Calamity is calamity. Yesterday morning, my brilliant, beautiful, dearly beloved agent, Pat Kavanagh, died quite suddenly of a brain tumor which was only diagnosed five weeks ago. A personal loss on a scale I cannot begin to describe and have no intention of trying. But, it is so often the human lot to be wandering about the world in a state of stunned grief, yet having to try and describe why you feel so desperate — you need to explain something of context before people can arrange their faces. The death of Scary Pat, as I have often tended to refer to her domestically (’who was on the phone? ‘– ‘Scary Pat’ — as distinct from other Pats also significant) — the death of Scary Pat has been greeted with a vast outpouring of grief and regret in well turned phrases from the many, many, writers to whom she was important going on central. I have found this consoling. Just as, you might say, in a small village where there is a fatal accident involving the school bus, every one you meet will know who is mourning, and what, and why, there is a consoling feeling that yes, the universe has rocked on its hinges. An entire meta-world acknowledges, in shock and grief, the passing of someone absolutely wonderful.