Many people would sniff at the idea of making friends via the interweb. How can you possibly get close to someone that you haven't met in the flesh?
Well, you can, and I have proved it to myself on many occasions.
I first came across Mutley in 2006. I loved his blog at the first read. It was right up my street - the 'fictional' town of Birdpot was crammed with the oddities that fell out of Mutley's brain regularly. He was saucy in the cleanest way and never failed to answer all of his commentors.
He mailed me with some questions about writing and sent me some of his more serious 'Allotted Span' stories to 'tell him what a pile of crap they were (they weren't).
I sent him a copy of my book and a couple of cheer-up cards and in turn he sent me an ancient copy of Ballads which I loved and checked in on me in my own time of crisis. We talked about our children (whom he loved deeply) and how shitty life could be sometimes.
He was a good man. We shared an age but not politics (you Tory dingbat) and we shared a love of writing. I nagged him about getting his short stories out there, and he just nagged!
I was delighted when he found love , sad when he lost Mutley, his crazy asbo dog, and loved popping in to his continuing mad blog.
At the beginning of the week I opened my comments to find a message from Merryweather (his love) to say that he had died in his sleep last Friday.
I am devastated.
The blogworld has lost a talent and Merry and his children have lost a true soul - my heart goes out to them.
Rob, wherever you are, please have a pint of Old Lesbian No6 for me and know that you were loved and adored by hundreds of people who had never met you but knew that you were a true friend.