marsden_online: (write)
There's a bit of a zeitgeist going around at least in my echo chamber about 2016 and the deaths of a number of celebrities who were of great influence on my cohort in their formative years. I have been mostly an observer in all this as I have never really attached to a real-world role model in this way. Partly because growing up I never had exposure to the same mass-media which made them household names elsewhere, but as I read more about what each of these people meant and represented to people only a click away through social media it becomes clear that it is also greatly because as a cishet white male on an easy course through life I never needed that role-model to aspire to. (Which isn't to say that I wouldn't have been the better for some more varied role models in my life.)

This was particularly well summed up in what I think was a retweet I saw a couple of days ago but have been unable to find to quote exactly, thanking "Prince, David Bowie, George Michael for showing me there was more than one way to express masculinity". Searching has however shown that this is a very common sentiment.

Today it is Carrie Fisher (among others, to be sure) we are mourning; and I do mean we because although I do not have the same strong personal connection I am not so emotionally stunted that I can not respect and and share in the grief for a woman who stood for - and spoke out for - so much to so many.

But to quote one angry man we "lost" in 2015
“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...”

These people and many others both past and still with us are the butterflies which create storms on the other side of the world with a flap of their wings. But they did (and do) it not by flexing their own but by inspiring others to do the same, until the beat of a million wings upon wings creates a force which can not be ignored.

With their passing the storms which are their legacy still rage and they will not be forgotten as long as those they inspired, and those whom are in turn inspired, over and over ... as long as we continue to beat our wings, sing their/our songs, carry their light*.

* I don't believe Princess Leia ever used a light sabre. But I believe wasn't entirely unrelated that that she was dressed in light/white, and Carrie stepped up to be a beacon in the real world.

It's particularly poignant for me that I write this today as I remember a friend of my own.
marsden_online: (write)
You illuminated the world twice over with your writings, once with the joy they have brought (and will still bring) to untold readers and once with the unflinching way they reflect and teach about the ridiculous in our world.

I will not say rest in peace because as your good friend Neil Gaiman wrote
There is a fury to Terry Pratchett’s writing: it’s the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld. It’s also the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11-plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think serious is the opposite of funny;...

You took your anger and turned it to good purpose and if we study none of your lessons long enough sir, I hope we study that one enough.

I am sure that if there is an afterlife waiting for you that you will not be resting on your laurels but continuing to fill the library of books never never written in your own furious style.
Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with PCA1 in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.
marsden_online: (loved)
This year tragic circumstances (not just or even primarily the quake) seem to be claiming a lot of people at 2 degrees of separation to me*.

I guess I'm just more sensitive to it because of my family's own losses this year, but each one is like a little blow to me as well. The lines that connect us all are drawn taut right now.

At any given time in any given place on the planet there are people who are grieving. It's one of those things we just abstract away to get on with life. Right now more and more people I care about are grieving. That's a lot harder to abstract away**.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm thinking of you all, out there. Take care.

*Counting me as 0 - I know some people count being adjacent as 0 in which case this is a lot of people at 1 degree from me

**It may just be one of those things you have to face as you get older - the odds of it happening to someone you know - for any given it - go up. Sooner or later you have to deal.

Aside: My mother just called - she's not too distressed so the helicopter accident yesterday can't have been my uncle. I can stop holding that little breath.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
snip )
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I've just learnt that my Uncle was killed in a car accident Tuesday night. This was unrelated to the quake (up Blenheim way)

My aunt survived, no major injuries apparently, but was trapped until the car was found about 3pm yesterday.

My parents are, well, I don't know. Pretty fragile right now.

It's all starting to get on top of me as well.
marsden_online: (elf)
I am G.'s brother in law. Beyond that we didn't have a lot in common.

Over then next little while I'm sure there are going to be a lot of good things said about him. I think it's important to highlight the things most people aren't going to be saying as well.

So let's talk about the depression, let's talk about the booze, let's talk about any of the inner demons we know he battled with, lets talk about any of the demons -we- battle with. Let us not sweep things under the carpet because it might worry our families, or "bring shame to" our families, or because we don't want to face our -own- weaknesses or take responsibility for our own actions.

G. was father to two beautiful kids, let us make sure they grow up knowing, and his swag of nephews grow up knowing, and anyone else who finds themselves in the dark places really -knows- that there is always. a. better. option. Let us make sure that everyone here who finds themselves in the dark places feels they can ask for help, and let's make sure that -we- learn. how to have those conversations.

I'm sorry G., I didn't know how to reach out to you, and now it's too late.

It remains to be seen whether I ever get the opportunity and the courage to say it in the right context, which will quite frankly require blowing social nicety all to hell. But I'm not filtering it here.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Died suddenly. That's the last.

This one is a weight lifted for everybody - he's really been gone a long time already.
marsden_online: (loved)
This is the only surviving cutting from the larger rose that blew over last year
Kaye's rose
Yesterday it was just a bud.

Today would have been K's birthday. These two things are completely unrelated, but do seem to go together somehow.

