It’s been a bittersweet X-mas. An old friend, erstwhile hippie bon vivant / artist/musician/cosmic raconteur par excellence Shane Sweeney, finally passed away from liver cancer. Am on the road right now, so no pics yet. But here is a letter to him I hope someone reads out at the cremation tomorrow: Dear Shane, Bro, I am so sorry I can’t make it to your last party coz I am in Bandung with the Rinpoche, the whole thing has been planned months ago so I can’t let them all down. Anyway I figured what with your fondness for the Invisible Tibetan Opera you’d forgive me. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have seen you those few short hours before you left us, to have that last hour with you alone, talking so openly and frankly in that crazy warm way that was your signature. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect, but you exceeded all of of expectations anyway! Yeah, you know what I mean. Sure there was a bit of initial fear (as if most of us wouldn’t have any at a moment like that). But then that spirit of adventure of yours, that big heart of yours, shone through. (Like all those conversations we had over the decades when you ended a big rave with a twinkle in the eye and came right down to earth again with a mirthful cackle). When we cut all the bs in the first minute that morning, that’s when I knew: you really were ready. I left the house that morning feeling so grateful to you for that, and everything everything else you shared over the years. We’re gonna miss you Shaney, you were such an original. Catch up with you later! Bon Voyage. (for friends of Shane: in ‘comments’ there are messages from Eve and Davina)