Today I spoke to lovely old friend on the telephone. I worked for this gentleman for two years a while ago and loved every minute of it. He's a bit of a rogue but a huge character - kind and generous to fault. When we worked together he used to make me laugh about a hundred times a day. Talking to him today and then thinking about him made me cry because he's very ill you see. He has cancer and after four years of invasive treatments he is now facing his last few months, or maybe his last few weeks. He's not old - maybe mid sixties - and should, by rights have another twenty plus years to go. I could hear the resignation and fear in his voice and it was the saddest thing I've ever heard. He's over 150 miles away - but I wish I could have just reached out to him and put my arms around him and made it all go away - but I can't - nobody can. I've said goodbye to too many people to cancer in recent years, and it feels far more cruel and indiscriminate than any other kind of illness. The random way it strikes and the harsh way that it damages is more than I can fathom.