When I was living at home, back in 1983, a delightfully eccentric couple called Tad and Eve moved into the house next-door-but-one to us. Tad was a little barrelesque ruddy man with a bald head, and Eve had a long plait right down to the small of her back. They had a cat called Dracula and a campervan called Myrtle.
Over the years, Tad and Eve became good friends to my Mum and Dad, being of a similar generation to them, and to me. They were lovely, free-spirited, bohemian people, extremely well-read and interesting people, and we had plenty of laughs - they had the naughtiest sense of humour.
Three years ago, Tad was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and in the first week in January this year, he passed away after a long and brave fight against this horrible disease. It was so very Tad that at his funeral the readings weren't from the Bible, but from the Icelandic Sagas.
I look back on Tad's memory with great fondness, and I always remember the day I asked him why people called him 'Tad', because I happened to know his name was Sidney.
He told me; 'I was the youngest of six, and when I was a kid, I was the smallest and ugliest in the family, so all my brothers and sisters called me 'Tadpole' and the name just stuck!.
How can you not love a man like that??
Rest in peace Tad.