Julian Pendock

Dedicated to the memories of those that have travelled the final highway

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Hell Razor5543
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Julian Pendock

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Julian Pendock died on the morning of 13th November, 2023, with his sister by his bedside. He was only 51 years old. I am honoured that he considered me a friend.

Jules first entered our lives less than two years ago. Mum told me about a man who had sailed his narrow boat into the area who desperately needed help, which she provided. As time went on more problems arose for Jules, and I started to get concerned. Being honest, I was not concerned for Jules (I did not know him then) but for Mum. We have heard of kindly elderly people who have helped others, only to be fleeced by those they thought they were helping, and I was worried that this could be happening to Mum. All I could do was hope that Mum was right, and that I was wrong.

She was.

I finally met Jules (and his sister, Katz) in the summer of 2022. The first thing you would notice was that he needed help in walking (this was due to the cancers that finally stole his life). Jules was not remarkable to look at; average height, average build, just average. However, once I got to know him I found an intensity there, and an impatience. The latter was probably due to the fact that he had been told he only had a few months to live. There are normally only two ways to handle this devastating news, and Jules took the courageous route. He decided to live each and every day to the fullest, and as though it would be his last (because, eventually, he would be right). He was very fit (which probably helped him live for so much longer than expected, but did cause problems in his last few days), and very intelligent, with a razor sharp mind and a dry wit. During the time I knew him we would have numerous diverse conversations, and they were always interesting and, often, entertaining. I enjoyed these, and I believe he did as well.

He could be stubborn at times, but if you could explain why what he wanted was not a good idea, he would listen. One thing he wanted to do was to get a rescue dog (probably for the companionship), but Mum was able to dissuade him, by appealing to the fact that, when Jules was having a bad day (and he did have those at times) he would still have to feed, walk and look after the dog, and if he were unable to do this it would be unfair on the dog. However, she gave him a 1/8th share in Boy, her own rescue dog. Once Boy got to know him he was happy to be with Jules (which meant that, when she had to do things that exclude Boy, she could leave him with Jules in the certain knowledge that they would be happy and safe together (Boy got very unsettled if he was left on his own)). Sometimes, when Jules was feeling up to it, all three of them would take an early morning walk to the local cricket ground, where Boy would then go running around (that is a dog who just LOVES to run!).

Anything that helped him to get out and about was greeted with great joy. I realised that, using a three wheel walker meant that Jules would struggle to hold a torch. Once the nights closed in this could stop him from going to the local shops (travelling down a dark and muddy towpath can be tricky for somebody who is fit and healthy, and dangerous for someone with mobility issues). I ordered something on eBay, and the next time I visited I gave it to him. He was delighted. It was just a baseball cap with LEDs in the brim, but to him it meant he now had more freedom; he could put on the cap, trundle off down to the shops, and SEE where he was going! In March 2023 he had talked about getting an electric scooter (not a mobility scooter, as they can be quite bulky, so putting it onto Sapphire would have been impossible), so when I returned home I Googled them, and found numerous scooters that might be suitable. I sent him the details of three of these; all were off road (with knobbly tyres and good suspension), with a decent range and optional seating (although Jules had made it very clear he would not fit this I thought that a seat could help take the weight off his bad leg). Unfortunately I did not tell Jules I had emailed him this information, and he did not always read his emails, so he was unaware of them until after the family cruise (when I talked him about the scooters), several months later. He them looked at the email, got excited, and finally chose one.

When the scooter was delivered he could not wait to try it out. He hastily set it up, got on, and shot off down the towpath to see Mum. Unfortunately, in his haste, he had not secured it properly, so as he approached her it gracefully folded up, depositing him into a clump of nettles at her feet. He did not care about this; he was just excited to have another (and much faster) way of getting around. There were, however, a couple of problems with this scooter. The first was that a wire had not been properly connected when it had been made, which meant the battery would not charge (but this was then fixed by the local mobility centre). The second problem was an undocumented function in that there were not three driving modes (Eco, Normal, and Turbo), there were four. The fourth was ‘Park’, which electronically disconnected the throttle so you could wheel the scooter while it was turned on without the possibility of uncontrolled movement should you accidentally nudge the throttle. I do not know if (when he gave it to them to fix) Jules had given the mobility centre the instruction book, but they were unable to find the cause of the problem (unsurprising really, as it is not documented). Jules ended up getting another (more sedate, on road) scooter to get about.

Our first cruise together (in the summer of 2022) was to Llangollen; Mum and I on her narrow boat, Jules and Katz on his. It was lovely weather, smooth sailing, glorious scenery, and very enjoyable. Llangollen is a lovely town. However, because of his mobility issues, Jules could not really get to see much of the town (lots of steep inclines meant that he struggled to get around ). I just hope that he enjoyed the views from the canal out over Llangollen, and Katz descriptions of the place. During the return cruise Jules must have mentioned that he was finding it hard going due to the pain in his leg, because I offered to handle his narrow boat, Sapphire, and Jules accepted my offer.

