Really very sorry for being the bearer of the worst news, but Mal died on Monday 18 March at 9.40pm. His children Cat, Fin and I and his best friend (my brother Vic) were all with him, here at our new home in Ancrum Bank. It was so very tranquil. So tranquil in fact that it took me and Fin ten minutes to be absolutely sure Mal really wasn't breathing, he looked so serene and calm. But he was definitely ready to go. All medical and caring staff said how content he looked, wrapped comfortably in all the warm wishes of all those who loved him, from both near and far.
A celebration of his life will be held at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh on
Thursday 28 March at 12 noon to which all are warmly invited.
I've been working hard all week getting his funeral arrangements sorted and his celebrant, Onie Tibbitt, is keen to get close friends to share the funny things he said or did that exemplified the kind of man he was. You guys were a massive part of his life. He was very close to you. Many is the time he would leave your forum with a moist eye telling me some sad news, or, much more often, with a chuckle. Sadly, you are the guys with whom I have least connection as I have never met or spoken, or indeed communicated in any meaningful way with any of you apart from the briefest of updates while Mal was in Basingstoke after his major op in February last year.
You guys may have been a facet of his life which was an entire mystery to me but now it is time to unveil the mystery. It is clear, as Onie and I have pored over Mal's lifetime, that the theme of Railways surfaces time and time again as a major focus in his life. Apart from your friendships, I would love to receive sentence or two from you guys explaining the significance of trains in general and RM in particular to Mal.
It is one of my biggest regrets that Mal never achieved his long-held ambition to set up his own model railway here in our new home. Who knows, in the fullness of time, I may even pick up that challenge, but don't hold your breath or you may turn blue and keel over and I've had more than enough of that thank you.
If any of you would like to contribute your thoughts, Onie is happy to get in touch with you for a chat, or you could email her anecdotes of funny things he said, or things he did which seemed to exemplify his character, before 5pm Monday 25th March so she can start compiling a tribute in good time. Onie's email address is [email protected], so feel free to email her direct, or if you would rather chat, let her know and she can arrange a convenient time.
And in case you don't know it already, our new address is 1 Ancrum Bank, Dalkeith, Midlothian, EH22 3AY, tel 0131 660 1609. My mobile is 07563557310. I’ll be shutting Malcolm’s email and phone contracts down at some point, so remember to delete him from your contacts list, but feel free to please add me if you wish ;-)
I know you will understand that I have my hands full. So please don't be overly concerned if I don't acknowledge any replies on the forum for a couple of days. Once I can stop juggling balls while unicycling, and once things start to feel a bit more settled, if it is not too presumptuous, I look forward to logging in and maybe getting to know you guys a wee bit.