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18 January 2004

Yesterday was Andrea Badenoch's memorial, and I'm not really sure I want to talk about it. What's to say, what can I tell you that's useful to be told? Some of you knew her, so you know already how multi-faceted she was, as elegant in thought as she was in person, and as sharp, and always surprising. Those of you who didn't, I can't draw her for you now; all I can do is sympathise, and suggest you read the books. In order, preferably: start with Mortal, and go on. They get better and better.

We had a sort of muted celebration, readings and reminiscences at the Quaker meeting house: a little tearful but affirmatory, fitting both to the occasion and its locale. Then back to her house for a little food and a lot of drinking, at least in my case. Apparently I had whole conversations with people on the phone after I got home, which began with my explaining very carefully quite how drunk I was, so that the conversations had best be repeated today. Which they were, and just as well, because I don't remember a word of the originals, I don't remember their happening at all. When I was a teenager, I remember middle-aged friends talking about alcoholic amnesia, and I assumed they were joking, I thought it only happened to alcoholics. Sigh.

And today, today I declined the offer of a long walk in the country (one of those errant phone-calls) in order to stay home and work. Again. Can virtue be a habit, I wonder, does it cling...?

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© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.