Remembering Auntie Philly
I've talked about personal things before here but I have to admit, I wasn't sure whether to write this. These words have been swimming round my mind for the last few days and I felt I needed to put them to paper (so to speak). A few of you knew my auntie, having met her at the wedding, a gig or, most likely, the pub. Whether you knew Philly or not, I want to share some information about one of the most inspirational people in my life.
Philly Trounson, who sadly passed away early last Friday morning, was an amazing woman with a stubborn nature who, no matter what struggles life brought, would simply keep going. She was blunt and down to earth, grateful for the help you offered and provided, and would offer help and guidance in return (whether she thought you needed it or not).
A lover of dogs, Philly would take on rescues, giving them as much of her love as she could give, having sadly been unable to have children of her own. Many of my memories of her are always with a happy dog in tow, whether it was Lupus and Sapphire, Budleigh and Nigel, Poppy, or perhaps her most beloved dog, Storm; a wonderful border-collie who, when visiting, would never leave my side ('the little tart' as Philly would say when Storm rolled over at my feet).
As someone who had moved about a bit, Philly had skills in many industries; a trained nurse, a carer, a councillor, a roadie, a shop assistant, a barmaid, and she even dabbled in clairvoyance. This was a woman who found joy where she could, had a wicked sense of humour, and someone I was lucky enough to call my auntie. She was a proud aunt too; always telling the story of when mum gave birth to me and was then whisked away to entertain my 3-year-old brother, leaving Philly on the bed with me, giving all the nurses coming into the room the impression that she'd been the one to give birth and was offered a cup of tea. From that moment on, I was her Munchkin, or 'Munch' for short. She was always one for pet names, Munch being one of them. Others included sweetheart, darling, love, honey, and especially for dad, Red (the colour of his hair). At any concert or gig I'd perform, auntie Philly was my biggest fan, the first to cheer me on-stage, to clap and whoop as I finished a song, to tell me how proud she was, often saying 'that's my boy', and liked to make a fool of herself, dancing round the room without a care in the world. Philly was not often modest, one of her favourite phrases being 'of course I know, I'm great auntie Philly', using 'great' to literally refer to how great she was. Anything you said that she already knew would be responded to with 'exacticles', one of her many favourite words. When she was cross, Philly would go to lengths to avoid the F word, often using fudge instead, but would then proceed to use any other curse word under the sun, including more of her favourites: 'Flippin!' and 'Gordon Bennett!'.
Her wicked sense of humour would often lead to affectionate insults and plenty of sarcasm, all spoken in various pitches of her voice. A voice that was so flexible when it came to accents since, after only a few months in the Chew Valley, she'd completely got rid of the Geordie accent (which wasn't even her original accent, having grown up in Staffordshire), and now had a 'light' west-country accent. She had also 100% perfected the eye roll, which she used more times than I can remember. When she found something funny, her laugh was often a little chesty giggle (a 'huh-uh') or a loud cackle. I have many memories of auntie Philly, memories I will always cherish and hope to remember for the rest of my days. My only wish is that we had had more time to make more. I'm sure those of you who knew her will have memories of your own and I don't know if she joked about this with you but she told me a couple of months ago that she'd come back to haunt us, just for fun.
I hope that wherever auntie Philly is, she is happy, suffers no more pain, and is having a nice time with Grandma, Grandpa, and all her beloved dogs.
Philippa Trounson 1961 - 2021