On the evening that Dunc died, he left for football while Sam, Thomas and I were eating tea. He kissed each of us in turn and told us that he loved us. Dunc did this every week before football, and every day before work. It was something that I had strongly encouraged, having worked closely with a family who hadn't had a chance to say a proper last goodbye to their child.
Ernie Harburg is the son of the late Yip Harburg - the lyricist of "DIng Dong! The Witch Is Dead" (and all the songs in the "Wizard Of Oz") - and President of the Yip Harburg Foundation. He has released a statement passed on through Ian Baldry, the creator of the facebook campaign to make the track number one.
I am deeply disturbed by the volume of misogynistic vitriol being spouted by certain members of the British public in the wake of Margaret Thatcher's death. What disturbs me the most is not that people are aggressively disagreeing with her politics, but that people are genuinely rejoicing at the death of another person - a mother and a grandmother.
I'd like to think that, if I'm lucky enough to exceed the age of 80, with all my marbles and my more important faculties all present and correct, I'll be cut some slack in the matter of my more treasured bad habits. I'll feel that, having survived so long indulging my relatively few vices, I might as well head for the exit in a like manner.
My mind has been much exercised recently after reading about a case which has come to light in Edinburgh. It involved a local council and the mummified corpses of an elderly couple. Following their deaths, in 1987 and 1994 respectively, their son had them embalmed in the hope that their family home might be turned into a mausoleum.