By the end of the sixteen year relationship which we described earlier, strains were becoming apparent and although Jac and her partner were still together and still working together, there seemed to be little hope that matters could improve.
It was now that Jim Perrin came into our sister’s life. With our knowledge of all that happened to her later — ‘Hindsight…’, as they say, — we find it difficult to write of this period but we shall be scrupulously fair.
At the outset Jac, with her eldest son, went to a book reading in Llangollen where she knew that Jim Perrin would be. Afterwards she told us about it, and explained that they had known each other briefly and intermittently, when she lived in Liverpool; how they had met occasionally, as the partner with whom she then lived was also a climber, and that they had sometimes come across each other in North Wales.
She said that there was little else to tell but that after seeing the details of this forthcoming ‘reading’ her interest had been piqued and she had gone with her son to the event on October 29th, 2002.
The decision was hers — she chose to go and meet Jim Perrin; she chose to meet him again, and later, to begin a relationship with him.
After that initial encounter she continued with her life as before; working on her glass and fulfilling her commissions, looking after her family and visiting and being visited by her relatives and many friends.
With his most recent marriage and the birth of his latest child only just behind him (details of which Jac had absolutely no idea) Jim Perrin was occupied with research for his books and articles and with his readings, and — this a major concern to him at the time — working on a biography the deadline for which was fast approaching. It could perhaps be thought he was hardly placed to form a new partnership so quickly.
It was in the New Year of 2003 that they began to see a great deal more of each other and that their relationship developed. As her sons were by now at university or travelling and her daughter, who was working on her art course, was away from home a good deal, Jac was able to be more of a ‘free agent’ and we knew she saw Jim Perrin with increasing frequency.
From February until that Easter, as she became more deeply involved with him, accompanying him on various trips and to his readings, she seemed — as one sister remarked at the time ‘to have dropped off the radar’, referring to the sudden and unprecedented lack of communication. Of course we do not mean to say here that none of us heard a single word from Jac in that time, merely that the long conversations on all aspects of our lives had become less frequent.
After Easter she ‘surfaced’ and told us all about this wonderful man; of the different parts of the country to which he had taken her and of how knowledgeable he was about everything; how interesting he was to be with and how he could tell such stories: she had, between Christmas and Easter, fallen for him and was by now, in short, utterly besotted. As the spring advanced into summer there was no doubt at all that during that lovely and most promising time of year she fell ever more deeply in love.
He had after several changes of address settled for a brief period in the picturesque village of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant and it was here that our sister would visit him. In the following months she had an accident, a fall of particular seriousness, which we will describe later, and it was during the aftermath of this accident that she stayed with him for approximately three weeks as she tried to recover. While she was there her children re-decorated her bedroom at home, ready for her return and her daughter went to her to celebrate her eighteenth birthday as she was still unwell.
In due course it was decided that Jim Perrin would sell this house, move to our sister’s home and buy a second-hand caravan which he would use as his study. The move was completed in September. Since Easter time Jac had, as usual, been in constant communication with her sisters and one of them was actually present when the old caravan was spirited down an almost impassable track to its last resting place. Jim Perrin now lived at our sister’s address until she died.
She was, at first, profoundly happy with him; we could see that this was so and we would not wish to deny or diminish that early joy. Indeed what more could we have wished for our sister than that she had met with this man whom she loved and trusted and believed would love her always…
All too sadly however the true colours of her new partner were soon to be revealed; she was at first saddened and very quickly became appalled by his changing behaviour towards her and, even worse, to her children.