Okay (I'm taking a deep breath here)
This year in October a good friend of me passed away. I learned about it only a few weeks later, as his wife had trouble tracking me down (all the contact information was on his computer and she couldn't get into it). His death was very suddenly, caused by blood clots in his lungs and there was no real warning (his wife should know - she's a doctor). I had no warning, though I thought it was a bit strange that he hadn't answered my last two e-mails. Usually he was very prompt about it, but I figured he was away traveling without any internet access (it happened before, but usually he sent me a warning he would be out of touch for a bit).
I came back from my trip from Florida in November when there was a message on my answering machine from Ann with the bad news. It took me another three days to get hold of her in return. So, now the plan is for my to go to Alaska next May for a memorial service and to scatter his ashes over Denali National Park as to his wishes. Bill loved Alaska and I think it is the right thing to do.
I've met Bill August 1993. I was a student at this time and took part in a work and travel program which allowed me to work for two months in the US. It was my very first time in America and, thinking back, I believe I was a bit naive. I knew about Bill before the trip - he was at that time maybe the biggest distributor of fanzines in the US and I had bought stuff from him before. I remember I contacted him and asked him if he would mind for me to come by his house and meet him. Obviously he didn't mind and he picked me up a the train station In East Lansing, Michigan. He told me he would be easy to spot as he was almost seven feet tall. He also brought two of his border collies and Skylass and I were love at first side. Afterwards, Bill always said, Sky was my dog, even if she was in the US and I was in Europe.
Originally, I had planned to stay only a few days (I didn't want to be a bother), but Bill and Ann insisted that I stayed two weeks. He introduced my to some new series I hadn't known before and Ann's cooking was to die for.
After that we never really lost contact, though sometimes there was a month or two we didn't write. We went on vacations together as Ann, as a doctor, didn't have the time for it. London, Scotland, Germany, several trips to the US, and, of course, New Zealand. Very good memories there and tons of pictures.
Bill was a very generous soul and very sharing. He had a wicked sense of humor. He loved music and movies. He was a very willing recipient half a dozen of my stitching projects and I have a few more I had planned for him. In Alaska Bill had taken up fotographie and had taken some fantastic pictures.
I miss him!
So, okay, some much for the morbid part. I needed to get that off my chest.
Christmas has come and gone. There were not many presents - we have the deal among the adults not to make any and I very fine with that as it cuts down on the pre-Christmas craziness.
I did a bit of knitting and made an hat for my youngest nephew (who's going to be nine in February) from the left over yarn from the pullover I've made for him.
I designed it myself and have no clue if he'll ever going to wear it. I just think it's a funny little hat.