I have at last returned to book and it’s all but finished.
Given the circumstances, I want it to be a tribute to my son Rupert.
I have at last returned to book and it’s all but finished.
Given the circumstances, I want it to be a tribute to my son Rupert.
I recently returned from a short visit to Amalfi. It was so hard. Someone remarked to me ‘well, when you’re in England you’re used to not seeing him near, so coming down here without him makes it so much more difficult’. She was right. I felt totally isolated, walking along that stradone with so many memories of him, sitting at those tables, chatting and laughing his own inimitable laugh; drawing up on his vespa and waving to a friend. Now I was walking with such a heavy weight of sadness inside me, somehow not meeting anyone I know and unable to cry out all the tears that have built up inside. Nearly two years have now passed and I’m aware that I can never put this to one side, but in order to go on I have to learn to deal with it and return to a positive world.
11 DIVEMBRE 2016 Amalfi Rupert’s Trail seconda edizione
Il Rupert Trail è una manifestazione sportiva che nasce per ricordare il nostro amico Rupert, scomparso prematuramente, un anno e mezzo fa, a causa di una terribile malattia.
Rupert era una guida turistica, e percorreva da decenni la Valle delle Ferriere, i vicoli e le stradine di Amalfi per far rivivere ai turisti la storia della nostra cittadina e mostrarne le bellezze nascoste.
Gli abbiamo voluto dedicare una gara Trail su un percorso che lui faceva spesso, cercando di coinvolgere atleti professionisti e non, per una giornata di sport, di divertimento, di aggregazione e di raccolta fondi. Tutti i proventi di questa manifestazione, infatti, vengono devoluti all’AIRC (Associazione Italiana di Ricerca sul Cancro).
When someone you know suffers a bereavement you might find you’re one of those people who ‘doesn’t know what to say’. If you know them very well, they may not need your words, it’s enough to give the lightest touch of your hand, against theirs, on their shoulders, their knees if they’re sitting and simply add the words ‘I’m sorry’; that’s all it takes. As someone who has recently experienced bereavement, I have felt surprised and sometimes upset by occasional glib reactions which lead me to want to convey as best I can, what those of us in this position would prefer to hear. For example, we would ask you not to say ‘give me a ring, anytime’ – that will be interpreted as ‘I really can’t be bothered’ and from my experience it comes from those who tell everyone else – ‘well, I said to give me a ring any time – but haven’t heard a word’, perhaps followed by – ‘I’m so worried. She/he must be feeling so awful’. Of course, it may be well meant, but I can assure you that the person concerned will not find it easy to knock on your door, looking sad and in need of company. More likely they will be looking for the expression on your face that says ‘Oh no, not now. I’m really not in the mood’. If you sincerely want to help, make contact, telephone and chat about the one they’ve lost. Instead of ‘ring any time’ it’s so much better to say ‘why don’t you come round for a cup of tea, a drink, a meal, this afternoon, next Tuesday, tomorrow evening?’. That way you make someone feel that their company is wanted because they’ve been specifically invited.
Do not ring with the pretext of wanting to give your condolences if you then suddenly ‘must go, my other ‘phone’s ringing’ or ‘must go, my husband’s just come in’. I’ve had those calls from one-time very close friends, who made unfulfilled promises to ring back. Certainly, they will never hear from me again. Instead of such calls, I fortunately have other friends who invited me to join them on a walk, simply knocked on my door and spent an hour or so with me, or those who are not close by, at least phone regularly. Equally, taking a drive somewhere can be distracting and helps take the mind off other things. Again, if you also knew the person who had died, any photographs or videos, perhaps their favourite piece of music, are wonderful things to receive, in an envelope, or more likely, on the Internet.
