The last full day of our Journey for Jane, and a chance to explore Moscow.
We had directions to get to Red Square – just a few stops on the Metro line from where we were staying.
But it’s really difficult in the station to work out in which direction you’re even supposed to be going, when you can’t read Cyrillic script. We asked an official looking attendant, wearing a grey suit and red hat – rather we pointed at a name of the Metro station for Red Square which had been written down for us. Read More
Thanks go to TImofey, his father, friend Asya, and to Natalia at the B&B Assembly for giving us a taster of St Petersburg – and that’s all it could ever have been in two days. There is just so much to see and do, that you could never even scratch the surface in so short a time.
We left St Petersburg on the Nevsky Express bound for Moscow.
The train takes 4 hours 30 minutes.
After a morning spent at the Russian State Museum, we met up again with Timofey from the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh.
After a short walk round part of the centre, past the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood, built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, and across the Field of Mars, we met up with Asya, a friend of Timofey.
Asya is a graduate of the St Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy.
At last, Russia.
The ferry berthed in St. Petersburg on Sunday morning. After a week of travelling across Europe, we had finally arrived at our destination.
The port is a bit out from the city centre, but after a quick negotiation with a bus driver taking an excursion into the city, smoothed by a few hundred roubles, we had hitched a lift. Read More
By the time we were up on Saturday morning, there were no signs of the previous evening’s festivities on board the ferry. No sign of anyone having gone overboard, in more ways than one!
Everything was ship shape and Bristol fashion, and the winner of the vodka drinking competition no doubt safely tucked up in his cabin for the day. I wonder what the winning prize was, no doubt a bottle of vodka.
The ferry berthed in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
Tallinn is simply beautiful. Read More
Stockholm from the ferry
Today we left Stockholm and made our way across the Baltic towards Estonia. I was sad to close the Swedish chapter of our Journey for Jane: my old lecturers had been so kind, and it had been great to be back in Sweden.
I knew that stage two of our journey, the Swedish section, would be particularly poignant for me. Uppsala was where I lived at the time of Jane’s death, and I connect it to the early stages of my personal journey of first accepting, and later learning to cope with the reality of my sister’s passing.
Uppsala will always be a special place for me.
I saw Jane on a couple of occasions after we returned home from our Swedish holiday together in August 2011 – helping her to move into her new student flat in Dundee one Sunday morning in September, and when she stayed over with us in Edinburgh one Saturday night in October just 10 days before she died, but Uppsala was where we spent our last real time together.
The day was characterised by train delays, reading books, snoring – for my dad at least – and, in fairness, some beautiful countryside. On Day 8 I was able to check a box on my bucket list. Well, not that I actually have one, but if I did crossing the Øresund Bridge would certainly be on it. Read More
Graeme on the ferry
Our journey has essentially three main stages – revisiting places in Belgium and the Netherlands where we had spent time with Jane, revisiting Uppsala in Sweden, and then reaching our final goal of Russia where Jane had always wanted to go. The stages in between are steps in the journey, stop offs on the way, but a chance nonetheless to take in sights which I am sure Jane would have enjoyed seeing.
Jane always loved travelling. Read More
The day began with gnomes, a cow, two goats, and hens; a short walk, Mr Bean, and a friendly duck. A strange combination, yes, but then Delft is an odd, and yet beautiful, place. After snapping many pictures, we crammed ourselves into Johan’s Jaguar and made our way towards Germany and the incredibly smooth, straight, and more than a little scary, autobahn.
The hotel in Delft
Here in Delft we’re staying at a little hotel, with an art theme.
It’s a bit quirky – Craig described it as groovy, and it is in a 1960’s hippy chic, or should that be hippy chick, sort of way. There are murals on all the walls, and on the way up the stairs these are of cavorting nudes. For a moment I thought we’d stumbled into the wrong type of establishment – well it is Holland after all!
I really laughed yesterday morning.
In re-tweeting our first blog post from Belgium, Roger White had said – they’re “hunting for Smurfs no doubt.”
Little would he have known that I used to spend hours hunting for Smurfs when Jane was little. She had a collection of them, and they lived in her doll’s house. A doll’s house full of little blue men with white hats.
Friday morning, up early and standing on the deck of the ferry as it arrived in Zeebrugge.
Anyone who knows our friend Johan, will know that he is not a morning person, but there he was waiting for us on the quayside at 8 am. Clearly his earliest start for years, and we were delighted to see him there.
From left to right, Roderick Campbell MSP, Graeme Kelly, Craig Kelly, and Shona Robison MSP.
