My dear friend Peter Latham died yesterday morning. My heartfelt condolences to his partner Yvonne. They spent their whole lives together and I cannot begin to imagine how hard this is.
Peter was a very special man. He was a great artist. He loved colour, the brighter the better. Probably one of our only real differences was that he thought my use of colour way to dull. He was a very, very special man in that he was extraordinarily honest, brave and kind. An example of this is that he gave away a very large sum of money to somebody because he felt it was only right and would make them feel better about themselves.
Although not at all shy at expressing himself when he felt something was wrong (often very loudly!) he genuinely saw the best in people. He was always able to see the pain that drove the cruelty and feel sympathy.
He saw no value in the superficial in life. He chose to live in a council flat which he didn't own. I once asked him if he wasn't embarrassed by the fact that he didn't own his own house. He laughed and said who did I think would be judging him for it? We then went through all the people we knew and he made me consider whether it would matter if each person was judging him. It made me realize how silly I was being. To him what mattered was who you were inside - not who you appeared to be on the outside.
He loved animals. I remember once I saw him and he was full of the fact that he had had a great evening the night before. It turned out that it was a great evening for him because he had gone round to someone's house and the family dog had spent the evening lying on top of him. He was particularly pleased because he still smelt of it!
His sheer decency and honesty are a hard act to follow. He went a very long way to restoring my faith in humanity. I will try and live up to his example.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!