I slithered along the sidewalks to the Byward Market to pick up the Music and Beyond festival pass I had bought in time to pay the Early Bird price, then fussed around in a shoe shop, buying some sturdy slip-ons to replace my slippers that are falling to pieces. At Bridgehead, I sat over my pot of tea for over an hour, using my laptop again.
I've been contacting people about our German conversation group get-togethers, about the outings on snow shoes that Diplomatic Hospitality is arranging for the next month or two ... perhaps three, if the snowfall so far this winter was anything to go by, about next week's meeting of the University Women Helping Afghan Women and about the contents of the next edition of Rockcliffe Flying Club's newsletter, Crosswinds.
The longest time I have spent on any one thing today was while drafting an obituary for a man who used to help me edit the newsletter, who took on the job of chief editor in my place a couple of years ago, and who is now greatly missed. He was younger than I am, i.e. far too young, and his death is therefore tragic, but I'm not the only one who thinks that the life he led was an inspiration. In 2010, he flew solo all the way to Whitehorse and back to visit his brother's family, following the Alaska highway for the last stretch of his outbound journey, with a total flight time of 26 hours. His plane was a Cessna 140 with a silver fuselage, a little tail-dragger. A year later he underwent what he called "Another Long Flight" when he was diagnosed with cancer. The surgery and treatment, which he faced with fortitude, did allow him to retrieve his pilot's licence eventually, and we published an article that described how he felt about that. It was movingly and succinctly written. He could do funny articles too: satirical stories under a pseudonym, some of which used to make me laugh out loud. Since his death I have discovered that he was also an accomplished singer and composer in the other part of his spare time. He loved the music of John Dowland, apparently, one of his favourite pieces being In darkness let me dwell.
Another thing I have just discovered to my surprise is that Sting, the jazz / pop / rock musician, has recorded this song: