On March 21st, following the death of the actress Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident, the front page of The Times of London was as you see it above. Giles Coren, an award-winning columnist and critic, was a school friend of my eighteen-year-old brother at the time of his death (the photographs below are from his last day) and had written a long and glowing tribute to him.
I was driven by this to write a long post of my own on the effect this event had on me. However, on the advice of my great friend the writer George Pendle, I withdrew the piece a few hours later, despite kind comments from readers. It was too much, too soon, to too little purpose. The great problem with this form of writing is how confessional it can become. This is not a book (in this form), but nor is it a pulpit for self-indulgence. I will return to this topic when my experiences in the world of the bullfight draws me to it, not the vagaries of newspapers, anniversaries and the like. As for Giles’ piece (which can be found here), it is as well-written as all of his work and contains a very accurate picture of a young man of great inner force and light whose promise was unfairly stolen from the world. I particularly liked the line: “Jules, a famously skilled and fearless skier, would rocket across the group, backwards, on one ski, smoking a cigar and laughing.” Farewell my brother, you will not be forgotten.
Alexander Fiske-Harrison – 300 words