This morning, just before I headed out the door for a bit, I saw a very sad message cross my Twitter timeline…
…and I couldn’t believe it! It seemed to me that I had only just read new messages from Christine on Twitter and now she’s gone! It seems unreal. Now that I’m home again, I have time to say a little more of what is in my mind and heart.
I briefly met Christine almost three years ago during the Newcastle International Film Festival (NIFF). We were both there to see Richard Armitage in Urban and the Shed Crew. In fact, the picture in this tweet above is taken from a little video I filmed there. I didn’t know Christine very well as I am not very active on Twitter but apparently she read my blog and she reacted to me on Twitter at the time when I blogged and tweeted about going to NIFF on March 31st in 2018. She was a Geordie and, even though I didn’t know her, she was instantly kind and sharing and gave me some helpful tips about Newcastle, she even suggested we might run into each other at the festival despite us never really having spoken before. While waiting in line for the Richard Armitage Q&A event at the Mining Institute I thought I recognized her from her descriptions, waiting not far ahead of me. We chatted for a bit and then I rejoined my group as we were let in.
The second half of the evening we went to the Biscuit Factory to see the screening of Urban and the Shed Crew. There were drinks beforehand with Richard briefly present as well and there was another Q&A and a meet and greet afterwards. I ran into Christine again there. Christine had gone up to Richard and had asked him to film a message for her friend Jane, another fellow fan, who was ill and not able to come to Newcastle and Christine asked me to film that message with my phone. I gladly did. She was so kind and selfless, she didn’t want to ‘spoil’ the video with herself in it but Richard would luckily have none of that, he asked her to come and be in the video with him. Jane was of course extremely happy when Christine sent her that video and I was struck by how sweet she was to have organized this for her friend. Christine shared that video on Twitter herself several times (the last time here, back in July this year), so I feel comfortable enough to share it here as well…
Here are some lovely pictures of Christine from that evening with Richard Armitage (click to enlarge). I know she especially cherished the memory of Richard’s arm on her shoulder and also the kindness he showed that evening. Her heart opened up his heart to the camera and I have always loved this little video because of all the warmth it exudes.
After Newcastle Christine remained an online friend, reacting on occasion to my blog posts on Twitter and I’d react to her Twitter posts on occasion. She was always gracious, funny, kind, smart and warm. I was always struck by how open her heart was and how quickly she treated everyone like they were her good friend or next door neighbour, whether she was reacting to famous people on Twitter or just us normal, mortal fellow Armitage fans. She was sometimes outspoken (in a good way) in her political and social views and always seemed to speak from the heart, with empathy and attention for the more vulnerable amongst us in society.
I knew she had health problems but I had no idea her situation was so tricky for her to suddenly (to me, anyway) pass away. For me, her memory will always be tied to that special, lovely video we made in Newcastle and I will miss her humour and warmth and kindness online in the fandom. Her memory will truly be a blessing, may she rest in peace.
Modified to add that Nell has also paid a lovely tribute to Christine over on her blog Nellindreams (in German).