Today I am very sad. An old friend is dying in hospital, whilst his family try to get him home. He is 88, and his war was spent in India and Burma, his time as an undergraduate cut short to get him to the front. He is one of the very finest human beings I have ever met. Gentle, immaculate in his grooming, twinkly and kind. Until two months ago he was playing 18 holes of golf twice a week. Until a month ago he still had accountancy clients. Then suddenly he couldn't breath, couldn't walk, his heart started failing and a series of strokes have put him in hospital. When I visited him on Tuesday I found him in a side room, contorted in a collapsed bed, with nothing to drink, and struggling to breath. Not one to make a fuss, even if he could reach the bell to summon a nurse. To the nurses he is just another old codger waiting to meet his maker, and they will get around to fixing his bed/fetching a bed pan/water/helping him to take a drink all in due course, but not until the pressing need has passed. He shouldn't be left alone. He should be at home with his loving wife of 65 years.
You are a darling man Alan, the very finest sort, I will miss you so much, and I will miss your war stories that your family tired of hearing years ago. May the bureaucrats get their arses into gear so that you may go peacefully, with a view of your garden, with your loving family around you. Thank you for everything you did to protect your fellows and to rebuild your country. I will miss you so. The world will be a lesser place without you.