Sometimes sending a hug by phone feels like a very poor substitute for being able to do it in person. And this is a price you pay when you move far away. Sometimes you just can’t be there. All you can do is call, try to say in words what the eyes and human touch would say so much better and say how sorry you are to be so far away. Of course I have no doubt that, despite the clumsiness of words, the feeling has been understood. As has the absence. But I still wish I was able to be with my friend tomorrow as he says goodbye to his father, and say my own goodbye too, in person. So here, all that distance away, there is a candle and very fond memories of a kind man whose red beard used to hide an amused smile when ferrying teenagers full of nonsense in his orange Renault 4. And all my thoughts are with the family who are mourning him tonight.