Bill called at the weekend and informed me that X had indeed gone back to stay with her parents where her condition declined and she died last Tuesday. The humanist funeral is this Wednesday at Golders Green Crematorium. I will fly back from Zurich to attend.
It will be strange, she is the first contemporary of mine to die, she is only a year older than me. We met a quarter of a century (half a life-time) ago though mutual friends who were all at college together. I could not claim we were close friends but in those early, heady years in London we were all part of a crowd who would gather at the slightest pretext: birthdays, film and theatre outings, dinner parties, holidays. I would meet her regularly and she was a woman of character best known for her hippy-like devotion to purple and horizontal stripes. She was also a teacher in inner city London - a vocation which requires real dedication.
I went to her 50th birthday party and she declined to come to mine because it was black tie and she did not feel comfortable "dressing up" in a cocktail dress. I did not take offence it was her being true to herself in a way that I can only admire. It was the same when she went for promotional interviews. She would wear exactly the same style of clothes as she wore every other day: to dress up in a business suit would be false.
She will be missed.
Sa Calobra, a Mallorcan Mountain Meander...
6 months ago