Hogmanay.  So the worst year of my life is almost at an end.  Fingers crossed, I won’t have long to go but this fucking awful year ends with a phone call today, from the care home, to say that Uncle Tommy has taken a tumble and is off in an ambulance to the Royal Infirmary.  So no black bun for him this year.

He was Lindas favourite relative despite the fact that, in her convoluted family, she wasn’t actually related to him.  He was her stepfathers brother, so no blood there.  But I mind her telling me that when she went to live with her evil mother and violent, alcoholic stepfather, how she always wished Tommy was her Dad.  He was never drunk when he came to visit, always smiling and was happy to play with her and her younger half brother and half sister.  He was so good with kids that Linda always felt sorry he had none of his own.  Just a thieving waster of a stepson who, thankfully, emigrated to Australia.

So when his wife Ellen died she took him under her wing even though she was already crippled by then.  When she was in the hospice, one of the two times she went out, was to see Tommy in the care home he had just moved into.  He’s 92 now, with a touch of dementia, but he cried like a baby when I had to tell him she’d died.  Here there are in happier times, on his 90th birthday, with a bonus photo strip below, of my beautiful wife.