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Saturday, 12 August 2017


When I returned home last Sunday from a very soulful Quakers meeting on the campus of the University of Warwick where I made several new friends (I worked there in the Department of Statistics from 1972-1979 and, despite what some homophobes say, devised and was instrumental in the founding of the flagship MORSE degree in 1975) I discovered for the first time that my dear ex-wife Valerie is suffering from an advanced form of Alzheimer's. May the good Lord protect her. Here is an Ode we wrote to her in March 2017



by Thomas Hoskyns Leonard and James L.S. Carter

As noble Valya in brave Harlech on her feather bed reclines

Contemplating the waves of life, and the divine,

Tamiko in fair Embro like a Dumnonian stallion sits, and reflects

On the half lifetime since the mighty Wisconsin wrench,

The marriage of '69 born in stress, lived in stress, dissected in stress,

The evil aunt of the faceless faithless youth,

The next, confused lad, the one who did not walk away,

His threefold undiagnosed suffering that took the fabric away;

Alas, that which even as yet must remain known but unsaid,

As images of rugby, and school-kid bullying, devour his once blocked mind

The misdirected homophobia at Warwick which drove him out,

And destroyed his life and marriage beyond all doubt,

And yet, through the generations of anguish God's vitality emerges:

Valya's valiant exploits the Economics of Russia to progress,

Her brilliant teaching of Wulfrunian fame,

Tamiko's dark-comical, curtailed career

As he crass Bayesians towards practicality diverts,

Placid Hera's immersement in Capitalism to earn her bread,

Mercurial Sonya's contributions to medicine and the law,

Two fine sons-in-law who forbear,

Cheerful C*****as he towards college with 11 GCSEs progresses,

Mei Liang, Chinese Goddess of the Wirral, painstakingly does study,

And from the spectrum, handsome H**** springs,

Ever ready to sprout his wings.

Alas, Tamiko by a lifetime of A.D.D. was debilitated,

And now he weeps in his tiny flat for the Thomas whose Aspergers both destroys,

Stretches his hand to Harlech, and cries,

Hail, gentle Valya. Your life, your family devotion, your achievements,

I admire.'

On the Norfolk Broads, in Tenby, and in Aberystwyth did our life excel.'

Let us now our next generations and their memories of our erstwhile love

As the great Larkin rightly says,

'What survives of us is love.'”



The Queen and Castle Pub Kenilworth,. where I ate with a pleasant friend from the University of Warwick last week