Saturday, 7 December 2019

Christmas card from a dead man

I received this card from Athelny's wife this week. She broke the news that he had died at some point this year. I don't know how and I don't know exactly when, but I do know he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago.

We were never bosom buddies -  I had accused him of stitching me up on an auction in Suffolk (or Sussex, I forget which) - and we/I never quite got over that hump. Glass dealers would sell their own mothers in my experience, and Athelny was new to the game, having retired as a teacher and gone straight into the jaws of the antiques trade. I had been dealing with antique dealers for about 50 years, so I knew how they operate.

Anyway, this was the last Christmas card he designed and photographed. It is an 18th century, plain-stemmed cordial glass - CORDIAL - gedditt?

His poor wife. I really feel for her. Many of my friends and acquaintances are kicking the bucket now. They did warn me that this would happen.


  1. I prefer your rat Christmas cards xx

  2. Still a beautiful card.
    Parkinson's is an unpredictable buggeration.
    Our friend here in NZ has it, triggered by a head injury when pushed off his bike intentionally. Cycling keeps him alive

  3. I like the card . Did the Augustus Carp cheer you up for a while ?

    1. Haven't begun to read it yet. Too busy staying alive.

  4. Geeze, Tom, it's damn awful to count up the living friends on one hand and need two or three for the ones gone.
    Your card is brilliant, and I hope you also take it to mean you are friends again, irregardless of his state of being.

  5. I received a card recently from a very old friend from Prep' school days. He finished off by saying 'Goodbye'. I found that word very disturbing.

  6. Wait till you get to my age (87) - they drop off the perch quicker than hot dinners.