Sapphire is a lovely vessel, and (in the boating vernacular) swims like a fish. Jules, having decided to move onto the canals, had done his research, and done it well. His home may not have been perfect, but she was just right. Once Jules was satisfied I knew what I was doing he left me at the controls, and ended up sitting out on the very bows of Sapphire, taking in the views and listening to the water lapping at the bows. After a while Katz joined him there, taking in the beauty and tranquillity of the Llangollen Canal. I have, on occasion, done the same thing, and all you can hear is the sound of the water passing under the bows, and the music of nature all around. It is surprisingly restful.

In the time since then I visited Mum and Jules several times, and when circumstances allowed, we would head off on the boats for a few days, Mum handling her narrow boat (The Black Cat), and I would be helming Sapphire. Mum and I would then work the boats through the locks, while Jules would help where he could. He was not being selfish (and we never thought he was); he was being realistic. If he injured himself the consequences could be far more catastrophic than for us (if, for example, he were to break a bone it would not heal). We spent Christmas and New Year together, in March we had a ‘snowy’ cruise (which caused Mum problems, as the cold badly affected her), while this summer Katz, her husband Matt, and their two daughters came over for a few weeks, hiring a narrow boat from Chirk Marina, and we had a three boat convoy! The weather was lovely, but the pollen count was very high (which caused the girls problems). Barring the pollen issues everybody enjoyed themselves. We all knew that Jules did not have much time left, but everybody wanted to have fun. We did.

My most recent voyage with Jules and Sapphire was somewhat sombre. By now the cancers had spread, he was, on occasion, in great pain, and he was finding it difficult to get around (he needed help getting on and off Sapphire). On the day I arrived in the area he had told Mum (and almost certainly Katz) that he just wanted it to be over. On the 1st November Jules, Katz and Mum decided to get him back to the hospice where he had stayed previously on a couple of occasions. Katz went off to the local supermarket to borrow their folding wheelchair, Mum went off to get the car, and I sailed Sapphire to the end of the canal arm, very much aware that Jules could be in pain (although Katz had also warned me there was a full glass on the shelf above where Jules was resting, and I did NOT want to deposit this on his head!). Sapphire behaved impeccably, answering the helm beautifully, and (despite the strong breeze) kissed the bank with the gentlest of bumps. Jules, as he was wheeled to the car, said “Ten out of ten, James”. I can only claim some of the credit; Sapphire did everything I asked of her, when I asked, and how I asked. Between them Katz and Mum had, to the best of their ability, managed to help Jules to live comfortably on Sapphire as long as feasibly possible.

The first couple of days in the hospice were hell for Jules. Everybody is different, with wildly varying medical needs, and it took the nursing staff time to find the right medical balance to alleviate the pain while allowing the intellect to function. We (Mum, Boy and I) visited on 3rd November, and the only reason I mention this is that Boy became very protective of his friend, on occasion growling at the staff when they came in to help Jules. Once the right balance had been found Katz told Jules about Boy protecting him, and Jules found this amusing. However, during the time the hospice were trying to find the right concoction Jules tried to get up and move around, and (because of his high level of fitness) the staff did find it difficult to keep him in bed (if he had succeeded he could so easily have fallen and injured himself).

The last time I saw Jules was on 5th November. The pain was under control, and the humour was back. Once, when the nursing staff had topped up his medication, he told us to start the stopwatch (he had been told that, because of the way the pump delivered the medication, it would take 15 minutes for him to feel the effect). We did, but the medication must have kicked in sooner than expected, as he dozed off within ten minutes. Later, after the nurses had ‘changed’ him, one of them said they would do the same in a few hours time, and Jules responded along the lines of “I am already looking forward to it”, with a gentle smile.

Matt was able to fly over (they live on the other side of the world) to help take it in turns to stay with Jules. All throughout his last days Jules had family or friends with him. Mum (and Boy) also spent a lot of time with him, and (although the amount of time Jules was asleep was increasing) when he was awake he was lucid and comforted by the company.

There is an old saying; “If wishes were horses beggars would ride”. If I were to take all of the wishes I have made so far throughout my life Horse Guard Parade would be overcrowded. However, here are a few of the wishes I would make where Jules is concerned. I know that, if some of them had come true, I would never have met Jules, but I can live with that, as it would mean he would still be alive, and his family and friends would not be grieving.

