b. 5 June 1974
d. 9 February 2004 - some sources (Hoppers of Malton) erroneously place this date as 8 February, but Heather did in fact squeeze in an extra day.
So what happened in between?
Up until the age of 20, Heather's life is something of a mystery to me - a haze of hospitals, hangovers and hanging around with people who were unfamiliar with colours other than black. The Tache hung heavy as a backdrop, as did the Blue Room which seemed a magnet for the goths of the north-west. During this wasted youth, she did however amass a fairly extensive film library that she brought with her to university, which (along with her winning personality) initially drew me to her.
Surviving on a careful diet of cheese, chips, frightening volumes of Coca-Cola and Marlboros beyond the RDAs of many African townships, Heather's first year at Canterbury was full of lurid incident and sleep. Heather and I got together at the very end of the year which wasn't the smartest move as we then spent three months apart. It felt like something had clicked though.
The remainder of the university years were spent almost entirely together, and often in the company of Keith Willoughby, landlord of the ill-fated (and dysentery hotspot) Old Locomotive. Livers suffered and jukebox owners rejoiced. Who knew back then these were the good old days? Somehow in 1997, Heather managed to complete her degree despite struggling to get past the front door, and the world opened up like an abyss at her feet.
Post-university proved to be a messy time - Heather had no idea what to do with herself, so opted to avoid the decision entirely. After the most frustrating period of her life, she finally re-emerged in 2001 ready to take on whatever was thrown at her (Malton, for starters) and having spent a long time living at Duchess Drive made the leap to Commercial Street. Career options aplenty blossomed - serving the local drunks at Corks and Cans seemed less satisfying than the advert had made out, so after a brief spell there, she took on the mantle of Till Monkey at Safeway. This too proved to be less than fulfilling for the would-be film director, so after managing one morning at The Ice Box as assistant manager, she dove headfirst into the world of the bookshop at Hoppers - and actually seemed to enjoy herself. Sadly, that was where the ball stopped rolling.
I think the least said about the conclusion of Heather's time spent with us, the better. Despite her best efforts to get help for her declining vision, the medical community let her down and her final operation was not the success she felt certain it would be. Bravery doesn't always get you where it should.
Heather managed to make friends wherever she went: try meeting someone who met her who *didn't* count themselves amongst her best pals. There is now a Heather-shaped hole in the universe - you can't fill that kind of gap.