Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sara Morgan 1972 - 2007

This is very hard to write. My friend, Sara Morgan, died on Thursday 5 April just before the Easter weekend. I found out yesterday.

It's very strange turning the radio and TV on and discovering that everything else is carrying on as normal because nothing is at all normal now. Sara was always there for me, a very important part of my life. All my love, warmth and sympathies go out to her family at this time and anyone else who knew and loved her. She was a powerhouse of wit and intelligence with great talent and passion.

You may have known her at Bridgend School, Chorley Wood or Worcester College (Now New College, Worcester). More recently you may have come across her professionally through Blazie though you may remember her as an irritant to the Braille Authority (BAUK) through her campaigning or as a regular on Radio 4's In Touch programme for visually impaired people.

there are more still who will know her as one of the voices on the BlindKiss talk show - my co-host. All the shows we ever did are still there to listen to. She was far more popular than me and received literally hundreds of emails during the lifetime of the show 2001-2004.

I first met Sara back in 1986. I was a pupil at Worcester College for the Blind and, in that year, the school merged with the girls school known as Chorley Wood School for girls with little or no sight (great name).

Sara was the girl who clip clopped round the school corridors in her heels and was known as the Welsh Dragon. She held forth with confidence and was very well known. She later became the head girl in 1989. It's at that time we became teenage sweethearts and were inseperable for the whole of that year before she went to Loughbrough University.

At school she proved her remarkable intelligence, was a life force and a bright spark. God knows why but she took Computer Studies, Maths and Further Maths (known by her as Furry Maths) at A-level. She had amazing logic and would probably have made a great diplomat too.

I remember feeling incredibly priveleged that she was my girlfriend and was completely in love with her.

Boarding school haunted her for the rest of her life. Not in a bad way, you understand, just that it was such an important experience in all our lives that she was still very much anchored in that community right up til the end. Almost every time we spoke we'd refer back to people or events at Worcester. Teenage memories. 80s memories. She was something of a superstar back then, a school celebrity and it's no wonder she held onto those memories so tightly. Even now in 2007 she loved nothing more than for a group of us ex-Worcester students to get together in London for a meal and drinks. In later years her passions were technology, music, food, travel, campaigning and she loved her little Niece Bronwyn.

Am trying to think of some specific events or happenings that would sum her up.

She had a great sense of humour. At school, she once replaced my tube of toothpaste with a tube of tomato puree for a larf. She didn't catch me out though because she'd been talking and laughing about doing it for weeks and was hanging around behind me to see what would happen. Too obvious Sara, not a natural practical joker, try harder ... I loved her for it though.

She had a great love for 80s music, like me. All the pop, all the rock. God knows why but one of her favourite bands was Rush - a canadian band who sang Spirit of radio. I remember her going to see them live and Marillion too. The albums that will most remind me of her are Misplaced Childhood (Marillion) and Wild (erasure). The song we share is probably 'Blue Silver' by Duran Duran, a dark and haunting 80s pop song - the last track on the Rio album. Thunder Only Happens When It's Raining by Fleetwood Mac will always remind me of her ... plus the out-and-out pop that we used to sing at the top of our voices when we got together to play old records.

There's so much to say but I can't sit here and write an opus to her ... I've barely gone beyond schooldays and there's so much more to tell ... though I might create this opus given a bit more time.

I can't believe I'm sitting here writing this.

I keep thinking about Warren, a mutual friend of ours. I introduced the two of them in my little flat in Neasden in 1998. I had just moved to London and was feeling dreadfully homesick and thinking I'd made the wrong move. The two of them came to stay on my living room floor to make me feel better and became firm friends. OK so I know I make crap bacon sandwiches! Wozza mate, I know I can't replace her but I'm always here. We'll work out a way of celebrating her life and keep her memory burning brightly.

I'm hurting. Very badly. I can only imagine what her family are feeling at the moment.

I don't want to talk about her medical history. It's a complicated one. She wouldn't want me to talk about that. But she had a way of rising above it, something I'm going to try and do better now with my own complicated medical stuff.

Sara I can't believe you've gone. I keep wanting to pick up the phone and speak to you. And you never came and sorted out my wireless internet problems ... who's going to do that now?

Love to her mum Denise, brothers Neil and Sean and her father Lynn. I'm looking forward to telling you about the Sara I knew.

And to everyone else ... go and listen to Sara on BlindKiss ... she was extremely proud and passionate about the shows we did together.

And please, everyone, look after the ones you love. Give them a call today. Let them know you love them.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Friday's podcast party

Did I really get back at 2:30am Saturday morning? My head the next day seemed to suggest so.

WE've been doing the Ouch Podcast for a year now. Friday night we went out for a bit of a party to celebrate. It started in Notting Hill and ended, very late, in Shepherds Bush. But what can I remember?

Present were: Roving Rob Crossan, Mat Fraser, Liz Carr, Emma, Lisa, Jo Church and me. We were hoping Steve P would turn up and the other Jo but sadly they couldn't join us. Liz's PA was around but I'm not sure we're allowed to talk about her?

Great night! Very funny. Can't really remember what we all talked about ... maybe we just grinned and dribbled. I remember: beer, Gin and Tonic, champagne, bit of food, exploring Liz's powerchair and REALLY trying to empathise with her plight, talking to Rob about his radio project and possible new job, watching Jo effortlessly and accidentally pulling, Jo coming into the men's toilets with me, singing and talking about music in the Shepherds Bush place we ended up in, asking the DJ to play some Happy Mondays (god knows why). OH and I have memories of Liz being turned away by the bouncers in the second place we ended up in? She might mention it on the podcast I guess ... we're recording it tonight and it should be up on the site Thursday.

I'm sure I'm gonna learn of any dreadful things I said Friday night when I get into the office today. Ick. Don't think I was too embarrassing though.

Lost: Expose

Just a quick nod towards last night's episode of Lost on Sky One. Exposé. It was an episode featuring Nikki and Paolo. Spoiler alert: they were buried alive.

Bit of an annoying episode because it appeared to live almost totally outside of the wider Lost story arc: a self contained episode.

We caught a few new things though, or maybe just one. We saw Juliet and Ben in The Pearl station/hatch. It was a flashback from soon after the plane crash - J and B were plotting to get Jack to operate on Ben. Obviously Ben's spinal growth did exist but I still had a bit of a funny feeling about how or why he had the thing until I saw this episode. At least we see Juliet apparently on Ben's side ... I'm still not sure about those two, what their "history" is (we know they "have history" thanks to Mr Friendly in the episode where Jack operates). But Juliet does appear to be at odds with The Others: she wants out, she gave Jack a video message asking him to kill Ben during the operation, she killed Danny, she was about to be given a death sentence according to The Others "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" legal process but thanks to Jack ended up with just a branding instead.

Nikki and Paolo. I think they're gone for good now. Even the writers Carlton and Damon appear to want to write them off as a bit of a mistake according to their podcast last week.

Yes Damon, we understand you're obsessed with Lost. You're up at 6:35 on a Monday morning blogging about it ... when you should be in bed because you're working til 10pm tonight (new podcast recording tonight).