Last week I was in Glasgow.
It was a trip to the city to do some shopping (rare for me now that I live in the Far North), and to go and see a fantastic band at the SECC Hydro. It was raining, but as my daughter and I nipped in and out of the shops we were having a great time… even if my bank account was being hammered (remember, a shopping trip is rare for me).
Then my daughter happened to look up at one of the buildings that had a news-stream running near the roof, and casually noted that one of my favourite authors had died.
Dear reader, that’s when I stopped in the street, dripping with rain and realised that a day I had been dreading had finally arrived.
Death had finally decided to meet Sir Terry Pratchett.
For someone I’ve never met, Sir Terry has had quite an impact on my life. As I sit here I can see a shelf full of his novels, each containing its own perfect little world.
I’m not going to write about how wonderful he was, how his stories brought joy to millions or what a talented writer he was. I’m not going to say how much I’ll miss his publication days, or the feeling of getting hold of a new hardback and delighting in his new creations. I’m not going to mention how as an ex-librarian I think he should be made the patron saint of librarians and orang-utans (there’s no such thing as an ex-librarian by the way, it’s in the blood – orang-utans are, however, real). I’m not even going to write about how much of a hole he has left in the world for his friends, family and followers.
It may be cheesy, but I’m just going to say
Thank you Sir Terry, bon voyage.
You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your minds, and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!
(A Hat Full of Sky, 2004)