !
    The penny was beginning to drop. They enjoyed the sweets.

  6. In the school summer holidays of 1964, when Anne was fourteen, Skee and I invited her to stay with us. It was the first time she had travelled alone by train, and I remember her worrying about opening the carriage door to get out, as you had to open the window and lean out to turn the door-handle. She coped. First, we all enjoyed a lovely day out with Nanny and Grandpa White to Hatfield House. Anne’s real objective, however, was the project for the next day, when I had promised to take her to London, where she and I were both to break new ground.
    She had long been an admirer of the Sherlock Holmes stories, so our trip was centred around a visit to the Sherlock Holmes pub in Northumberland Street, Charing Cross. I’m not sure if Anne had travelled by Underground before; I was well used to it, having lived in London as a student. What did faze me was arriving at the pub to find that access to the hallowed room was through the bar. I was 28, and had never been in a pub unescorted! This, remember, was another century. I ascertained that Anne could come in, and we went upstairs and stepped back in time. Anne was thrilled; there was the snug, cluttered parlour, complete with tobacco-slipper, meerschaums, the violin, and, of course, the deerstalker. We rounded off the visit with a riotous drink of bitter lemon, in the bar.

  7. I feel so blessed to have met Anne, just in time. My book, “The Hidden Story of Narnia”, is based largely on a letter that C. S. Lewis wrote to Anne when she was a child. Just as my book was about to go to press I decided to see if I could find Anne Waller. Thanks to the Internet I did, and she graciously responded to my email. Not only that, she was willing to read my book. Not only that, she liked my book and was willing to write a Preface, which I am so honored that she did. But the friendship did not stop there, on my next trip to England, in the autumn of 2010, Anne and Steve graciously hosted me in their home and helped to arrange some book-signings in Watford. I think my story just goes to show that when God gives us a good idea we should not delay to follow through on it. If I had waited any longer I might not have gotten to meet Anne this side of heaven. Now that I did meet her and get to know her, however briefly, I greatly look forward to seeing her again “between the paws of Aslan”.

  8. Anne used to like to read the paper, on the floor in front of the fire. Many a time she would have to shoo the cat off the paper. He used to walk all over it until Anne fed him. It was fun watching who was going to end up in front of the fire, she was much more patient with him than I am.

Leave a Reply to Margaret White Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s