I knew Tim from church, but not his name. Then we saw each other at Longborough and elsewhere, and more recently sitting in the front row at Cineworld for the Met opera relays, which he loved. He told me he was going into hospital to have his back straightened: I could see he was apprehensive about it. Sadly, he never returned home.
At his funeral mass this morning, a friend recited The Burren Prayer by John O’Donohue, a new one to me and very beautiful: it contains the lines, "May the light that turns the limestone white remind us that our solitude is bright." Perfect for someone "who didn't always carry the world lightly" - and for Charles, his grieving partner of four decades.
Altogether, it was very proper occasion. Not many of those present were Catholic (Tim was a convert), but Fr. Bosco welcomed all comers most warmly and openly. Noone should have been mystified - unlike yesterday evening: Caroline and I went to hear Professor Rich Pancost talking about the chemistry of past and future global warming. I felt well out of my depth, though the message was clear: our politicians need to do something urgently!
Argument rages meanwhile about whether or not Typhoon Haiyan was a symptom of man-made climate change. Does it matter? Agnes thinks not, and has undertaken to write 100 poems in a day next Wednesday, if people will sponsor her in aid of the Phillippines' victims. Brilliant!