I was very sorry to see that my first blogging friend Plutarch, AKA Joe Hyam from Now's the Time, died recently. I was always pleased to see him, his wife Heidi and his red scarf or his black beret in the distance on our walks around the Grove. I would adjust my speed to ensure our paths crossed so we could swap items of interest. His kindly attention, first by email and then in person, when I started this blog (he stumbled across it quite by chance and was intrigued to discover we lived a couple of streets apart). His twinkly eyes, birdlike scrutiny and his general refinement and taste impressed me; when I discovered that he was a former journalist I realised that his good opinion had some weight. It was part of what gave me the confidence to go on writing day after day after day. I was incredibly flattered when he used the 3BT format on his blog -- although I always felt he did it better than me. Joe lived well and he wrote about (and drew and photographed) the enjoyment he derived from all the small pleasures there are to be had.
Some fine tributes have appeared from Joe's close friends, two on Tone Deaf, one here and the other here and a portrait on Box Elder, and an account. I want to spend some time reading back over the 3BTs that relate to him -- there are a fairly large number and I want to crystallise my memories of him into something coherent that I can share.
1. Alec listening to the seaside noises made by handfuls of dry rice. Then he looks for buried treasure in it, pretends to bake cakes with it, hides spoons in it for me to find and makes footprints in it. He has a small melt-down when I take it away; so that was a successful play session.
2. Baby Ella and Bettany staring at each other. Bettany crawls all round Ella, and Ella reaches out to touch where Bettany's hair would be if she has any. Ella recently learnt to sit unsupported (except when she gets distracted) and Bettany has just started to pull herself up to stand.
3. To sit with Nick and have his support while I sit up late and write about these sad things.