Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A man I once called friend has died. And I am sad. Not sad because he has died, that was timely and proper, but because it's fifteen years since we spoke and when the opportunity to renew our friendship arose a year ago I put it on the "to do" list.  And now it's on the "too late" list. I hate both those lists with equal loathing.

Several years ago in circumstances I can't quite recall Lionel and Jim came to lunch. The Revd Professor Lesley Houlden ( the eminent New Testament scholar whose many achievements in life do not include my mastering of New Testament Greek) was the other guest. It was Easter Sunday and we ate lamb. I was, as is oft the case in reduced circumstances and we ate the lamb off a table in my bedroom. We ate and drank and laughed, laughed a lot as I recall. I expect theology was discussed but I would have been making the gravy at that point, saving everybody the trouble of smiling sweetly as I ostentatiously expressed ill informed opinion. I was young!

Lionel was a love. He made me smile and feel good about myself. His greatest achievement, in my ostentatiously expressed opinion was his mastery of three minutes on the wireless.

Three minutes on the wireless from time to time can change the world.

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