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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Les Biggs, March 19, 1948-January 24, 2017

"Because my boat has sailed from sight, it does not mean my journey ends, it only means the river bends." ~Anon

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
~e. e. cummings 

I took this picture of Les on the Trent and Mersey in 2012, the Bluebird of Happiness dancing down the towpath.
             "Gentle Soldier of My Soul" by Carter and Grammer


Jo Lodge said...

Dearest Jaqueline.
There are really no words to express our sadness. Les was such a special man, who we first met in 2005 and loved from the day we met. His passing will leave a huge gap in the boating community and to everyone who knew him. Know that we are here if you need us and a listening ear.
All our love at this sad time.
Jo & Keith xxxxxxxxxxxx

Mike Todd said...

So sorry to see this posting and the dates at the top of it. We have all been privileged to share, albeit in just a very tiny way, the journey you have been on. It was so great to read a couple of weeks ago that you had made just one more visit to London and enjoy so many memories.

Lesley K said...

Farewell Les, no more pain now luv.
X Lesley K

Dragontatoo said...

I love you 1000 Swedish Fish & that doesn't begin to compare with how much you love one another. Words are hollow so please just know, I lit a candle for him and I'm sending you love & light.

Arthur said...

Words are not enough! You know where we are when you need anything. Huge hugs for you. xxx

Dulcie said...

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now. RIP Les. Was sorry to see that he passed away today. Condolences to his wife and family.

Richard said...

So sorry to hear this-only met Les a few times but left lasting impressions of his huge heart and thoughtfulness for all apart from himself

Richard-Pendle Warter

antinady said...

Continue your journey Les with no more pain. In our hearts always. Thank you for your friendship and the laughs we shared xxx

Jaq it goes without saying we are here for you whenever you need. Thank you for all you did for Les - he couldn't have asked for more.

Much love
Tina & Andy

Janet said...

So sorry to hear this. We are thinking of you. Janet and David NB More.

Carol Cass said...

We are strangers you and I, but the words I have read about you both, well, the goodness shines out. I wish I could have met your loved one, and my heart goes out to you. Hugs xx

Sarah said...

You and Les did it your way and lived life to the full. I've followed your story and been so impressed by Les's attitude - and yours. You have so many friends here and we are all thinking of you at this time you must have dreaded. But have no regrets - no one could have done it better.

Sally Ellis said...

So very sorry to hear this news.Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

A special man has been lost.

Elsie said...

Dear Jaq,
Our thoughts are with you, we feel your pain. We met your very lovely man Les in 2007 when he introduced himself and made us a coffee when we began our life aboard. We followed your love story and then your lives afloat meeting occasionally when our paths crossed. No more pain for Les and he'll always be in our thoughts. Big hugs to you Jaq
Love Elsie & Ericx

MortimerBones said...

My thoughts are with you and your friends and family, with those who met you, laughed with you, cried with you, and those who didn't meet you, yet your life touched theirs. Les, may you fly free and may those you have left behind find the breath in the air a reminder of the thermals you soar on.
Rest in peace and may the heavy feet and hearts of those of us left behind be so glad you lived in the sadness that you died.

Nev Wells said...

The sad news I knew was coming but not what I wanted to read. Not the end of the story of the love of two people, in my thinking that love keeps going just expressed in different ways. The love of a memory, the love of a smell, the love of a music track, the love of all things that bring that person back to you and opens up your heart again and again. All another chapter waiting to be experienced if not written. I met Les on the Shroppie when he was building up to a life he did not at that time know of, just a short discussion, around blogging. Next time I met Les he was with Jaq on the Coventry, and if I had one word to spend on a description it would be 'laughter' an enduring memory. Keep talking of him as I am sure you all will, that way in my belief he stays with us for a long long long time.

Jennie said...

A great loss to you, Jaq and the boating community at large. RIP Les. With our love and deepest sympathy Jennie & Chris xx

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaq
There is nothing I can say to express how sad this is. Les was such a lovely man and I feel so honored to have been included in your wedding and your life together. I'm so glad we were able to come and spend precious time with you. You know that whatever we can do for you you only have to ask. We will see you soon. Love to you.

