On Friday it is the funeral of my favourite uncle. I can't be there but I am thinking of his widow and children a lot, and thinking of him too.
This is a photo from 1983 and my mother was amazed at this technological scenario. She captioned it "3 computers in one room!"
In the foreground from left to right there is me, my cousin - son of favourite uncle, and my brother. We have Sinclair Spectrums. In the background my favourite uncle sits with his Acorn computer.
I remember on that day that my uncle challenged each of us to write a program called "Traffic Lights."
It was a great day, like so many others we spent with him, his wife - my favourite aunt, and their children.
I thought of this photo when visiting the South recently because my brother and I visited them. It was very good to see my aunt and her children. But my uncle was missing.
The garden where we shared so many times and so many games.
The garden from which we have eaten so much home grown food.
We enjoyed good family conversation. But he was missing.
There's Blob Thing engaged in conversation with the cat. I am not sure what Blob said to make the cat wear that expression.
We walked on paths and roads we have walked many times as an extended family. But he was missing.
We visited the museum he had poured so much love and enthusiasm into. But he was missing.
And, like so many times before, we ate great food. But he was missing.
His death was sudden, a few days before. A big shock to everyone. He's going to be greatly missed by family, friends, and the whole community of the place where he lived. His blogs will be greatly missed too by those people across the world who read them.
Why did I think of the three computers photo? Because at one point five of us were sitting in that same room with laptops in use. Another laptop sat open on a table.
Yes, SIX computers in one room.
And that doesn't count the mobile phones we all had close to hand each of which are far more powerful than a Sinclair Spectrum.
Times have changed. But I confess that I now lack any knowledge to program any of the computers with even the simplest program called Traffic Lights.
Times have changed. This is a photograph taken a little over three years ago when we visited Avebury Manor.
My parents are seated. From left to right standing are my child, me, my uncle and my aunt. My dad was already very noticeably ill but that day was an excellent one, full of smiles and laughter. So many days with my uncle were full of smiles and laughter. If I picture him in my mind he is smiling.
Another Avebury Manor photo.
Smiles. Yes, we smiled for the camera. But when visiting my uncle we all smiled. And we enjoyed being with each other. I will return to his home again and stay there with my aunt. Maybe it'll be during a family gathering and I will see cousins too, and a half-aunt and half-uncle and all their spouses and children. I had been half planning to get there next Summer anyway. That plan still holds.
One final picture from that day three years ago.
This photo calls him king. He truly was the king of uncles. Anyone from my mother's side of the family who reads this will know that to be true.
Farewell uncle. We lived far apart but I will miss you. We will all miss you.
And on Friday I will find time to raise a glass to you and in your memory I will smile.