Monday, December 20, 2010


I have done a lot of good things over the last ten days but apparently blogging hasn’t been one of them.

Life at present is dominated by the fact that my friend Jo is dying. Her cancer is progressing at any alarming rate so it’s now not a matter of weeks or months, as we thought until recently, but of days. For all that, and despite being in great pain, heavily drugged and physically very constrained, her mind, and her sense of humor, seem to be as sharp as ever.

Remarkable people tend to have remarkable friends. so through Jo I have met some terrific people recently. Strange to think of the business of dying being a social occasion but there it is. And from the beginning, we all share one common interest: To do the best for Jo. The star in that respect is her daughter Penny who is proving to be about as devoted a care-giver as one is likely to find.

This whole business has made me think a great deal about death and the manner of it and it’s something I hope to write about in the months ahead. And it’s destination we all have in common. If we all handle the manner of it as well as Jo, it will be a fine thing.

Jo, who has essentially been a world class traveler and tour guide for most of her life has managed to explore all of the nearly all 360 degrees of the this Earth of ours in the course of a fascinating life, but has missed out on two. If that puts you in mind of a female version of Indiana Jones, you should know that even before her illness she was a slight little thing; attractive too, both physically and intellectually – and with a compelling personality.

The French have a word for such a package: Formidable!

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