This morning we had a tremendous send off from the Russian Consul General, where we enjoyed a coffee and some kind words.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – Bilbo Baggins
I’ve always loved that quote, but until today, it’s never had any relevance to my life. Today, however, my father and I set off on our journey for my late sister, Jane. Read More
I still remember the day that everything happened. The day my sister was taken away from me forever. Earlier that day I’d spoken to Jane on the phone and we’d planned our weekend together; we were going to the cinema on Saturday, I was going to stay at her flat and then on Sunday we would go out for lunch and go window shopping like we did almost every weekend.
Although much to my dismay, later that night around 11pm my dad came through to wake me up and tell me the terrible news that ended up changing me and my family’s life forever. At first I was in great disbelief as I guess I just didn’t want to believe that something so wicked and final had happened to my sister. Read More
Only a few days now before Craig and I set off.
Thankfully most of the travel plans are in place – only the simple matter of booking a flight home from Moscow!
Thank goodness that everything can be booked online. What did we do before the internet?
We’ve got a fair bit of travelling to do on our third stage of the journey. We’ll have spent 3 nights in Belgium and the Netherlands, so there’s a bit of catching up to do to get to our next destination – Uppsala in Sweden. Read More
I didn’t know Jane when she was alive, but I was approached by her brother Craig after he had read a piece I’d written on the National Collective website; I was asked to respond to her story.
It was difficult to digest Jane’s story initially, from my first perception of it being so awfully tragic, and such an obvious loss of someone who epitomised light, innocence, beauty. It seems so impossible that somebody so authentic might no longer exist: the qualities she epitomised are so lacking in our troubled society and culture, and we desperately need to honour and protect them. Read More
Photo opportunity: 12pm on Wednesday, 4th September at the front of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Perth Road, Dundee
The father and brother of late Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design student Jane Kelly, who tragically died in 2011, will leave from Dundee on Wednesday to begin their charity journey in her memory. Read More
I “do” words for a living, but these are among the hardest I’ve ever had to write. No words can even begin to explain what losing Jane has meant to us all. It has affected every aspect of our lives – the way we look at ourselves, each other and even strangers we pass in the street.
I knew Jane for a large chunk of her life.
I knew her as a wee girl, who we took on camping trips, boat trips, holidays and the other normal outings of family life (including, much to her dismay, the weekly supermarket shop). Read More
Over a hundred of you voted and I am delighted to announce our new theme song …
With 30% of the vote, the winner is: The Calling – Wherever You Will Go
Thanks to so many people for the feedback and support on the first instalment of our Plans and Preparations.
It’s less than two weeks now until Craig and I set off from Dundee, and all of a sudden it is dawning on me that there is no going back. The experience so far in the planning of the journey, and pulling together the content of the website with Craig, has been a positive one for me personally. For the first time in almost two years I have been doing something which I have really wanted to do, celebrating Jane’s memory in a positive way. Read More
Ever since Craig and I came up with the idea of making our “Journey for Jane” to Moscow, we’ve had lots of different ideas as to how we should go about making the journey.
It didn’t take long to dispel any notions of walking all the way there – it’s 1534 miles from Dundee to Moscow (as the crow flies).
By my reckoning that would take us 3 months, at least!
Even Napoleon had to turn back when faced with the icy blasts of a Russian Winter, and we’ve no intention of trying to prove it can be done.
So what have we come up, and how are our preparations coming along? Read More
We have launched a Youtube channel to tie in with Journey For Jane. On there, we will periodically upload vlogs—“video blogs” for those of you not versed in the lingo—and the odd promotional video.
Please subscribe to our channel here.
We’ve all heard the famous saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, it’s a famous saying because it’s hard to refute. Pictures can immediately transport our mind to memories and places in a way that only the craftiest of wordsmiths can achieve.
Jane loved pictures, almost as much as painting. She was forever snapping away during holidays, birthdays, and in every day life. During our journey, we will take lots of photos to document our trip and to give you a glimpse of where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to. Unfortunately, we can’t promise that our photos will be anywhere near Jane’s high standards; but we’ll do our best. Read More
As I lie at night, trying to get to sleep, I sometimes think back to that cold October evening. I can still see Craig’s face as he appeared at his Grandparent’s living room door after receiving the phone call from his Mum. I can remember feeling confused and numb as I drove Craig and his Grandfather to his Dad’s house to break the terrible news to him. I remember phoning my Mum – I was calm, and emotionless; it was like I was on autopilot. I couldn’t quite take in what I had just been told. But out of all of those flashbacks, there is one memory that I wish I could shake off – the memory of Craig standing outside his Dad’s house screaming. Craig just had to do something that no son should ever have to do – tell their Father that his daughter was dead. Read More
Attending Jane’s graduation is something I felt as a mother I had to do. Although heart breaking and extremely difficult, I felt Jane would have wanted me to be there to collect her degree on her behalf.
The morning was filled with nerves and sadness, but I was driven by a sense of duty to Jane. I know how excited she would have been. This day should have been one of the happiest and proudest in her life. This was the culmination of her work, a moment she must have dreamt of, and an event that I would, like so many others, have to do in her absence. Read More
The growing ubiquity of technology in 21st century lives is making our world seem smaller, and helps to keep us connected to those in different cities or even countries. However, it never occurred to me until October 2011 that technology could inform us of both the good and the bad in the lives of those we know and care for.
At the time, I was living in Belfast, and it was through the medium of Facebook that I heard of Jane’s tragic and untimely passing. Like any shocking news, it took a while to sink in, and it was only after talking to Jane’s brother Craig later that day that it began to seem real; it was only at her funeral, where Jane’s father Graeme showed such strength and courage in delivering his eulogy, that it all hit home. Read More
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength”
These are the words carved into Jane’s headstone. Twelve simple words that, in my opinion, capture Jane’s character. I sometimes wonder what Jane would make of this quote. To my knowledge, she had never heard it before. She was, as far as I know, not aware of Saint Francis de Sales, the utterer of this beautiful combination of words that will forever be connected to Jane.
Collections of words, fragments of images, glimpses of events; these are the shadows that are left of Jane. I don’t want to be overly depressing, but I want to give you an insight into why Journey For Jane is so important to me.
As any of you who has lost someone close to you will know, from the moment that person passes it’s as if you carry the shell of grief on your back every day. You become used to it, you almost cherish it as a surrogate for the person who is gone. Yet every now and then the cumbersome weight of their absence, of your grief, can become overbearing. Read More
For the past 3 years Jim Scullion has devoted some of his time every Saturday morning and the occasional weekday to working with a charity organisation named PETAL (People Experiencing Trauma and Loss) an organisation which works with and supports people who have lost family members to murder and/or suicide. In that period Jim has been working with a group of Young People aged between 5 and 21 in an art project. The group has been through numerous art workshops with Jim and in recent months have been working on an emagazine which they hope will appeal to young people and their parents. The magazine is called Ballucan (pronounced Be All You Can). Jim’s website can be viewed here.
I was very pleased to hear that Graeme and Craig are undertaking this venture as a special tribute to Jane and the things she loved. I was also overwhelmed by the fact that they wish to help the Children’s Art Group at PETAL. Read More
I will never forget that dark windy October evening. As I walked towards my door in answer to the bell, I could see two dark figures through the glass. I opened the door. Two police officers, a man in plain clothes and a woman in full uniform, stood with grim expressions on their faces.
No parent should ever hear the following words.
My life has not been the same since that evening. It’s as if you can separate my life into everything that happened before 28th October 2011, and all the incredibly difficult things that have since come to pass. That is why I fully support Journey For Jane: it is a symbolic first positive step.
Jane and I were very close. We spent a lot of time together; on holidays to Spain, Turkey, France, and Florida; shopping trips; out for meals; coffee dates where Jane would always indulge in her favourite hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows; and, even though she was in student halls living university life to the full, she regularly came through to visit her mum, little sister Caroline, and her beloved cat, Skye.
There were two sides to Jane. There was the shy and retiring side, but that was complimented by the girl who would parody my phone voice, imitate her favourite Mr Bean, who used to goat around with the best of them, and who would sing in the most angelic of voices. Jane had two passions, art and singing. I suppose she was the all round creative type. Read More
I miss Jane terribly.
Every father of a grown up daughter inevitably still thinks of her as their little girl, and I am no different, and to have lost my little girl is so painful.
I have such vivid recollections of Jane as a little girl, the baby who never crawled or sucked her thumb, but shuffled around on her bottom, whilst sucking two fingers, with another two pushed up her nose. The toddler who used to steal the cat’s food from its dish, who cried when her bare feet touched sand, and wouldn’t leave a picnic rug the whole afternoon we spent on a beach. The shy little girl, who was very nearly kept back from starting school at 5 years of age, because she wouldn’t speak to anyone.
Jane retained that shyness throughout her life. Read More