I wish that Jules had not contracted cancer (or any other life limiting illnesses) and went on to live to a content and ripe old age.
I wish that Jules had stayed in the RAF, where it appears he was really happy, and where he was with people who treated him properly.
I wish that Jules, when he went into the financial world, worked for employers and with colleagues who were worthy of him, and who treated him with the respect and dignity his skills should have deserved (his clients certainly did).
I wish that, when Jules sought medical help, somebody had considered the possibility of cancer rather than sciatica.
I wish that, when cancer finally was diagnosed, it had been caught soon enough for it to have been dealt with.
I wish that I had been more persistent in getting Jules to read his emails, as he would have had the scooter months earlier than he did, giving him his freedom back that much sooner.
I wish that I had been able to spend more time with Jules.
Finally, I wish that, some time in the future, I get a phone call, and when I answer it his familiar voice says “James, I want my bloody scooter back!”.
James
ex BX 1.9
ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

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Yes, I am paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH?
Out amongst the stars, looking for a world of my own!
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Rp0thejester
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Rp0thejester »

There's alot of what ifs in life James, just be happy that you helped a guy who didn't ask for it but needed it whether he knew it or not. It seems you helped him enjoy his life. whether at the beginning or the end what's the difference, you helped him, take solace in that and remember his smile driving a 4x4 mobility scooter!!!
Ryan

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Michel
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Michel »

It wasn't a 4x4 mobility scooter, it was one of these beasts...

https://www.iscooterglobal.co.uk/produc ... jRCwYg-GM0
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Rp0thejester
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Rp0thejester »

I want one!!
Ryan

'99 Xsara 1.6 X (Red) with Sunkissed bonnet. T59 SBX
'54 Astra Estate 1.7DTI (Artic White)
'06 C8 2.2Hdi Exclusive (Aster Grey)

Champion of Where's CitroJim :-({|=
Yes I ask the stupid questions, because normally it is that simple.
Hell Razor5543
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Rp0thejester wrote: 19 Nov 2023, 20:08 I want one!!
You cannot have mine! Katz gave it to me, saying Jules would want me to have it.
James
ex BX 1.9
ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

C5 2.2HDi VTX+
Yes, I am paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH?
Out amongst the stars, looking for a world of my own!
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Rp0thejester
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Rp0thejester »

Has it got a big Union Flag flying from the back?
Ryan

'99 Xsara 1.6 X (Red) with Sunkissed bonnet. T59 SBX
'54 Astra Estate 1.7DTI (Artic White)
'06 C8 2.2Hdi Exclusive (Aster Grey)

Champion of Where's CitroJim :-({|=
Yes I ask the stupid questions, because normally it is that simple.
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Michel
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Michel »

Hell Razor5543 wrote: 19 Nov 2023, 20:10
Rp0thejester wrote: 19 Nov 2023, 20:08 I want one!!
You cannot have mine! Katz gave it to me, saying Jules would want me to have it.
Nor can I, as Mrs. Michel made abundantly clear in her little video message to you 🤣
Hell Razor5543
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

When Jules and I were going through the three scooters I had sent him the links to, he (being impatient) wanted each one as we looked at them. The reason that this one came out on top was the blue ambient lighting (his favourite colour). The scooters are not road legal, but we hoped that (as he was known to be disabled, and used a walker to get around) the Police would accept he had a good reason to have it, and turn a blind eye. It certainly gave him some freedom back.
James
ex BX 1.9
ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

C5 2.2HDi VTX+
Yes, I am paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH?
Out amongst the stars, looking for a world of my own!
mahne
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by mahne »

I joined up just to post this, so it'll be one and done for me.
Thank you very much for being such a warm and caring community for Jules in his last couple of years. Rivers it seems were the secret to his happiness. I knew him well at the other end of his life. We rowed together as teenagers at Eton and my name is on that oar of his as well. This photo is from Finals day at Henley Royal Regatta in 1990 and made it into The Times. It always rather riled Jules that I was more the subject of it than him but at least he could take solace from having been the only person to row a Henley final (probably ever) in Aviator shades while making the whole thing look easy. He could be a prickly character and always spoke his mind but I'm so glad that over the years he learned to listen too. I will miss his competitive and combative spirit. We were the fastest pair (2 rowers, 1 oar each, no cox) in the school that year. He needed my brute strength and I needed his nimbleness and determination. Together we were unbeatable and I learned what it really meant to leave nothing for tomorrow. I last bumped into Jules before Covid and missed his whole illness. The working years had been bumpy but I'm so glad the beginning and the end parts of his life were happy. Row well Jules and thank you again to his friends. Christian
Jules Pendock (in shades) Henley, 1990 after winning the Princess Elizabeth cup
Jules Pendock (in shades) Henley, 1990 after winning the Princess Elizabeth cup
Hell Razor5543
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Thank you for that, Christian. Were you at his funeral?
James
ex BX 1.9
ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

C5 2.2HDi VTX+
Yes, I am paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH?
Out amongst the stars, looking for a world of my own!
mahne
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Joined: 22 Nov 2023, 23:05

Re: Julian Pendock

Post by mahne »

Yes I was and to the Boathouse afterwards but to my regret I didn’t get around to speak to everybody before I had to head back down to Sussex, so I would have seen you.
Hell Razor5543
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Re: Julian Pendock

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I have forwarded your message (and photograph) on to Katz. I was also at The Boathouse.
James
ex BX 1.9
ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

C5 2.2HDi VTX+
Yes, I am paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH?
Out amongst the stars, looking for a world of my own!