Solly Sunflower grew up in the Cotswolds. She came to live in Surrey and had many friends in the beautiful village of Brockham. Times changed and she moved away. Eventually meeting and marrying Bobby Ballcock. “Solly” was consigned to history and she became “Diddley” in a wonderful new life.
Her friendships in Brockham remain to this day and, of course, they still know her as Solly.
By amazing coincidence, we learned that one of Solly’s old friends lives at West Horsley Place, in a cottage in the grounds. “Come to see me and the Sunflowers.” said Basch. And we did. On a glorious summer’s day, we reminisced about those Brockham days. How Solly brought colour into everybody’s lives and now colourful memories of a life well lived.
We walked through the Sunflowers. Some had sunglasses on. Something that personified Solly, who maintained they made her look twenty years younger. Suddenly, she became Solly Sunflower and the rest her grandchildren.
The introduction to West Horsley Place was by Bobby’s nephew, Robin. For now, it was for the Sunflowers. A village initiative to brighten the world and raise money for various charities.
Later we are invited to explore the wonders of historic West Horsley Place and share them with you in Mindfully Bertie.
But for now, Sunflowers symbolise happiness, optimism, loyalty and devotion, strength and resilience. They are the National Flower of Ukraine. The country’s flag representing sunflowers beneath a blue sky.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley (Solly Sunflower) and Bobby
It was her birthday on August 19, and we were planning to take her, in spirit, to see My Fair Lady.
Tim: “I had almost finished preparing this blog when I heard the news that Bob had passed away unexpectedly. He had told me the candle photograph would be taken on Friday. Reading his original line above, I felt I knew exactly where that photo would have been taken. St Martin-in-the-Fields.
So, on Friday, I set off to light a candle for both of them. I arrived at the church before its advertised closure time – only to discover it was already closed! What would Bobby have done in this situation? That was easy.
I set off on the short walk and took them to the London Coliseum.