I started entering Working Trials in 1980 and so met both Sisley’s since then. Entered with Freya, Antoinette, Gero, Kali and finally with Saxon, so it has been a long and fantastic time with these dogs being judged by both Jane and Tony [who passed away on 4 December 1990].
On 14 August 2014 Janet Jones – Sisley passed away after being diagnosed with terminal abdominal cancer
Janet wrote back to me:
I was undergoing treatment in the possible time of prolonging the worst prognosis of 3 months to who knows, a year maybe three if I am very lucky.
Please don’t be sad. I am at peace with the idea of dying and have been since I was in my fifties. I have had a full, productive life, pushed the boundaries and achieved. This year alone I have had a most enjoyable holiday in Australia with Anthony, Sue and Kim. What a lovely country. Makes me wish I had tried much harder to persuade Tony to go in 1980. I returned to England to the joyous news of the birth of the latest Sisley: James Anthony, born on 27 March to Matthew and Leanne in Dublin.
Suddenly my life is easy and I know what is important and what I can discard. I consider myself lucky to have a little time to enjoy what is left and get my life in order.
I thought the best way to bring us up to date, as you said you were wondering where we were, was to give you a potted history since we left Zimbabwe in April 2005.
By 2003, both my eldest son, Anthony, and his family had left for the UK followed shortly afterwards by Jonathan, my middle son. They settled in Maidstone, Kent, where their father was born, and invited me to come over for Christmas 2003. Things were getting pretty tough for older people in Zimbabwe if you didn’t have plenty of money and whilst I was here I decided that I would sell up and that we would come back to England which we finally managed at the end of April 2005. Peter’s mother lived in Rustington, East Sussex and he was educated in the country so we initially stayed with her until Peter got a job in Portslade, next to Brighton and Hove, East Sussex. I fell in love with Hove in spite of never having been here before and we initially had a very quirky basement flat with glass doors, an enormous mirror in the bedroom and cushion flooring in black and white squares. The architecture all around is magnificent, Georgian and Victorian and when you walk on the promenade by the sea you can almost imagine the ladies with their parasols from bygone days strolling beside you. Brighton is very vibrant, full of night life, and at the moment with the World Cup on and it being summer, is full of holiday makers and rocking 24/7.
Unfortunately, Peter was made redundant and our landlord decided to move back to Hove, but we were fortunate to find a very nice fourth-floor, purpose built seventies flat a block down the road. It is light, airy and has a splendid view. We are very close to the sea and on quiet nights I can hear it when I am in bed.
Peter did manage to get a couple more temporary jobs and applied for numerous others without result. Being in your later fifties you don’t have much chance, which is a pity as I think older people have such a wealth of experience to impart. Now we are both pensioners with the attendant perks and live a reasonably comfortable life.
Matthew, my youngest came over in 2006, found Ireland friendlier than England and settled in Dublin where he works in computers. He married his fiancee, Leanne, four years ago and in March this year their son, James Anthony, was born. The new Sisley to carry the name into the future.
Anthony, in the meantime, finally achieved his dream and was offered a job in Australia. They are now at the stage of getting permanent residence and I very much hope that they are successful as life there is better than it is here. I spent three lovely weeks there in March and it gives the impression of a country that cares about itself. The people are very friendly and the shop assistants actually want to help you which isn’t always the case here.
Jonathan is still in Maidstone with his fiancee, Lucy, a mature woman in her 50’s. He works in engineering and seems happy. As they are about an hour’s travel away we see them fairly regularly which is nice.
So far Jane’s history, which I thought would be nice to read for all who knew her and Tony and later Peter.
I wonder if her love for Labradors, they bred mostly the black and chocolate colours still have any progeny left in Zimbabwe?