If you are wondering why the world has seemed a lesser place this last couple of weeks, it is because one of my life’s good things is no more. Today, in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, family and friends will say a final farewell to dear Bill Turner.
I seem to have known Bill and his unmistakable voice, rich in tone and timbre, forever. I didn’t realise why he held such a prominent place in my childhood until the words he spoke at my mother’s funeral (for which I was deeply grateful. I treasure the copy I have, though I can’t bear to read it much) He explained that he had been one of my first – and I reckon my best – babysitters. Later on I recall the postcards and letters he took the time to write and send from Zimbabwe or Rhodesia as it was then. I looked forward to these and the tales he used to tell of his adventures in this ‘exotic’place.
Although in recent years, all grown up and with my own family, I did not see much of him, he has always had and will continue to do so, a special place in my life.
Of course, none of this I bothered to tell him while he was alive, much to my regret and shame. When will I ever learn?