Joan and Malcolm a week after their wedding at the tea party for Water Aid in the kitchen at my house
I don't have many men in my life. Being a single woman and sixty has an awful tendency to be like a convent. My life is filled with other women. Let me say now to my fantastic female friends, I love you all, I couldn't manage my life without you but I miss men.
Most of all at the moment I miss my friend, Malcolm who died a few weeks ago. Malcolm was big. He was six foot six and incredibly handsome. He had gorgeous blue eyes and a shock of hair and his skin tanned when it got half a chance. You could disappear into Malcolm's cuddles but best of all, his wife Joan and I long since decided, that Malcolm really liked women. He was the same with everybody. To Malcolm everybody was a friend and everybody who knew him misses him so much but I had a special relationship with Joan and Malcolm because we spent a lot of time together. Couples don't do this. They don't take you to concerts and ask you to go with them to outdoor versions of Shakespeare but even if Malcolm just saw you in the street or through the window of your favourite coffee shop he always came in and then you got to disappear into the warmth and generosity of the loveliest man I have ever met. I don't understand why God had to have Malcolm when we needed him so much.
I am very angry about it. God should have more respect than to take away such a big part of my life when I'm so bereft of men generally. When Malcolm was ill in hospital and the specialist came round to see him he said to Joan and me,
'Are you his family?'
and she said,
'I'm his wife,'
and I said,
'I'm his girlfriend.'
I loved being the other woman in Malcolm Thurman's life and I daresay a lot of his women friends would say the same.
When my husband, Richard, died, it'll be twenty five years this summer, I remember one of his friends saying to me,
'I know you've lost a husband but I've lost a bloody good friend,' and that's how I feel now.
Malcolm Thurman was my bloody good friend and I miss him.