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.