I mowed the lawns, after some issues starting the mower :( (I do not need a maintenance bill!). It's overcast & sticky.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
It's been on my mind a lot the past few days, getting it out of my system I guess, today has been remarkably clear.
marsden_online: Obligatory pet cat (racky)
May you ever hunt rabbits among tussock and rolling hills.

He might have had another week or two in him, but despite hunger he hasn't been taking solid food and the weight has been dropping off. Yesterday I made the decision, and called the vet this morning.

There have been good days and bad days - yesterday was a bad day, ironically today was a good day as he got up, scoffed some solid food for the first time in a couple of weeks and took a wander outside shortly before we were due to leave. I think it's better that way.

He is buried behind the hedge, in his favourite spot to doze away the summer days / watch the world go by / wait for the human to get home.

photo )
Thank you very much to [ profile] littlel for chauffeuring :)

There is a significant amount of Royal Canin Renal (kidney diet) catfood - biscuits and sachets - looking for a good home if anyone else has a cat eating that. Also 3 single serve tins of Woolworths/Select catfood (various fishy flavours) and half a 15L bag of kitty litter.

I'm coping better at this moment than I thought I might be, but I got a lot out of my system yesterday leading up to the point of no return. OTOH I'm running out of planned actions. Gaming has unfortunately been cancelled this evening - I'm open to other distractions.
marsden_online: (skull)

marsden_online: (skull)
More information than I'm seeing elsewhere on LJ from what I presume is a local 'paper'.
marsden_online: RPG log icon for this character (Armexis)
The co-creator of D&D, who passed away a couple of days ago :(

see also
marsden_online: (Sisters)
The day was stinking hot - 34 degrees @ 1:30pm according to the thermo in the car. Still around 30 now.

The funeral was held at St Michaels and All Angels, which some of you will be very familar with. It was packed - standing room only.

The service took about an hour and contrasted sharply with the wedding in April, which was very non-religious in nature.

things I didnt know )

I saw a number of faces from the past, not all of whom I managed to catch up with. It is unlikely I'll see many of them again (Chch being a small place notwithstanding), let alone in the same place.

Kaye and Martyn were both people who constantly made the world around them a better place and they wrung every possible bit of joy out of their time together. I knew Kaye for 10 years (give or take) and she was very special to me. Martyn I only met a handful of times, but enough to tell he was a good man. May they continue on together for the longest time.

Till we meet again.

ETA: Please don't feed the troll in comments
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
It would have been K's birthday today. I can't begin to comprehend how hard today must be for her family.

Litle reminders build up. A combination of the alert in my calendar, finding more photos in my archive and K's favorite movie being on TV Thursday night led to my mood being more than a little duller than was appropriate for [ profile] shenya's birthday party yesterday. Happily, later on in the piece friends and good conversation and gossip managed to bring me back to something resembling cheerful :) It was a good party.

Today is likely to be bleak again though. I'll just have to see what I can find to do.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
Funeral on the 7th (Wed).

marsden_online: (elf)
I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has commented, called, otherwise been in touch or made allusions about the past few days. Especial thanks to [ profile] xanthe_selkie for distraction, dinner and conversation last night. This is as you might expect much harder to deal with personally than the passing of my grandparents earlier in the year.

I managed a good nights sleep and am feeling much better today. There is no word yet on what funeral arrangements there will be, but considering M's family are overseas and the time of year that's not too surprising. I don't actually know Ks family well enough to consider contacting them directly at this point in time.

[music not frontloaded but appropriate]
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Eventually managed about 5 hours normal sleep. I do wish the dream with the two girls had gone on for a bit longer.

Morning. It still doesn't seem real yet. Part of me is still hoping I've made what would ultimately only be an embarrassing mistake.

It's one of fates cruel little jokes that I'm about to do the galleries from 2001, the year Kaye & I were a couple ie. with photos of her.

writing more stuff down )
marsden_online: (Sisters)

A husband and wife and another man were the people killed in a motorcycle collision east of Christchurch yesterday afternoon.

Police named the three as Martyn Hartley, 48, Kaye Hartley, 35, and Nigel Hannington, 44, all from Christchurch.

That's Kaye who I used to go out with, whose wedding I attended earlier this year.

Shit shit shit shit.

Emotional crash immenent!!!!

The shower was running when I saw the article anyway, so I continued with that after calling my parents, and trying K&M's place just in case.

Waiting for tomorrows paper, which will probably have the death notice, before trying to hit the old workplace grapevine. I have very few contact details for anyone, but I know Kaye typically kept her work friends and family very separate and someone has to put the word out. The place is probably closed over the break and anyway a lot of people don't work there any more.

I keep catching myself thinking 'It could be another couple from Christchurch with exactly the same name and ages who ride a motorbike' and stopping myself.

I'm going to call another couple of people for the sake of making human contact, then hope there's something on TV.

Ahh, here we go - progressing from 'numb' to 'crying'

photo for those who think they may know the couple )

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