Cheerfulness is my chief object in life even when it seems to be a fleeting virtue. I find myself hoping that people will make allowances for its present frailty.
My grand daughter Giselle tells me that when she was in Thailand she was at first offended that people she met repeated the words "tomato, tomato" when they met her. It was only when they explained that it was in fact a compliment based on her pink complexion, one doubtless encouraged by her initial reaction to their remarks, that prompted the comment.
Will miss your posts, Joe. Glad you were here.
what has happened?
Joe passed away following heart surgery on 10th March 2014. He had been ill for some time but this was still unexpected. Our thoughts are with his family, and our hearts are very full.
Sorry to be the bearer of such sad news. We will try to inform people of of any further news regarding this blog, at the moment there is no direct access to it to leave any message.
So sorry to see this news. I will miss our chats in the Grove. Joe was my first 3BT friend and his encouragement went a long way.
I am so sorry to hear that Joe has passed away. I have followed his blog for many years and enjoyed his writing and photographs. I have lived and worked in Tunbridge Wells, so his local posts always felt familiar. He leaves a void in my life now that he is gone. I send my deepest condolences to his family.
Clare, because of you I discovered Joe. A remarkable circle. Thank you both for the merry ride.
Because it felt good to come here every day, I still come by.
So do I, Ellena.
pretty nice blog, following :)
Yup. I do, too.
I've been rereading some of Joe's posts, and his call-and-response poetry with Lucy. I don't know what I'm looking for here - comfort, words of wisdom I can use to fix my life, memories...
Joe is gone, but his ghost lives on in my machine. I hope it always will.
3 May 2014
I was thinking of you today.
A spider descended from the ceiling on an invisible thread of silk, right next to my computer monitor. No, I didn't kill it, though it took every ounce of restraint I have not to. I could hear you telling me about those paper cones your father used to make for catching spiders, to release them unharmed outdoors. I don't know that I'll never lose my cool and dispatch them again, but because of you, there is one lurking somewhere on my desk tonight.
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Does the Comment facility still work? I'll have to take it on trust.
Two or three weeks away from a miserable anniversary. The Hell with marking an end, why not something more typical of Joe the Man of Words?
Three years ago I was struggling with a transitional passage in my novel, Blest Redeemer. Joe was holding my hand. Eventually we were over the hump and Joe said: "Now have some fun with Imogen." (a subsidiary character - used to measure the sophistication of Judith, the central character).
This part para was one result of that encouragement.
Invited to make love in a car (Imogen) had done the sporting thing: proof she wasn’t standoffish, still had her youth, was prepared to let her body rule her mind. Quibbling would have missed the point. And there’d been more to it than mindless rogering. Telling the tale she had broken off to mention parenthetically they’d parked close to an allotment. That her father was a keen gardener and that she was prepared to risk bathos on his behalf. During her communion she’d been able to smell sage and - further away - compost.
Far from perfect, still more or less a rough-hewn idea. Joe would have advised. But I'm on my own now, and it's all much harder.
Just passed by - like Time.
A year on, thought I'd stop by. Interesting to see others do the same.
am going for a drink in roupell street on saturday 3rd october ... 2015
Am reading that Tristan was going for a drink in Roupell Street, 3rd October... 2015 - a mere six days before I wrote this. Am seeing the pub five-ish, office staff coming in through the door, the working day finished. Am imagining Joe and me, somewhat blurred by two hours of beer, the intense conversation at an end, now it's just desultory stuff. In effect we getting ready to part, me to Hereford he to Tunbridge Wells and then to oblivion. But not quite to oblivion. He's left things I can read.
Prost! To friendships that nourish no matter what. To words that last and bolster.
Thinking about Joe as I write his kind gift of Betsy Sheridan's Diary into a column.
Just reading back over my old 30 word Molly blog, coming across his comments, thinking about old friends in general and him in particular.
'It comes and goes, the smile'
Exactly two years on, learned sadly of the sudden death of Joe's last remaining brother, Ken, who blogged as Lucas.
It's ceased to be a blog because it lacks Joe's imagination, style and active energy. Now it resembles an artefact at the centre of a quiet village: a war memorial, a defunct well, or (Yes, Joe would appreciate this) a communal oven. Older residents, shaky on their pins, stop here because they need to stop and this gives stopping an extra quality. Younger residents, reminded, don't stop but let fly a thought which - by electronic magic - takes on permanency.
Someone from further away makes a detour and leaves flowers. Being careful first to remove the plastic wrapper - that, actually, being the tribute more than the flowers. Proof of familiarity.
You have never vacated my memory, Joe. Sometimes I stop by to read what others have left for you, then I move on having left no words of my own. Not because I had nothing to leave, but because - most often - there was more in my heart than I could express. Other times, realizing what I felt was all about 'me' and were thoughts better left unexpressed.
Maybe I am visiting a memorial space, as RR suggests above. It is good to have a spot to relive memories, but even better it is good to see that others come here, too, leave flowers or other mementoes, a stone perhaps, none of us letting go.
I will remember you.
If you have a minute, I’d really appreciate it if you took a look at Emily’s Virtual Rocket. This is a serious newsblog which has been taken from e-newspapers and e-magazines from around the world, with an emphasis on transgender issues. Also, with his election, I look for articles which critique Donald Trump.
I hope you enjoy this. Please paste the following:
If you like it, please consider putting it among your favorite blogs. I would greatly appreciate it.
Hi Crow. I still stop by here to see if others do. You've my e-mail and know where to contact if you need a listening ear.
(I'll also contact Emily above and ask her to delete. I don't like to see this becoming littered with spam).
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