Today I am feeling very sad. A telephone message on my answer-phone to say that a person I've known since 1951 is in hospital in Croydon. Patricia Teare, as she was then, has broken her hip and is in pain and distress - and now she is all alone.
Her husband died of cancer in December,just before their 41st wedding anniversary.
Patricia was my first and only ballroom dancing tutor. She was around 20 years old when I first met her at Jimmy Quinn's Dance School in Purley, Surrey. She was a superb dancer and marvellous teacher of the art. I've always held her in my heart and memory and her distressed phone call to me earlier today was devastating.
Even at her advanced age she continued to teach ballroom, and to have an accident such as a broken hip will almost certainly be the end of ballroom dancing for her.
I've just arranged for some flowers by post to be delivered to her and I've called on some others who know me to pay Patricia a visit, in my behalf. I cannot get down to Croydon now as my wife, Pat, needs me at home to look after her now.
Below is a photo of Patricia with her senior dance partner, Jimmy Quinn, whom I also knew well. Poor Jimmy died a year or so after the photo was taken; brain tumour.
I'm going to write to Patricia every day whilst she is in hospital. It's the least I can do. Bye for now...