When you are grieving, you do not know what to expect; apart from the obvious emotions, you might also feel exceptionally angry and that heavy emptiness inside will certainly mean everyday tasks and problems can become impossible to handle. Perhaps you simply want to sit and cry; perhaps you cannot cry. But some form of normality has to be observed. You still need to eat, which involves leaving the house to buy food, possibly bumping into people who do not yet know and might cheerily call out ‘Lovely day isn’t it. How are you? Off somewhere nice?’. Should you say ‘No, I’m going home to cook something that I really don’t fancy eating, then I’ll probably sit on my own and cry’ ? No, of course not; you probably will do your best to give a smile, perhaps make an effort to ‘be in control’ and answer ‘Well no, I’m afraid not. You see I lost my husband, (wife, child, best friend, whoever it may be) and I actually don’t feel too good. Never mind, life goes on’. Once the news is out, the ball is in the other court and then you know whether or not you’re speaking to a friend. If they say they’re sorry, followed by ‘must rush, give me a ring some time’ they’re certainly not a close one. Happily, most people will manage to stop with you for a few moments and perhaps say something that will be helpful in some way, but although we must make allowances for those who really do not know what to say, overall, that attitude leads me to feel they just can’t get away fast enough and are far too ‘busy’ to give a second thought to another’s near despair.When a true friend makes a point of ‘phoning, popping in to see you whenever they can, perhaps invites you to eat and generally manages to truly care, that is such a great help.
Neverthless, despite it’s being difficult not to feel bad about some of these attitudes, it has to be admitted that none of us can know how we might react to losing a loved one, so how can those who’ve not had that experience easily find the right way to act?
This evening I’ve found something I wrote a long time ago – and just for fun decided to put it on my blog –
Yes, he is special. You cannot fail to blossom in his presence; at last here is a man who appreciates your womanhood, the real you that none of your English boyfriends ever seemed to have discovered. Never mind if you are ‘Miss Fatty of Newcastle’, or ‘Skinny of Cheam’, but it does help if you are not ‘Miss Anybody’s’. He has a line to sell that he works on lovingly through the long Winter months and it would be a pity if you were to acquiesce before he had the chance to reveal all the little tricks he has up his sleeve (and elsewhere).
When you reject him (as you must at first), he will assume the appearance of a Spaniel pup who has been unjustly punished, deprived of his food and kicked into the rain. He will haunt your doorway, your telephone, your peace of mind, until you wearily (though probably quite eagerly) give in, pat him on the head and give him the comfort he so longs for. He will do anything to win you. Be warned though, he can never grow up. You are the prize in the shop window. Once he has won you , he will promptly put you on the shelf alongside his other trophies and rush off to the shop around the corner, where there is another prize to be won.
Do not marry him. Have a wonderful holiday. Give yourself some unforgettable romantic memories. Then go home and find yourself a tall, handsome Englishman who will be your companion and friend (and with some luck, a great lover too).
Glad to say that for the first time in over a year, I’ve been writing again. Think my Amalfi book is finished, although editing is always necessary. All I have to do now is decide whether to self-publish or really get down to agent hunting. Really don’t know at the moment.
Feel relieved to have got this far but now need honest criticism and some directions re the publishing problem.
Wish me well!
Anyone who has looked at my Blog will by now have realised I haven’t written anything for a while; that’s because I spent over three months in Amalfi at the end of 2014 until February of 2015, during which time I lost my very beloved son, Rupert.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful support that he and I were given by his numerous friends during that time. So many came and I do mean many, every single day; they chatted and joked with him, brought food, drinks, anything they thought he would particularly like. When he didn’t want to eat, there were the girls who gave him a kiss and asked him to eat something to please them and he always did. His men friends shaved him, washed him, shared the task of lifting him – in fact all his friends did everything they could to show how much he was loved and how much they cared for him. I was not allowed to say ‘thank you’ because every time I did, and there were many, their response would be – ‘You don’t have to thank us, we do it because we all love him’.
When we had to say goodbye to him Amalfi’s beautiful cathedral was absolutely crammed with colleagues, children who had come to him to learn English, ex-school companions, his brother Vincenzo, his cousins in Italy and English step-brothers and sisters, all who could manage to be there. I have printed here two of the newspaper tributes that were written about him. It has been some help to me to see the proof of this great feeling for my first-born and to know that he saw it as well. It means so very much because it came only from friendship, no other form of interest since he was not a wealthy businessman or of any apparent importance, only that of being a great friend to so many.
This means that my book will now take on a different aspect and I need to rewrite certain chapters, which in due course I can talk about.
This was written by my son, Rupert Scarfe. It shows his feelings about the Amalfi Coast.
