Monday, March 23, 2009


I recently mentioned getting a new iMac, what I didn't say was that in the process of transferring files I lost my entire email folder, about 6 years of emails, I subscribe to the 'never throw anything away, it might come in handy one day' school.
A few weeks ago my lifelong 85 year old best friend in Norfolk died of a heart attack, we'd had an almost daily email conversation for 5-6 years so when he died my first thought was to review his writing over the years and to create a 'book' for family and friends; the day he was cremated my computer crashed. In an effort to find any of his emails on my computer I asked his wife to send me one at random from his computer so I'd have something to search for, this is what she sent me, it's one of mine to him, the content makes it self explanatory.

"Bill: Well, praise indeed, it's merited I think, what started as nothing much more than a bunch of pop music oriented people blathering on about what lots consider nonsense has flowered into something much more significant, what intrigues me and holds my interest is the 'family' component; it's an international family where we all know each other fairly intimately except that nobody knows anyone's name! Except in 2-3 cases, mine included. We're definitely on a first name basis if only we knew what they were, it's an amazing offshoot of the www, it's a means whereby a lot of like minded people can meet on a regular basis and talk about things of communal interest.
The overspill blog is even more interesting, that's the hardcore, there we interact much more personally and where we share music and ideas, it's quite amazing how it's flourished so rapidly since it's inception without any apparent effort on anyone's part, it just growed! It's anarchy in action. And now the book business; everyone's excited, there's a publication party planned for April, when I told Gina about it she said 'Surely you're not going?' to which I said 'I must, my readers expect it of me', We'll see, it would be a good excuse to visit and maybe do a dogleg to Spain to see Tess.
On the subject of www, I've just got from the library 'Weaving the Web' by Tim Berners-Lee, he's the bloke who single handedly designed and built the www, it's the story of how he did it. There's an item on the cover: 'If computer networking were a traditional science, Berners-lee would have received a Nobel prize, as it is he hasn't made a penny from it.'"

This is Bill wrapping some snowdrops he'd just dug from his garden for me, in my last email to him I told him that they were in full bloom, he was a lifetime member of the Royal Horticultural Society and an occasional visitor to the Spill whenever I prompted him.


steenbeck said...

Thanks for sharing, Goneforeign. Very moving & eloquent, and I love the way you describe RR/'Spill. I feel the same way.

saneshane said...

Dond to that.
(and sympathy to Bills family, he looks like a fellow that acquire a vast amount of life experience)

DarceysDad said...

Condolences, Tony, and a big thank you for posting this. Amongst everything else going on, I hope you rescue your lost files too.

And since they were mentioned, we had a bumper crop of snowdrops this year, but the last week's warm weather saw them off before it occurred to me to take a picture. So far, the crocusses (sp?) aren't half as impressive.

goneforeign said...

Right after I posted this I did a search on my old Mac for the email address that Bill's wife sent, I found them! I've no idea where they are but I saw them, all 1669! So the next step is retrieval.
Glad you enjoyed this piece.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ goneforeign - it must be tough to lose a great friend like that - lovely picture too. That looks like a garden I could spend hours in.

Hope you get your memories back ... emails are precious things - I've still got every one that I've sent in the past 5 years.

AliMunday said...

Goneforeign - sympathies to you. You have spurred me on to sort out the 100s of emails between me and my best mate, Dougal - we keep saying we should publish them in "Diary of a Nobody" style - they go back years and are often very funny. Friendship is a wonderful thing.

ejaydee said...

Donds to what everybody else said.