In the last few years, I have lost so many friends, colleagues and lovers that I have become numb. What I have to remind myself of is that I am still here, for what that is worth.
Yesterday I received an email from the younger sister of a girlfriend - Beth - from my University days telling me that Beth had died. Beth and I had been together at Oxford and in Italy, but after that, we didn't meet until many years later, when we spent a day together (in Oxford, appropriately) reliving old times.
And now she is dead. I am not smitten with grief, to be honest, but there is a terrible feeling that pieces of my life are being torn from me, willy-nilly, each death diminishing me, impoverishing me.
But I am still here. So tomorrow I will go out and erect Barn Owl boxes. And on Thursday too.
And if one of you dies in the meantime, do leave a message on my answerphone.
Listen, my good friends, colleagues, family and ex-lovers, when I go, don't mourn my passing, celebrate my life, ok?
And the pissed-er you get, the happier I will be up there on my cloud. Glass in hand too, God willing.