I dreamt of my Dad.
Meeting Nick for the first time, in December 1985, the initial impression was strongly, and rather alarmingly, reminiscent of my father, who had at that point been dead for 11 years.
There were resemblances. Both were witty, affectionate, highly intelligent, fat men with - as I discovered the next day, when Nick invited me round to tea with him and Jessica, then known as the Plum - a much-loved daughter.
Physically, apart from the fat, they were not in the least alike, but their emotional and intellectual signatures were remarkably similar. So much so that, when Nick and I were beginning to make a leisurely progress towards the inside of each other – a journey which began almost immediately - I found the resemblance off-putting, and told him so. (I’ve since made peace with the liking for witty, affectionate, highly intelligent fat men – men with curly ginger hair - that seems to have been imprinted on my psyche ever since. I’m married to one, but back then it had not occurred to me that I had a type.)
On Wednesday afternoon, 24th July 2013, I started to feel ill at work – dizzy and nauseated. I went home early, and the next day stayed off work and off line, feeling the room spin round.
Early on Friday morning I dreamt my Dad was sitting beside me. In Nick’s voice, he told me, ‘I’ve been alive again for a few years, but I’m going to have to be dead for a bit now. Sorry.’
I told Barrie what I’d dreamt, went to work and logged onto a computer to check messages.
And there was the announcement of Nick’s death.