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I want to thank everyone for their wishes and lovely PMs that I have been receiving. David's friend Joy emailed me after the funeral to say that it had gone well. His friend from school gave a very funny eulogy that cheered everyone and he had red roses on his coffin. She is very kindly sending me the Order of Service.

 

I have been wrestling with what to say about David so that everyone knows a little more about him beyond his online persona. He was a terribly private man but over the last few months he told me that he regretted that a little when he saw how everyone stepped up to the plate for him. He feared he had isolated himself too much. Given the amount of people who showed they cared, I think that fear was unfounded.

 

David's dad died when he was studying English at Oxford, so it was just him and his Mum thereafter. He travelled to Machu Piccu and knowing how much I hate travel, he loved to bring up the guinea-pig-eating tales from there. He worked as an English teacher in an Independent School which he later used as the basis for a crime novel that he wrote. It was never published though I suspect David never tried very hard to get it published. There was a Scottish female character in it who spoke with the most ludicrous Scottish dialect. I put a stop to that.

 

David gave up teaching and moved out of London, moving to West Sussex near the sea. He loved going for walks on the sea front and watching foxes from his windows. I think he joined BGO just to chat - he was a great conversationalist. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of books and yet when we look at BGO he didn't record what he read, post reviews or even have his current read in his signature. He only showed his knowledge when a conversation arose about a book. He thought it was a crime that I gave up on Atonement, and badgered me into reading it again. He was such a huge fan of Ian McEwan,

 

In the last few years, David took a copywriting course and launched his own business. His course tutor was so impressed with his assignments that she continued with work with him and gave him a lot of her clients' work. His business was really growing. He was once approached to do the blurb for a lingerie catalogue which was possibly the funniest thing I had heard. He was so at sea with this task and all I could do was to take the mickey out of him.

 

What did he like? He absolutely loved good TV - he loved stories told well and especially in TV and film. He was hooked on programmes like Dexter, The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica and loved science-fiction films like Bladerunner. We all know how much he loved Keira Knightley. But he also loved Family Guy and South Park. They appealed to his childish side and his love for clever humour. He kept pressing me to watch South Park and I couldn't do it - I hated the animation. But he got my boys watching it and that was a small victory that pleased him. Galaxy chocolate. I always made sure that his birthday and Xmas pressies contained a few slabs of that stuff. He loved food and took his Mum out to lunch quite often.

 

What didn't he like? The dentist. Hair cuts. He absolutely hated getting his hair cut. He would delay it for weeks, agonise over an appointment and then wail when the hairdresser cut his ear by mistake.

 

But most of all, he loved BGO. He really, absolutely did. From the day he joined, he just liked being here. He liked welcoming new people and he loved when a thread took off and a big discussion ensued that he could get his teeth in. He was proud that this was a place where people could come and chat about books and TV without any snobbery. He was diplomatic but stubborn. It was hard to win an argument with him and christ knows, I tried. He had that stubborness, that diplomatic strain but that mastery of words that it was like running up against a brick wall.

 

RIP David. X

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Hazel, that is a lovely post - thank you. I have been thinking for ages that I should ask if it was ok to know a bit more about David, but felt that it might be inappropriate, given how private he was. 

Would it be possible to see a photo of him? I think I still imagine him as his avatar!

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Thank you Hazel, it's great to know more of the man we all admired so much. I would echo mm's request for a photo of him so that we can see the real David rather than his Avatar. Again, thank you so much for keeping us abreast of David's situation - it's just so sad that it didn't have a happy outcome. Hoping that you are finding that your memories of your friendship with David bring you comfort in the days ahead,.

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I'm so glad that you posted Hazel and I'm sure that it was very hard for you. 

 

 

I miss David greatly and every time I come across his posts I wish desperately that he was still here, I'm not finished talking to him!

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Thank you Hazel.  I can only echo the words of Mm, momac, luna.  Except perhaps the picture I have in my head of David is the one I will always cherish,  actual picture or not.  Forever missed.

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Oh dear, teary-eyed again.

Thank you so much Hazel for sharing David with us. That was a wonderful post and I know it was probably both hard and somehow comforting, too.

As for me, I don't need to see a photo. Just as much as I'd love to be 10 feet tall and blue, so David chose this avatar; it must have meant something something special to him, and so for me this IS David ...

 

 I'm not finished talking to him!

... and that goes for me, too. I'm sure we can do something about it, in due course ...

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I miss David greatly and every time I come across his posts I wish desperately that he was still here, I'm not finished talking to him!

That's how I felt in one of my posts a few days ago. David had made a very apt and David-like comment on one of the characters, I just had to quote him, although a first it felt a little strange, then I thought no, David was part of this conversation and is was quite right to include him. And I will go on wondering what he would have thought of various topics, even though he is no longer among us.

 

Thank you Hazel for your thoughtful post about David.

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Thanks for your great post Hazel. It is nice to know a little bit more about David, though I agree with Ting that we don't need a photo. He will always be Dr Strangelove to me - and never really suited the Condescending Wonka.