THE AMALFI COASTLINE
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A BEAUTIFUL AREA WHERE ONE OF THE MOST FANTASTIC ROADS I KNOW OF, UNWINDS BETWEEN HIGH ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND A BEAUTIFUL BLUE SEA.
EVERYTHING HAS ALREADY BEEN SAID ABOUT THE DIVINE COAST, AS MOST PEOPLE CALL IT. SIMPLY A UNIQUE PIECE OF LANDSCAPE. BUT TO BE ABLE TO CATCH THE REAL EMOTIONS OR SENSATIONS THAT THIS ENSEMBLE OF BEAUTY, COLOURS AND SHAPES, IS NOT AN EVERY DAY THING.
IF YOU ARE DRIVING ALONG THE COAST, THE MOUNTAINS ABOVE YOUR HEAD MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE ONE OF THOSE GUYS THAT LIVE WITH LIONS, OR SWIM WITH SHARKS. YOU ARE SHARING VERY SMALL SPACES WITH BIG THREATENING SHEER DROPS, THAT STAND JUST A FEW METRES ABOVE YOUR HEAD. THE AMERICAN TOURISTS, (I SOMETIMES TOUR GUIDE AROUND THE AREA) SAY :
‘-GEE, I SURE WOULD NOT LIKE DRIVING THROUGH HERE EVERY DAY’ – AND THAT’S WHEN I FEEL KIND OF SPECIAL AND THINK TO MYSELF ‘I DO! I TRUST THE BIG ROCKS!’ I KNOW THEY COULD HURT ME ANY TIME, JUST LIKE A WILD ANIMAL, BUT THEY ALSO GIVE ME A SENSATION OF PROTECTION, ESPECIALLY WHEN I’M CYCLING PAST THEM AND COULD FEEL VERY VULNERABLE.
THERE ARE A FEW SPOTS WHICH ARE MY FAVOURITES, AND NO MATTER WHAT’S GOING ON IN MY DAY, I JUST NEED TO LOOK AT THEM TO FEEL AT PEACE AGAIN. WITH AN INCREDIBLE CONFORMATION FALLING INTO THE SEA, THEY JUST GIVE ME A SENSATION OF, I DON’T KNOW, I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR THE CORRECT WORD FOR THE LAST TWO DAYS – CAN’T FIND IT! BUT THEY ARE WATCHING ME IN A VERY RELAXED WAY, NOT STARING AT ME – A BIT LIKE A MOTHER WITH A CHILD THE FIRST TIME SHE LETS HIM GO OUT ON HIS OWN –
‘YES, YOU’RE FINE, DON’T WORRY! – BUT I’LL JUST KEEP AN EYE ON YOU -‘.
AND THE DIFFERENT LIGHTS –
YOU WANT TO SEE THOSE DROPS COMBINING WITH THE SEA AT DAWN WHEN YOU’RE DRIVING IN THE DARK TOWARDS THE ALREADY ILLUMINATED SIDE OF THE COAST –
THE LATE SPRING AFTERNOONS WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN ….WITH THE PERFUMES IN THE AIR ;
THE BOUGANVILLEA, OR EVEN THE WARMTH OF THE AIR ITSELF ARE SO FULFILLING – WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A PERFECT COMBINATION OF COLOURS AND FORMS.
THE HUGE LAST PART OF THE APPENINES, CALLED ‘MONTE LATTARI’ (MILKY MOUNTAINS), THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, THE WHITE VILLAS COVERED IN FLOWERS BUILT JUST BELOW THE ROAD A FEW METRES FROM THE WATER, THE ROWING BOATS, THE INCREDIBLE TUNNELS DUG THROUGH THE ROCK, THE FANTASTIC LITTLE BAYS WHICH EACH HAS ITS OWN SMALL BEACH ……
I’M ACTUALLY NOT ITALIAN AND WAS NOT BORN IN THE AREA, SO I’M LUCKY TO BE A ‘GUEST’ IN SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT.
