Jim reading the paper with baby Tana

My beloved stepdad, Jimbo, passed away peacefully at home on 20 January, holding my mum’s hand. My darling mum, who spent every last bit of energy keeping him at home, refusing to let him be taken into a hospice, where she would only get to see him for 20 minutes a day, in full protective clothing. I believe that fulfilling Jim’s wishes until the end is one of my mum’s greatest achievements.

The last couple of years have not been easy for mum and Jim and I haven’t been able to help her as much as I would have liked. I always said that I would go over to be with her as soon as Jim passed, and no UK Covid variant, international travel ban or Brexit was going to stop me. But when it came down to actually getting to the UK AND back again, it seemed a daunting prospect…

I found myself having to practice what I preach. When things seem too much of a struggle, take a step back, breathe and trust. Suddenly, everything started falling into place. A sheaf of documents, six trains and two Covid tests later, I was reunited with my mum, sister and brother after more than a year apart. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. But I will be forever grateful that I was able to say a fitting farewell to one of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Jim Tatford, I salute you.

This was Friday rush-hour.


Travelling on the London Underground, with glasses to protect against eyeball contamination, was surreal.



My sister greeted me with gluten-free Turkish Delight brownies.

Reunited with my mummy.



After the service, we went for a walk in an ancient yew wood with my brother and his boys.

The socially-distanced service was beautiful, and people who couldn’t come were invited to line the street or watch online. All was well.









Filed under: Happy Coulson

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