Sunday, January 10, 2016


A few last things ...

On Christmas Day I sat on the bed and we talked about old radio comedy - Tommy Hanley, Round the Horne, Hancock. 

Normally, you said, you'd start with a Sancerre and then open a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. An excellent choice, I said. "Have a glass for me, boy" you said. 

You complained vociferously about the doctors, the NHS, the fact that no one knew what they were doing. 

You asked me if I had a nail file - the kind of request you hear from prisoners in films. Funnily enough, I did. One of the blades on my little pen knife. You smoothed down a nail - an oddly feminine gesture - explaining it caught in the threads of the dressing gown. 

We talked about politics, the immigration crisis, my old car and the new. Renaults were good cars, you said. 

We pulled a Christmas cracker. I read the joke: "Q: How do make a pair of trousers last? A: Make the jacket first." We agreed it wasn't bad. In the circumstances. I thought of Nagg's joke about God making the world in Endgame

We shook hands and you said something in Welsh. Happy Christmas? And thanked me for coming. 

I said I'd see you again. And walked off down the corridor. 

Later that day, I took down an anthology of Coleridge and it fell open on a page from his Letters. 'To John Morgan, 14 May 1814'. Of all the pages, of all the names. These things happen, of course. 

Here's to you - and your soup will always be the best. 

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