Blogging the 2010s — 114 — December 2010

My first Christmas back in Wollongong. Sydney drew me back, as did a wake.

Christmas Day: Missy the Jack Russell

Spent the day with Sirdan in Rosebery. Missy (four months old) is the latest resident there.

There was some shocking news about a friend of ours too, but that I’ll tell you later.

Christmas Eve Wollongong: Crown Street Mall 2

Not the most tuneful but certainly the cutest buskers in Crown Street Mall yesterday.

And a Christmas Day bonus from South Sydney Uniting Church Christmas Day 2008.

Requiem for a Dowager Empress

The shocking news I alluded to earlier is that Ian Smith, aka The Dowager Empress of Hong Kong, died about a week ago.

He was a 78-er, that is a participant in the first Sydney Mardi Gras, so he is somewhere here:

At Lord Malcolm’s funeral in 2007 Ian read this:

Death Is Nothing At All
Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
whatever we were to each other
that we still are
call me by my old familiar name
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used
put no difference in your tone
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together
pray smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
without the trace of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
it is the same as it ever was
there is unbroken continuity
why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you
somewhere very near
just around the corner
All is well

I have known him for 22 years. We’ve had our ups and downs — most did with Ian, but he could also be wise and brilliant. A complex man. Rest, brother.

This is for you. You wouldn’t object.