goodbye Michael

Michael was our next door neighbour and he was one-of-a-kind, as they say. He used to live in our house when was younger, and looked after a broiler house in the garden with 14,000 chickens. That had long gone by the time we moved in, and Michael was working for local farmers. His mother died over 20 years ago and Michael nursed her through her final illness. He used to turn up at our back door very now and then, come in for tea and a chat and then leave as abruptly as he had arrived. He loved our dogs, and always asked after the children as they grew up. Today was his funeral. His only surviving relative is an older brother who came down from Edinburgh, but there were plenty of local people who came along and told fond stories of Michael and his adventures (and misadventures.

he featured in my blips twice - here and here. He never liked to be photographed so I'm glad to have this picture of him from the order of service.

In a similar vein, today I finished reading a really inspiring book, "When Breath Becomes Air" by neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. You can get a flavour of his brilliant writing in this article. Warning - the video will probably make you cry.

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