My old neighbour, Dick Robinson

Dick Robinson, who passed away suddenly, was in London with his wife the day before he died for a reunion with his old friends in the Malay Police. He grew up in the far east, and spoke fluent Malay.

I recall one of their Christmas parties, in the upstairs sitting room. I saw a stunning woman in a photo, I guess it was from the 1920s. Dick’s mother. Beautiful lady. On the walls, they also have dozens of miniature oils of red-coated men in powdered wigs, tied neatly back. Apparently it was the Stuart ancestors. Dick gleefully chuckled he was of the poor branch of the family.

He was ever sunny in his disposition, but Maureen said he had more health problems than he would let on even to her. He carried himself with impeccable style and panache, always with a smile and a twinkle on the ready. One of those people who would lift your day immediately.

When we moved in next door, with all our eccentricities and friends, parties and rehearsals, Dick in his meerkat fashion popped his head over the garden wall and delightedly exclaimed “At last, some glamorous people!”

The world feels distinctly more glum without him.

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