Trev the Bongo

I spent a lot of my youth drawing (mostly spaceships and robots) and never got very good at it. I even tried to take Art A-level, but after a few months my tutor looked at my work and suggested, not unkindly, that I should skip the exam and simply enjoy myself.

I never really drew again after that.

But it seems to be a family thing: my Dad has always been good at painting and drawing, the Lovely Melanie used to be pretty good, Millie loves it, and now, when Amber’s not watching YouTube or playing with the gang outside she’ll be drawing.

AmberHarryThis morning she jumped into my bed at 7 am with a huge pack of felt-tips and her little drawing desk, and ran me through all of the drawings in her new sketchpad. Here’s a photo of her bedroom door: it’s covered in drawings, like these two of Harry and Hermione from Harry Potter.

Obviously, I’m biased because she’s my beautiful, clever, funny and daughter, but for a ten-year-old, they’re not bad at all – they do look like Harry and Hermione.

Millie likes drawing, too – both of them love any arts and crafts sort of thing – but it’s Amber who’s currently obsessed with it.

And some genuinely lovely moments come out of her drawing, creations that make us look at her twice and proudly wonder, “What’s going on in that little head?”

Then, last night, she showed us her drawing of “Trev the Bongo” which was just lovely. But…Trev the Bongo? Who – or what – is Trev the Bongo?

Well, I’ll tell you…

Trevor the Bongo


Both girls are going to stay with my parents during half-term next week, and they’ve hired a type of camper van called a Bongo for the four of them, plus their cousin, Izzy, to go travelling around Dorset. My Mum and Dad asked the girls to name the Bongo, which prompted lots of the usual suggestions like “Unicorn” or “Fairy”, until Amber, out of nowhere, suggested Trev the Bongo – named after my brother, Trev (obviously, not “Bongo”) who tragically died back in 2011.

So, that’s the name they’ve settled on (a Bongo song to sing while they’re travelling has yet to be decided upon…)

The drawing of Trev in that picture really captures his likeness. I mean, really. She basically nailed it, and in doing so made a lot of people smile – me most definitely included.

On the downside, I don’t think Conny, Trev’s wife, has ever worn a dress like that, and “Nicco” the five-legged duck was, in reality, “Nico” the grumpy black and white cat. But one of out of three’s still not bad, especially considering Amber doesn’t really remember Trev, having been only three when he died.

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