Sally and Joe

Andy said...

So sad to read this post. Only met Les once,but read about his exploits lots ... top man.

Andy & Sue x

Korolyn said...

I am sad for you and happy for you at the same time because you no longer have to watch his pain. I am sad for me and all of his friends because we will miss him and his posts. It is important to share our words but yet there are no words.

Brass said...

Love and light, may your love transcend the limits of this world, Blessed Be and beautiful transcendence.

Paul and El said...

Such sad news, another one taken far too soon,
Paul XXX

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

He is free from the bonds of his broken body now, Jaq, and your loss of him is devastating and is perfectly congruent with your likely relief that he is no longer in pain.

A lovely man and you were and always will be a lovely, special couple.


Ian and Karen said...

Dear Jaq, so sad to see that Les's journey has ended. Such a special, lovely, kind-hearted man. You brought Les so much love and happiness, and you have many wonderful memories of your time together. Hold onto those special moments. Sending our love and prayers for you and the family,
Much love Ian and Karen xx

Mike & Phill Muir, nb GARNET. said...

There are people with much better word skills than us who have commented. We can only of regret and sympathy for your loss.\Mike & Phillippa

Steve and Ang said...

Dear Jaq,
So, so sorry to hear that Les has passed away. Never met you but have read your blog for a couple of years, and it was clear that you loved each other dearly. The great times you had together and your determination to live your lives by your rules are an inspiration. It was a life too short but so well lived.
Hold him in your heart
Love Steve and Angela

Carol said...

There are no words that will make anything better Jaq. Just know that we will miss Les but be happy that he is in pain no more and that he has left you with so many wonderful memories. A better man we will never meet. All our love and support. Carol and George xx

Ade said...

Just a blog reader me, but feel like I knew you both from the words and pictures in these pages. My thoughts are with you as you come to terms with what must be a sad time. It was such an open thing to share with us the journey and the pain Les experienced. May all his locks be in his favour and swing bridges left open and a good road set on his canal journey beyond that will never end.
Peace and blessings

Geoff and Mags said...

Dear Jaq. We're so sad to read of your loss. I'm glad we got the chance to meet you both last year. Words aren't really enough at a time like this, are they. But we're both thinking of you.

Pip and Mick said...

So sorry to hear the news today. Although we have never met our bows have crossed a few times and we've been reading your blog for a couple of years. I'm so glad that you had what sounded like a wonderful trip to London at the end of last year and found all those curious places.
Our thoughts are with you.
Pip and Mick

Alan said...

Sad to read this but glad to have met you both, Les and his blog, as it was then, inspired me to take to the waterways, I owe him thanks for that. My thoughts are with you Jaq at this time. N.b.Quinquireme

Sue Deveson said...

Dear Jaq,
Yours is such a special story, a transatlantic romance, two soulmates, two made for each other crew-mates.
From the time we first met Les we recognised a man of kindness, humour and patience. Passionate about the inland waterways he was an amazing researcher who would dig out long forgotten detail in his quest to explain the past. It was his knowledge and advice that gave us courage to explore new waters.
Though his deep brown eyes may now have lost their twinkle and his laugh may be inaudible, in our heads and in our hearts we shall long see and hear a gentle, special, practical, engaging friend, one whom it was a great privilege to have known.
Sue and Ken, nb Cleddau

Judith nb Serena said...

So sorry to read this post. Hold on to the happy memories you have of your time together, they can never be taken from you. May Les now rest peacefully. God bless you both.
Judith and John nb Serena

Herbie Neil said...

Such sad news. I have followed Les's blog from the beginning, through the ups and downs of his boating life. And through the real happiness of his life with you Jaq. Your time together hasn't been as long as it should have been, but what it has lacked in length it has more than made up for in quality. I hope the knowledge that you made him so happy is of some comfort to you.
Kath & Neil (nb Herbie)

Carla Michaelsen said...

