I learned today that my father’s best friend passed away. Some of my earliest memories are of being on his smallholding in the Westcountry. Through the years when we visited, Bob was always fun, always kind, always gentle – a man who knew how to appreciate the things that mattered.


When I turned 18 Bob presented me with a bottle of wine. My dad had telephoned just after I was born, he told me, to tell him of my arrival into the world. Bob told me how excited and happy my father sounded! After the phonecall, he went outside and saw that the field was filled with dandelions. He picked them, and made them into wine. 18 years later, he presented me with a smile and a dusty green bottle. I last saw him when I was in my early 20s, but I have never forgotten, and was always glad to hear my parents talk about him.


There are people who when they leave the world it becomes somehow less without them in it. Bob was one of those people.