This blog is about two women and one date. April 20th. I’ve written it to hold memory in the amber of cyberspace. I’ve been meaning to write it since that date.
Katherine worked at The University of Manchester and so did Julie Segar. . Julie had voted for me to become Chancellor. She was dying and requested a particular poem signed by me. It was this one
“How do you do it?” said night
“How do you wake and shine?”
“I keep it simple” said light
“One day at a time”.
I offered “Gold From The Stone” because this is the first peice in it. I said I could drop the book off at The Malmaison hotel in Manchester in a couple of days. I took the book from my lodgings in London to Manchester and Kath duly picked it up and took it to her bedbound colleague. I then set off for Ethiopia. I returned on 20th April and switched on my phone. A new message.
Let’s go back again just before I left for Ethiopia. A message from a woman I love. I don’t know why but from the moment I met Rebecca Swift I knew we’d be friends for life. It’s rare this happens in life. Here are her words. She too was dying.
On returning from Ethiopia. At the same moment on April 20th (when I switched my phone on as the plane landed at Heathrow) I read this message from Rebecca’s dear partner.
I couldn’t make the funeral. But I was at 20th Anniversary of The Literary Consultancy a few weeks earlier.The acronym of The Literary Consultancy says everything about Rebecca. I was sat next to where this picture was taken.
I carry her book with me everywhere I go. I have it here now.
Of this I am sure: life is not worth living if there is noone you would die for.