DON’T THINK OF IT AS AT IT’S BEST ONLY IN THE SUMMER – DURING THE COLDER PART OF THE YEAR, WITH GREY CLOUDY SKIES AND ROUGH SEAS IT’S ONE HELL OF A DRAMATIC, PICTURESQUE SCENE AND JUST TRY TO IMAGINE A SUNSET ON A CLEAR DAY . WHEN HALFWAY DOWN THE COAST NEAR POSITANO YOU LOOK DOWN TOWARDS THE ISLAND OF CAPRI, OFTEN SEEN CLEARLY, THERE IS A HUGE ORANGE FIREBALL SINKING IN THE OCEAN (AS SOME CALL IT) ……….
THE LAST BIT OF THE COASTLINE IS ITS HIGHEST PART, WITH NO VILLAGES EN ROUTE, ONLY A FEW HOUSES SCATTERED AROUND……….YOU COULD BE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. YOU JUST SIMPLY GET LOST AND FEEL COMPLETELY PART OF THE SURROUNDINGS, WHICH MOTHER NATURE HAS SO KINDLY (AND I MEAN IT) LET ME BE PART OF.
SO, WHAT CAN I SAY TO YOU? IT’S JUST A VERY PROFOUND KICK TO YOUR EMOTIONS AND SENSATIONS AND BRINGS OUT ALL KINDS OF FEELINGS AND REALLY, REALLY PUTS YOUR HEART AND MIND IN PEACE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD.
MY ADVICE TO YOU IS WHENEVER DRIVING ALONG THE ‘DIVINA’ (IT WOULD BE BETTER TO WALK OR CYCLE) STOP AND PARK SAFELY, TURN OFF THE ENGINE THEN LEAN OVER THE WALL, LOOK ALL AROUND CAREFULLY, LISTEN AND SMELL..
YOU WILL BE LOST, AND AT ONE WITH IT ALL – ONLY THEN YOU CAN SAY
‘I’VE SEEN THE DIVINE AMALFI COAST’.
I’m putting here another tribute to my son Rupert – not for vanity of any sort but because he deserves to have people know how much he was respected – this was printed in another local Italian paper – have translated as best I can –
Amalfi says goodby to Rupert Scarfe, son of the Pink Floyd cartoonist (?).
The news of his premature loss has shocked the entire community of Amalfi, known and highly respected in all of the Amalfi Coast.
At 47 years of age he had to give in to the invasive illness against which he had battled for some time.
Rupert worked as a tourist guide in Italy and abroad; everyone remembers him as a person always helpful and sunny, a friend to all. It was in fact his friends, as well as his family, who never left him alone until yesterday.
He is the firstborn of Gerald Scarfe, satirical cartoonist from London, world-famous, who knew success during the 1970s, collaborating even with Roger Waters, singer and bass player of the Pink Floyd, producing the animation of the tour of “Wish you were Here” and for the film “The Wall”.
Born in London, Rupert during his adolescence (this is incorrect, he was 4 years old)
came with his mother Maureen who, after separating from Scarfe, established herself in Amalfi and created another family.
The final farewell to Rupert tomorrow, Saturday 7th February, with funeral rites a noon in the Cathedral of Amalfi moving from the house of the Deceased in Piazza Municipio.
The Vescovado shares the pain of the family and wishes to express his deepest sympathy.
This tribute to my son, Rupert Scarfe, was printed last month in a local Amalfi Coast newspaper ‘Positano News’
…..when you hear those words from SCARFE, the association is immediate; in the mind of those most interested is formed the image of his father, the satirical cartoonist with Pink Floyd, band that rode the crest of the wave in the ’80s – and yet Rupert was so much more than the son of Gerald Scarfe. ;He was a soul who loved to feel the
freedom of the wind on the curves of the Amalfi Coast. It’s enough to leaf through his pages on Facebook to understand how great has been the loss of the greatest tour leader that Amalfi has ever known. Great bitterness for all those who knew the versatile and sunny personality who when at a young age arrived from London, with his mother Maureen, transferring themselves to the little Paradise wedged between the rocks. The tangible disbelief which can be sensed from the messages, is undeniable; a memory to bring to life his smile, like a sparkling ray of sunshine in a dull day. Positano News wants to remember Rupert Scarfe with the words of Renato Fucini, in his Ode to Amalfi – ‘the Day of Judgement, for the Amalfitani who will go to Paradise, will be a day like any other”
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