New readers, and there seem to be a trickle (300 plus in the last month - not bad for a blog that's been in cold storage since 26th August), need to be aware that the title of this blog (the "Bonfiglioli Remembered" bit) refers mainly to the first eight posts, from 31st March 2013 to 20th May.
The reason for the long hiatus is that, on Sunday 15th of September, my wife Yvonne finally succumbed to the illness that had gradually and insidiously ravaged her life with increasing pain, frustration and embarrassment for 32 of her 64 years. It was Parkinson's Disease, a much misunderstood affliction, even by some health professionals. The condition had weakened her immune system and a bout of pneumonia took her from me within a few days. . Even if she had survived that, I was told her cancer had returned and she would have had even more suffering to endure. I am not grieving for her death now, though it was hard losing her. I'm grieving for the loving, funny, beautiful person she used to be, before hallucinations and delusions altered her mind as devastatingly as the physical limitations struck down her body.
She was a gentle soul with so much love to give. I felt a connection from the first day I met her - 26th July 1996. She had phoned to ask if tai chi, which I teach, could help her deal with her condition. We met every Wednesday lunchtime and practised chi kung (qigong) exercises. They helped a little. I believe they would have helped more if we'd met before her condition was so well established.
We stayed in contact by phone and letter after she moved to a nursing home in Inverness. Sometimes, even on the telephone, I was able to talk her out of a spasm and help her to relax.
After my wife Margaret died in 2003, I was able to visit Yvonne and the spark that we both had been aware of nine years before, was blown into flame. She came to share my home in Aberdeen and in June 2006 we were married. Later we moved to a sheltered flat, where I now live.
Nearly four months later, I'm ready to take up blogging again.
The big news on the Bonfiglioli front is that the film "Mortdecai", which I saw being talked about on websites only weeks ago, is now in production, with Johnny Depp as a blond Charlie Mortdecai (looks ginger to me), plus Cate Blanchett and Ewan Macgregor. I took a good look at the cast list, most with photographs, but failed to discover one with even a hint of the intimidating presence of Charlie's ever-present almost-tamed thug, the indispensable Jock. They can't have written him out, surely? It would Morecambe without Wise, strawberries without freshly-ground black pepper or - Heaven forfend - Wooster without Jeeves. Please, let there be Jock! I nominate Richard Keil, without the metal teeth, in fact without most of his teeth.
Let us be thankful that the film moguls have at last seen the potential in Bonfig's work. The plots - if such they be - of at least two of the novels seem to have been plundered for the movie.
Back to Depp's blond locks. I'm guessing the film folk needed to move away completely from the "Captain Jack Sparrow" look. Understandable. He seems to have been playing that part for ever.
I must add a note of thanks to Alessandro, who commented favourably on the blog in December and was kind enough (and sensible enough) to add it as a link to the Bonfiglioli entry in Wikipedia. Should have thought of that myself.