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Hazel, that was a lovely post and very much appreciated as it must have been so difficult, thank you.   You have told us many happy things about David to remember when we think about him, as we often will.   I would prefer to picture  him as his avatars, they just highlighted his wonderful humour and seemed to show him having a quiet chuckle and a knowing nod.

 

Thank you, Cassie for quoting David the other day, I did notice and was glad. He always made wrote comments that were apt and 'hit the spot'.   I hope we will enjoy quoting him sometimes again.

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Thank you Hazel for that tribute. It fits with everything I had worked out or imagined about David and it's good to have that verified.

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Thank you Hazel.  I recall a thread a long time ago where we were playing with one of those sites that generated a Simpsons character that looked like the description you gave it.  David posted the avatar of himself and I've always had that in my mind when thinking of him.

 

ETA: Here's the thread!  Amusingly enough, the picture that David posted is nothing like I remember!

Edited by Jen

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For a variety of reasons I've been absent from the site for the past few weeks. I logged on late (ish) last night and checked on this thread. Like all the other contributors I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news. Other contributors have spoken far more eloquently about David than I could but suffice to say I will miss his wise and humourous contributions. 

 

David, may you be at rest in an infinite library. 

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I am so sorry, I am only very rarely here nowadays and only just looked up this thread after a long time. Everyone has said it already. I didn't know him very well but had interesting interaction with him from time to time. There is no part of BGO that he wasn't involved in. We will all miss him so much. Thank you especially to Hazel for keeping us all informed. It is so sad when people just disappear from internet forums and no one knows what happened to them.

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I thought you may be interested in a lovely coincidence.

 

Many of you know that I retired a couple of years ago - I recommend it. I had thought that after a rest, I’d do bits of supply teaching. However, having stopped, I began to realise that I did not want to go back. Teaching is more stressful than it has ever been . . . and it’s not the pupils causing this.

 

Looking round and inspired by David having retrained, I began to look at copywriting. I wasn’t able to talk to David about this as it was just the time he started being ill. I chose an online course and coincidentally signed up on the day of David’s funeral.

 

As I progressed on the course, a few clues led me to think that I could be on the same course that David took – Hazel referred to David’s friend by the same first name as my tutor’s and the name and picture of my tutor’s husband (also running the course) matched those of the man who told us David was ill. Hazel confirmed that these were the same people and that they had become close friends of David’s as well one being his tutor.

 

I assumed that I was on the same course, but it turns out even more interesting. David had signed up for another course and my tutor was his tutor on that course. Unfortunately neither of them gave the course high ratings. The tutor only stayed to see David through and then she left. She and her husband set up their own course and David was involved in this from the outset. So I am actually writing assignments for which David devised the assessment schemes. They both miss him terribly.

 

Last week, the copywriting course put a tribute to David on the site and Joy, David’s friend said that I could give the link on BGO.

 

http://copywriting-apprentice.com/a-tribute-to-a-copywriting-professional/

 

(Having said that I'd give the link, I'm not sure how to do that on BGO. So I've written the URL for you to copy)

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Thank you for that post Angel. What a lovely and moving tribute to David. Like everyone else who was on the forum at the time of his illness and passing I miss him.

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Thank you so much for sharing that tribute with us Angel. What a huge coincidence for you.  So pleased we could read it too.  David is always going to be missed.

 

Not sure whether you have finished the course, but good luck for your future career in copywriting.  Sounds wonderful.

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Yes, it was good for us to share about David again. Hazel said I should do so a while back. She was right, but I wanted to write about David, and was wary of making it sound about me, which would have been out of place in the early days. Joy and her husband thought the world of David and miss him terribly (I think Hazel may have told us something like that earlier too). So, when the tribute appeared it seemed the right time to link two groups feeling the same.

 

Thanks to those who mentioned me doing the course. It's a year's course. Some people do it in 6 months because they want or need to get started. I'm not in a hurry and am still in the throes of hospital appointments so am taking my time - I'm about half -way through. I'm really enjoying it and doing well, but I'm no David. We all know his skill and economy with words. I would enjoy doing the work, but I think I'll find the social networking and publicising myself quite stressful. We'll see.

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Oh how strange - this morning I received an email from Momo  (older BGO members will remember her)  expressing sorrow at the death of David. She had only just discovered the news in an email from me, sent to a little used account.

 

That, and the lovely tribute you've linked to from his friends David & Joy, have brought a tear to my eye this morning. David is still very much missed.

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Lovely to know that Momo has been in touch Meg - and to hear from you.  Hope all goes well with you. 

 

Momo used to keep us up to date with the birthdays on BGO, and I loved all her contributions.  I do hope she is well although she does suffer terribly with migraine we know.  It would be great to see her back here again.  Is that possible? 

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Very good to hear the post from Angel and also the one from Meg regarding Momo.  I'm wondering how David's mother is coping these days.

 

 

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