Gosh, Jaq! Your life with Les has been such an amazing love story! I have been entranced by it since the beginning. I know it will continue through further memoirs and stories about life with your beloved husband.
I am thinking you have so many more tales to tell and I look forward to reading them, as I have enjoyed reading the narrative of your life together on NB Valerie to this point in time. Please know that you are being kept close in thought and prayer. I am crying tears for you tonight, dear Jacqueline.

Snowy Owl said...

There are no words that will make anything better at this time. I didn't know you or meet your but feel that I have done both just by reading your about your life. Thank you for sharing those times with us all.

Cherish the memories for they will live with you forever xx

Del and Al said...

So so sorry Jaq, nothing we can say will ease the pain and heartbreak you are feeling. Les was a smashing bloke, a good kind man who we will always remember fondly. Our thoughts are with you Jaq, always, and Les will live on in your heart xxx

Unknown said...

My deepest condolences to you dear friend, Jaqueline. I am so glad that I got to meet Les and share in your pure love and laughter. You were a remarkable couple of such mutual devotion. Such magic is truly what makes life worth living, and you have the most amazing memories to call upon, and his spirit so close. He will never truly leave your side. His heart is your heart. My thoughts of sadness yet joy for his deliverance from so much pain rise and sail across the ocean wide to you, my friend. Whatever I can do, please know that I love you and am here for you.


Unknown said...

Jaq, very sorry to hear sad the news about Les's death; we did meet once briefly a few years back (at the end of the Leek branch) if you ever need any help...please ask Chris and Andy nb Ceiriog

Mark said...

I've been following your blog for quite a while now. Popping in to check out the adventures of Les and Jaqueline became a weekly thing to do.
I am so sorry for your loss as Les seemed such a lovely man and you had such a wonderful bond.

Big hug from France

Mark xxx

Chas and Ann said...

Ann and I are so sad to read about Les. I cried. We knew Les for many years while we were cruising the 'cut'. He was a friend from the start. Inviting us on board for a chat and cups of tea where ever we happened to meet. Then his life changed when he found love and care with you, Jac.

Lisa said...

Dear Jaq,
With such a heavy heart to have read of Les's passing. Such a lovely man. Both David and myself send all love to you for the future.
Of course it wasn't long enough together but how wonderful that you both did find each other across the miles, hold those memories close,
Lisa and David

Unknown said...

I was so sorry to see this post, Thank you for sharing your life with us which was so happy, it was so wonderful that the two of you met. our thoughts are with you at this very sad time and we look forward to seeing future posts when you feel able to.

RIP in Les.

Love Tracey xx

Mike Griffin said...


'nuff said - love the picture - 'Blue Bird of happiness' my wot's it - he was dodging a dog 'woopsie' on the towpath.

All the Best.

Mike & Judith

Unknown said...

Much love, hugs and huge sadness to hear the news
Win & Javk
Nb Firecracker

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaq ... when my best beloved Charley died I found comfort in poetry. Les was so very special as are you and the love and boat you shared. It was the strength of his love that he left NB Valarie ready for you to carry on alone Yes, at first in tears and sorrow but eventually I am sure, because I know you, in gratitude and joy. Somewhere, somehow, the sun will shine again and spring Will come.
With much love and hug hugs from Pullman, Karen


Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there, I did not die.

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts, feelings, and memories of Les, and thank youfor your loving care and kind words for me. Everything said is true: he was a good, special, lovely man. He did love me deeply and truly; he touched hearts and made friends everywhere he went.

Les used to call the gates on the public footpaths overe here "Kissiing gates." He refused to let me pass through one unless I kissed him first. When it is my turn to die, Les will waiting for me at the kissing gate to welcome me through the veil between the worlds, of this I haave no doubt. His is a magnificent soul and I am blessed with every beat of my heart and every breath I take that He love me so incredibly and true.

Hugs and love to you all,
Jaq xxx

Charmaine said...

How are you doing, Jaq? Do you have family around you? (I hope.) Thinking of you.


NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs