Tribute by Michelle Fragniere

met Katie at Glasidale School aged about 4 and we forged a friendship that I was luck enough to keep for the next 27 years.  Though we drifted in and out of touch, things never really changed – we could catch up after 2 years of not hearing from one and other and chat like it was yesterday all over again.

I have many memories of Katie, I broke my arm when playing with Katie aged 9, I fell down the stairs when playing with Katie aged 11 – thankfully as we got older, I became less accident prone and we had many other memories. Shopping trips together in Sutton, listening to the buskers and spending our pocket money or well earned paper round money on clothes and “cassettes” from Our Price.   Those were the days.

We had crushes on the same boys and would hang around the local haunts chatting and gossiping. We’d chat about old times at school and go and visit teachers laughing at the old times – Mrs Suckling saying “just rub it better” when you fell over, even if you had a limb hanging off; laughing at finding a snail in a milk bottle and hiding our crisps from Mrs Daniels; to name but a few.

Katie and I went to different secondary schools but remained friends, going to a few of the same parties and seeing friends. Our parents shared New Years Eve a few times and we would play around all night listening to Adam’s Guns n Roses music and chasing the cat after a dinner of turkey burgers. To many people these memories won’t obviously mean anything but to me they are as vivid as they were all those years ago.

As we grew up and went to University Katie and I lost touch and it was so nice to hear form her when we all returned to meet for a primary school reunion.   Katie, of course, was the one who contacted everyone as she was always the best at being organised – something I keep meaning to do but never seem to!

Katie and I went to Jenn’s 30th birthday together in 2008, we got ready at my house drinking wine and laughing as we dressed up as St Trinian’s and prepared to walk through the streets of London with pigtails and bunchies.   We were the first ones there, feeling incredibly selfconscious but managed to get through it with a few cocktails and laughs.  Before leaving Katie we went to my parent’s house where we all had a catch-up.  She met my son when he was just 6 weeks old and I have some gorgeous pictures of the whole evening. Unfortunately, I was unable to go to Katie and Rich’s wedding but she sent me the photos and, as I imagined, she looked more than stunning.   I never got to meet Rich, even though we were constantly trying to arrange a lunch but you could see in her smile he made her the happiest and proudest girl in the world.

Katie never changed.  She remained the same beautiful person, which is why so many people loved her.  Her smile, her sense of humour and her dedication were but a few of the things that made Katie who she was.  There are so many things I want to write but I know if she read this she would know exactly what I was talking about and laugh just as much as me.   I was honoured to have Katie in my life and call her a friend, I think about her all the time and will never ever forget her.

With all my love Michelle x x