After a short illness, in her sleep, at the age of 98.
She was my mother's old army buddy. And one of the few adults from my childhood whom I remember as being fun; in fact the only one who was never on the high horse- an honorary child, in fact.
And I'd rather be an honorary child than a knight commander of the British Empire.
The last time we saw her she was standing outside her apartment building giving us an army salute as we drove away. But not in a military manner, more in the style of Benny Hill.
I thought at the time this was probably a last farewell.
It's odd, I'd been planning to write her and invite ourselves to visit her in her nursing home. This morning I woke up thinking "I'm not sure I see the point". And then the card arrived.
She is one of the loveliest people I've ever known
Nicely done, Hilary,
Well swum, swan.