I was also saddened at the way I heard the news on the radio when I woke up – “The agony aunt, Claire Rayner has died.”
She was so much more than an agony aunt. There was a great deal more to her than that. She was a campaigner and she fought so much for so many of us without us even realising it.
She was a writer, a broadcaster, a nurse, a supporter of dozens of charities and when she was dying in hospital she decided her last words should be, “Tell David Cameron if he screws up my beloved NHS I’ll come back and haunt him.”
She was also incredibly honest about her life, her childhood and her battles with depression. She had it tough and did she wallow in self pity? No, she got out there and fought to make the world a better place for others.
A courageous lady, a warm, spirited, funny, feisty, all round inspiration.
I’m going to get my copy of How Did I Get Here from There, Claire’s autobiography off the shelf and read it again.
Her son Jay writes a tribute in the Observer about her this week. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/oct/17/claire-rayner-sane-voiceBut there was cause for celebration too – the Chilean miners. Did you see the guy who had asked for his wife and his mistress to be waiting for him when he was freed? His wife stayed away. There’s a story or two there isn’t there!
What will stay with me though is the look on that little boy’s face when his dad emerged safe and sound.
Ooh and that reminds me of a dream I had last night – it gave me a fully formed story and now all I have to do is write it down before I forget it! I used to laugh at the notebook beside the bed rule – I’m not laughing now. I’m still seething about the story I wrote in my head while awake in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago, the story which promptly disappeared the minute I went to sleep and has stayed disappeared ever since.
I was going to tell you how I’d gathered up pockets full of conkers to use as spider deterrents and it reminded me of a short film shown on 8 Out of 10 Cats featuring a huntsman spider in Australia.
I’m not going to put it on my blog because for anyone with a spider phobia it is particularly horrible. But here’s a link if anyone is brave enough to take a look.
I asked my friend who lives in Australia if she’d ever seen one. Yes – she was having an acupuncture treatment and looked up and there was one on the ceiling above her head . . . In all seriousness I think I would die. I do. I really do. Those big furry tarantulas? No they don’t scare me. I wouldn’t want to touch one mind you, but big spiders that look like – well big spiders – that’s another matter.
Anyway I shan’t go on. I have a story to write . . .