by Suzanne, Amanda and Sophie

“Memories of Our Adventurous Uncle”.

We were all so very saddened to hear of the loss of a wonderful man who led an amazing life. A man, as Mum’s brother, we were proud to call Our Uncle.

Compared to Adrian, most people only live half a life, trapped in the every day and not pursuing their dreams. Adrian on the other hand did not seem to feel the boundaries of convention which restrain the rest of us. To us, as kids, he seemed fearless, adventurous beyond our comprehension, at once both passionate and ambitiousin the pursuit of his love of filming nature. . . . . . a real man of action.

We were proud to call him Uncle, but realize from reading all the amazing tributes to his life left by colleagues and life-long friends alike,that weknew only part of this amazing man; we have had only a glimpse into his life. We wish we had known him better and spent more time with him, Dae and Luke in recent years and thatwill always be a great regret.

The side of Adrian that we knew was the Adrian “Off-Duty”, at home with his boys and Dae and on frequent visits to Surrey to visit Mum and our Granny during the many years she lived with us. In particular we were close when Ollie, Sean and three of us were young and spent lots of time together.

He will forever live vividly in our memories, a few of which we would like to share with you. . . . .

We remember Adrian “The Entertainer”. . . . . . .

We would all sit around the kitchen table and Adrian would tell us silly stories about this and that. He had us all in absolute hysterics until our stomachs ached and we were falling about on the floor. There was a tape he played us which we guess was a recording he made of his beloved Rwandan gorillas. It wasn’t the normal footage you’d expect ... just the sounds of those big beasts continuously and obscenely breaking wind! It was hilarious, and just Adrian’s kind of humour! We seem to remember he loved a whoopee cushion and fake poo too! The boys’ Christmas stockings were always full of practical jokes and things to make us laugh.

Aside from all the laughter and silliness, we were all in awe of Adrian’s stories about his adventures all around the world. Our eyes would widen at the thought of his close encounters with lions, snakes and civil war!He was like someone from out of the movies - maybe a kind of cross between Crocodile Dundee and Indiana Jones! We had never met anyone like him; and almost certainly never will again.

We remember Adrian “The Devoted Son and Family Man” . . . .

We remember Adrian (and Dae too) would drive backwards and forwards across the country to spend as much time as possible with our Granny during the years she was living with us, and declining in health. He had a very caring nature and showed his love and devotion for his mum by remembering her from the most remote of locations across the world. Against the odds, he would somehow seem to manage to find a satellite phone or a way to send flowers.He also had a wonderful manner with Granny, mercilessly pulling her leg, teasing her and making her chuckleeven through her suffering.

Adrian was of course also a parent himself to three wonderful sons, our cousins, of whom we know he was extremely proud. We grew up alongside Sean and Ollie and spent a lot of time together. We have many happy memories of those years like weekends down at Adrian’s when all us 5 cousins would sleep in a row like sardines in the den at the house in Winscombe . . . . and some embarrassing ones like the photo of us all being bathed together!

And of course we remember Adrian “The Action Man”

We remember Adrian putting his monkey, tree climbing skills to use in our garden by scaling a huge, tall tree that needed trimming, without safety ropes. Little did we know this was child’s play compared to his antics in the jungle.

As a child growing up, with his Indiana Jones like persona, Adrian’s life seemed to be one big adventure. From South American jungles, wading through swamps to find giant anacondas, to living up a platform for days on end in Africa filming rhinos,his fearlessness was awe inspiring. What man would spend hour upon hour in the middle of the ocean, submerged in a cage in the hope of capturing footage of a great white? And, we can safely say he was the only person we know to have eaten monkey brains!

Adrian not only scampered up cliffs and trees like a mountain goat, he also loved jumping out of planes/hot air balloons or off the side of mountains. Some would say he was a thrill seeker; growing up we just thought he was very, very cool.

The youngest of us nieces, Sophie, recalls:

“One day down in Somerset Adrian asked us if we wanted to go paragliding with him in tandem. With fear and excitement we all set off bound for a hill Adrian thought would be a good spot. Both my sisters, it turned out, were too big to go tandem, so I was the lucky one, aged only 7! Not ever having done something like this before I was pretty scared, but Adrian’s charm and cheeky twinkling eyes told me there was nothing to fear. Running off the side of a hill and taking to the air was a new experience for me, and floating down to earth was something I will never forget. Thank you Adrian for giving me the chance to experience it.”

Adrian, you will forever live on in our hearts and memories. We are so incredibly proud to have known you and will never forget the times we spent together. You have left such an incredible legacy in your awesome boys and of course your inspirational library of work.

All our love and thoughts are with you all - especially Dae, the boys and Mum -, today as you join together to pay tribute to Our Adventurous Uncle.