I am rendered silent by the death of a colleague. A hard drinking, heavy smoking, diabetic colleague. But still. He was unexpectedly, prematurely farewelled in a simple little ceremony at the sports club he loved. It was hard to see his family, to talk with them about his working life, to hear those stories of him as a boy, a university student. To see his brother, looking so much like him, with the same smile, same hands. The sight of his jacket on his casket, branded with the yellow and black of our rugby team, made us all smile, and cry. It's funny how just one ordinary thing can be so redolent of a person, a personality. I wasn't close to him, but he's been part of my daily working landscape for over 5 years. There is a gap. It's hard to get used to.